With its white leather chairs, unexpected light sources, and creative cocktails, this chic, two-story restaurant is downtown’s first Hotel Zone-style place. A local favorite since its opening in mid-2013, it is both devoted Mexico’s traditional flavors and fearless in fusing them with contemporary cuisine. Each ingredient gets its due, whether in crayfish tacos, roasted cream of corn soup with browned garlic and tomatoes, or salmon al pastor with roasted pineapple in a banana leaf. It’s easy to be swayed by the mocaljetes and succulent meat dishes such as pork ribs in peanut and pasilla pepper sauce, but I urge you to find a way to fit in the ravioli filled with huitlacoche, goat cheese and grilled pumpkin flowers—if not as a main course, get an order to share with the table. Specials change every month, and the menu is revamped a couple of times a year. More than 100 wines and 60 top-end tequilas, including the rare tequila negro, are featured in pairings and tastings. Lovely duets and trios perform each night, and mariachis play on Fridays.
- Maribeth Mellin