The Art of Hospitality Award - Latin America 2016

Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico

Relaxed service marries ingenious food for a unique Mexican experience

From the moment the diner walks in the door of Pujol, the subtle magic begins. There will be stunningly creative takes on Mexican classics and a whole catalogue of mezcals, local wines and refreshing aguas frescas, and from start to finish the service will be so streamlined as to be almost unnoticeable.

As befitting a restaurant created by Enrique Olvera, hospitality at Mexico’s premier culinary destination is handled with style, warmth and flair. While the room is relatively unadorned, it is smart enough to feel like a fine-dining destination, yet relaxed enough to make guests feel at home. Whether it’s business lunch, celebration or long-awaited destination dinner, every occasion is treated as a special one by well-attuned and personable staff, led by restaurant director Miguel Angel González.

A succession of gourmet street snacks kicks off the meal, from wow-factor baby corn with powdered ants to intricately composed chia tostadas. Next comes a series of multiple-choice courses, from the famous barbacoa taco to an impressive tongue soup, all followed by the pièce de résistance: Olvera’s Mother Mole dish, officially cooking for more than 1,000 days. Finally, the Happy Ending of sweet treats comes to finish off the meal with a flourish.

In comparison to many other restaurants of Pujol’s quality and global reputation, the tasting menu is not only relatively short but includes elements of choice – both factors that the chef-restaurateur himself is keen to promote. “I am fed up with over-long tasting menus, and I think diners are too – they want something more relaxed,” says Olvera. But at no point during the process of de-formalising the delivery of such meals has the level of service dropped.

The Polanco favourite will close in late 2016, to reopen nearby in a larger space. Olvera does not plan to increase the number of covers significantly, but instead to provide more space in the kitchen and dining room for his team to work their magic. Guests are sent home with a wax-sealed menu with the day’s date – the perfect memento from an experience to remember.

Calle Francisco Petrarca 254
Miguel Hidalgo
Mexico City 11570
+52 55 5545 3507

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