Carmela y Sal
Mexico City, Mexico
While Carmela y Sal’s glamorous southern Polanco dining room is a shimmering, moodily lit delight – think high ceilings, dark floors and olive and copper accents – its menu sings with dishes that feel less ‘fine dining’ than ‘superb home cooking’. Talented young chef Gabriela Ruiz Lugo showcases an abundance of flavours from Mexico’s Tabasco region, where she grew up. Signature dish Tierra de Luna sees an empanada made with very ripe plantain, stuffed with black beans and topped with a wondrous reduced tomato sauce. Elsewhere, expect generous portions of the likes of short ribs, fish ceviche, corn risotto, ‘liar’ (vegan) tostados and indulgent desserts such as caramel banana and whipped cream and mango tapioca. The wine list boasts a great range of native bins, and the cocktails are worth arriving early for – or lingering over, post-dinner.
24 Calle Pedregal, Torre Virreyes, Mexico City, 11000