Mexico City, Mexico
Chief reason to visit: The mixture of beautiful mansion house setting, and Elena Reygadas’ elegant, super-seasonal dishes makes this one of the most romantic – and popular – restaurants in Latin America.
A few words on the chef: Reygadas, who was voted Latin America’s Best Female Chef in 2014, trained in New York at the French Culinary Institute and then worked in London under Italian maestro Giorgio Locatelli before heading home to open Rosetta in 2010. Her open, friendly demeanour is balanced with a fierce determination and disciplined approach in the kitchen.
What about the restaurant itself? Rosetta is made up of a series of distinctive individual spaces in a once-grand but now-welcoming townhouse in Mexico City’s artistic Roma district. Service is attentive but down-to-earth, reflecting the contemporary but not over-elaborate Mexican food sourced from specialist small-scale producers.
On the menu: Rosetta has always had an Italian flavour, epitomised by the chef’s exquisite hand-made pasta dishes. In recent years, however, its emphasis has shifted towards a deeper Mexican sensibility with reinterpretations of tamales and mole dishes, alongside the likes of quail served with faro, dates and mustard leaves. The bread and desserts – as you might expect from a group with hugely successful panaderias in its portfolio – are a revelation in themselves.
Other ventures: Aside from Rosetta and its spin-off bakery, which supplies bread to many of the city’s leading restaurants, Reygadas operates casual Mexican restaurant Lardo and the recently opened French bistro, Café Nin. This year sees the launch of her first cookbook, exploring not only Rosetta’s recipes and philosophy but also the environment and traditions that shape Mexican ingredients.