Maximo Bistrot, Mexico

In a discreet corner of the hipster-friendly Colonia Roma sit the ten most sought-after tables in Mexico City, famed for having transformed gourmet cuisine based on local markets and day-fresh produce with a fully responsible attitude. The chef Eduardo García, who has done stints in the kitchens of Le Bernardin in New York as well as Pujol – the only restaurant in Mexico on the world top-50 list – opened his very own Maximo Bistro in 2011. The establishment is an ode to creative honesty expressed through a menu that is renewed daily and based on local, environment-friendly produce. The latter naturally combines to create unexpected recipes such as eggplant ash dip, mussels with coconut and saffron, chilli broth or ravioli with parmesan that make an ideal match with the Mexican discovery named chocolate. In a city where even the most luxurious restaurants have a surprisingly short expiry date, Maximo is an example of how long-term success relates more to the simplicity of creativity than to design, decoration and location. Its eclectic hand-made dishes and napkins, as well as the fact that the fresh kitchen produce does not travel more than 24 hours from its place of origin, say a great deal about what is considered important here to make diners feel as if they are eating at home. The bread is also home-made and delicious, and the selection of mezcals (a Mexican beverage distilled from the maguey plant), artisanal beers and wines – with all three varieties bearing exclusively Mexican labels – round off a small menu that involves no risk of making a bad choice. The desserts, such as the caramelized upside-down apple tart, are also well worth sampling. At the end of the day, this is a place for palates that have had their fill of experimentation and are looking for a local cuisine nurturing no complexes in respect to international influences and where the only problem lies in finding a table if you don’t book several days ahead.

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