|Salsas and pickled chipotles at Nico's|
Place names that roll off the tongue, a area of Mexico City far from the trendy bistrots of Condesa and Roma and from the stalwart, old time restaurants of the Centro Histórico.
We had dined last year at the deservedly famous El Bajío, but had since read good things about Restaurante Nico's Mexico*, less than half a mile further up Avenida Cuitláhuac, in Colonia Clavería.
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*There's a branch of Nico's in Querétaro also.
Nico's has been operating since 1957, and although it offers distinctive regional Mexican dishes, its look and feel are very different than that of El Bajío. El Bajío is festively decorated with artesanías but Nico's is more serious, with a sober decor of beige and brown walls. Nico's has gravitas. Nico's emphasizes that it obtains raw materials from small producers. It's also a founding member of the Slow Food Movement. At Nico's your attention is focused on the plate and the food, and less on the surroundings. We enjoy both El Bajío and Nico's, but what we ate at the latter gave near perfect pleasure.
I'd made a reservation through OpenTable.com, which was easy, yet we had a minor kerfuffle when we arrived. We were shown a table by the door to the kitchen, and when we requested another, it seemed all others were reserved. Despite its modest capacity, Nico's dining room fills everyday except Sunday, when it is closed. However, when I belatedly gave the head waiter our OpenTable confirmation number, they found us a more suitable table.
For openers, a Tequila and mezcal cart was rolled beside our table. Unless you already know a lot about these spirits, making a decision is difficult. Our waiter offered me a taste of a Mezcal Amores, which I liked very much, so I chose that. It was smooth and smoky.
We passed over the specials sheet and moved to the Entradas.
I chose Marlín En Frío and our amiga, Luz Ma, had Chile Mihuateco Relleno de Trucha Ahumada. Doña Cuevas skipped the appetizers, but had a Sopa de Frijoles en Caldo de Ayocote for her next course, as did Luz Ma.
|Marlín Ahumado en Frío|
The Chile Mihuateco Relleno de Trucha Ahumada was richer looking. I didn't try it, but Luz Ma enjoyed it.
|Chile Relleno de Trucha Ahumada|
|Caldo Verde de Camarones con Nopalitos|
|Garnishes for Sopa de Frijol|
|Pollito de Leche|
Doña Cuevas and I skipped dessert, but Luz Ma was drawn to an Arroz con Leche that took a few moments to prepare. It came with a cinnamon foam that was very pleasant.
We all had coffee, which was more than acceptable. I consider this meal to be one of the best we have ever had in Mexico City.
Price: Expensive, but worth it. $$$$+, including tip. La Cuenta.
Rest rooms: very clean and functional.
Parking: Valet parking available.
Open Monday through Saturday, Open at 7:30, M-F for breakfast, then until 19:30.
Open at 8:00 a.m Saturday until 19:00.
Location: Avenida Cuitláhuac 3102, Colonia Clavería, Delegacíon Azcapotzalco, 02080 Mexico City, D.F.
Tel: 01 55 5396 7090
More menu pages:
Ensaladas Sopas Pescados y Mariscos Aves Carnes