|Eat slowly and thoughtfully
Restaurante Mexita, is a word derived from "México Italia". From what I understand, it was first established in the suburb of San Felipe del Agua. Chef Enrico de Rosa is from Napoli, Italia, and he brings from there skills not often seen in Italian restaurants in Mexico. His wife, whom we did not meet, is a Oaxaqueña.
I had read glowing reviews on TripAdvisor. At that time Restaurante Mexita was in Number One place among Oaxaca restaurants, according to TA members. (It actually still is. TA lists a seafood place in Huatulco, for godssake, as Number One.)
Sra. Cuevas and I went one evening, to have a wood oven pizza and a salad. We also had a bottle of Italian Merlot.
(This meal was immediately after the Fickle Finger of Fate taxi scam incident, so our mood was not at its best. But the wine and a nice meal helped a lot to dispel the dark cloud over us.)
The restaurant has several dining areas. We sat in a semi-outdoors section with a good view of the wood burning oven. The atmosphere is casual and romantic.
Chef Enrico visited our table to tell us that he makes the vino della casa, fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheeses, all the pasta, and huge loaves of pane contadino. I may have missed something. We were offered tastes of the wine, the cheeses and the bread. I didn't care much for the wine, finding it rough and rustic, but the cheeses were very good and notable for their freshness.
We wanted a pizza that would demonstrate the chef's skill, so we avoided the more complicated varieties. On the other hand, a simple cheese or pizza Margherita might have been too spartan. So, with the advice of Chef Enrico, we chose a Pizza Marina con Alici. Alici, he explained, are fresh (flash frozen), unsalted anchovies. (Who would expect to find such a product in Oaxaca?)
We watched him prepare the pizza in swift, deft movements. The actual cooking time is about 60 seconds, perhaps 90 seconds for a larger, more heavily laden pizza.
|Pizza Marina e alici
For dessert, I had a perfectly made panna cotta, soft and quivering, the best I've ever had. The espresso was very good, also.
We were attended by a Oaxacan waitress, and occasionally Chef Enrico would come by and explain the provenance, tradition, and other lore of his cuisine, He was amply supported in this task by his justifiably proud father, who works as a host and bartender, who would check up on our well being and delight at several intervals. (The mamá also works there, but she did not visit our table.) This flow of information was all well and good, up to a point, but eventually became somewhat tiresome.
I wanted to return sometime to Mexita during the remainder of our stay, but we never did. Although I would have been pleased to try some serious platos fuertes, we were somewhat discouraged by the thought of having to undergo the educational program all over again. Then there is the price. This does not come cheaply. Our meal of pizza, salad for two and a bottle of wine cost $687 pesos, including a suggested tip of 10%.
To sum up; Mexita is a very good restaurant, with highly admirable chef skills and artisanal products. But diners should be prepared for the ongoing interaction with the proud chef and his father.
I would return to eat at Mexita when we again visit Oaxaca.
RATINGS (based on a single meal of pizza and salad and dessert!)
Service: ***** Almost too attentive.
Price: $$$-$ La Cuenta
Ambience: Rustic casual and romantic
Restrooms: spotless and in good working order
Keywords: "Perfection comes with a price"
Open from 2:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Mártires de Tacubaya #314. Col. Centro Oaxaca, Oax.
Tel: 52 951 520 2180
Accepts credit cards