Brilliant bistro brimming with the beau monde
Claim to fame: The city’s first ingredient-driven eatery with dishes that are pure gold
Reason to go: A seasonal menu built on a full-flavor philosophy
To look out for: The spot-on daily specials are a no-brainer
If anyone knows his produce, it’s Chef Eduardo García. Like many other Mexicans, “Lalo” (diminutive for Eduardo) crossed the border to the United States where he spent his early days working the fields. This close encounter with food in its purest form helped Lalo develop an acute sensitivity to flavors and aromas. With an autodidactic approach to cooking, he picked up the tools of the trade in various stateside kitchens. Everything was going just fine until a run-in with the immigration authorities got him deported back to Mexico where he subsequently landed a chef de cuisine-position at Enrique Olvera’s Pujol. Six years later, Máximo Bistrot Local came to life.
This little bistro in the Colonia Roma district––frequented by young and hip locals––quickly garnered attention. Suddenly, scoring a table at Máximo became nearly impossible, which of course attracted even more guests. The main reason for this rapid success, you wonder? Lalo’s food. Mexicans weren’t used to the powerful flavors borne of French technique. It wasn’t French cuisine per se, but it wasn’t Mexican either. At first, people found it hard to categorize this rather confusing concept of well-executed, ingredient-based cooking; we dare say the first of its kind in Mexico City. The word bistro probably helped define things.
Lalo’s biggest passion is pretty straightforward, he really enjoys cooking. He’s never been one to soak up the limelight, preferring to stay stove-side, though watching him work is a special treat. Helming his perpetually busy kitchen, Lalo dresses a salad while simultaneously reducing a pasta sauce (pasta is one of his fortes) and smothering a suckling pig with melting butter until it’s completely absorbed by the pork skin. He knows no fear and no regrets whatsoever when using butter. Flavors are all over the map, yet clearly expressed despite Lalo’s improvisational meanderings. Truffle and incredible morels cover a risotto while a perfectly fresh kampachi comes decked with some bok choy and kimchi.
The beverage list covers all the bases, from (mainly) French and Mexican wines, to cocktail overtures such as the Dry 16 made with tequila Casa Dragones, Dolin Blanc, Tio Pepe and Himalayan salt.