Heritage and legacy, baked into tasting menu perfection
Claim to fame: Zero-attitude fine dining with a sustainable slant
Reason to go: Favorite Mexican ingredients, as well as long forgotten ones, respectfully reinvented by means of innovative techniques
To look out for: Charred avocado tartar with escamoles (ant eggs)
Power duo Jorge Vallejo and Alejandra Flores attracted the attention of international food critics, chefs and enthusiasts in no time, making Quintonil a favorite among locals and curious visitors alike––you can be sure of one thing, a considerable percentage of the tables will be occupied by foreigners.
Discreetly tucked away in a sweet little house, on a side street of the upscale Polanco district, Quintonil is not a boastful establishment, it needs neither grandeur or sumptuous décor to convey its elegance. Rather, it relies on simplicity and hushed yet mindful service. All in all, there’s a tu casa es mi casa-vibe here.
Since day one, Chef Vallejo’s knowledge of Mexican ingredients paved the way to a surprising gastro-journey, his experimental use of uncommon products (“quintonil” is actually the name of a savory herb used by early Mexican civilizations) and his tangy crab tostada, with the creaminess of habanero mayonnaise, certainly helped the restaurant gain recognition. As did the radical nopal sorbet palate cleanser, perfectly designed to build the happiest of endings, nopal––Mexico’s quintessential cactus fruit––has never before been served like this. The same goes for the potato barbacoa and the jackfruit aguachile with sardines. Quintonil’s greatness lies in elevating so-called everyday ingredients. You think you know them, but you haven’t tasted them in this context.
On the rooftop, Vallejo keeps an urban garden, harvesting choice bits of Mexico’s biodiversity and fueling the discourse on sustainability. Heritage and legacy working together, that’s what Quintonil is all about.