La bella vita, tailor-made and tasty
Claim to fame: A Massimo Bottura disciple who gifted the capital with a cathedral to refined Italian cuisine
Reason to go: Tutto homemade and accented by unexpected, Mexican flourishes
To look out for: Artisanal imports, used much like a tailor––sarto––uses fine Italian cloth
Yes, the king of comforting cuisines is, and always will be Italian. Curiously though, Mexico City never really had a restaurant serving classy renditions of this all-time favorite. Not until Chef Marco Carboni, and his elegantly sparse Sartoria, came around and altered things. Having worked with star chefs Massimo Bottura, Gordon Ramsay, and Jamie Oliver, Carboni uses refined techniques and follows one basic principle: handmade food, cooked with seasonal ingredients that are treated with utmost respect.
It may sound like a cliché, but Sartoria’s dishes speak for themselves; fried gnocco with prosciutto di Parma, parmesan foam, and balsamic vinegar from Modena is an Instagram star by now. Yet all that meets the eye is not squarely Italian, while most of Carboni’s ingredients are from the Land of Carbonara, he still manages to sneak in Mexican elements, the cerdo pelón terrine is made with creole, black pig from the country’s southeast Yucatán peninsula and the stracciatela hails from the state of Mexico, a region most people never even heard of.
We suggest trying the utterly creamy-decadent and silky-satisfying cacio e pepe spaghetti a la chitarra, with funky flavors of aged cheese and toasted black pepper. And if you can make room for it, the noble wagyu picaña, coming straight from the embers, accompanied by mashed potatoes with smoked caciocavallo cheese, parsnips that are baked at low temperature, bathed with beef demiglace and garnished with sorrel leaf.
The wine list is entirely Italian and divided by regions, it boasts an impressive selection of labels from sustainable, artisanal and organic producers, spanning everything from powerful, classic Brunello di Montalcinos to young, spunky natural wines from Lazio.
Be warned, Sartoria is as crowded as the Vatican on Easter Sunday, do make a reservation. Or drop by for breakfast when you can have the place to yourself and enjoy a molto buono array fresh pastries and a sharp espresso.