Tag Archives: hotels

Casual Restaurant Critic at Ixi’im, Chablé Resort and Spa

Recently the Critic had the opportunity, thanks to the well-connected Better Half, to attend a sort of ‘fam’ trip to the fabulous Chablé Resort and Spa, recipient of several international awards in the tiny village of Chocholá, Yucatan.

The outing was organized by the Merida-based Club Sibarita, an informal group made up of like-minded people who enjoy great food and wine, spearheaded by Caro Molina and Jean Philippe of Dolce Magazine, who have also organized spectacular dinner events with renowned chefs from the region and Mexico in general, the last one at Merida’s Hyatt. The purpose of this trip was to sample some of chef Luis Ronzon’s culinary creations and take a tour of the former – and extensively, lavishly reconstructed – henequen plantation.

The room at Ixi’im is welcomingly chilled (it’s a thousand humid degrees outside) and gorgeous and you will be impressed with the collection of over 3,000 different types of tequila, and the resort is well on its way to holding the Guinness World Record for largest collection of tequilas in the world. Yes, in the world. It’s not just the bottles though: look up and notice the lamps made with jicaras, the ropes used as a decorative element and take note of the architecture which is glass and steel surrounding and integrated into the original stone structures of the hacienda, which have been left standing and make up part of the innovative and award-winning design.

The food and wine were, in a nutshell, amazing. A light foam to start off and whet the appetite, followed by a very green and very fibre-rich salad of quelites (translated as pig-weed, or amaranth depending on who you consult), parsley and cilantro with an emulsion dressing and some Tabasco queso fresco and roasted green tomato. Very chewy and a good combination with a French 2014 Bordeaux white wine.

Next up, the main course of cordero from nearby Tahmek, where grower Jennifer and her husband are providing the area with some excellent local lamb cuts. This was served in an huasteco adobe sauce that to the Critic, rivaled any cochinita he has ever tried.  This was paired with the robust 2012 Chateau des Tourelles “La Cour des Glycines”. Perfect. A second glass of wine was had and things started to get very pleasant indeed.

Finally, a third plate was the cilantro foam with guanabana (soursop) sorbet and pineapple. Accompanying this dish was a sweet dessert wine: Haut Marin “Venus” 2015. Delicious.

Service was gracious and professional. This was a private event but the Critic is sure that your experience will be equally impressive!

For more information: click here to go to the restaurant’s own website. Wine info at Les Vines de Moliere website. And you can read more about Caro and Jean Philippe’s Dolce magazine here!

Enjoy the photos!

Casual Restaurant Critic visits the Santa Rosa Hacienda

On a recent trip to Maxcanú, the Critic along for the ride noticed signs for the hacienda Santa Rosa (a Starwood-run luxury hotel) and decided that a stop might be in order, to both see the hotel and if possible, have something to eat there.

Familiar with the strict entry procedure at Temozon, another Starwood hacienda, the Critic was surprised that the gardeners out front just said “adelante” when asked if he could pop in for a look. It turns out that all the guests had left and the Critic was the only non-staff person in the hotel.

In spite of this, the outdoor restaurant was set up with fresh flower arrangements and cutlery on each table, ready in case someone (like the Critic) showed up hungry. A friendly receptionist ushered the Critic to the table and a very friendly and deferential waiter proceeded to take the order. If you, dear reader, have been to the Temozón hacienda for a meal, you know that the waiters are not at all at the same luxe level as the place they are in and the food they are serving. Here at Santa Rosa, the service definitely and happily is.


Homemade bread and butter (two kinds) were brought out and the bread, lo and behold was warm. Delicious.


A pasta dish was ordered – spaghetti in a chaya pesto sauce with fresh cherry tomatoes and some parmesan cheese. Simple, pretty and very tasty.

Spaghetti w Chaya Pesto

Spaghetti w Chaya Pesto

The bill came to $215 pesos, which was the pasta and a glass of refreshing jamaica.

The thing that made the meal exceptional was the service and the fact that they were perfectly happy to serve just one person when they could easily have closed the place while they awaited more guests. It is a very civilized place to have a meal if you are in the area exploring and the receptionist said that meals are always available, but to check first, in case the hotel is full or there is a special event like a wedding.

More info on the hacienda Santa Rosa on the Starwood website here.