Tag Archives: pasta in merida

Bella Roma – New Authentic Italian Find in Merida

Everyone is talking about it.

A new Italian eatery; a really authentic Italian restaurant, located in the most unlikely and hard to find places; the new, gigantic urban development known as Las Americas. Not the mall, but the Sadasi construction companys huge housing project near Dzitya, just off the Merida-Progreso highway.

The Casual Restaurant Critic, Better Half and several friends visited this hidden gem a few nights ago and the group was magically transported from Merida to a Roman neighborhood trattoria, where a large (20 members by one account) Italian family hosts Yucatecans and the occasional Canadian and offers up real food from the land shaped like a boot.

The pizza is of the ultra thin crust variety and while the ‘everything’ pizza was fine, it was the quattro formaggio with anchovies that wowed the group. Pastas were perfect; rare indeed is the restaurant that can put together a delicious pasta cooked perfectly. Elio al Mare is one, Bella Roma is another. Accompanied by a reasonably priced bottle of Moltepuciano red wine, the meal was perfect up to and including the tiramisu and limoncello (and mandarincello) for dessert. Exquisite!

Service was adequate, but the crushing onslaught of Yucatecans never stopped and the female waitresses, evidently sisters and daughters of the older folks in the kitchen as well as several young men including the Eros Ramazotti singing member of the family who provided live entertainment for part of the evening, were hard-pressed to spend much time at any table. Every few minutes, yet another Italian face would appear with a load of plates and the Critic counted at least 11 different members of the staff, all related apparently.

Dinner for 8 came to about $1400 pesos before tips which the Critic felt was quite fair.

Pimienta – Good Seafood-y Pasta

The Casual Restaurant Critic had driven by the restaurant called Pimienta, located just a few blocks beyond the Consulado de los Estados Unidos de America, when heading south-north, just before the street opens up to reveal the estadio Salvador Alvarado on the left.  The Critic had also heard some rumors and whispers that this little restaurant was actually pretty good.

So, upon hearing that dear friends were going to visit and were requesting the dubious pleasure of the Critics company, he dusted off his dancing shoes and took the Better Half along with Miss Tenerife and joined aforementioned DearFriends for dinner.

And what a surprise! Pimienta, whose owner was on hand to welcome the group, is indeed a little gem of a restaurant with great food, an elegant room and a waiter with a personality.

As far as food goes, there was pasta had by all. From green linguine buried in a delicious red sauce that the BetterHalf raved about the next day to the scallops in the Fruti di Mare pasta had (for the first time ever) by Miss Tenerife to the Mona Lisa had by the Critic to the pasta with shrimp and an appetizing chunk of meat whose names escape the Critic as usual; all were delicous!

Appetizers included tender, zesty flavored mushrooms sauteed with guajillo chile and sprinkled cheese on top and bruschetta.

Desserts were had as well, although there was absolutely no need to subject the groups digestive system to such abuse; a homemade Tiramisu, a light, just right lemon mousse and a dark chocolate pyramid.

Service was friendly and for the most part right there when needed (ocasionally he could have been a little more attentive) with the only quibble being that the he could have ironed his shirt to be more in keeping with the rest of the dining room which was impeccable.

All in all a pleasant surprise. Recommended!

Ca d’Oro – Italian in Merida, Yucatan

The Critic and Co. had lunch yesterday at the new Ca d’Oro Italian restaurant, located in that plaza on Prolongaci√≥n Montejo where Carls Jr hamburgers (formerly Checkers) is located, across from the giant Interceramic tile store.

The Critic had read a good review on gorbman.com and so was excited to have the opportunity to give this relatively new restaurant a try.

The two appetizers ordered, suppli al telefono and melanzana were good; the melanzana or eggplant was rich hearty and very satisfying while the best part of the suppli was the great presentation in a paper cone. Others in the party thought the suppli a little bland, but the accompanying cooked tomato sauce perked the little rice/cheese balls nicely.

For main courses:

  • an abundant fusilli in a tomato sauce which, according to it’s owner, was good;
  • a roast duck with a lemon sauce;
  • a Pecorino cheese pizza;
  • and the Critic had the tagliatelle with panna and prosciutto.

Overall, reviews were generally good on the food. The pizza and the duck were outstanding, while the tagliatelle was quite bland. If it hadn’t been for the prosciutto, it would have tasted like not much of anything.

Bread seemed homemade and was warm, crispy and light; while the three accompanying butters (habanero, chile de arbol and garlic) were very good although it could be that the butter was actually margarine, if such a thing were possible in the Ca d’Oro.

As usual, the Critic is critical of the service. If you are tired of reading this same old criticism of Merida’s restaurants, stop reading here and go outside and play.

But it seems that the owners of Ca d’Oro have spent a lot of thought, time and money on the decoration, the menu and some wonderful food. The waiter was slow, charmless and not particularly knowledgeable. When asked when the restaurant opened, he seemed unsure and said ‘it’s my understanding that they opened about year ago’. When asked is they had mineral water his answer was ‘yes’. When asked further what kind of mineral water, he replied ‘Perrier’. When asked if they had Pelegrino he replied ‘yes’. Upon returning to the table to remove finished plates, he went on just a little too much about how it was evident that the group enjoyed the food (the empty plates).

If this is nitpicking, so be it. But one only has to have dinner at La Recova, or for really outstanding service, La Dolce Vita in Cancun, to see what a difference well-trained, knowledgeable and professional waiters make.

Final verdict? Try it yourself. There are a lot of items on their menu and the Critic is sure that there are some real gems in there.