Rosas y Xocolate for Dinner

After getting such a good impression from their breakfast the other day (the review got lost on this blog as old stuff was imported from – oops) and hearing nothing but raves, the Critic invited the always gracious Better Half out for dinner at Rosas y Xocolate.

It was a Saturday so the Critic called ahead to reserve a table for two. “Inside or out?”  Inside, since it was a bit ‘chilly’ by Yucatecan standards. A few moments later, a phone call to inform the Critic that the restaurant was full inside; would the interior patio be OK. Fine. Packed an additional layer of warmth and off to dinner!

Upon arrival, a hostess at the door either didn’t understand the Critic (he mumbles occasionally) or was so distracted by the amount of people inside that it was not immediately clear that she knew about the reservation. Another hostess-like person appeared and took the Critic and BH to a small table for two in the interior patio area, where a lovely, quiet breakfast had been had before.

However, this Saturday night the place was far from quiet; Rosas y Xocolate was packed, and not just with tables of 2 or 4; most were tables of 6 to 12 people, raucously celebrating perhaps their good fortune at having been born into the ‘haves’ category. Waiters ran this way and that, trays in hand while the hostesses moved among the tables with their arms behind their backs, seating people at the few remaining tables. The owner himself moved smoothly among the tables like a grey wolf, patting arms and chatting with his guests.

After about 10 minutes of sitting at the table, listening to what was obviously a talented singer doing the usual bar/lounge classics at a volume inappropriate to the space involved, the Critic and BH debated leaving since no one had actually acknowledged the fact that the table was now occupied. The Critic decided that it would be an interesting experience to see how long it took to get some service. Another 10 minutes passed before the owner showed up at the table to ask if everything was alright, at which time the Critic and BH mentioned that a menu or a drink would be a nice touch.

Watching the action, the Better Half noted that the staff were running around like ‘chickens with their heads cut off’.

To make a long story (and wait) short, it was 40 minutes before anything edible arrived at the table in the form of the restaurants’ homemade bread and this only happened because the Critic literally stopped a busboy passing by who has a tray of bread and some pats of butter.

The food, six appetizers chosen from the menu, was fantastic.

A duck salad, sauteed shrimp, fried octopus, beef carpaccio, palmitos and salmon chunks on crispy wontons were brought out in twos and each was exquisite, especially the octopus and the salmon.

But the service throughout was haphazard and extremely unorganized from what could be observed. Of particular concern was the cleaning lady who passed the table at least 7 times on her way to and from the bathrooms, wearing one white latex glove with which she apparently cleaned the garbage baskets in the bathrooms, and carrying everything from the mentioned waste baskets with toilet paper in them, fresh and or dirty towels depending on the direction she was walking, toilet paper rolls etc. BH commented that this was the first time she had ever seen something like this and was absolutely fascinated in an unbelieving and incredulous way that this could even happen in a restaurant of any caliber.

In short, Rosa y Xocolate is a fine place for dinner, but the Critic recommends not going on a Saturday night when the place is packed.

11 thoughts on “Rosas y Xocolate for Dinner

  1. Actually, once in Chiapas in a restaurant not nearly as nice as this, just as our dinners arrived (some sort of steak, as I recall…), the cleaning lady walked out of the back with a full bucket and a bottle of Fabuloso and proceeded to wash the floor RIGHT NEXT to our table. It was then that we discovered that the smell of Fabuloso and meat do NOT go together.

    Another time, at Cafe La Habana… the very first restaurant we ate at in Merida Lo! these many moons ago… as we were eating our eggs for breakfast, a plumber arrived, kneeled down next to the table and proceeded to hack away at a tile, pull it up off the floor and start messing with a pipe under the floor. Also far from appetizing.

    We prefer this place when it is quieter also…

  2. Oh geez! I´m glad I found this post. I happened to be googling the hotel and somehow your article was at the top of the list. It turns out that I was planning on contacting them as I am now in the midst of starting a group travel company for women, with a focus on learning vacations. So it would be about women visiting Merida while taking either an art class, a cooking class or Spanish class. I´m will be adding other interests later.

    I was planning to take my guests to Rosas on their first night in town…which would incidently happen on a Saturday. 🙁

    I´ve only been there once and it was during New Years…I was hoping that the dreadful service was a one time thing due to the unexpectedly high turnout. ( I really want to like them)

    I have no idea what to do now! My choices for a fine dinner, in a beautiful setting with excellent service just doesnt seem to exist in this city. Any suggestions? My new company´s reputation is on the line here. I would love to hear your thoughts.

  3. The only restaurant that we’ve been to (and we’ve been to many here in Merida) that lived up to my expectations was Trotters. We’ve eaten at Rosas y Chocolate, shortly after it opened, and the service was terrible, the food was mediocre, it was so dark we couldn’t see our food or the menu, and our waiter confided that several people had fallen into the little pools right at floor level due to the inadequate lighting and the lack of handrails. And yes, the cleaning lady was polishing glass in full view of the restaurant. Give me Rescoldos any time.

  4. I haven’t been to Nectar in several katunes! Loved it at one point. What’s new at Nectar, Roberto?

  5. Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I certainly have Nectar on my list and I have heard positive things about Trotters too, except that its a steakhouse and I need it to be Mexican, only because the Saturday night dinner will be the group’s first night in town. . …I will actually be trying out Trotters’ Mexican cousin..Pancho’s tomorrow. Wish me luck! 🙂

  6. My wife and I will be in Merida for New Years Eve and would ask of you if you can recommend me some nice places where we can have a nice dinner party.

    i will appreciate your help very much !

    Carlos Pani

  7. Hola Carlos!

    My favorite restaurants are Nectar, Trotters, La Tratto, Elio al Mare in Progreso and Due Torri. Check now to get your reservations in! Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

  8. I recomend Xcanatun; the service is great ant the food also. I would recomend Santory wich is where Stay was , and for tacos or some tradicional mexican food I would go to “el tizoncito” wich is in prolongación montejo.
    All of you should also try ” Henessys” Irish pub wich is located in paseo de montejo 1 block before Rosas y Xocolat.
    Offcourse “néctar” is the obligated stop if you aré looking for the best yucatecan fusion couisine.

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