Azul Historico (Mexico City)
Chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita has several restaurants in the Mexican capital, and the best of them is Azul Histórico, located in the Downtown México hotel and retail complex in the Centro Histórico neighborhood. The setting is atmospheric: rough-hewn wooden tables sit on a stone courtyard of the 17th-century building, surrounded by trees draped with lights. The restaurant is a favorite among locals, who make reservations here for special celebrations and business meetings, as well as out-of-towners in the know.
We started off with a smoky but an insanely smooth mezcal by Mezcal Real Minero, classically served with fresh orange segments sprinkled with orange slices and sal de gusano (salt ground with the dried caterpillars that infest agaves). As for non-alcoholic drinks, we had a very lovely horchata made with oat milk and guava.
For appetizers, we have shared ceviche with avocado and escamole with guacamole. The ceviche was good though the soy sauce was a little to sharp.
Escamoles are one the delicacies of Mexican cuisine. For the unaware, these are ant eggs and larvae the species Liometopum apiculatum and L. occidentale var. luctuosum. The light-colored eggs, harvested from maguey plants, resemble white-corn kernels or pine nuts; they have a poppy texture and a slightly nutty taste. It’s pan-fried with butter and spices. The escamoles were accompanied by guacamole and fresh, warm tortillas (side note, if you want to see briefly how she is making the tortillas). It’s indigenous, tasty, and memorable, without the gross-out factor (for us, at least).
For the main courses, we had the buñuelos rellenos de pato rostizado, pescado tikin xic, and chilaquiles rojos con puntas de filete. The pescado tikin xic is a Yucatecan dish that coats fish, tikin xic, with the spice mixture and wrap it in banana leaves with pickled onions before cooking. The fish was incredibly moist and brightly flavorful. The chilaquiles was hearty and spiced nicely. The best of the three was the buñuelos rellenos de pato rostizado topped with an incredibly rich, sweet-savory mole negro. The crispy deep fried dumplings were filled with spiced, pulled duck and it pairs wonderfully with the mole.
For dessert, we had their table side presentation of Mexican style hot chocolate and Oaxacan style espresso. Both were incredibly spiced, very tasty and it had good body. The nicoatole zapoteco is a firm corn based flan that is topped with an inky black, very thick black sapodilla sauce. Surprisingly it’s not terribly sweet for a dessert. The chocolate tamale was slightly sweeter than the nicoatole zapoteco and much heartier texture. Both were good desserts and I like how tame it is with the sugar.
Our meal was very good and service was perfect. Our waiters of the evening were great at explaining the different dishes and suggesting what is good. Everyone was friendly and helpful.
To view more photos of this visit, please view the gallery below or CLICK HERE for the photo set:
Azul Historico inside Downtown México Hotel
Calle Isabel la Católica 30
Centro, 06000 Cuauhtémoc, CDMX, Mexico
Phone: +52 55 5510 1316