Izote de Patricia Quintana, Mexico City

February 16, 2009

On February 13, 2009, Judith, Linda and I dined at Izote in Mexico City’s Polanco district. (An izote is the white flower of the yucca plant.) The restaurant is known for Patricia Quintana’s updated use of traditional Mexican ingredients and techniques.

The dining room is quite plain with a serving counter in the back corner where there is a griddle for making fresh tortillas.

Bread and flatbreads were put on our table with three bowls of homemade hot sauces.

I was surprised that we did not get any fresh tortillas with this. The sauces were quite different from each other, but all had chiles.

ittle amuse-gueules with cheese inside arrived.

We spent quite a while looking over the large menu. We asked about the chef’s famous Lasagna de Huitlacoche (black corn mold, sometimes known as Mexican truffles) and were told that they didn’t have any that evening. We inquired about the relative spiciness of various dishes. We were even offered a little sample bowl of one of them. After finally composing our meal, we ordered the first of two bottles of 2007 Monte Xanic Chenin Colombard from Baja California. It was okay and had a crispness that went well with the seafood and spicy sauces.



Judith’s first course was
Quesadillas de Flor de Calabaza al Epazote
Tortilla with cheese, squash blossoms and epazote

The squash blossom tortillas naturally had a delicate flavor enhanced with epazote, an herb from Southern Mexico with a mildly anise flavor; the sauce served with it was much too strong.

Linda’s starter was
Caldo Ligero de Flor de Calabaza
Squash blossom soup, Atlixco-style, with rice and a slice of avocado.

The bowl was presented with four pretty little piles of rice and minced vegetables surrounding the squash blossom on top of the avocado slice. The smooth soup was then poured around. Linda thought it was a good start to her ten days in Mexico.

My first course was
Enchiladas de Langostita de Rio en temporada o Camarón
Freshly made corn tortillas with lobster, Tuxpan-style in a pureed pumpkin seed sauce.

The “lobster” had been finely minced to fill the tortillas. The pumpkin seeds were roasted and pureed with some seafood stock and a bit of chiles. The earthiness of the sauce complemented the corn tortillas. Good.

Judith’s main course was
Pescado a la Talla Estilo Pacifico
Grilled fish Pacific style with black beans and green rice

She thought that the sauce overwhelmed the very good fish so she toned it down with the black beans. This was the only one of our dishes which had a little plate of fresh tortillas served along with it.

 Linda’s second course was
Pechugas en Hojas de Aguacate
Grilled chicken breast in avocado leaf butter, with baby zucchini stuffed with seasonal mushrooms and carrot magdalenes.

The avocado leaf butter sauce was excellent on a tender chicken breast. The stuffed zucchinis were interesting, but the carrot madeleines were bland. The whole course was very good.

My main course was
Camarones al Mole de Jamaica
Shrimp in hibiscus mole sauce garnished with hibiscus flowers and a corn torte.

This was terrific. The shrimp were fresh and juicy. The hibiscus mole sauce was flowery and just right. It was garnished with dried hibiscus flowers (top end of the mole smear in the center.) The fresh corn torte with mole inside (top) was superb.

I was the only one to have dessert
Mousse de Mandarina
Tangerine mousse with sapodilia coulis

This was excellent. Sapodilia is the fruit of a tree common in southern Mexico. It has a sweet, malty flavor.

This was the first meal in Mexico in many years for Linda and me. We enjoyed it a lot. Everything seemed very Mexican without being in any way like what passes for Mexican cuisine outside the country. We enjoyed meeting Patricia Quintana, who was not in the kitchen, but circulated around the dining room. Judith, who lives nearby, was less happy with her meal. Both of her courses had sauces which were too strong for the good, but mild, ingredients.  

Izote de Patricia Quintana
Mazarik 515
Col. Polanco
Mexico City, DF 11560


2 Responses to “Izote de Patricia Quintana, Mexico City”

  1. Galen Says:

    Enjoyed this account as usual. This is a good beginning. After your trip I think I will begin to have some clues at last on what true Mexican cuisine is like outside what passes for it in the U.S.A.

  2. […] had been quite disappointed a week before that the Lasagna de Huitlacoche had not been available at Izote, which is surprising as it is one of their signature dishes and obviously the product was available. […]

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