Oyamel-Officially Stalking Jose Andres
In what was yet another fantastic foodie adventure with my friend Jesica visiting town, we had an incredible dinner at Oyamel (www.oyamel.com). Jose Andres’ mexican venture promises not to disappoint. The food is traditional, but not what one would expect. The dishes are creative and imaginative and packed with explosive flavors.
We started the evening with a couple of margarita’s and some table side, fresh-made guacamole.Sounds perfectly average for Mexican fare until I describe the margarita. Dubbed the “Margarita del dia Durazno Blanco-Jazmin,” it was the house specialty that night. A scrumptious combination of Pueblo Viejo Blanco tequila, triple sec, white peach, jasmine and lime. It had just the right amount of sweetness and citrus to elevate it from typical margarita to a tasty treat. For an appetizer we ordered the “Ceviche de Atun Pacifico.” This tuna ceviche consisted of tuna with maggi-lime marinade, scallions, avocado, toasted pecans, jalapenos, and crispy amaranth. Each one of the components contributed to or changed the flavor of the tuna entirely. It was quite interesting to taste the individual components seperately and then all combined. The amaranth gave it a nutty, earthy flavor that I had never tasted before. When you added a piece of the avocado the whole flavor profile was different. What else can I say, but DELICIOUS! For our main entrees (all small plates-Jose style) I had the “Bistec Con Mole Amarillo y Hongos” and Jesica opted for the “Tamal Verde.” My dish was grilled hangar steak with a Oaxacan mole of ancho, guajillo and costeno chiles with wild mushrooms. The sauce was so good I pondered actually licking my plate clean. Jesica seemed to really enjoy her tamale made from shredded chicken tamal with green sauce of tomatillo, chile, garlic and cilantro.
What could be better than a fantastic meal at Oyamel? How about turning around and realizing that Jose Andres is actually in house that night. He was very gracious to chat with us for a couple of minutes and let us take pictures with him. All in all it is a meal I will never forget.