Fine Dining at Casa Oaxaca

Casa Oaxaca is a candle-lit, cloth napkin, jazz in the lobby and tiny-plants-on-your-table kind of place. After weeks of camping and street food we were a little surprised by the high prices, but we quickly decided to dive in and enjoy the rare opportunity for gourmet food, a glass of wine and fly-free dining.

Bread and blue-corn totopos (a kind of slightly crispy tortilla) arrived accompanied by pickled onions, salsa verde and guacamole. The latter were served in bowls made from the shells of a local fruit which in turn were balanced on tiny woven rings, which were further supported by a metate (a traditional grinding stone). Someone had obviously spent a long time planning all of this presentation and we had quite a challenge trying not to knock it all over while trying to serve ourselves.

The house Chilean cabernet did the trick and soon we were eagerly anticipating our meals of duck tacos with mole coloradito (amazing) and steak with mojo de chapulines. Yes, that is steak with grasshopper sauce. Chapulines are a regional food in Oaxaca and we felt it wouldn’t be right to visit and not at least taste the flavor of the little insects. We figured a sauce would spare us the crunchy part. Honestly it tasted a little shrimpy, and didn’t add much to the very tender and delicious steak medallions.

This is probably the best restaurant meal we’ve had in Mexico. Our meals were good enough that we decided to go for dessert. “Taquitos de chocolate” meant two rolls of chocolate delicately embracing a mousse filling – one of chocolate and one of guanábana. Wild cherries adorned the plate and I nearly picked it up to lick it clean.


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