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Cerro Viento

Mexico City, Polanco

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Overall Rating

  • Ambience 90%
  • Service 70%
  • Food (Execution) 80%
  • Creativity 90%
  • Value 80%

Details for Location Reviewed
Cerro Viento

Locale: Mexico City, Polanco
Address: Homero 433

Telephone: +52 55 5531-8125
Restaurant Type: Underground Restaurant
Cuisine: Gourmet Mexican
Service Type: Table Service
Price: $$$$ Menu items offered: Coffee, Desserts, Espresso, Grilled Steaks, Pasta, Salads, Sandwiches, Seafood, Soups, Tacos
Hours: Mon-Wed: 8am to 11pm Thu-Sat: 8am to 12am Sun: 8am to 6pm

Restaurant Details
Cerro Viento

Locale: Mexico City, Polanco
Address: Homero 433

Telephone: +52 55 5531-8125
Restaurant Type: Underground Restaurant
Cuisine: Gourmet Mexican
Service Type: Table Service
Price: $$$$ Menu items offered: Coffee, Desserts, Espresso, Grilled Steaks, Pasta, Salads, Sandwiches, Seafood, Soups, Tacos
Hours: Mon-Wed: 8am to 11pm Thu-Sat: 8am to 12am Sun: 8am to 6pm

Summary of Review

were it not for the failure on the rice dish and the unusual slow-down in service near the end of the meal, this would have been one of the best dining experiences I’ve encountered in Mexico City.

Summary of Review

were it not for the failure on the rice dish and the unusual slow-down in service near the end of the meal, this would have been one of the best dining experiences I’ve encountered in Mexico City.

Restaurant Review for Cerro Viento

 

Review by: Ollie O
Rating: 4.1 stars
Review Date: 08/05/2017

Cerror Viento is located in a restored mansion in the heart of the northern residential section of Polanco, away from the hustle and bustle along Presidente Masaryk. They did a marvelous job of remodeling the building. The architectural design is stunning and they did an admirable job of furnishing the restaurant. There is a covered porch along the entire front and left side of the building serving as a space for outdoor dining. The outdoor terrace likely seats in excess of 50 diners and the dining rooms indoors likely seat another 50 to 75 diners.

On the Thursday evening that I was at Cerro Viento for dinner, there was a small Latin band playing live.

The menu is only two pages long with a sufficient number of items to please almost any diner yet simple and short enough to make correct execution of each item something that can easily be accomplished by a well-trained kitchen crew.

It’s a bit difficult to described the menu. It is definitely unique. The menu items are clearly Mexican in origin yet have been elevated to a gourmet level with sophisticated techniques and a few unusual ingredients. The duck tacos for example, have the appearance of Italian canoles, perfect little round cylinders, stuffed with smoky duck meat. And some of that meat is tender and moist, but there are also small bits of the chicharron creating a marvelous contrast in texture in the filling. And then they are all bathed in a sweet sauce with a hint of spicy chili and tamarind paste. Truly unique.

Next, I opted to try something a little less Mexican. The Ventmontagne salad. The crisp leaves of Romaine lettuce, with par-cooked and chilled pear slices, candied pecans and Roquefort cheese, drizzled with a sweet dressing (perhaps a tad too sweet for my personal preference). This was New York Bistro 101. An excellent salad. Unique and tasty.

So far, so good. But I decided to throw the kitchen a curve ball. They have a classic Risotto Milanés on the menu. This is one of the most famous recipes in the world. It is iconic Italian. A perfectly prepared risotto is creamy like porridge or cottage cheese. I’ve included a photo from the recipe website, Coctione.com, of a perfectly prepared risotto and you can read more about the repeated failures I’ve seen on this dish in Latin America in our article, The ABC’s of Risotto. As you can see from the image of the rice dish I was served in the image slider, it is not even remotely close to the texture of a true risotto. Although the flavor of the rice was very good and I could taste the beautiful flavor of the shrimp in that sauce that bound that rice together and a hint of the saffron that is the defining feature (other than the texture) of the dish. However, the accompanying mushrooms were a bit bland. This wasn’t just a slight miss. It was a miss by a mile.

I was a bit baffled. I decided to see what the pastry chef would deliver. I requested the dessert menu and a few minutes later a tray filled with about twelve or more desserts was rolled out for my inspection. It was a massive array of desserts. Mousses, pies, cakes and a few things I had never heard of. But one dessert was very familiar and very Latin American, so I was pretty sure it wouldn’t go awry as did the rice dish. I ordered the Torta de Tres Leches, the iconic Mexican dessert made with three types of milk and cream. This was perhaps the moistest rendition of this dish I have ever tasted. It was inundated with the sweet milk and included a filling of sweet bits of fruit. Beautifully plated and delicious.

Now the service in this meal was puzzling. The older male waiter, clad in his very formal starched waiter’s jacket, was flawless through the first three courses. But then, despite the restaurant being only about 10% occupied, things slowed down to a crawl. My waiter did Houdini. He disappeared.

The time between requesting the dessert menu and until he rolled out that tray of desserts was easily fifteen minutes. Likely, they had to remove them from the refrigerator and spread them out on that tray for presentation. But that was an unusually long period of time to wait for an opportunity to order a dessert.

When the dessert was delivered, I requested the check, something I often due to avoid inordinate delays waiting for checks in Latin America. I finished the dessert and it was easily another 15 to 20 minutes before a manager happened to walk out onto the terrace dining area and noticed I had finished my dessert. He immediately realized there had been a lapse in service. From that moment on everything happened quickly and the manager was overseeing everything the waiter was doing.

I have no idea whether this unusual lapse in service at the end of the meal was an anomaly. I suspect, based on how picture-perfect the service was during the delivery of the first three courses that this is not typical. We’ll reevaluate the service after another visit in the near future.

In summary, were it not for the failure on the rice dish and the unusual slow-down in service near the end of the meal, this would have been one of the best dining experiences I’ve encountered in Mexico City. The décor is stunning. On par with Astrid & Gaston’s magnificent restaurant in Lima in a remodeled mansion. The service was flawless through the first three courses. The menu is sophisticated and unique for Mexico City.

Were it not for the minor lapses of execution this would likely have scored among our top three restaurants in upscale or formal dining. The sad thing is, that these lapses are easily remedied. It is the attention to the small details that separate the good restaurants from the great ones.

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