I wanted to follow up my first post on San Miguel with a description of our most memorable meal there. Though most evenings we either had tapas on rooftop bars or simple Mexican fare, one night we decided to splurge at one of the many upscale restaurants serving more international fare.
After much research, we settled on Aperi, in the Dos Casas hotel. Chef Matteo Salas is at the helm and is a lovely, warm man. We met him one afternoon when we stopped by to make a reservation and he explained the concept. Born in Italy, he has staged all over the world, including with Paul Bocuse.
The a la carte menu is available each afternoon (except Tuesdays). There’s also a tasting menu which is only available during the 6:30 seating. The real joy at that hour, however, is the opportunity to sit at the kitchen table to watch Chef Matteo and his staff cook, and have them serve the four people lucky enough to be seated at the huge marble island that dominates the room. Reservations in the kitchen are booked three to four weeks out, so we were out of luck on that score, but we did get a table in the main restaurant, which has an intimate dining area inside, as well as patio seating.
We ordered the tasting menu with wine pairings, a steal at $100 per person for 7 nice-sized portions. We enjoyed foie gras, ceviche, squid, pork belly, salmon, a chocolate dessert and an almond dessert, all of which were beautifully presented and had an amazing array of textures and flavors. Matteo was very attentive and checked on us many times during the evening, both to explain each dish and to see if we were pleased.
My husband (who typically does not go in for this kind of meal) and I were blown away by the food and the entire experience. I asked the chef if he had thought about opening a restaurant in the states and he said he has been asked that question often. It was clear that he has considered it, because he responded that if he opened a restaurant in NYC, he’d fly back and forth rather than moving to the U.S. He could command higher prices and quite a bit of fame, but for now he’s mostly known in Mexico. I suspect his days at the Dos Casas hotel are numbered, as more people experience his food and he gets the itch to make his mark.