San Miguel dining: put a little Moxi in your life

San Miguel dining options are diverse. They run the gamut from street food to world-class eateries. One of the most vibrant culinary scenes is at Moxi in the chic Hotel Matilda. The kitchen, under the direction of Mexico’s premier celebrity chef Enrique Olvera, is turning out the creative cuisine that has made him one of the most talked about chefs in the world.

 Meet Enrique Olvera and Moxi

Celebrated Mexican Chef Enroque Olvera in the kitchen at Moxi, Hotel Matilda, San Miguel de Allende Photo Hotel Matilda

Chef Enrique Olvera in the Moxi Kitchen, photo/courtesy Hotel Matilda

Olvera first garnered attention with Pujol, his Mexico City restaurant opened in 2000. The concept, which he carried over to Moxi, is farm-to-table. The innovative chef took over Moxi’s kitchen in the summer of 2012. His latest endeavor: the highly anticipated and accessibly-priced eatery Cosme which opened in New York City’s Flatiron District in late October. It’s been a busy year for Olvera. The Colectivo Mexicano de Cocina, a group he heads that includes some of Mexico’s most innovative chefs, designed Aeromexico’s new ‘onboard menu” whiich debuted last summer.

Olvera, who studied at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York, was an early arrival on the farm-to-table bandwagon. “To be authentic,” he has said, “you must be seasonal and local.” He walks his talk. Most of the food on Moxi’s ever-changing menu is sourced locally and is organic whenever possible.

At Moxi, a press release notes, Olvera “unites the sophisticated and cosmopolitan scene in this historic colonial town with traditional dishes that are pure and honest.” One of his hallmarks is using traditional foods of Mexico in contemporary, often unexpected and even witty ways. Flavor and texture are the stars here. The food hits your palate in bursts of flavor that call to different taste buds all around your mouth. His plates are works of art; you’d settle for nothing less from a chef this good.

 The Moxi Experience

Dining al fesco at Moxi, Hotel Matilda San Miguel de Allende photo Steve Collins

Dining alfresco at Moxi, photo/Steve Collins

There are two seating options at Moxi: the sophisticated dining room offering both banquet and table seating or the chic shaded patio. When the weather allows, dine al fresco overlooking the hotel’s landscaped courtyard and the infinity pool with its soothing wall of water..

Diners can order from the a la carte menu or opt for the Menú del Dia, a prix fixe six-course extravaganza. At 750 pesos, the equivalent of about $60., it’s very reasonably priced, by U.S. standards, for a tasting menu of this quality. Most of the a la carte entrée prices hover around $20. A few dishes, including steak and lamb are a bit more.

A witty take on escuties,  Mexican street food at Moxi

The first ourse: esquites (Mexican corn salad), photo/Steve Collins

From the refreshing amuse bouche (grape, cassava and watermelon with fried basil topped with house-made yogurt) to the finale (a wooden board with Mexican candies), our meal was a culinary adventure presenting traditional Mexican foods used in unexpected ways. It was clear from our first course, esquites (a take on a popular Mexican street food made from corn), that Olvera loves to amaze and amuse. Some of his food is just plain witty and it’s all delicious. We tasted foods we’d never even heard of; some challenged our palates with their flavors and textures, but ultimately, each widened our culinary horizons. The carefully chosen wine pairings brought unexpected and pleasant surprises.

Service was excellent, exactly the way we like it: casual yet unobtrusive. Our attentive server explained each dish in detail as it was served. We had a lot of questions because this was largely new culinary territory for us. We wanted to know everything. He patiently answered our questions.  A few things didn’t quite translate so there were a few surprises when we later Googled the ingredients.

 Moxi, we’ll be back!

It was a leisurely dinner that we will long remember. Sated, we went to our room talking about our wonderful and unique Moxi dining experience. It has officially entered the annals of our most memorable meals ever. We will be back!

Read more about Moxi:
Fellow travel blogger, Irene S. Levine stayed at The Matilda and loved Moxi’s breakfast pancakes  so much she asked for the recipe. Now you can experience Moxi at home.

Read more about San Miguel:

Overview posts
SMA 101: a basic San Miguel guide for newbies
San Miguel de Allende: mural at the Instituto Allende
Photo of the week: Sunburst balcony in San Miguel de Allende

Our November Santa Fe Travelers Newsletter
Posts for other sites
Falling in love with San Miguel de Allende
Explore the Historic Streets of San Miguel De Allende, Mexico

Lodging
San Miguel lodging: Hotel Matilda, contemporary chic in a colonial town
Visiting San Miguel? Pamper yourself – stay at the luxe Casa de los Chiqueados

Dining
San Miguel dining: from street food to chic food
San Miguel dining: put a little Moxi in your life
San Miguel dining: farm to table at De Temporada

 

 

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26 Responses to “San Miguel dining: put a little Moxi in your life”

  1. Nancy
    November 30, 2019 at 9:31 pm #

    Sounds fabulous, Billie! I love the culinary unexpected ~

  2. Anne
    December 1, 2019 at 4:01 am #

    What a fabulous meal - and setting! But oh you’ve made me hungry - good thing it’s lunchtime here in Aix!

    • Billie Frank
      December 1, 2019 at 4:30 pm #

      I bet there are some great lunches in Aix!

  3. Anita @ No Particular Place To Go
    December 1, 2019 at 7:12 am #

    A little Moxi in my life sounds like just what I need! I love the idea of a tasting dinner of traditional Mexican dishes with unexpected ingredients and contemporary twists. Sounds amazing!

  4. Karen Warren
    December 1, 2019 at 8:42 am #

    Every time I read about Mexican food it strenghthens my resolve to go to Mexico and try for myself!

    • Billie Frank
      December 1, 2019 at 4:31 pm #

      San Miguel had great food and it’s not all Mexican (outside of the fact that it’s all in Mexico). There’s lots of diverse cuisines there.

  5. Donna Janke
    December 1, 2019 at 8:57 am #

    Sounds like a restaurant worth checking out. I’m interested to see what “witty food” is.

    • Billie Frank
      December 1, 2019 at 4:34 pm #

      For me witty food is food a preparation a traditional or popular food with a twist on how it’s done. But it has to be done with flair. Using mayonnaise instead of Hollandaise would be different but not witty. Hope that helps.

  6. Carole Terwilliger Meyers
    December 1, 2019 at 11:02 am #

    Moxi sounds like a must-visit next time I’m in San Miguel.

  7. noel
    December 1, 2019 at 4:19 pm #

    What a great place to dine, I would love to visit this area someday

    • Billie Frank
      December 1, 2019 at 4:35 pm #

      Your camera would just love San Miguel. It’s a photographer’s dream.

  8. Nancie
    December 1, 2019 at 4:48 pm #

    I love the farm to table concept! It’s also nice to have a meal with a few (pleasant) taste surprises!

  9. Michele Peterson ( A Taste for Travel)
    December 2, 2019 at 9:08 am #

    I just love his dish of first course, esquites, it’s one of my faves in Mexico City so I look forward to visiting Moxi next time I’m in San Miguel

    • Billie Frank
      December 2, 2019 at 10:09 am #

      I hope you get to try Olvera’s food. You can also get to his Mexico City restaurant Pujol if you happen to be there in your travels.

  10. The GypsyNesters
    December 2, 2019 at 3:34 pm #

    Yet another thing to love in Mexico, so much to see and do we’d better start scheduling more trips! 😉

    • Billie Frank
      December 2, 2019 at 5:00 pm #

      I hear ya! We want to go back and stay for a month.

  11. Irene S. Levine
    December 2, 2019 at 6:56 pm #

    I’ve had the good fortune to dine at Moxi and stay at Hotel Matilda. What a great setting! Now I’ll have to check out Cosme in my backyard.:-)

    • Billie Frank
      December 2, 2019 at 8:45 pm #

      We are lucky women, Irene. Let me know how Cosme is. The prices seem really reasonable for NYC.

  12. Marilyn Jones
    December 3, 2019 at 2:17 am #

    The restaurant sounds fabulous.I can see why you’ll be back!!

  13. Suzanne Fluhr
    December 3, 2019 at 3:00 am #

    What a difference 50 years makes (gulp). When I lived in San Miguel de Allende for a year as a young girl, I craved Campbell’s chicken noodle soup.

    • Billie Frank
      December 3, 2019 at 1:23 pm #

      These days I bet you could get it at the Mega, a supermarket on the outskirts of town. I used to love Campbell’s soups. These days they make me cringe- but I remember when they were um-um good to me. Sunday suppers at our house were often grilled cheese sandwiches with C’s tomato soup.

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