Chef Rodrigo Carrasco works his magic with a delicious smoke-themed menu at our favorite CDMX dinner spot.
Instead of a Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes, Wally and I decided to take a trip to Mexico City. If we were going to miss the traditional American meal, we wanted something equally delicious. So we took the suggestion of Magda, a manager at the Ignacia Guest House, where we were staying, and decided upon Bowie.
The restaurant is a stone's throw from Avenida Álvaro Obregón, the main thoroughfare in the hip Roma Norte neighborhood. Named after the memorable performer, Bowie is the creation of Mexican chef Rodrigo Carrasco.
This distinctive dining establishment is modern and fashionable, but not pretentious, and is devoted to using smoke as the foundation of all of its dishes — in fact, the words “Cocina de Humo” illuminate one of the walls. And you can’t miss the fantastic, custom-created portrait of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust made entirely from bottle caps.
The restaurant was already buzzing when we arrived, around 8ish. Diners can choose to order à la carte from the menu, but we decided to try the seven-course tasting menu and drink pairing. The first course of beet carpaccio arrived under a glass dome, concealed by a miniature cloud. It hung motionless in the air for a moment before vanishing in a wisp of woodsmoke once our server removed the lid with flair.
The visual appeal was matched by the deliciousness of the dish. The delicately flavored beets were topped with savory goat cheese offset by a surprising hit of brightly tart lemon dressing. A single bite — and boom! We had fallen in love with Bowie. We had never tasted anything like this, and it was just the beginning.
Our first couple of courses were paired with an artisanal Mexican IPA. We don’t typically like American IPAs as they’re too hoppy, but this one tasted like a farmhouse ale — more our speed.
The following courses were served with Blanc de Pacs, an organic white wine from Penedès, Spain, and Bolero, a Mexican red blend from Valle de San Vicente in Baja California Sur.
Bowie straddles the line between restaurant and theater, and it quickly became clear that we were about to embark on a culinary adventure.
The truffled steak tartare was served in a vessel reminiscent of a glass mushroom. Filled with bite-size chunks of red meat and portobello mushrooms, it was like eating your way through an ethereal terrarium.
Another standout was the slow-cooked short ribs with a smoked pumpkin purée, dressed with a whiskey reduction sauce. It was smoky and sweet, and immensely satisfying.
The dessert, a riff on s’mores, arrived near the end of the tasting menu. Served it a small cast iron skillet, it was utterly delicious and topped with housemade marshmallows, layered with bananas, chocolate and a shortbread crust, toasted by our server with a handheld butane torch.
In short, this incredible meal set a high bar and made us feel like kids again — though our adult palettes delighted in the impressive sophistication of the dishes as well. A meal at Bowie is an experience we would be happy to have any day. –Duke
06700 Ciudad de México