@ElcatrinCA #Elcatrinlaunch

Posted on July 25, 2013


Let me just start this post to say that this meal was one of my most memorable.  From the time I approached the patio, to walking in gawking at the elaborate interiors, to the vast variety of food we enjoyed, to the one of the most attentive service,  I must say I was beyond impressed.  I was invited to the media dinner for the El Catrin Launch last Tuesday by the Distillery District.  My EyeCandyTO partner, Abe Wornovitzky, has already tried it the weekend that just past and was already telling me bits and pieces of the meal that he had and how beautiful their patio was. When Abe gets excited about a restaurant, I just know that the experience would be good or even better.

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Before arriving reception, we were already given a choice on a tray of a variety of drinks or agua frescas.  I opted for a Tamarind drink and I must say after years of eating the fruit, it was the first time I tried it as a drink.  After we got past reception, we were led to a table towards the back of the restaurant, just in front of the private dining room.  As we walked through, I could not take my eyes away from the elaborate mural that adorned the wall that was the length of the dining hall.  I later found out that it took the artist 2 months to finish the mural.  There were so many elements about it that I cannot stop staring.

What distracted me from the mural was Chef Olivier Le Calvez.  Abe has met him during his earlier stop at El Catrin and Chef Olivier animatedly described what we were going to enjoy for the night.  As he talked, I started understanding the treat we were in for.  I would never tire listening to a passionate person describe with pride the food that they have created.  There can only be a good meal when the chef who has toiled over it loved his job.

For the night, we were treated to a seven course meal.  With each serving came a cocktail pairing.  Initially I tried finishing each drink until I understood that each course had another full and tall glass to follow.  It was almost impossible for me to finish all that was served as it was too much for me to consume.  You can be assured that this is not a complaint.  LOL.

Here was the menu for the El Catrin Launch

1st course – Guacamole En La Mesa, Nueces Picante, Traditional Margarita

2nd course – Ceviche de Atún, Vuelve à la Vida El Catrin, Pepino Diablo

3rd course – Tacos Al Pastor, Fuego Sandia

4th course – Tostada de Higato de Pato, Hibisco Rosa

5th course – Ensalada de Nopal, Mojito Reposado

6th course – Camarones al Ajillo, Zarzarmora

7th course – Costilla Corta En Mole Negro, Mayahuel

Dessert – Churros with cajeta, chocolate and strawberry mousse dips, Bara De Chocolat, Agua de Coco

My most favorites dishes were the Vuelve à la Vida El Catrin (East Coast Oyster with  a ceviche of shrimp, octopus, bay scallops , red onion, jicama and Acapulco cocktail sauce), Camarones al Ajillo (Jumbo shrimp sautéed with guajillo, garlic, lime juice, white wine, over red rice, black bean purée and guacamole) and Costilla Corta En Mole Negro (Beef braised for 24 hours, with black mole sauce, sweet potato purée, sautéed sugar snap peas).  If you have to pick one, go for the tender beef.  It just melts in your mouth!  For the cocktails my favorites were Pepino Diablo (Cucumber Devil), Hibisco Rosa (Hibiscus Rose) and Zarzamora (Jaral del Barrio Joven, Blackberry and citrus) and my all-time favorite, the Traditional Margarita.  That one I finished the last drop.  Soooo good!

Our gratitude to Tys of The Mint Agency for the invite and El Catrin, specifically Chef Olivier for the fantastic food.  As what I have said in the beginning, this was one meal that really made a big impression.  I would surely be back soon enough!

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