RIVIERA MAYA, Mexico The Andaz Mayakoba Resort officially debuted in early 2017and is making being a foodie, fabulous. The resort delights guests with four diverse onsite restaurants. That sounds like any other resort, right? Get this. They had these restaurants specifically designed by and architecture firm. These dining establishments feature unique design concepts, but you know that if they went to such lengths to specifically design the spaces, they went to the same lengths to design their menus and use fresh ingredients and authentic cooking techniques. From design to digestion, guests are treated to four distinctive dining experiences where they enjoy an inspiring taste of the region and beyond. We’ve detailed each of them in this piece because they are worth the time and it’s very possible that if you’re as passionate about your food as you are about your resort choices, you’ll want to build a trip around this
Open exclusively for dinner, Casa Amate serves diverse Latin American cuisine and has a unique and sophisticated residential concept designed to resemble the home of an eclectic traveler passionate about Latin culture. Does this sound familiar? The restaurant is built around a courtyard with a special Amate tree (a Ficus species), which gives the venue its name. Each intimate room is specifically designed as one would find in a home. The “Bar Studio” functions as a lounge with a small bar, residential furniture, a map collection and shelves with artifacts reside here. We recommend this as a starting point for pre-dinner cocktails. The “Library” is lined with bookshelves and a large communal library table where guests can dine. We like this layout for mixing and mingling with friends made earlier in the day. The “Estancia” has a fireplace, shelves full of collectibles and large format art with dining meant to be had at various types of tables and mismatched chairs. Lastly, the “Comedor” features floor tiles inspired by Mexican crafts and large sets of artisanal doors that connect to the courtyard and overlook the resort’s surrounding lagoon. This room has more traditional dining furniture along with walls lined with art. The exterior and part of the interior is made with local stone, combined with stained wood and locally crafted tile, along with a subdued and classic color palette.
Created by Casa Amate’s Head Chef Ernesto Torres, is comprised of a variety of salads, soups, meats, poultry and fish inspired by different Latin American countries. Appetizer highlights include the Salad of Paguas (Nicaragua) with firewood, toasted ayote seeds, red beans and cured papaya; and the South American Trio of Empanadas (Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina) including classic sweet corn cucumber stuffed with beef stew, mango and Oaxaca cheese, and Argentine spinach, onion and cherry tomato. Varied entrees include the Beef Chorizo Steak Wagyu (Argentina) accompanied by roasted marrow, beef juice with Mendoza wine and feta cheese salad with Kalamata olives, cherries and chimichurri sauce; Manchamanteles Duck (Mexico) slow cooked and accompanied by chochoyones of blue dough, Oaxaqueno manchamanteles mole with a garnish of roasted pineapple, fried plantain, jicama and apple; and the Ayampaco (Ecuador) highlighting the catch of the day wrapped in banana leaf, purple bananas, tomatoes, onion and steamed rice. Latin desserts to end the meal on a sweet note include the Traditional Golfeado Bread (Venezuela) with cacao ice cream and honey; and the My Adventure from Oaxaca, a soft sponge cake with Oaxaca black mole, tortilla crisps and peanuts. Casa Amate is home to an extensive wine selection which is housed in the resort’s wine cave where guests are welcome to enter and select their own bottles. Arrive with a sense of adventure and a great appetite.
Located in the heart of the resort, is the resort’s poolside pavilion restaurant featuring floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows, two open kitchens and a bar terrace. From this spot you’ll enjoy stunning views of the mangroves, while dining. The interior of the restaurant is a combination of stone, locally handcrafted tile, and local Tzalam wood, also known as Caribbean Walnut for its rich similarities. Large hanging pedant lights and exposed wood beams are suspended from the tall turquoise ceiling, colored to reference the sky and water. Be ready to submerge yourself in great décor and excellent food.
Open for all-day dining, the restaurant has a market-to-table menu concept with an emphasis on seafood.
For breakfast, you can opt for a buffet breakfast or order a la carte dishes like some of their feature items: the Andaz Mayakoba custom-blended coconut pineapple tea, and Mexican breakfast delicacies including items such as the Motulenos Eggs over corn tortilla with tomato sauce, green peas, cotija cheese, turkey, ham and plantains; and the Chicken Chilaquiles with green or red sauce, cream, coriander and ranchero cheese. Pastry Chef Jorge Canton, a native of the Yucatán Peninsula, creates the breakfast pastries and artisanal breads along with special desserts for each of the resort’s restaurants. The extensive dinner menu offers a variety of fresh, local seafood dishes such as the Pulpo Al Grill (Grilled Octopus) marinated with chimichurri and “zarandeado” chili, Idaho potato relish, garlic confit and lemon; Huachinango (Nage Poached Red Snapper) with native achiote, lemon and rustic potatoes; and the Langosta Del Caribe Con Mantequilla de Limon (Caribbean Spiny Lobster with Lemon Butter) served with mushrooms, smoked onion and asparagus. Cocina Milagro also features creative, handcrafted cocktails and live entertainment by one of the resort’s Andaz Cultural Insiders, Fatinizia.
OllaTaco and Olla Ceviche
OllaTaco and OllaCeviche are the resort’s poolside, beachfront restaurants offering live entertainment and stunning ocean views. Craftily flanking two sides of the pool terrace, each venue directly faces the sea and is surrounded by sand. Both have similar architecture with façades that open to spectacular views and are anchored by an open kitchen and bar centered on a tall sun-lit coffer. Each has a deep overhang offering shade, blurring the lines of being indoor and outdoor. The décor is vibrant and festive with colorful pendant lights, playful stained wood and tiles, along with marine rope and wood boards providing a coastal feel. The vibe is modern and chic meets causal and authentic.
OllaTaco is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offers a market-style feast of tacos, Yucatán specialties; special sauces made with local produce and locally crafted artisanal beers. Breakfast tacos include creative options such as the Papadzules, baked tortilla with sikilpak sauce, filled with tender egg and grated Edam cheese; Suckling Pig Tacos with chicharrón dust, pico de gallo and habanero with bitter orange; and the Valladolid Mexican Sausage Enchiladas filled with tender egg and topped with bean sauce, roasted tomato, Mexican sausage crumble, purple onion and roasted habanero chili. For lunch and dinner, guests can select from a variety of different tacos or fajitas, or opt for specialties such as the mezcal soaked Watermelon Salad with cured duck, caramelized nuts, feta cheese, greens, roasted xcatic chili and local lime dressing. Local beers include the Negra Modelo and the Bohemia. OllaTaco has a resident “tacologist”, Kurt Josef Mayrl Westrup, who teaches weekly taco-making classes highlighting a variety of salsas and taco fillings.
OllaCeviche features fresh ceviche and sharing plates, as well as a tequila bar. Specialties include the Scallops Ceviche with Coconut, crusted with burned citrus, lemon juice, tangerine, coconut, coriander, confit beet, seaweed Salicornia and pasilla chili oil; Conch Ceviche in green tomato water with melon liquor, green apple slices, chalot rings, tender corn, crispy Chaya, anato oil and tree chili, coriander and beet; and the Black Octopus Ceviche with burned chilitomate, crispy onion, cherry tomato, coriander and roasted garlic oil. Dessert options infuse tequila with a special passion fruit sorbet with mango and tequila or a tepache sorbet with tajin and mezcal. The restaurant offers over 25 different tequila and mezcals including an Andaz Mayakoba custom crafted tequila. Guests can partake in special ceviche, guacamole and taco cooking classes along with mezcal, tequila and craft beer tastings.
With four unique restaurant concepts, Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya offers a taste of the essence of the region and diverse Latin American cuisine; utilizing fresh ingredients and visionary touches, infused in creative dishes. Are you hungry yet?