One of the highlights of my trip to San Miguel was a magical evening spent at Bistro Mi Casa at Ancha de San Antonio 20. This was not so much for the quality of the food served there but for what followed after dinner.
Mi Casa is located in the rear of the “Instituto” Allende, an 18th Century former palace of one of San Miguel’s wealthiest families. It is one of the most historic and beautiful buildings in San Miguel. For the past 60 years, it had housed a visual arts school. It is also home to galleries, art exhibits, and Spanish classes. Walk through a lovely courtyard with hand-painted murals and continue to the back where you will find another courtyard with outstanding views of San Miguel, as well as a small restaurant. The restaurant has three owners, one who is one of Mexico’s finest musicians and certainly San Miguel’s best, Gil Gutierrez. He has performed at the Kennedy Center as well as Carnegie Hall. His music guitar styles range the gamut from flamenco to gypsy jazz, to classical and in between. He performs a few nights a week along with a changing hand-selected band, and usually a surprise guest, depending on whose visiting in town. On the night we were there jazz singer and Juno award nominee Carol Welsman was in the house. She just happens to originally be from my hometown of Toronto. She and Gil mesmerized the audience. What a thrill to hear music of this caliber in such an intimate setting and with such awesome acoustics!
Oh yes, the food. I was expecting the worst but was genuinely surprised that it was decent. They served a small international menu, with things like dumplings, grilled shrimp, lamb burgers, Mexican dishes etc. It was a hodgepodge of food from around the world. But let’s face it, Mi Casa is more about what goes in your ears rather than what goes in your mouth.
The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 5-11pm and is used as an event space on weekends for weddings and parties. You need to book far in advance to reserve a table to see Gil and company perform, but it is well worth doing so.