San Miguel is a historic, colonial, UNESCO world heritage site. This picturesque town – located in central Mexico in the Sierra Nevada mountains – has many interesting restaurants. My favourite of the trip there was Jacinto 1930. Located just off the central square on a side street, you will find it in a fairly new concept building called Casa Cohen, once the home and stores of a rich Jewish family of merchants from Lebanon. Now it has been turned into a hotel, food market, art gallery and a collection clothing stores. Jacinto is situated within the central courtyard of this gentrified historic building.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is a modern industrial space, with dim lighting, an open kitchen and glass walls. The food was inspiring, with an outstanding balance between traditional and modern sophisticated Mexican cuisine.
You can opt for a 5-course tasting menu at $750 pesos, or pair it with wines at $1,000 pesos. We went with the a la carte menu, with a choice of starters, salads, stews and soups, main and side dishes.
We also decided to have cocktails rather than wines as I am personally not a big fan of Mexican wines. Here they made a fabulous Margarita and a smooth Pisco Sour.
Everything on the menu was interesting and original and brought about an evolutionary fusion of flavours.
The raw tuna tostada with avocado, chipotle chili, fried onions, lime and coriander was a perfect union of textures and flavours. The corn dough triangle, which I saw being made in the open kitchen, was then filled with burrata, and a black bean paste and chili, which had a real richness to the dish. I am a fan of tamales, and the one served here did not disappoint, it was served with ribs, chili and a garlic sauce. Guests at our table loved their burrata salad, with greens, aromatic herbs, and a tatemada sauce, served over a corn tortilla. For our mains we thought the catch of the week, a yellowtail snapper, served with vegetable ashes, in a green pozole fish broth, with chilies, garlic, corn and corn tostada, avocado and radish, was outstanding. The suckling pig tacos, with crispy skin and soft meat, with a preparation of chilies, grilled pineapple, onion and cilantro, was served with raw green tomatoes and a Serrano chili sauce. The complexity of flavours added to another knockout dish. I am not a huge fan of Mexican desserts, but here they really tried to visually seduce you with beautiful presentations.
I found Jacinto 1930 fresh and original and a nice change of pace with the chef’s inventive and creative spirit. He shows a deep respect of traditional Mexican dishes and ancient processes, yet he gives them an innovative dimension.