At Hacienda Xcanatún’s Casa de Piedra Restaurant, dedication to authenticity and creativity pay off. Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico – Hacienda Xcanatún’s Casa de Piedra restaurant was selected as one of the top 50 restaurants in Mexico by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences based in New York City. Located on the outskirts of Merida, the 15-year old restaurant is housed in the former threshing room of Hacienda Xcanatún, one of the area’s most historic 18th century sisal plantations. A long time favorite with Meridanos and savvy travelers, Hacienda Xcanatún has been the recipient of the Academy’s Star-Diamond Award for excellence over the past 12 years, and also boasts the AAA’s 4 Diamond Award.
Co-owner Cristina Baker and her original executive chef, CIA graduate Alejandro Martinez (who currently owns Chez Loma in Catalina Island) developed a concept for their dining spot focusing on a different, yet authentically rooted cuisine that would appeal to lovers of fine food locally and internationally. Their version of Fusion Yucatecan uses the culinary history of the areas as a jumping off point, enhancing these specialties with unique pairings of local, Caribbean and traditional Yucatecan ingredients married to French cooking technique.
Some Casa de Piedra’s original classics include Duck Magret Glazed with Xtabentún. Roasted duck is glazed with Xtabentún, the Yucatan’s anise-flavored liqueur. A perennial favorite is Sautéed Chicken Breast with Ancho Chile and Sour Orange Sauce. In this dish, the breast is glazed with ancho chiles (dried poblano chiles), tomatoes, sour orange and brown sugar creating a tender sweet and sour chicken. Double Pork Chop with Guava and Chipotle Chile Sauce is basted with a reduction of guava juice and beef stock, spiked with dried smoked jalapeno and chipotle chilies and accompanied by apple-guava chutney and yuca-garlic crisps. To complement the fine food, Casa de Piedra has assembled the most extensive wine list in the area with stellar Mexican and international selections, plus a wide selection of aged Tequilas and Mezcales.
How the Restaurant Got its Groove
Cristina Baker describes the preparations she and her chef went through prior to the restaurant’s opening in 2000, “Alex and I experimented for a year, inviting friends over every couple of weeks to sample our ‘inventions’. Constructive criticism was the name of the game. Unless they were totally honest regarding the taste and presentation, we didn’t invite them back. So by the time we opened, we knew we had winners on the menu.”
Hacienda Xcanatun – A Step Back into the Yucatan’s Gilded History
In the Hacienda’s 21st-century role as a luxurious boutique hotel, Xcanatún offers 18 suites and superior rooms decorated in a Carib-colonial style with hand carved furnishings and antiques. The intimate Spa features inventive treatments combining both holistic Maya, and beauty and wellness wraps, facials and massages. Two freshwater swimming pools in the extensive tropical gardens are fed by underground streams.
For more information or to make a reservation at Casa de Piedra Restaurant or Hacienda Xcanatún Hotel call toll-free: 888-883-3633 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Restaurant reservations can also be made via opentable.com.
Hacienda Xcanatún’s website www.xcanatun.com
Twitter: @HotelXcanatun Facebook: facebook.com/HaciendaXcanatunMerida