El Patio Isla Mujeres 2020

July10

We had made friends with Jacob at El Patio a couple of years ago and it became our Isla hangout for a nightcap. But El Patio also has excellent food and we were in for a treat that evening.

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We started with a cucumber and basil mojito and a traditional frozen margarita. Signature cocktails are relatively new to the island (last 5 years or so) and El Patio has some of the best.

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Our libations were accompanied by both Buffalo Shrimp and Coconut shrimp. We liked the latter best but both were piping hot and made from plump and firm shrimp.

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I had been craving a salad for a long time on the island and this take on a Greek Salad was a refreshing surprise. The dressing was balsamic and complimented the addition of creamy avocado perfectly.

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We also loved the shared concoction of a pineapple margarita with mescal. The glass was rimmed with a special ingredient- agave worm salt! Not my cup of tea but I found a way to sip the delicious margarita without hitting the salt.

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At entrée time, we were encouraged to try three unique taco concoctions. The first was poblano rajas, where the poblano chile is roasted and then sliced into thin strips or rajas. The chicken tinga incorporated another pepper, this time chipotle in an adobo sauce. When I have cooked with the these on a previous occasion they were too spicy for me but this version was less firery and delicious. The final taco of the trio- chorizo and potato was my favourite as I am affectionate called the Potato Princess by my husband. To mix the potatoes with chirizo was a beautiful way to add subtle smokiness.

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Our waiter explained that the chef has a very high standard with their fresh fish policy. Unlike some restaurants (it wasn’t shared who) if you request grouper and they are out  of it, they will not substitute an alternate but come back to the table and indicate that you are out of luck. With this explanation, D ordered the octopus for his main knowing it would be deliciously fresh. It came in a ajillo sauce. There are a variety of ways to make ajillo depending upon what Spanish country you are in. In Mexico it combines oil infused with quajillo chili peppers and a smoky paprika.

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By this time, the sun had set and the lights of the bar were sparkling. If you think El Patio is just about the live entertainment and bar atmosphere, think again they are a great dinner choice too.

Kath’s quote:“Chipotles, which are dried jalapeno peppers, give out a terrific smoky flavour – they’re warm, earthy and usually not too spicy.” -Yotam Ottolenghi

Chili pepper heart

Love never fails.

 

 

 

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