“Cerrado por remodelación” admonished the handwritten sign pasted to the shuttered door of chef/TV diva Monica Patiño’s N.Y./Parisian style deli, Delirio. We D.F. residents all know what that means. It’s a close cousin of the Mexican’s reluctance to ever say “no”. Will it re-open? Shall we hold our collective breaths for the dreamed of renovation? No way. But, amazingly, Ms. Patiño & Co. have taken to heart the failings of the previous incarnation of their unique gourmet emporium and re-inaugurated in a highly improved version.
The pretty retro resto/store, located on the corner of Monterrey and Alvaro Obregón in La Roma, has been opened up and fit with rustic bistro tables. The shelves have been re-stocked with products, almost all of which are artesanally produced and local. Gone are the useless Asian items, the mediocre imported oils and vinegars, the overpriced breads, the exorbitant wines. In their place are smartly packaged store-branded products, carefully selected and priced to sell. And all of them are hecho en México. Olives and olive oil from Baja California are both green and fruity. A whole shelf is dedicated to a pastel rainbow of house-made marmalades that make good gifts. Breads are varied and of excellent quality. A small, but well-chosen stock of national wines, in a range of prices from $200-400 (pesos) are worth sampling – many are unavailable elsewhere. Behind the deli counter, several salads are made fresh daily, as are pâtés and terrines, cakes and tarts. There are European-style cheeses and preserved meats, all made in central Mexico, which perhaps should be renamed “little France”. I caught the boss herself overseeing her kitchen on a recent rainy Monday. An advocate of ‘Slow’ and local foods, Patiño explained that she has decided to put her money where her mouth is. “Most of what we offer is Mexican-made and organic as well” she proudly proclaimed. Now an eat-in establishment with tables and chairs inside and out, customers can select from the charcuterie offerings, design an upscale sandwich, and grab a drink—all, usually, for under $100 pesos. Ambiance is adult – no loud music or TVs in sight – and you are surrounded by good smells, busy chefs and dappled sunlight. The ratio of price to quality is good. It’s always nice to nice to see a diva make a comeback…good luck to Monica Patiño!
Delirio de Monica Patiño