What’s new in Colonia Roma? You could run yourself ragged trying to keep up with the bars, shops, restaurants and antros that are popping up like mushrooms.
Álvaro Obregón is the main drag here, where you’ll find some of the bigger, glitzier places. But as rents have risen, Roma’s side streets are attracting creative, young entrepreneurs with smaller budgets. Wandering the residential streets a few blocks from the hubbub, I made my latest discovery, L’Entre Potes.
Lovers of Paris (who isn’t?) will adore this little sidewalk bistro, which opened its doors earlier this year. L’Entre Potes, which translates as ‘amongst friends’, is a collaboration of three native Parisians. A lunch joint by day, bar by night, the good food and wine here will transport you to the City of Lights.
Chef Frederique turns out multi-culti comfort food in his compact open kitchen. Friends Morgan and Claire run the show outside.
Considering the quality, the copious and hearty menu du jour is a bargain at 90 pesos ($130 with a glass of house wine). On my first visit I was impressed with a gazpacho that would have pleased any Spaniard, fragrant with good olive oil. It was followed by a textbook-perfect carne de ternera c/salsa Roquefort. This bistro classic comprised a generous portion of tender, seared beef bathed in a light Roquefort sauce served with golden pommes frites—the best fries I’ve had in Mexico. I cleaned my plate with an exceptional baguette, chewy and flavorful.
Another day blanquette de veau, the creamy veal and mushroom stew was served with a side of cous cous. Salads, such as an ersatz niçoise, are carefully arranged and pretty, although at times overdressed and too vinegary.
Desserts are tried and true: traditional clafoutis , tiramisu, tarte tatin or crème brulée.
An option for non-meat eaters was the gratin de acelgas & espinacas—vegetables as the French do them—butter, cream and cheese (viva Julia!). Gratins are the specialty of the house, and the potatoes dauphinoise are divine. But the menu is not strictly French--an occasional curry or pasta might make an appearance.
Evenings get busy here—the place is small and fills up. Tapas, such as nicely chosen cheese or charcuterie plates, are proffered. A few Spanish tapas classics like croquetas, tortilla española and the Catalan pan tomate recall the chef’s stint in Barcelona. Décor is simple, a clean white bar with seating for 5 or 6, several rustic wood tables and the requisite patterned cement-tile floor make for tasteful, cheery dining. And if weather permits, there is outdoor seating as well.
Orizaba 167 (between San Luís Potosí and Querétaro)
Tel. 5264 1561
Open Monday 2-5:30, Tuesday-Saturday 2-2AM, closed Sunday