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Mexico City

CARMELA Y SAL

BEST NEW BISTRO

CARMELA Y SAL

SHORTLISTED BY BISTRONAUT #10

WHO
Gabriela Ruiz Lugo, called Gaby by her team, and her partner Rafael Lopez Rubi, launched Carmela y Sal last year and it quickly became one of the city’s new hotspot. With the new venue, the award-winning chef from Comalcalco, Tabasco who studied gastronomy in Mérida pays tribute to the cuisine of the Gulf of Mexico, with fresh ingredients and dishes from Yucatán, Tabasco and Veracruz.

FOOD
At Carmela y Sal, Gaby serves very personal cuisine, an ode to her native region of Tabasco, interpreted as an “edible concert.” The menu can be broken down into a prelude, interlude, climax and outro. One of the dishes is even a gustatory interpretation of the song Loca by Aleks Syntek.
Her creations combine two of her main sources of inspiration: music and fresh ingredients from the Gulf of Mexico (Veracruz, Tabasco and Yucatán). In these tropical states and on the menu, plantains and coconuts are the stars of the show, but the lesser-known xtabentun (a liquor made from xtabentum flower honey) is another fantastic nod to her roots.
The waiters are here to share the stories behind the dishes, to help you feel the synesthetic experience of the meal, a total immersion into her world.

Starters
Prelude:
“The fake tacos” are truly something of a magic trick within this great spectacle. Chef Gaby serves 6 tostadas (crunchy corn chips) that are reminiscent of pork in escabeche and fish, but what they really are is coconut: dense matured coconut for the meat and soft young coconut to imitate the fish. It’s such a surprise to taste coconut flesh prepared this way, and carnivores are likely to turn vegan after tasting this dish.

Interlude:
The “moon’s earth” is a very personal dish for the chef that takes root in her childhood. Her father had invented this poetic description of black beans that little Gaby did not like. Time went by, tastes changed but the metaphor remained. This plate shaped like the moon’s surface is topped with a galaxy of plantain and bean cakes in a swirl of cream as our solar-tomato-sauce-system.

Main courses:
Climax: The climax is worthy of its name for the famous house “fish between mone and pipian” dish. The two popular Mexican dishes fought for the title of the most delicious one, but the chef could not choose and combined both to create a perfectly cooked seabass wrapped in a “sacred leave” that lends its fresh green flavor, and a rich pipian sauce (nuts, seeds, chilies, a touch of tomato and spices), thickened by ground pumpkin seeds.

Desserts
Outro:
There are four deserts on the menu, but it’s difficult to choose!
Fresh half-mangos serving as platter for a cream of coconut topped with cubed mango and tapioca seeds infused with bourbon vanilla and mint leaves.

DRINKS
The cocktail menu was crafted by the famous Jan Van Ongevalle (The Pharmacy, Belgium).
The “mamey sapote” drink has bourbon infused with a whole mamey seed inside, and a hint a ginger.
The drink list is made with the best brands of alcohol.

DECOR
From the wine cellar overlooking the dining room to the hardwood floors and the subdued lights, the restaurant has a dark and cozy atmosphere, like a British cabinet, ideal for talking business or spending an evening with friends.
Our only regret is that in her desire to share the authenticity of her birthplace, the plants were made of plastic.

NOISE
Carmela y Sal is divided into two main spaces, a very airy one and a smaller, more intimate room where the bar is also located, which can get a bit noisy.

SEATING
Comfortable chairs and soft benches. Some tables are circular and intimate, ideal for large business lunches.

VIBE
Business meals
Showing off
Las Lomas

RESTROOMS
Nice and clean, the speakers play the sounds of the sea, it’s like being in the Gulf of Mexico.

SERVICE
Wonderful service, the team is attentive and knowledgeable about the ingredients, techniques and history behind the dishes.

WOULD RECOMMEND
YES!

WHO
Gabriela Ruiz Lugo, called Gaby by her team, and her partner Rafael Lopez Rubi, launched Carmela y Sal last year and it quickly became one of the city’s new hotspot. With the new venue, the award-winning chef from Comalcalco, Tabasco who studied gastronomy in Mérida pays tribute to the cuisine of the Gulf of Mexico, with fresh ingredients and dishes from Yucatán, Tabasco and Veracruz.

FOOD
At Carmela y Sal, Gaby serves very personal cuisine, an ode to her native region of Tabasco, interpreted as an “edible concert.” The menu can be broken down into a prelude, interlude, climax and outro. One of the dishes is even a gustatory interpretation of the song Loca by Aleks Syntek.
Her creations combine two of her main sources of inspiration: music and fresh ingredients from the Gulf of Mexico (Veracruz, Tabasco and Yucatán). In these tropical states and on the menu, plantains and coconuts are the stars of the show, but the lesser-known xtabentun (a liquor made from xtabentum flower honey) is another fantastic nod to her roots.
The waiters are here to share the stories behind the dishes, to help you feel the synesthetic experience of the meal, a total immersion into her world.

Starters
Prelude:
“The fake tacos” are truly something of a magic trick within this great spectacle. Chef Gaby serves 6 tostadas (crunchy corn chips) that are reminiscent of pork in escabeche and fish, but what they really are is coconut: dense matured coconut for the meat and soft young coconut to imitate the fish. It’s such a surprise to taste coconut flesh prepared this way, and carnivores are likely to turn vegan after tasting this dish.

Interlude:
The “moon’s earth” is a very personal dish for the chef that takes root in her childhood. Her father had invented this poetic description of black beans that little Gaby did not like. Time went by, tastes changed but the metaphor remained. This plate shaped like the moon’s surface is topped with a galaxy of plantain and bean cakes in a swirl of cream as our solar-tomato-sauce-system.

Main courses:
Climax: The climax is worthy of its name for the famous house “fish between mone and pipian” dish. The two popular Mexican dishes fought for the title of the most delicious one, but the chef could not choose and combined both to create a perfectly cooked seabass wrapped in a “sacred leave” that lends its fresh green flavor, and a rich pipian sauce (nuts, seeds, chilies, a touch of tomato and spices), thickened by ground pumpkin seeds.

Desserts
Outro:
There are four deserts on the menu, but it’s difficult to choose!
Fresh half-mangos serving as platter for a cream of coconut topped with cubed mango and tapioca seeds infused with bourbon vanilla and mint leaves.

DRINKS
The cocktail menu was crafted by the famous Jan Van Ongevalle (The Pharmacy, Belgium).
The “mamey sapote” drink has bourbon infused with a whole mamey seed inside, and a hint a ginger.
The drink list is made with the best brands of alcohol.

DECOR
From the wine cellar overlooking the dining room to the hardwood floors and the subdued lights, the restaurant has a dark and cozy atmosphere, like a British cabinet, ideal for talking business or spending an evening with friends.
Our only regret is that in her desire to share the authenticity of her birthplace, the plants were made of plastic.

NOISE
Carmela y Sal is divided into two main spaces, a very airy one and a smaller, more intimate room where the bar is also located, which can get a bit noisy.

SEATING
Comfortable chairs and soft benches. Some tables are circular and intimate, ideal for large business lunches.

VIBE
Business meals
Showing off
Las Lomas

RESTROOMS
Nice and clean, the speakers play the sounds of the sea, it’s like being in the Gulf of Mexico.

SERVICE
Wonderful service, the team is attentive and knowledgeable about the ingredients, techniques and history behind the dishes.

WOULD RECOMMEND
YES!

CHEF

Gabriela Ruiz Lugo and Rafael Lopez Rubi

OPENING HOURS

All week

RESERVATIONS

By phone or online. It’s best to reserve, as the restaurant is always booked.

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