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Mexico City

Loup Wine Bar

Mexico City

Loup Wine Bar

BEST NEW BISTRO

Loup Wine Bar

shortlisted by Lefooding

WHO
This stylish, enigmatic wine bar is co-owned by Gaëtan Rousset, who imports and distributes a great selection of hand-picked natural wines from the Loire and Rhône Valleys, and Joaquin Cardoso, one of Mexico’s most talented and talked about young chefs. Cardoso spent 13 years in France in the kitchens of both Jean-François Piège and Iñaki Aizpitarte (Le Chateaubriand) before returning to his home in Mexico to open an acclaimed restaurant at Mexico City’s Hotel Carlota with star pastry chef Sofia Cortina.

FOOD
At Loup Wine Bar the focus is on the wines, but Joaquin has carefully created small plates as perfect poetic pairings, including:
An endive salad bursting with citrus flavor, no trace of bitterness, all topped with tamarind seeds, jalapeños, cilantro and mixed greens – $110
A zesty carpaccio of scallops topped with a tropical pico de gallo with mango and passionfruit seeds, which gave a surprisingly satisfying crunch to each bite – $168
Mouthwatering bone marrow lightly garnished with a gremolata of lime zest, garlic and parsley, served with triangles of fresh bread – $90
A layer of beef tartare generously topped with rucola, slices of Paris mushrooms, piquillo peppers, and spicy, almost overpowering “pimientón” paprika – $140
The sensational milk skin ice cream topped with diced mango was my favorite dessert – $90

DRINKS
For Mexican standards, it’s by far the most extensive selection of natural wines to be found in CDMX, almost exclusively French and Italian, including a dozen whites with “skin contact” (sometimes called orange wines), where the grape skins are not removed from the fermentation process. Feeling frisky, I chose skin contact, an Ageno 2013 from La Stoppa in northern Italy – $1,290 (one of the most affordable bottles on the menu)
Otherwise, one is spoilt for choice with the offering of dozens of whites, rosés, reds and Champagnes starting at about $800.

DECOR
The decor is very pared down, complete with Michel Tolmer art. The tables and chairs are functional, and the walls are mostly bare, which is the point, and you wouldn’t want it any other way. The wooden bar at the back is elegant and the lighting is dimmed to just the right wattage so that everyone looks at least 10 years younger. Or maybe that was the amazing wine?

NOISE
Cool, contemporary Mexican tunes fading into the background, just enough to give some unobtrusive texture to the proceedings.

SEATING
Unfussy bistro tables and chairs inside that seat 20, and a deep terrace out front with cast-iron chairs and tables that seat about 8. If it’s a cool night, you might also want to hunker down at the bar in the back, which seats 4, and stare up at the rows and rows of bottles, plotting your next visit.

VIBE
Casually cool. Tattoos on hip, attractive, middle-aged intellectuals and friends from the neighborhood, as well as big tables of clued-in tourists who’ve done their research. No trace of wine snobbery – the night we went, the crowd was mostly enjoying the food and good beer.

RESTROOMS
It’s clean, it works. Que más?

SERVICE
The staff was especially knowledgeable about the food, extremely friendly and eager to get all of our questions answered by the chef right away.

WOULD RECOMMEND
Absolutely! Especially to natural wine aficionados willing to spend some money, but even with a beer, this is a place you’ll want to meet friends for a lazy evening of good conversation and exceptionally flavorful shared plates.

WHO
This stylish, enigmatic wine bar is co-owned by Gaëtan Rousset, who imports and distributes a great selection of hand-picked natural wines from the Loire and Rhône Valleys, and Joaquin Cardoso, one of Mexico’s most talented and talked about young chefs. Cardoso spent 13 years in France in the kitchens of both Jean-François Piège and Iñaki Aizpitarte (Le Chateaubriand) before returning to his home in Mexico to open an acclaimed restaurant at Mexico City’s Hotel Carlota with star pastry chef Sofia Cortina.

FOOD
At Loup Wine Bar the focus is on the wines, but Joaquin has carefully created small plates as perfect poetic pairings, including:
An endive salad bursting with citrus flavor, no trace of bitterness, all topped with tamarind seeds, jalapeños, cilantro and mixed greens – $110
A zesty carpaccio of scallops topped with a tropical pico de gallo with mango and passionfruit seeds, which gave a surprisingly satisfying crunch to each bite – $168
Mouthwatering bone marrow lightly garnished with a gremolata of lime zest, garlic and parsley, served with triangles of fresh bread – $90
A layer of beef tartare generously topped with rucola, slices of Paris mushrooms, piquillo peppers, and spicy, almost overpowering “pimientón” paprika – $140
The sensational milk skin ice cream topped with diced mango was my favorite dessert – $90

DRINKS
For Mexican standards, it’s by far the most extensive selection of natural wines to be found in CDMX, almost exclusively French and Italian, including a dozen whites with “skin contact” (sometimes called orange wines), where the grape skins are not removed from the fermentation process. Feeling frisky, I chose skin contact, an Ageno 2013 from La Stoppa in northern Italy – $1,290 (one of the most affordable bottles on the menu)
Otherwise, one is spoilt for choice with the offering of dozens of whites, rosés, reds and Champagnes starting at about $800.

DECOR
The decor is very pared down, complete with Michel Tolmer art. The tables and chairs are functional, and the walls are mostly bare, which is the point, and you wouldn’t want it any other way. The wooden bar at the back is elegant and the lighting is dimmed to just the right wattage so that everyone looks at least 10 years younger. Or maybe that was the amazing wine?

NOISE
Cool, contemporary Mexican tunes fading into the background, just enough to give some unobtrusive texture to the proceedings.

SEATING
Unfussy bistro tables and chairs inside that seat 20, and a deep terrace out front with cast-iron chairs and tables that seat about 8. If it’s a cool night, you might also want to hunker down at the bar in the back, which seats 4, and stare up at the rows and rows of bottles, plotting your next visit.

VIBE
Casually cool. Tattoos on hip, attractive, middle-aged intellectuals and friends from the neighborhood, as well as big tables of clued-in tourists who’ve done their research. No trace of wine snobbery – the night we went, the crowd was mostly enjoying the food and good beer.

RESTROOMS
It’s clean, it works. Que más?

SERVICE
The staff was especially knowledgeable about the food, extremely friendly and eager to get all of our questions answered by the chef right away.

WOULD RECOMMEND
Absolutely! Especially to natural wine aficionados willing to spend some money, but even with a beer, this is a place you’ll want to meet friends for a lazy evening of good conversation and exceptionally flavorful shared plates.

CHEF

Joaquin Cardoso

OPENING HOURS

Closed Sundays

RESERVATIONS

Maybe worth booking on Friday or Saturday evenings (from 7:00 p.m.) on Open Table. The place is small, very popular and can get crowded 

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