C’est Si Bon: What’s French in CDMX

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Though France has been the culinary direction the Mexican upper class has looked towards since the 19th century, there have never been very good French restaurants here in the supposed “Paris of the New World”. There are still only a few; Havre 77, La Maison de Famille and Au Pie de Couchon do come to mind. Yet Café Milou is the smallest, least unpretentious of our old world restos to have opened recently. It emulates casual Parisian bistro dining and does it very well. Milou’s popularity, spread by word of mouth, has reached the point where reservations are now essential. Classics such as steak tartare, terrine de campagne and leeks in cream are done with finesse. Heartier main dishes might be joues de boeuf—beef cheeks in a reduced wine sauce or lubina with potatoes au gratin. A short wine list is well chosen. Marble tables spill out onto the street and ambience is jovial. Breakfast is offered and is trés Parisienne. Bon appétit!

Av. Veracruz 38, tel. 55 7098-1422 open Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. See Google Maps
Average pp: $500

A lovely loup de mer at Café Milou
Havre's pretty bar; Photo courtesy Havre 77

Havre is chef Eduardo ‘Lalo’ García’s venue for classic French cuisine. After his lengthy stint at NY’s Michelin starred Le Bernardin, he knows what he’s doing. The setting is a pretty turn of the 20th century house in colonia Juarez in several smallish rooms, a patio and I tiny space downstairs perfect for an affaire de coeur. The menu is comprised of bistro classics such as frissé aux lardon, confit de canard, steak frites and bouillabaisse, all done textbook perfect as only Lalo can do. The elegant raw bar features the best seafood from Baja California and even France itself. A fine selection of French wines, are on the blackboard.

While on the pricey side ($600+), Havre offers a 4 course bar menu during lunch hours – 1-5 p.m. – Tuesday – Friday. At $290 it is a great way to sample the superb fare for those on a budget. C’est magnifique!

Havre 77, Calle Havre 77, Col. Juarez, Tel. 5208 1070
Open Tuesday – Saturday 1 – 11 p.m., Sunday 1 – 5 p.m., closed Monday

Photos courtesy Havre 77

Perfectly grilled shrimp and pureed potatos at Havre 77...lots of butter as Julia would have liked
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About The Author

Nicholas Gilman is a food writer based in Mexico City; he's author of Good Food in Mexico CIty: Food Stalls, Fondas, Fine Dining.

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