Alessandro, Mazunte: Fresh Pasta, Swim Trunks, And Never Before Seen Flavor Combinations
Perfect For: Feeling Like Everything In Life Is Gonna Be Okay.
Sometimes he wears crocs and sometimes he goes barefoot. Either way I guarantee that he will be cooking in his swim trunks.
Chef Alessandro has the kind of face that you expect to see on statues of Renaissance art patrons. All big expressive features including a strong, aristocratic nose. His torso is like an old evergreen tree and his stomach swells in a trustworthy convex bulge.
He's originally from Florence and has been cooking since he was 14. Which is a good sign if you prefer a chef with a lot of experience.
The pasta and the bread are both made fresh every morning and all the ingredients are local. Apparently it took a little while for him to adjust his methods to the water and the humidity in Mazunte but every plate has long since begun to reflect the expertise of his training.
My wife and I had our first dinner here with two food nerd friends visiting from New York. We ordered four different pastas and each of us had a different favorite. This an unprecedented outcome that will probably never be repeated.
The fresh pasta and the fresh ingredients and the talented kitchen make all of these dishes worth a try. For the sake of my own indulgence here is a list of my personal favorites (in order):
Arrabbiata de Habanero:
This is a tomato and habanero pepper jelly sauce. The fresh, spicy Mexican flavors mixed with the classic handmade Italian noodles is just too damn perfect. I can't stop ordering it.
Tallarines con Chorizo Italiano Casero de Queso de Camembert:
This dish is as indulgent as it sounds without being so rich that it alienates people who don't have cheese addictions. The 'Chorizo' is a homemade Italian sausage and the flavor permeates the whole dish. You can't miss with this one.
Crema de Jengibre (Ginger), Limon y Parmesano:
If Italy and Thailand got married and made a baby this is what the baby would look like. The creamy Italian sauce is infused with lemon and ginger and the whole dish is bright and light despite the relative heaviness of fresh made pasta in a cream sauce. I could picture this dish not working for some people. But if you like Thai flavors you should order it. You will have never had anything like it before.
Salsa de Pulpo Picante:
Octopus is plentiful on the coast of Oaxaca but it isn't always cooked very well. It's usually over cooked and has the texture of a doggy chew toy. That isn't the case here. At Alessandro the octopus (pulpo) is cooked to perfection and the dish has that salty, spicy, slightly oceany flavor that you want from a seafood pasta.
Queso Gorgonzola Y Guayabas:
This is pretty unprecedented fare. Pasta, cheese and guava fruit? I had never been down this road before and I was shocked at how well everything worked together. I don't think you'll find this dish anywhere else so you might as well order it. I'm intentionally not going to post a picture because it's pretty monochrome and you know what they say about judging books by covers.