December 15, 2018 Italian, Mexico No Comments


I’d heard strong reports about Rosetta, a restaurant in Roma Norte with an Italian influence, so made sure to make a lunchtime reservation to check it out.

In a similar style to Cancino the setting was a stylish old palazzo but even more impressive. I was transported to a wonderful little enclosed courtyard at the rear, bedecked in foliage with some exquisite bird murals. It was quite something.

While Jacinta was definitely a locals spot, Rosetta was entirely populated by tourists during my stay. This was no slight on the place, it’s merely a very popular guidebook recommendation.

Service while friendly was a little disorderly with what seemed a collective sense of surprise at so many diners arriving at the very start of lunchtime service, bang in 1pm. After a slow start, things picked up well enough.

The format followed a classic Italian pattern with starters, pastas, and then meat and fish dishes. I was keen to sample liberally so ordered from all three sections.

I started with a traditional corn tamale served with celeriac puree and smoked butter. This was my first encounter with tamales so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It seemed like a texture focussed item without strong intrinsic flavour. It was a pleasant opener.

The gnocchi to follow was right up there with the best of its type I’ve eaten. Served with eel, baked tomatoes and local sheep’s cheese, the gnocchi pillows were super light and deeply satisfying. The accompaniments were outstanding. It was a great dish.

To round things out I’d chosen beef tongue served with chicatana ants and hoja santa. This was flavour-packed with the thinly sliced tongue beautifully tender. The ants were pulverised but clearly present adding texture and zing.

I’m very glad to have chosen Rosetta as I’m always intrigued to see how other countries interpret Italian food. Where Argentina has spectacularly shat the bed with their pizza crapola, Korea has the very accomplished Brera and Australia has the truly wonderful Osteria Ilaria. It was good to find some truly excellent cooking on show in Mexico’s flagship exponent. Given the light and airy premises, this is a place well-suited to a lunchtime visit so it would be my top pick for a classy middle of the day meal in the city.

Blythe scores Rosetta
4.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
5/5 for setting
giving an overall 17/20

I ate: fresh corn tamale, celeriac, smoked butter; gnocchi, eel, sheep’s cheese, tomato; beef tongue, hoja santa, chicatana ants

I drank: water, orange chardonnay

I wore: linen and hibiscus

Total bill: $1,013

Address: Colima 166, Roma Norte, Ciudad de Mexico

Written by BKR