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An avant-garde culinary experience at Azul Sensatori Hotel by Karisma on the Riviera Maya.

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Le Chique, Puerto Morelos, mexico

Le Chique Restaurant Review

: The Azul Sensatori Hotel by Karisma resort boasts a number of amenities, but dining at the avant-garde restaurant Le Chique ought to be at the top of any foodie's list. The round dining room has recently been renovated with a new décor set in cool tones of blue and grey, a contrast to the heat of the Riviera Maya. Wood accents can be seen in the tables and chairs as well as in a vertically placed driftwood installation that serves as a divider between a small seating area and the dining room. Tables are spaced in a way that provides privacy but, at the same time, never feels cavernous. A vertical glass wine rack completely surrounds a small table for four guests, creating a secluded dining space that still allows a view of the dining room. Guests begin their Le Chique experience in the kitchen, where a small starter is enjoyed while meeting the chef and seeing the rest of the team (including culinary students there for hands-on learning) in action. A few lucky diners will stay and continue their meal at the chef's table in the kitchen. Chef Jonatán Gómez-Luna creates an extensive tasting menu of molecular gastronomy. He pays respect to the flavors and products of Mexico exclusively, while turning traditional dishes upside down and inside out. You may find a tangerine margarita, but it will come in a beautiful, edible bite-sized sphere that bursts in your mouth. Dishes may contain multiple components and feature whimsical presentations ranging from a hollowed-out book to more organic platters of wood. A corn soufflé is dusted with powdered cricket. The gordita, comprising liquid encapsulated in a gel made of corn and flavors of poblano, arrives on a spoon and delivers the same flavors expected of the masa cake. A handful of nuts appear to be ordinary at first glance, but upon further inspection one finds that a few are actually composed of Chiapas chocolate, Mexican foie gras and white truffle from Monterey. Gómez-Luna or chef de cuisine Alejandro Villagrana Pérez may materialize for tableside preparations, as in the "Milpa…" in which a corn-based soup is created with a siphon. Meanwhile, a wooden log opens to reveal a mole-covered veal cheek alongside sweet potato purée and sweat pea shoots. A refreshing entremet of rhubarb ice cream and frozen beads of carrot, beet, peach and vanilla transitions to the sweeter part of the meal, followed by timut-pepper ice cream paired with a chocolate brownie. There is a good selection of wines from Mexico, as well as spirits, including Bruxo mescals and Tequila Clase Azul. While included complimentary as part of the "Gourmet Inclusive" experience for guests of Azul Sensatori Hotel by Karisma, outside diners can enjoy this culinary journey for $150 per person for the 12-course "Author's Dinner" with a choice of Jackson Family Wines wine pairings, ranging from $35 to $49 per person. For guests of other Karisma Hotel & Resort properties, the price is $110 per person, including wine pairings.



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