Cantina La Veinte
Nothing about Cantina La Veinte is shy. Or quiet. This Mexican restaurant, with Executive Chef Santiago Gomez at the helm, is a riot of flavour and colour, both in the interiors and the wide-ranging, palette-tempting menu. Looking around, the ceilings soar high above the dining space, which is punctuated with graphic print and leather-upholstered seats, plenty of black, splashes of red and gold, and flashes of light glinting off the dangling copper pans in the visible kitchen; it’s a heady combination. The dynamism is echoed in the menu. Here, you can tuck into Vuelve a La Vida (a mix of shrimp, scallop, oysters, crab, octopus, avocado and lashings of serrano chile and coriander, with a zingy fresh tomato-lime sauce) or Marimba De Tuétanos Al Carbón (grilled bone marrow served with fresh tomatillo salsa).
There are fresh oysters and nutty freshly made tortillas, lobster tacos and duck confit. And the stuffed chiles, like the Poblano (filled with seafood and house-made chorizo topped with oaxaca cheese foam), are unmissable. In essence, there’s more than enough to fall in love with here.
The menu at Cantina La Veinte is largely arranged around small plates, but there are showstopper dishes to share as well. The epic 32-oz dry-aged, prime Tomahawk steak comes to mind; served grilled with a sugar cane-chile crust and plenty of French fries, it’s a knockout. But there’s also the catch of the day, scallops, and grilled octopus, among other dishes, to fight over with whomever you choose to share the Cantina La Veinte experience with as well. But make sure you get enough drinks to go around; then again, with over 200 varieties of tequila, and another 100 of mezcal, there are so many options to choose from, you’d probably not agree on which to get anyway. Just select a few, and prepare to be impressed.