hartwood tulum

 

Last night we ventured about 1000 yards from our hotel, just up the dusty dirt road  to the jungle side of Tulums beach road, toHartwood, a new restaurant from chef Eric Werner and Mya Henry.

After working for many years at Peasant on Elizabeth Street in Manhattan and Vinegar Hill House in Brooklyn, they decided to give it all up and move Mexico and open a restaurant here in Tulum. Together, they bought a piece of land and built the restaurant from the ground up. The construction took about four months to complete but the whole process of finding the land and building took well over a year. Everything is intentional and equally beautiful. Drinks are served in mason jars and glass hurricanes line the long hand hewn wooden tables.

The couple has made a lovely place to gather and eat. There are two open fires, one a grill and the other a brick oven. Crates of local fruits and vegetables line the front of the open kitchen. All the food is seasonal and local as they have established relationshiips with local farmers and fishermen and even the Mayan bee keepers who sell the miel de selva (jungle honey) from their backpacks on the beach. the Mayan jungle honey has a distinct and unique flavor, it is complex and reminds me of the miele de foresta of italy. We tasted some last night with our appetizer of whole wood fire roasted eggplant drizzled with olive oil sea salt and Mayan honey.

We shared a spicy red snapper spread and a lentil salad with pickled grapes, ricotta salata, plums and pea shoots. We then moved on to a whole roasted local fish and beer braised pork ribs with house made slaw and a rabbit lasagna.

Everything was delicious and a welcome change to the rice and beans we have been making over here in our little bungalow.

 Hartwood is open for dinner at 6pm .

The menu changes nightly.

cash only. 

tomatillo salsa

Today, while everyone was at the Ruins, India Showed me how to make a fresh tomatillo salsa. She made it with a friend last year around this time when they were vacationing in Mexico.

This salsa is super easy and really versatile. We have been using it on our fish tacos, our rice and beans, as a dressing for our salads, and with tortilla chips and guacamole. It is fragrant and fresh and very easy to make.

TO MAKE:

husk, clean and quarter, rougly 30 tomatillos 

coarsely chop a generous bunch of cilantro

cut the fruit of three avocados into small pieces

chop 1 or 2 red onions or a combination of red and spring onions (depending on your preference)  we used a combination of red and spring onions because the spring onions were available.

squeeze and set aside the juice of 6 small limes

when everything is chopped and prepped, dump it all into a big bowl (with the exception of the lime juice) and loosely toss until it is mixed

puree the chopped ingredients a little at a time, adding a bit of lime juice for some liquid (we used a small immersion blender, but you can use a food processor or a regular blender)

as your ingredients become pureed, set the puree aside in a clean bowl and keep adding to it until all your chopped ingredients have been pureed.

add salt to taste.

this is a very loose recipe, one that can't really go wrong. add more avocado if you would like the salsa to be thicker or add more lime juice for a little more punch.

if you want a little spice, chop and puree with the ingredients a single deseeded jalapeno pepper

 this recipe will yield about 4 cups.

la flor de michoacan - helados and paletas

helados and paletas

Midway down the the strip in the town of Tulum, just on the left before Jupiter Street, amid the bevy of hammocks, blankets and dresses is a spectacular treasure of an ice cream shop that is not to be missed, La Flor de Michoacan.

They make delicious helados (ice cream) and paletas (fruit posicles) in every flavor imaginable. Our favorites of the paletas were the lime, the tamarind and the chili mango and jicama. The combinations of flavors are really unique. Sit in the peaceful back garden a quiet reprieve from the bustling dusty street and enjoy one, two or THREE each, as we did, surrounded by tamarind and papaya trees.

La Flor de Michoacan has two locations, one in Tulum and one in Playa del Carmen.

mangos, avocado and lime

It is nearing the end of our first full day in Tulum and we haven't really done much at all. The turquoise water and blinding white sand has created a quite lull amongst us. Waves of tiredness wash over me. Could this possibly be relaxation?

Today was a great day. Emily and I were up first and while Marty made coffee we spent the first quiet hour cutting up the sweetest little avocados and mounds of yellow mangoes and lime. It was the perfect beach breakfast.

We spent a little while in the sun and then walked down the beach to Coqui Coqui where we spent a good hour smelling their amazing perfumes and oils, before deciding on orange blossom and tobacco. I picked up a great straw hat and one of their silk rope necklaces.

Tulum has many things to do and see, like the Biosphere, the Ruins, or the many shops in town, but our little group is perfectly happy, at least for today, to just sit here and eat mangoes and to stare out at the brilliant blue sea.


owl goes to tulum

As the last vestiges of Winter dusted the city this morning, We headed out to a sunnier place...Tulum!

I was really happy to discover that the Jet Blue terminal at JFK has both a Muji outpost and Balthazaar Croissants! I think I am really into Jet Blue!

So it was, with the usual flurry of early morning confusion, airport security and seat appropriation...We were finally off.

The smallest of us in years is Odette, and she is turning out to be a great traveler. I brought a little owl cupie doll that she is obsessed with. A new toy never before seen is an essential item when traveling, for just those moments when there might be a small meltdown.

After what seemed like the shortest flight possible, Odette's tiny voice said "we are landing..." and next thing we knew she and owl were skipping happily towards the ocean.