Last night we ventured about 1000 yards from our hotel, just up the dusty dirt road to the jungle side of Tulums beach road, to Hartwood, 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.
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