This is for you, Tiki! This is what our party of five had at Topolobampo:
Chile Ancho Relleno – filled with chorizo and potato in a sweet and sour escabeche with cinnamon, allspice and black pepper. Amazingly complex.
Cazuela de hongos – we were there in the springtime so this included morels, local shiitakes and other wild mushroom in a red chile broth with fresh epazote. This dish tasted like Spring.
Manchamanteles de Lujo – Almond crusted pork tenderloin in mole with pineapple, plantain and sweet potato. The crunchy crust was great on the juicy pork.
Faisan a la Jamaica – free range pheasant stuffed with plantains and prunes with a sauce of chile ancho and jamaica blossoms. Jamaica is hibiscus. We all loved the floral qualities in this dish.
Pato al Chipotle – Roast duck with chipotle chiles, charred tomatoes and dark beer, served with fresh morels and tiny calabacitas (zucchini). Chiles and beer, what’s not to like!?
Ternera en Mole Amarillo – free range veal chop in classic Oaxacan yellow mole with a julienne of zucchini, fennel and chayote. My first experience with Oaxacan style food. It was terrific.
Chile Rellenos "Topolobampo" – Poblanos stuffed with pozole, calabacitas, grilled red onions, herbs and Texas Jack cheese in a sauce of toasted tomatoes and grilled nopales.
Lobina en Salsa Verde – Crispy skinned sea bass with roasted tomatillos, chile chilace, fresh mint and garlic potatoes.
Torta Kakau – Mexican chocolate torte with vanilla, cinnamon and toasted almonds, served with Kahlua whipped cream and prickly pear sauce.
Pastelito de Pepita – warm pumpkin seed cake with plantain ice cream and brown butter caramel.
Crepas con cajeta – buttered crepes with goat milk caramel, plantains and toasted pecans.
All of the above was helped along with lots of tequila and wines from Texas and Spain.
It was one of the most wonderful food experiences I’ve ever had! Every dish was spot on perfect and so complex without being overwrought. One of our party walked past the kitchen on his way to the restroom and saw Rick Bayless behind the line cooking. So he walked to the entrance of the kitchen and told him how wonderful everything was. Rick Bayless was quite gracious and thanked him, then gave a great deal of credit to his staff. That was very cool.