A few days after we returned to Mexico City from our trip to Morelia, the road was again waiting for us to visit another key city in national tourism destinations. On board our car, we were ready to travel the 228 miles to Guanajuato and we weren’t aware of the surprises this journey had prepared for us and that would change our plans giving us the opportunity to experience something that, once again, wasn’t in our schedule but turned out as unforgettable.
Several miles already left behind, we had to stop at the city of Celaya to enjoy a dinner specially prepared for us by Chef Eduardo Osuna whom, after being the mastermind behind the restaurant Solea at the prestigious W Hotel in Mexico City, he chose to pack his thins and take refuge in this city to create his first own concept where freedom and authenticity in the using of Mexican flavors are the main idea. Yes, the menu is inspired and created after what Osuna himself created at Solea but today, as an Executive and Owner Chef of Casa Poniente, Eduardo highlights the necessity of moving this kitchen outside the capital into different places to be part of something that helps rescuing and protecting the Mexican gastronomy.
Talking with Eduardo is a whole experience itself. His humility is overwhelming and his passion for cooking is reflected in every one of his dishes. It is not a surprise at all that his introduction to this world occurred in a circumstantial way years ago while he was backpacking in Europe. As they say, you don’t find passion, passion find you. And this passion were behind the creation of this concept we’re about to enjoy guided by the amazing team working with Osuna as they brought one by one an enormous variety of forms, scents and presentations in every dish.
Past the delightful table full of sauces near our own table – exquisitely decorated with the simple touch of a traditional Molcajete – a delicious Marlin Toast was the first step into this marvelous voyage. Then, inspired by one of the main popular appetizer in Mexico, Osuna makes a twist of it to develop a Crab Gordita which is, clearly, a new favorite in my list. Sauce Spheres, Chicharron Cream Soup and Black Salt from Guerrero are some of the little wonders in this dinner that we almost missed because of time and fortunately allowed us to enjoy Casa Poniente in that time span between lunch and dinner in which there’s not too much clients and, because of that, we got lucky having Eduardo at the table for this long and meaningful talk.
After a hard choice between three of the best wines produced in Mexico – Barón Balche, Porvenir and Jalá – our next dish was a Güero Wey Steak that goes smoothly as we eat it thanks to the meat tenderness and a sauce that goes along with it proving the real artistic craftsmanship that drives Casa Poniente into the creation of such a basic – and sometimes underrated – part of the Mexican cuisine: the sauces. Then, a Sealed Tuna Steak with Tequila and Mushroom Sauce carved a flavor into my mind that I won’t be able to forget and will make a future visit a basic need.
Despite the fact that I had to get back on route to arrive at Guanajuato, it was impossible to refuse that magic moment that dessert plays in every meal. This time, it was a good call, for I had in front of me a Brioche with Milk Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream and, when a dish like this is put in your table all that really matters is having at hand a nice spoon to dig into the mixing of flavors I can only qualify as spectacular. Of course, by that time, it was uncontrollable my need to get into the kitchen just to know and thank the men and women – obviously, local people – that made possible this delicious afternoon.
As the clock was ceaselessly ticking, Celaya started coming to life through Casa Poniente main entrance, as people flow into the place eager to enjoy the extensive menu Eduardo Osuna has created to defend and spread his vision of Mexican gastronomy. The talk with him went as a good wine, leaving behind its bouquet of memories with countless accents and spices for us to keep it in that place where the yearn for a proud interpretation of Mexican cuisine always is ready to make room for new discoveries. As I said goodbye to Eduardo Osuna and all those people that turned our afternoon into a tasteful and caring evening, I look back one last time to the main entrance of the place and I learn that even when I left a little part of myself between the tables, I’m taking with me an invaluable piece of Mexico in my palate that, for sure, will guide me back the most unexpected day.
Casa Poniente Restaurant
Flavors of Mexican Cuisine
Int’ (521) 5555028067
Nac (044) 5555028067