Monday, December 30, 2013

Authentic Mexican Lunch at The Palm at Playa

The Palm at Playa: A Restaurant Review

Shopping 5th Avenue, Playa del Carmen

A trip to Riviera Maya, Mexico demands a visit to main street or 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen.  It's simply the trendy place for shopping, dining, night clubbing or people watching. 

The Rooftop Pool at The Palm at Playa

On my December visit, I made a stop in "The Palm at Playa," a boutique hotel located in the center of town. The hotel has a hip feel and offers 69 modern-style one and two bedroom lofts and suites which include high-tech devices. 

Hot Tub at The Palm

The rooftop pool is exquisite and many guests chose to spend their day there. Some  lounge around the pool while others soak into the hot-tub. The view from the elevated patio is terrific- I could see down to the ocean and beach, watch parasailing and often feel a nice breeze.


My group was offered lunch in the casual outdoor setting starting with a margarita on the rocks. In my opinion, a perfect start to an authentic Mexican meal.

Noe Islas, the chef, chose to offer a pairing of dishes from the region of Oaxaca, combining flavors, textures and colors along with a selection of Mexican wines from Baja California Norte.

Ceviche by Chef Noe Islas
As a starter we were served “fish ceviche” a delicacy throughout Latin America. This variation is Chef’s specialty made with chopped apple, marinated in tamarind sauce and a pinch of salt worm. The ceviche was paired with a fresh, cheerful and pleasant Sauvignon Blanc wine from “El Cielo”.  I believe the ceviche was the best dish I ate during my trip to Riviera Maya.  Absolutely brilliant flavors and outstanding freshness.

Chicken with Mole

For the second course we had grilled chicken with yellow mole and a side of sautéed potatoes. The mole, which is Mexican sauce, comes from Santa Maria de Tula, a beautiful little town in the state of Oaxaca. Pairing was  Parcelas from “Las Nubes” ,an intense aromatic woody red wine. It blended seamlessly with the spicy flavor of the mole´s ingredients.

Beef Steak

The third course was “beef steak on chichilo”, one of Oaxaca’s least know moles but one of the tastiest. The beef came with a side of Mexican Chaya. The wine pairing for this dish was a powerful  Barricas from “Las Nubes.”

Beautiful and Delicious Flan

And for dessert, we were served a Mexican favorite, a flan with intense caramel flavors and creamy goodness.  A fabulous finish to a grand lunch.

Although one would not likely drop into The Palm from the street, take note of the address and add it to your itinerary. Chef Islas makes terrific meals. (And is it any wonder I struggle with my weight-  this was just lunch?)

Debi Lander and Chef Noe Islas of The Palm

Disclosure:  I was flown to Riviera Maya, Mexico for a media trip hosted by Interval International. 

Calle 8, Nortte, Centro
Playa del Carmen, 

Quintana.Roo, Mexico 77710
Tel +52 (984) 873 33 33