Xochitl Reviewed By LaBan
Craig LaBan tries out the creations of chef Dionicio Jimenez at Head House Square’s Xochitl and finds the best of them are “vivid and stunningly original.”
At their best, Jimenez’s creations are vivid and stunningly original. That seviche, for example, takes one brilliant pairing – scallop and watermelon – and hones it to its most elegant presentation, with a nearly translucent layer of sliced raw scallops laid atop a paper-thin round of pink fruit. The contrast of textures and flavors – the juicy crunch and sunny sweetness of watermelon against the buttery slip and gentle marine tang of the scallop – was subtle but so startlingly good I can still taste it.
Jimenez has a noticeably light touch, but can also indulge in some of the lusty, rustic flavors of his native Puebla. Among the best is his chile en nogada, a plump poblano pepper stuffed with ground beef, toasted almonds and dried fruit that comes glazed in a pool of walnut cream jeweled with rubylike pomegranate seeds. The richness of the dish, with an exotic whiff of cinnamon to the meat, gave way to a swelling tingle of chile heat.
Two Bells Very Good