Xochitl: ‘Vivid And Stunningly Original’

Philadelphia is turning out to be a hotspot for Mexican regional cuisine. Apart from the Oaxacan restaurants of the Italian Market corridor, numerous Pueblan restaurants have been opening throughout the city. One of the newest is the high-end Xochitl in Society Hill, where Steven Cook of Marigold Kitchen and ex-Vetri sous chef Dionicio Jimenez team up for a Nuevo Mexican take on Pueblan cuisine.

In this Sunday’s Inquirer, Craig Laban reviewed Xochitl and found, for the most part, a new classic:

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.

Philadelphia is turning out to be a hotspot for Mexican regional cuisine. Apart from the Oaxacan restaurants of the Italian Market corridor, numerous Pueblan restaurants have been opening throughout the city. One of the newest is the high-end Xochitl in Society Hill, where Steven Cook of Marigold Kitchen and ex-Vetri sous chef Dionicio Jimenez team up for a Nuevo Mexican take on Pueblan cuisine.

In this Sunday’s Inquirer, Craig Laban reviewed Xochitl and found, for the most part, a new classic:

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Xochitl: ‘Vivid And Stunningly Original’