Travel

The word “caracol” means “snail” in Spanish, an ode to chef Hugo Ortega’s memories of ceviche de caracol served fresh in his brother’s kitchen in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The seafood dishes on the menu follow a familiar route—fresh, sentimental seafood, served with obvious care and love. A custom wood-burning oven allows the house specials to shine: whole roasted fish and wood-grilled oysters topped with chipotle butter. For dessert, the El Coco, a series of chocolates, handmade by chef Ortega’s brother Ruben Ortega and served in the shell of a cocoa pod to be cracked open with a little wooden hammer. Finish with guava mimosas—sublime and refreshing enough to suggest a hint of sea breeze on the brow.

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