Sepia. A simple word that when you hear it you automatically think of a colorless filter on your photos. To our surprise, Sepia is a type of squid also known as the cuttlefish. No wonder all the walls in his majestic restaurant was filled with illuminated illustrations of sepias.
Sepia Cucina Italiana is the most famous and recognized Italian restaurant not only in Mexico, but also is well positioned in all Latin America. It has been named “the best Italian restaurant’ in the country.
Sinaloa street of the wonderful Colonia Roma Norte of Mexico City is where this amazing restaurant is located. The corner three story building is surrounded by mid century architecture, restored buildings, tall, beautiful trees and the nostalgia of an antique city surrounded by modern times. You can hear the man who sells tamales on his tricycle doing his rounds trying to get by the day by selling his product. You see the birds and the smell of fresh coffee from the coffee bars that surround this place.
Julian Martinez, owner, and chef of Sepia greeted us at the door after our Uber driver dropped us off. From San Diego to CDMX, Gente Bonita Magazine arrived at this beautiful restaurant to meet and enjoy a wonderful evening. Chef Martínez reminisced about his father teaching him all there is to know about fishing giving him the inspiration to use local Mexican produce (and from Baja California) and creating gourmet Italian dishes to serve the happy and hungry customers.
The rooftop bar was where our table was located (everything outdoors due to the existing pandemic sanitary measures). The table was set exquisitely, glassware and linens with Sepia logo embroidered.
Personnel gave us the VIP treatment from the head waiter to the sommelier. Service in Mexico City is something you cannot get anywhere else. They make you feel like royalty.
Sepia has an amazing mixology of fun alcoholic drinks to try. Mixing exotic ingredients with mezcal and fruity flavors and aroma combine into having an amazing party of flavors in a cocktail glass.
As northern Mexicans (and San Diego residents) we were thirsting for craft beer. To our surprise, Sepia offered us an AGUA MALA Brewing Co (from Ensenada) IPA Beer. It quenched our thirst with a much-expected sigh of satisfaction after we drank it.
Chef Martinez started sending us the courses of his edible creations while the DJ made us sing along to many “oldies but goodies” songs.
We tried a smoked octopus’ salad that was so delicious it felt like we were eating smoked ham.
Chef Martinez sent us raw mackerel with white truffle essence; scallops with heirloom tomato, fine herb oils and dehydrated roe; vegetable sauce with Jerusalem artichoke. This was still second course!
The sommelier made sure we had the correct wine pairing each course. We started out with an amazing, chilled chardonnay that went well with the exotic flavors of the octopus and truffle essence.
Pasta (made freshly daily in Sepia) dishes started to fill our table. We had Piemonte’s ravioli with parmesan cream followed by ruby crab risotto, tarragon, and sealed shrimp carpaccio.
The service was amazing. Clean plates and silverware for every course. Red wine (from our very own Valle de Guadalupe) was now being served in beautiful red wine goblets.
Chef Julián Martínez surprised us with the main course: beef fillet with gruyere fonduta and truffled potato. The presentation, the juicy prime choice of beef along with the exquisite taste of gruyere cheese made our hearts smile.
Our amazing experience ended with a Carajillo drink and Goat cheese mousse, hibiscus coulis and guava puree.
The night was beautiful, the weather was perfect, the flames of the oil lamps in each table, the lighted sepias along the walls of this rooftop, and the service and hospitality of chef Julian Martinez and his crew made us feel like we were in paradise.
Do not just take our word for it. Go visit Mexico City’s Sepia Cucina Italiana and see for yourself.
By Gina Dewar