A recent visit to the glorious city of Guadalajara reminded me again of its magnificent restaurant scene, which in many ways outshines much of what we see in American upscale restaurants. One of the outstanding examples is Hueso, for its food and for its innovative and striking design. Hueso (“bone” in Spanish) is designed with bone fragments from floor to ceiling in striking white and grey hues. “It’s called Bone because it’s a strong word, with vibes and linked to flavor,” said Poncho Cadena, the chef and founder.
With diners seated at long tables to encourage conversation — something of a novelty in Mexico — the scene is lively and friendly, which adds to the conviviality of the experience. It also makes it easy and fun to sample and share dishes with your neighbor, making it a combination of fine dining and a family festivity.
The menu is intriguing, focusing on the rich Mexican tradition of seafood, meat and local produce, prepared with a variety of seasonings drawn principally from the state of Jalisco, but also incorporating tastes from elsewhere in Mexican and indigenous cooking. Among the outstanding dishes my wife and I sampled were grilled octopus in a mole sauce and a lovely risotto with local mushrooms.
Particularly unusual and delicious was an avocado with its skin removed, filled with a crème, covered with an edible vegetable skin and served hot. A salad of tomatillos dressed with rice vinegar and a potato appetizer were excellent starters, and the meal was rounded out by a desert of strawberries with slightly tart cream. Servers were well-informed and attentive, explaining menu items easily in both English and Spanish.
Well worth the visit!
Photos by Nancy Kay Turner