The most exciting thing that I know about that is happening here in San Miguel on the restaurant scene is the soon-to-be-opened Trattoria da Laura, in a new facility at Rancho Los Mezquites. This will serve as an event space for private parties, and I did notice a helicopter landing pad as we drove around the property. But, the good news is that Laura and Justin will be open by reservation for an early Saturday dinner (sunsets will be spectacular) and Sunday lunch, to all us hungry souls who are yearning for some of her out-of-this-world cooking.
Fred and I had the pleasure of visiting with Justin and Laura the other day for lunch, which in itself was a pleasure. They live not far from the new restaurant/event space. We had visited them before when they lived further out in the campo. Many people in San Miguel will remember them as La Cucina di Afrodita, when they opened the patio of their home and served lunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Fred and I made it to one of those and it was a delightful afternoon. But, the thing that blew my mind was seeing Laura cook and work her magic in the tiny kitchen of the house.
That is all about to change…and change in a big way. The new building has a magnificent kitchen underway. It is about a 15 minute drive from Centro, and I can already see us there on a Saturday evening watching a sunset as only San Miguel can serve, or perhaps heading out for a Sunday lunch and some time in the wide open spaces that surround San Miguel. But the main motivation for this drive would be to enjoy the cooking and hospitality of Laura Buccheri and Justin Marino, a beautiful couple from Sicily who ended up in Mexico.
All of their many enterprises remain under the brand of La Cucina di Afrodita, and they are very busy right now. In addition to the restaurant, they do a service called Chef at Home. They will come to your house and wow your friends by preparing the food on the spot. They are also available for catering for your events. They have a collection of special hand-made cheeses from Justin (who is also an expert with olive trees, and that expertise is what landed them in this happy situation. But, that’s a whole other story). They will be opening another San Miguel venue for sampling a bit of their wonderful food creations at the Mercado Sano, a food haven that’s about to open where the original Don Pedro’s was. It will be called La Spaghetteria, and I think the name says it all. It should open in August.
Much of the produce served at Trattoria da Laura will be grown on the rancho where they live. The menu will be mostly Italian, and will change every week. They are keeping alive the wonderful atmosphere of the meals they used to serve right out of their own small kitchen…the community table, where people can make new friends, the excellent and personal service, and the feeling that you are at a lovely dinner party in a home. To quote Laura, “It’s really not a restaurant. It is more like you are coming to my house to eat. I will decide the menu. Just trust me.” And, I have to say that every time I have had a chance to do that, I have always left with a smile.