A Little Slice of Monterrey in Dallas — The Mexican Lives Up to the Hype
The Slick New Spot Delivers on Dishes and High DesignBY Billy Fong // 04.22.22
A private dining room at The Mexican, dreamed up by Latin American designer Paulina Moran.
A towering greeting at The Mexican, Dallas' new Design District hot spot.
Explore a variety of margaritas and cocktails at The Mexican, or go all out with the $250 Pancho Villa.
The Mexican Chocolate Martini is made with Hornitos reposado.
The Mexican's backlit tequila wall features hundreds of top-shelf bottles.
The Los Flores room in The Mexican.
The Los Flores room in The Mexican.
A cozy banquette in the main dining room
The Campechana at The Mexican is made with Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream, pistachio, and flakey sweet pastry, then topped with cajeta quemada.
Artwork by Mexican artist Luis Guajardo.
A courtyard moment lights the way to coveted patio spots.
Located in a former light bulb store, The Mexican keeps the spirit of its former tenant alive and well.
We’re hearing it again and again: “Do you know who has pull to get a reservation at The Mexican?” Yes, the restaurant that opened recently in the Dallas Design District has become the hottest spot to be spotted.
Let’s be honest. We’ve all experienced buzz-worthy new restaurants in the last few years with dramatic spaces, spectacular views, and/or celebrity interior designers. Great, who doesn’t love a pretty spot for date night or girls’ night out that screams for selfies. But, what about the food? Often the menu, with prices commensurate to those at Hermès, doesn’t live up to its Birkin-bag pricing. But that’s not the case at The Mexican. With Northern Mexico-inspired dishes created by chef Rodrigo Lomeli from cherished recipes passed down for generations in his hometown of Monterrey.
Owner Robert Gonzalez Aleala, also from Monterrey, has created a culinary-driven restaurant, influenced by heritage and culture. On the night I was there, we ordered the spinalis (10-ounce American Wagyu) from the grill menu, which was flawlessly flamed with multi-layers of flavors ($49). This paired perfectly with Manchego whipped potatoes with chorizo gravy recommended by our server ($11). It was heavenly — the sausage topping tasting like a decadently rich dessert. You also can’t go wrong with any of the seafood items from the raw bar.
It was an excellent opportunity to show the world what Mexican design is about. — Paulina Moran
The Mexican was designed by Paulina Moran, a Latin American designer whose portfolio includes numerous stunning hotels and restaurants. Imposing wooden doors lead to the imposing space divided into intimate areas, beginning with a bustling bar that spans a wall, with a refined tequila assortment behind glass doors. Aside from the central dining area, there are multi-level outdoor patios and private dining rooms, as well as a cigar lounge, with original Mexican tilework.
We’re waiting for the official beginning of summer to make the sizable patio a new meeting spot for après-work libations. And did we mention there’s a $250 drink on the cocktail menu — the Pancho Villa.
A Touch of Monterrey, Mexico in Dallas — Inside the Design of The Mexican
Design looms just as large as the cuisine at The Mexican. To bring a touch of Monterrey to authentic life in Dallas, Paulina Moran used locally sourced materials, and took inspiration from the region’s talented artisan.
PaperCity: What excited you about working on The Mexican?
Paulina Moran: The project had a lot of potential. It was an excellent opportunity to show the world what Mexican design is about. We tried to reflect the new Mexican style, which is modern and very high-end. The country is now a trendsetter with its restaurants and hotels, and we want to show it to the world. To be in the Design District is a fantastic opportunity to put a tiny spot of our Mexican design in the area.
What were your influences?
We want to reflect the richness of our culture, the sophistication of the Mexican design, and our artisans’ variety and skills. All the furniture, the art, and most of the materials were manufactured in Mexico.
It’s such a gorgeous, sprawling space. Do you have a favorite area or element?
I love the final result. The project has a balance on its own. What I like are the skulls made in black clay on the patio and the terrace — this is an homage to the Day of the Dead. I think this is a stunning detail.
On designing in Dallas?
I enjoyed working with professional people — they work very hard to achieve the project as we conceive it. What I love about working here is the vast range of products. Dallas is a great city for interior design.