Pitiona: Cocina de Autor has just arrived onto the Oaxaca dining scene like a shooting star ready to dazzle the most discerning fan. Shooting stars burn out, but I am going to wager that Pitiona will establish itself like a celestial planet around which foodies will gravitate.
I was walking down Calle 5 de Mayo recently and noticed this little gem tucked away in a narrow space across the street from the venerable and elegant Camino Real Hotel. Her front windows were thrown open and I could admire the winding staircase, resplendent bar, crisp white table cloths, tables set with polished wine glasses and flowers, and handmade pottery chargers waiting for the diners to arrive. I filed it away as ambience worth exploring to see if the food matched.
Later that night, we were inundated with a rain storm and our plans to walk several blocks to a favorite restaurant were put asunder. Now, Pitiona to the test, as the restaurant was located only a block from Las Bugambilias where we were staying.
It did not disappoint. Unfortunately, I was so busy admiring the tasteful minimalist decor and snacking on homemade organic blue corn tortillas and smokey salsa rojo that I forgot to take many photos. Or, maybe it was that near-perfect Margarita before the glass of excellent Mexican Cabernet Sauvignon. I was captivated by the food.
By high-end Oaxaca dining standards, the prices are comparable to others in this category — Casa Oaxaca, Los Danzantes and to some extent, La Biznaga. Be prepared to spend $16-22 USD per entree, $8 USD for a good bottle of wine, $6 USD for a Margarita tradicional with fresh lime juice. The young chefs in the small second floor kitchen beamed when we applauded their culinary efforts. Well worth the price if you are on vacation.
Pitiona: Cocina de Autor, Calle 5 de Mayo #311, Centro Historico, Oaxaca, Oaxaca, phone 951 514 4707, website: www.pitiona.com