Dyed roses are still roses, created generally from pure white, but with a presentation of originality that makes them part nature, part art and part fantasy.
So Blue Rose, a new restaurant at the west end of Ajijic, has been aptly named, based on the presentations on their menu.
Another example was the gulasch. There is gulasch and then there is Blue Rose Gulasch. The juicy stewed beef was kissed with the flavors of fresh rosemary, thyme, garlic and juniper berries. I substituted silky mashed potatoes for the pasta, but the plate was a union of several German regions, with the beef accompanied by something called Semmelknoedel (called that if you are able, that is), a German dumpling that is not boiled but grilled.
vThe minimalist menu is designed with only five entrees, each one a supreme recipe for the principal meat option it includes, much like a personalized, specialty dinner designed for celebratory occasions. My favorite example was the “fish and chips.” Common, right? Not this one. It’s prepared with the elegant mahi-mahi, instead of the more common bass or cod or even the preferred haddock. For me, it was the imperial version of fish and chips.
A guest ordered something simple from the starter menu, which featured four of the most unusual starters, all of which could comprise a complete meal. The deviled eggs were stuffed with a dollop of tender cheese, mayo, a whisp of chopped cheddar and basil and dressed with tangy parmesan and bacon crisps, becoming more accurately “devilish” eggs. There were also lettuce wraps, sassy with flavors of ginger, peanuts and curry. And then there was the charming tuna tartare, satisfying and unique fresh tuna wrapped with avocado, cucumber, wontons marinaded in sriracha and soy juices – certainly Mexican-creative. This is a delightful and seldom-seen tartare. If you have a favorite flavor design with other herbs, fruits and vegetables, ask and I’m sure the chef will try to accommodate you.
Salads came in interesting variations. Regrettably, there were only two. Roasted beet salad with gorgonzola and candied pecans doused with raspberry vinaigrette; also a salmon and shrimp salad creamed over with a black truffle vinaigrette, with the few leaves of spinach earning a salad classification. The combination was exquisite. So you can see the essence of Blue Rose even in the salad compositions.
Blue Rose is owned and operated by Angela Mendoza, a very engaging and amiable woman, eager to be of use and service. Drink listings are more diverse, with four house wines and an intriguing, creative offering of after-dinner drinks and drink specials. The Blue Rose location is mountainside, across from the Casitas Bungalows Motel at the near-west end. You will have to slow down once into the area, because parking is sparse. But do give this exotic menu a try.
Blue Rose, Carretera Poniente. 19-A, Ajijic, (376) 766-2948. Open 1 to 8 p.m. Closed Sundays.