Honey jelly with brown butter vanilla ice cream in a white bowl at Rosetta Mexico City.

Rosetta Mexico City Review: Should You Believe The Hype?

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Ashlea J. Russell

Is Rosetta Mexico City Really Worth The Michelin Hype?

In recent years it seems like Restaurante Rosetta has become synonymous with Mexico City dining.

Thanks to being featured on Netflix’s Somebody Feed Phil, the world-class status of chef Elena Reygadas, and being one of the first restaurants in Mexico to receive a coveted Michelin star, Rosetta is becoming a culinary hot spot.

After being asked about Rosetta many, many times I decided it was time to go try it out for myself and see if it lives up to the hype or if it’s all sizzle and no steak.

I spent the evening at both Restaurante Rosetta and Salón Rosetta, the upstairs speakeasy, and my experience may not be what you’re expecting, so let’s get into it.

About Restaurante Rosetta, Mexico City

Restaurante Rosetta is the brainchild of famed Mexican chef Elena Reygadas. Rosetta opened its doors in 2010 and has been a bit of a staple in the Mexico City gastronomy scene ever since.

Chef Elena is a Mexico City native and is responsible for several favourite Mexico City spots including Lardo, Café Nin, and Panadería Rosetta, a cafe and bakery just steps from Restaurante Rosetta.

Ashlea holding a menu for Restaurante Rosetta.

But Restaurante Rosetta is at the heart of Elena’s empire. This restaurant focuses on showcasing Mexican ingredients in unexpected ways. It was this penchant for innovation and love of her culture that saw Elena be named World’s Best Female Chef on more than one occasion.

Restaurante Rosetta is situated in the Roma neighbourhood of Mexico City in a grand old mansion.

The menu is comprised of starters, pastas and soups, main courses, and desserts with a seasonally changing menu.

Restaurante Rosetta Quick Guide

  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Price Point: $$
  • Food: Mexican
  • Drinks: Signature Cocktails, Wine, Beer
  • Hours: Mon – Sat 1pm – 5:30pm, 6:30pm – 11:30pm, Closed Sun
  • Reservations: Reservations are required. Book here.

The Vibe

The setting of the old mansion is charming, with rustic decor that harkens back to a family home in the countryside, furthered by a single tree growing right in the dining room.

However, the vibe at Rosetta can only be described as rushed. Don’t expect warmth and welcome from the staff here, that treatment seems only to be reserved for specific guests.

For the rest of us, the dining experience at Rosetta is impersonal and a little chaotic.

A view of a doorway with art and decor surrounding it at Restaurante Rosetta Mexico City.

The staff spent less than 20 seconds at my table during any given interaction and I didn’t seem to have a dedicated server. The service was rushed with food coming out within a matter of minutes of being ordered which raises questions on freshness.

The staff only visited my table to take my order, drop off food, or clear plates and never checked in on me or refilled my water.

And speaking of water, there seemed to be a clear divide in the dining room on who received which water.

I ordered the free house water in Spanish. This is available at almost any restaurant in Mexico and is clean drinking water often enhanced with herbs or fruit. What I received was a large glass bottle of mineral water that was opened before it reached my table which meant I couldn’t send it back and had to pay for it.

Looking around the dining room I noticed that all foreign tables had the bottled water and local tables had the house water with rosemary.

This is the only time during my years exploring Mexico that this has happened to me and it was both disappointing and uncomfortable.

A bartender mixing a drink at the bar of Salon Rosetta with liquor bottles lit up behind him.

Even after clarifying with the server that I specifically requested the garrafón water he shrugged because the bottle had already been opened.

Overall, the staff at Rosetta seemed stressed and at times unhappy which is not something I’m used to seeing in Mexico City. I get the sense that there may be other issues at play here that are spilling over to the guest experience.

From seating to payment, I was in and out of Rosetta with a three course meal in less than 45 minutes. The dining room was very loud and tables were turning over quickly.

The Food

Although service is a big part of the dining experience what we’re really there for is the food.

Rosetta has a changing menu with many rotating dishes depending on which Mexican ingredients are in season.

Corn tamales with celeriac and smoked cream by candlelight at Restaurante Rosetta.

The dishes are endlessly creative and full of options you won’t find anywhere else, such as the crowd favourite starter, savoy cabbage tacos made with local herbs and a Mexican pistachio sauce for $270MXN [$15USD/$20CAD].

I let the server choose my dishes for me so for my starter I had the corn tamales with celeriac and smoked cream for $310MXN [$17USD/$23CAD]. The smoked cream sauce was fantastic but the tamales themselves lacked any depth of flavour which made this dish a little hard to finish.

For my main the server suggested potato gnocchi, pumpkin seed pesto, chaya and hoja santa for $375MXN [$20USD/$28CAD].

I’m a big fan of all these ingredients and while the gnocchi were lovely little pillows the sauce was grainy and felt like it needed acid to brighten the flavour.

A bright green mount of gnocchi on a white dish at Rosetta Mexico City.

The menu, although changing offers a wide variety of pasta dishes including meat and vegetarian options. Rosetta also offers a few unusual main dishes such as pork shoulder with chicatana ants for $525MXN [$29USD/$40CAD] and snapper with sikil pak (a Yucateca pumpkin seed dip) for $575MXN [$32USD/$43CAD].

Although my first two courses were beautiful yet underwhelming, where Rosetta really shines is in dessert. I had the Melipona honey jelly with brown butter vanilla ice cream for $305MXN [$17USD/$23CAD].

Honey jelly with brown butter vanilla ice cream in a white bowl at Rosetta Mexico City.

This is admittedly an expensive bowl of ice cream but it was by far the best dish I had and made my trip to Rosetta worthwhile.

From speaking with other diners and foodies in Mexico City I’ve found that almost everyone offers up rave reviews of the dessert courses here, whereas the other courses often receive a lukewarm report, which was in line with my experience.

The Drinks

Mexico City has a very high standard for cocktails and often has multiple bars that end up on the World’s 50 Best Bars list so when I learned Rosetta had opened a speakeasy upstairs I knew I had to check it out.

Salón Rosetta is a beautiful one room bar up an ornate staircase above Restaurante Rosetta. This room is delicate and stunning with high ceilings and grand decor.

I was seated very quickly and left to peruse the menu. All of the drinks are priced very high for Mexico City considering the size, less than half that of a regular cocktail.

Ashlea holding a cocktail list at Salon Rosetta.

And while the cocktail menu has prices listed the wines do not and some of these are absolutely exorbitant.

As a longstanding fan of gin I opted for the Hoja Santa, a gin and vermouth cocktail with hoja santa served in a vintage glass with a candied leaf on top.

Again, while the presentation was lovely the taste was not. I have had a lot of cocktails in my time, all over the world, and I can confidently say this was one of the worst drinks I’ve ever tasted.

The cocktail lacked balance and tasted like pure 200-proof alcohol. I actually wasn’t able to finish this drink as it was burning my throat and stomach which is a shame for the price tag of $270MXN [$15USD/$20CAD].

Patrons chat in Salon Rosetta with high ceilings and ornate art on the walls.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to try any other drinks as I didn’t have an opportunity to place an order with a member of service staff.

However, considering the Hoja Santa was a “house classic” cocktail, I recommend skipping the cocktails and opting for a beer or non-alcoholic option instead.

Summary: Restaurante Rosetta, Mexico City

Overall my experience at Restaurante Rosetta left a lot to be desired. The standard of restaurants in Mexico City is so high and with the media buzz surrounding this chef, I was surprised and disappointed by my experience here.

Typically, where one category slumps, be it service, food, or drinks, the other categories often compensate, but in this case the only shining moment at Rosetta was the dessert.

Reading reviews of Restaurante Rosetta paints a divided picture of high praise and disappointment and after their recent Michelin star it’s even more baffling to me how customer experiences can be so polar.

Although Restaurante Rosetta takes the cake for creativity and a focus on Mexican ingredients, other restaurants such as Blanco Colima next door offer a more consistent and elevated experience. If you decide to add Rosetta to your Mexico City itinerary be aware that you’re taking a gamble.