On the southwest corner of Reforma and Constitution , several years ago, a new restaurant opened and it is gaining a reputation for offering one of Oaxaca’s most unusual and finest dining experiences.
Tierra del Sol’s interior will not knock you out. It’s L shaped dining room is spare - white walls, red clay tile floors, utilitarian mahogany-framed, glass-topped tables with side armchairs. But they are spaced far enough apart so that you can have a private conversation. No, Tierra del Sol is not about décor. It is about the cuisine and the dining experience.
In many restaurants you can experience an annoying wait for menus to appear,
and then, after ordering, for the meal to arrive. Not so at Tierra del Sol. Shortly after you are seated a waiter in white shirt and black trousers, arrives with complimentary aperitif, a small glass with a mild concoction of orange and lime juice and just a touch of mezcal.
While waiting for your meal to arrive your waiter reappears at your table with a large tray atop a stand holding a dozen or so small clay bowls containing spices and herbs. and a stone mortar and pestle. With these he prepares a special salsa for your table, allowing you to select ingredients and specify how spicy you want the salsa to be. When completed it is placed on your table along with small folded cheese filled tortillas.
The quality of the cocktails are often a clue as to that of the meal to follow, and such is the case at Tierra del Sol. Their Margarita has just the tantalizing sweet-sour taste and slight kick of tequila that one hopes for but seldom gets. And, if you are into tasting mezcals, you are in for a treat. The restaurant offers over forty different sections available in 2 oz. servings.
The choice of dishes is almost as extensive, including four soups, six vegetarian selections, ten main course house specialties and more. I ordered Asado, medium rare, a veal fillet served with a garnish of creole tomatoes and fried onions It was tender and tasty. My wife chose Camarones costeños, sautéed shrimp accompanied by yellow chilajo and roasted yams. Her dish was less successful. The shrimp were not as tender or flavorful as they could have been. But the desert made up for it, a delicately flavored, silky textured flan surrounded by sweet berries stewed in their juices. My cappuccino, served steamy hot in a tall glass cup, was delicious. All in all, it was top notch.
So the next time you are looking for an outstanding dining experience and are willing to forego one of Oaxaca’s better known, classic restaurants, give Tierra del Sol a try. I wager you’ll be glad you did.