Dinner at Zapoteca

Note: Zapoteca closed permanently in June 2017. 

My recent dinner at Zapoteca, the new, fine dining Mexican restaurant on Fore St., was a mixed bag.  Let's break it down short and sweet.

Pro: Drinks

Left to right, the blood orange margarita, a regular margarita, and a guava 'rita.  All tasty, all served from a friendly bartender, and different levels of sweet to suit your tastes.

Con: Noise level

We sat in the dining room back towards the kitchen on a Saturday night at 9pm.  And it was so very loud.  I had trouble hearing my company and the server.

1/3rd Pro: Ceviche trio

The Ceviche Veracruzano, a whitefish marinated in lime juice with jalapenos, olives, tomatoes and avocado was great.  The other two in the trio, a Maine shrimp and a lobster, weren't anything to write home about.  Neither are a traditional ceviche in that the meat is steamed rather than 'cooked' from the acid in the dish (Anestes actually pointed this out to me) and needed salting.

Pro: Guacamole

'Nuff said.

Pro: Enchiladas

At $17 a dish, the enchiladas drew all of us in for our entrees.  Above is the one I ordered, a Maine crab and chipotle shrimp with a creamy green chile sauce.  The refried black beans were also tasty and the arugula and pickled red onions were a bold garnish.

The Enchilada de Puerco or pork with caramelized onions was pretty spicy; it almost made my sister's face melt off (or maybe that was all the tequila?), but it had great flavor if you could get past the heat.

Amy's vegetarian stuffed poblano peppers (stuffed with mushrooms, goat cheese, and pumpkin seeds) was so tasty she reportedly didn't even miss the meat.

Pro: Mexican Chipotle Chocolate Torta

I am not a big fan of dense chocolate desserts, so when the ladies sprung for this, I didn't expect to be all that into it.  But the spicy chocolate, topped with candied orange peels and almonds was a surprising flavor combination that really got my attention.

Con that ended up being a pro: Classic Vanilla Flan

Look beautiful, tasted awful.  Such a disappointment, as custard desserts are my favorite.  But when I alerted the server (who was so great throughout the whole meal), he zipped back into the kitchen to try one, quickly seconded my assessment, and removed it from our bill.

Since the enchiladas at Zapoteca are the cheapest entrees (the others being more in the $25-$30 range), I think the role this restaurant will fill best in my dining repertoire is drinks and apps/dessert with friends.  Best to sit at the lively bar and sample the great tequila and drink menu and share some nosh, rather than struggle to be heard in the dining room for a full meal.