Puntarena celebrates its 5th anniversary as a benchmark of Mexican cuisine in Madrid

The Mexican restaurant is celebrating five years of success in the capital thanks to its culinary proposal full of vibrant flavors and all the essence of Mexico.

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The fact that it is located in the Casa de México in Madrid is already an indication that sitting at one of Puntarena‘s tables will mean traveling to the other side of the pond and soaking up a Mexican culture full of hospitality, tradition and a gastronomy like few others. This restaurant, run by chef Federico Rigoletti, celebrates 5 years in Madrid this November, a period in which it has more than earned its place as one of the most essential and authentic Mexican gastronomic hotspots.

From serving a few tables to filling every night

What started back in 2018 without any pretensions, as a result of winning a contest organized by Casa de México, has ended up becoming a consolidated project in every sense. Although the Puntarena Group already had an extensive and successful track record in Mexico -since 2000-, when it landed in Madrid it did so without a very well-defined concept, as they were unaware of suppliers, local raw materials and, even, architects and builders. Even so, they embarked on the adventure backed by the excellent location and a strong conviction in their possibilities.

From there, and after researching and defining their Madrid project, they discovered the best local products and adapted them to the most Mexican roots, recipes and flavors. It was then when Puntarena went from serving a few tables with people from the neighborhood and visitors to the Casa de México, to filling every day with a profile of diners of the most varied: from Spaniards to foreign tourists, businessmen, politicians, celebrities and, of course, a lot of Mexicans. Because there is nothing more meaningful than receiving the visit of local people, to know that you are in the right place.

A culinary proposal full of highlights

Undoubtedly, one of Puntarena’s strong points is its gastronomic proposal. With a menu designed by Federico Rigoletti – who is also in charge of Ticuí, another restaurant that the Puntarena Group has opened in the capital this 2023 – the menu is full of hits, with its now iconic fish a la carving standing out among them all.

“We were very nervous about venturing into a country that dominates fish and has it very much integrated into their lives. What we did was to use a raw material that they know but present it in a way that had not been done before. That was the challenge but we saw that the reaction was very positive. The carved fish was undoubtedly one of the greatest successes, we were the first to bring it to Madrid and that contribution made other places imitate it in other versions and we are very proud of it”, says Rigoletti.

A toast with mezcal

But at Puntarena you can travel from one end of Mexico to the other through the palate: from a good taco from Mexico City, to a ceviche from Los Cabos, a mezcal from Oaxaca or a fish from Veracruz. And let’s not forget the liquid part either, in charge of Daniel Quezada, bar manager, who is constantly evolving, proposing innovative cocktails that continue to surprise diners.

“For me, the basis for creating the cocktails was to get to know what Madrid had to offer. As soon as I arrived I went to the markets, to get to know the distillates, there was a lot of material I had never worked with before. It was a challenge to mix what I knew from Mexico with these ingredients and create the Puntarena menu with sophisticated techniques, local produce and Mexican distillates to offer something new. They are simple to look at but very complex in their preparation and very different from the more classic cocktails in Madrid, I think we are pioneers in this area,” says Quezada.

Among the creations with which you can toast after an unparalleled culinary experience, we find cocktails such as the Marchantita (Mezcal, hibiscus with cilantro, pasilla chili) or the Soda Mayahuel (Tequila infused with passion fruit, Aperol, homemade soda).

Any excuse is a good excuse to visit Puntarena restaurant, but a fifth anniversary in Madrid deserves a mandatory gastronomic feast.

Where? Calle Alberto Aguilera 20, 28015 Madrid