Chef Maycoll Calderon in Punta Mita

Kathleen Horner

Chef Maycoll Caldero?n has returned to Punta Mita with a pop-up restaurant at El Surf Club until February 7. You don’t want to miss it.
Calderón’s culinary “chops” include work in Spain with renowned Chef Karlos Arguin?ano, and in New York with Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. His “Honest Cuisine” concept highlights the original essence of fresh, local, and seasonal bounty, preparing “unforgettable and bold flavor combinations.” Here on the low-key beach of El Surf Club, where the casual setting invites long lunches and sunset dining, his Cuna menu finds its mark.

Enjoy a combination of share-able starters (or make them your meal). The Tostada de Atun offers generous slices of tuna with a light lemon mayonnaise dressing piled with avocado and topped with crunchy radish slivers, on a crispy yellow corn tostada. Tabasco sauce gives it a little heat. Citrus, crunch, creaminess, heat—all celebrate the yellowfin. Squeeze a lime cheek on it and dig in.

Hummus is also on the menu, but it’s miles away from the sad glop of overly-garlicky chickpea puree in a bowl with whatever chips. Instead, it arrives in a circle on a plate: one half moon is made from wedges of crispy grilled pita bread, drizzled with parsley and cilantro-infused oil and local honey. The other half moon is the smear of whipped, mild hummus sprinkled with white and black sesame seeds that enhance its nuttiness; fresh cilantro and parsley top it off. Take a
wedge of pita and make a long scoop of it (like a snow plow, but way better!).

Order the Taco de Res (beef tacos) to share, but you’ll want to eat both of them. A chewy cheese crust made from toasted mozzarella is smeared with black refried beans and toasted on the grill. It’s stuffed inside a four tortilla and toasted again, topped with smoky chunks of grilled ribeye and New York steak, and salsa verde (mild tomatillo sauce). Unexpected textures and tastes work together to build a very satisfying bite.

The Cuna menu at El Surf Club also includes mains like Grilled Tuna with ginger rice, and Pork Milanese with roasted sweet potato, Ribeye Steak, and Half Chicken marinated in yogurt with cilantro. Customize your selection by choosing from a variety of salsas made from grilled tomatillos, roasted tomatoes, pickled onions and habanero, or garlicky macha sauce with toasted chilis. So many fresh, bold flavors to try!

Chef Calderon’s “Honest Cuisine” concept is a natural fit for Punta Mita and El Surf Club, and an invitation to experience truly special preparations and flavor combinations. The invitation has an expiration date, however, so make your rezzies now.