Recently we had the opportunity to dine at Há restaurant with some friends at the Hotel Xcaret Mexico, which is part of Xcaret, just south of Playa del Carmen.

It was an amazing dinner, and the Xcaret grounds, and the restaurant itself, are gorgeous!

The executive chef of the restaurant is Carlos Gaytán, who is the first Mexican to obtain a Michelin star. He was also on the TV show Top Chef.

Welcome to the experience

Water, Water Everywhere

is the Mayan word for water, so it’s no surprise that the restaurant has incorporated water prominently into its decor.

As you walk into the restaurant, the entrance walkway is flanked on either side by jets of water, and you’re walking towards a large flowing, cascading water cyclone (for lack of a better word). Super cool!

Funky Mirrored Ceiling

Dinner

Dinner was a tasting menu – 7 courses, with wine pairings

Tasting Menu

The meal was full of surprises – including lots of “smoke”, bonus plates, and unexpected twists.

Pre-dinner cocktails

Mashed potatoes & chicken – really!

 

Shrimp sausage appetizers – the “dirt” was an edible cacao mixture

 

Grouper and a tamal

 

Chile Relleno

 

Duck Breast & Duck Leg Carnitas

 

Tweezers as a utensil – Por qué no!

 

Dessert

More dessert!

In addition to the normal menu, we also received a few extras (as our friend Gabriel is friends with the Chef). Midway through the meal, we were invited to the bar, where we watched the bartender mix together fresh fruit and mezcal, and then he poured in some liquid nitrogen, whipped it all together, and produced a refreshing cool treat that was close to a sorbet or a granita – with the delicious mezcal smokiness.

Wines

The wines were all Mexican wines, mostly from the Valle de Guadalupe region.

We had white, red, rose, and dessert wines. My favorite by far was the Madera 5, which was a blend of Cabernet and Sangiovese. I may have to seek that out to try again at home. But, overall, I thought the wine selections could have been better.

Post Dinner

After dinner, Chef Irving stopped by to check in on us again, and of course we needed one more pic in front of that awesome water feature!

And no, I don’t know why we all have clenched fists!

Of course, after a few drinks, you can’t help but put your finger into the water feature!

After dinner, we strolled around the grounds a bit, talking in the beauty of the hotel.

Hotel Xcaret Mexico

 

Hotel Xcaret Mexico

Wrap Up

This was our first time dining at restaurant whose executive chef has a Michelin star – so it was certainly a rare treat. The food was so creative and delicious, the plating was like art, and the service was outstanding.

This was quite a special evening, and we’re so glad that we were able to experience it – and even better that we were able to experience it with great friends!