Yucatecan chef Pedro Evia opens his first restaurant in Europe

Q78’s proposal combines traditional and avant-garde Mexican cuisine with Yucatecan overtones and offers a wide variety of artisanal mezcals unpublished in Spain.

There is no doubt that Mexican gastronomy is one of the most beloved by Spanish gastronomes, although only part of the rich cuisine of the North American country has arrived in Spain. With Q78the chef Peter Eva You will discover new flavors for us by showing the gastronomy of Yucatan and other Mexican states such as Jalisco, Oaxaca or Puebla, through a frank and authentic cuisine in which smoked foods, firewood and charcoal have a special role.

The dishes that are made in Q78 They are the fruit of tradition. In Mexico, some of them are made with ancient and pre-Hispanic techniques such as pib. This consists of an oven dug into the ground, where the heat is generated from firewood and charcoal, concentrated in hot stones and sealed with a layer of earth. In these ovens not only food is cooked; they are also smoked. To get similar results, Peter Eva replicates in Madrid the smoker that his partner, Eduardo Rukoshe devised for his gastronomic K’u’uk in Merida.

in the new Q78 a unique cuisine is offered where many of the dishes are the result of long cooking with savory results of great depth such as the classic Yucatecan Lentil Potaje (with nods to Spain since Evia in Madrid plans to make it with Iberian pork), a stew whose cooking requires three days, or pig cakes. The cakes are a so-called French bread made according to the recipe of a baker of Spanish origin who came to Yucatan from Cuba more than 100 years ago.

Fish ceviche with roasted corn

They will also shine on the menu, to give a few more examples, the corn sheaves smoked, a dish that takes 72 hours to prepare, the black Aguachile, a dish devised by Pedro Evia a decade ago and replicated by other chefs in different parts of the world, or the traditional Yucatecan Papadzules and longaniza from Valladolid. Papadzules have a pre-Hispanic origin and are made with ingredients such as corn, egg, pumpkin seeds, tomato, habanero pepper and onion. There is also a hole for specialties such as Tetelas, a Oaxacan appetizer; the Torta ahogada typical of Jalisco or the Mixiotes from Puebla.

It is worth mentioning that the kitchen of Q78 is deeply marked by the errands of Peter Eva. Recados is the name by which the mixture of spices used to season stews and dishes of Mexican cuisine is known. Like any good cook, Evia has her ‘secret’ errands with which he achieves a personal and unmistakable kitchen.

Q78 It’s not a taco place, and neither can it be classified as haute cuisine. Q78 It is a concept that, to date, has never been seen in Madrid, with all the flavor and atmosphere of contemporary and traditional Mexico. The return to the origins in a current key”, says Evia.

Enmoladas.

Mezcal, tequila and other liquid offer

The mezcal has Q78 Great prominence: there are around a dozen brands of artisanal and organic mezcal, which translates into 240 varieties of mezcal to taste. An unprecedented offer in Europe that is complemented by a good selection of classic and organic tequilas, as well as a good cocktail bar with Mexican notes.

On the other hand, the restaurant also has a Mexican wine list with carefully selected references and, also, some European wine labels.

The space

Q78 is located in a curious place on calle Villalar, number 6, in Madrid, with a red-painted access door reminiscent of a clandestine: an authentic speakeasy. After crossing the door we find on the right a large bar that continues into the corridor, and with space for 15 people. The front of the bar is decorated with mosaics with a Mexican air and the counter is made of natural black granite stone. It is completed with comfortable stools with backrests and textile upholstery.

The corridor has a mural on its right wall that narrates the origin of the mezcal, with abstract drawings of the mezcaleros and the maguey, the plant from which this unique drink is made. On its left wall, the original exposed brick of the building can be seen. Right on that wall there are some niches that, soon, will house works by Mexican artisans and artists.

The dining room It has square black granite tables, without linens, and light and ultra-comfortable chairs with mesh backrests. The natural light enter through a landscaped inner courtyard.

Tetelas of pork in tomato sauce with pork beans and nopales salad.

The room hosts on its walls some irreverent digital works based on paintings by European artists intervened with mythical characters from Mexico such as Cantinflas, María Félix, Frida Kahlo and Pedro Infante. Behind these digitizations is the work of Mexicans Georgina Coot and Ivan Quinones based on the idea of ​​the Yucatecan architect Henry Ponce Miranda who, in addition, signs the interior design of Q78.

Henry Ponce It has its base of operations in Mérida (Yucatán). Among his most celebrated works is the recovery of part of the architectural heritage of his city, an initiative that has allowed him to rescue and revitalize urban areas.

In Merida has been responsible for several hotel and restaurant projects, and with Q78 breaks for the first time in Spain.

On a chromatic level, the restaurant has shades of copper, brown, black and green. The first three shades respond to the colors of the first ingredients that made the journey from Mexico to Spain, such as chocolate or cocoa, and the green to the color of maguey.

In Ponce’s words: “The decoration is austere, elegant, subtle…, just like the kitchen of Peter Evafull of harmony and without dissonant elements”.

Q78 C/ Villalar, 6, Madrid Telephone for reservations: 916796928 Days and opening hours: Monday to Sunday, from 1 to 5 pm and from 8 to midnight. IG: @q78gastromezcal #q78gastromezcal #gastromezcal #Q78