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Saturday, August 1, 2009

DINING - El Rey Sol Restaurant

Gourmet Cuisine and Premium Wine in Ensenada
by Steve Dryden

Jean-Loup Bitterlin is a dynamic community leader and owner of El Rey Sol, one of the best restaurants in Mexico. This renowned family operation began on May 23, 1947, when Jean-Loup’s mother, Virginia Geffroy was invited to open a 10-table cafe at a relative’s motel in downtown Ensenada. After her passing in 1989, Jean-Loup continued the operation, expanding the seating for 240 persons, with a focus on unsurpassed table service. His call for excellence has resulted in Five Star Diamond Awards from the American Academy of Hospitality for seven years in a row, 2003 through 2009.

The quality of the cuisine at El Rey Sol is consistent and speaks for itself. Try exploring some of these popular meals and discover a wine list with over 120 selections of Baja California wines. My favorite dinner is their boneless chicken breast prepared in a sauce of brandy, port wine, prunes and cream. Or, when with a “special friend," you can’t beat the Chateaubriand, beef tenderloin (for two) sliced table side, served with roasted tomato and topped with melted cheese. Another popular meal is a shellfish delight from Pepita’s original recipe called Medallion Doña Pepita, fresh shrimp with bacon belts, topped with sauce of capers and white wine.

Chef Juan Jose Lozano prepares soups daily, as well as creating three weekly specials to add diversity to the regular menu. Sommelier and dinning room manager, Gregario Rochin can help you match some of Mexico’s best wine with these culinary delights from El Rey Sol. Each evening Gregario guides his “wine tasting cart” between the tables, offering lucky guests free samples of local premium wine. Open all year from 7:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., with the breakfast menu from 7:30 a. m. until noon, followed by a lunch to closing menu. Visit them at Av. Lopez Mateos 1000. Phone: (646) 178-1733.

Published August 2009 - Mexico Living Guide