This website has long been an advocate of the Hartwood, one of the best restaurants in Tulum, and the trendiest one. No more. Lines of idiots waiting for a reservation at 3pm. Under the merciless tropical sun. My “contacts” to get a table seem to have faded away (not sure if Valentin, Yenisei and any of them are still around). Time passes, never happened before, but it’s been 16 months since my last Tulum affair.
Thanks to family members I invited to Tulum, I heard about Arca (just opened last April 2015). Did not want to believe what I heard. It`s been a lot better than imagined. The best option today in Tulum, specially when Rancho San Eric’s El Hechizo is lazy (it happens most of the time).
Arca restaurant’s chefs are Maia (formed in San Francisco), and Fausto, who worked for famous chefs in Mexico like Benito Molina (Manzanilla in Baja California) and Enrique Olvera (Pujol in Mexico City and Cosme (in Flatiron, NYC).
My favorite picks in the menu:
Drinks: mezcal cocktails, with ginger, and local honey
Appetizers: lechón (piglet) with caramelized red onions, local lentils and a poché egg. Also tuétano (marrow) with morita chile and red onion marmelade, with some thyme.
Mains: caramelized octopus with alubias, and lamb chamorro
Sides: Brussel sprouts
The wine list: short but extremely precise. The Sottano cabernet sauvignon for less than US$ 40. So good.
They do not open on Sundays.
Arca is located just 30 yards south of the Hartwood, so it is getting a lot of bounces from its rival, but Arco should not be a second option at all. Reservations can be made via mail at email@example.com