The Latest!

Great Choice in Tulum!!

Where do I start ?? 
Avoid the crowds – go in at 5:00 you get a great chef and Gilberto (waiter) to yourself!! Well worth it !!!!!

We began with evening with starters of goat cheese and honey, empanada’s and sangria YUM YUM!! This was a sign of things to come! Then we ordered lobster ravioli’s and a special of the day shrimp OMG – can you say special? ! Then we topped it off with Beer Bread pudding for dessert. We left the place fed and HAPPY ! Food and drink was fabulous! I would go there again in a heartbeat. 
I’ve read other reviewers and they mentioned the traffic yes, it’s there but honesty if you have a good companion at dinner you don’t even hear or see it. ;)

Best food in Tulum

We dropped by after reading the reviews and were not disappointed. The food was very tasty, well presented and unique in Tulum – we wanted a break from the typical tacos and fish. Could have eaten everything on the menu but we didn’t have time to go back before we left. Great combinations made the menu mouth watering and gave us a nice quandary of what to choose. We had the octopus and red snapper and they were delicious. Service was excellent and we had a nice chat with Brian the chef. The location is not the greatest but the food is what matters most and it was excellent.

Beyond Just a Restaurant

There are many things that set ‘Unico’ apart. We have been in Tulum for about 8 days or so and have a few left. So why am I sitting at my laptop writing a review for a restaurant the same night I ate there and just a few minutes before going to bed? And with still days of vacation left? Because this place is beyond just a restaurant; it was an experience.

We are staying in the beach section of Tulum, fairly deep into it and in the area surrounded by all kinds of eco-resort hotels and restaurants. Naturally, it is this area which is a bit over-priced compared to the ‘centro’ of Tulum. The ‘centro’ of Tulum sits on the strip of highway that runs to Cancun in one direction and then down the rest of the Riviera Maya in the other. It’s not the prettiest strip in the world and I imagine that’s why it’s not as densely visited as the beach strip. But after eating on this strip tonight I feel it is by far more valuable and more wonderful than the beach strip.

We had looked on TripAdvisor for the best restaurants because we had grown tired of what had started to feel like all the same food at all the beach restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, the beach strip is simply beautiful. But it’s aimed at tourists in that aggressive way that just gets tiresome after a bit. Luckily, ‘Unico’ popped up as #2. 

We were only the second group of dinner guests to arrive, but we were greeted warmly by Gilberto, actually a cook at the restaurant who had stepped in to help serve because the regular waiter had been sick. We sat at a cute table nestled by the tiny palm trees on the front patio. Gilberto promptly brought us our drinks (and arguably the best iced coffee I’ve had in Tulum) and we all entered into a warm conversation about his brief stay in the US and his wife and young son here in Tulum. Just a lovely person, kind and witty.

Now we get into the food. Holy cow, the foccacia and chipote humus? OUTSTANDING. Very creamy, but not heavy humus. And the foccacia was as good as if not better than the freshest breads we ate in Italy. Amazing.

Our friend with us ordered the Vegetable lasagna and proceeded to rave about it. I wanted to try it, but I had already filled myself so much with the amazing foccacia that I feared I would not be able to eat my steak when it came. My girlfriend got the mussels and the Unico Salad and also proceeded to rave. And my steak? A creamy pepper brandy sauce lightly drizzled on top, with pureed potatoes and a red pepper/tomato warm salad. Unreal. The steak, even medium rare, melted in my mouth and I found my mouth dancing with the various spices. Outstanding.

But the food, believe it or not, is NOT why I chose to write this review now versus waiting until we get back to Brooklyn in a few days. After our plates had been cleared a young girl of about 8 (Claudia) came with her baby brother (2 years old; Max) and asked if we would like to buy a handmade necklace. Now, I’ve seen this sort of thing before, of course. But these were DEFINITELY handmade and, in all honesty, not that great and nothing we really wanted. But something about how shy the little girl was and the way she and her little brother were nervous about stepping out of the palms and actually coming up onto the patio made me want to help. I looked at the necklaces, but said I wanted to make an investment in her company instead and gave her some money. Then it started to pour. So we told her to step in and stay dry. She nervously did so. But what amazed me was that not one single person from the restaurant minded at all. They were kind and pleased to allow us to have our temporary friends.

Then showed up a soaking boy of 6 (Angel), shoeless and having run through through the streets to find her siblings. After chatting with them we discovered that Angel didn’t have shoes anymore because his sandals had broken. So I left my girlfriend and friend with Claudia and Max and walked around the street trying to see where we could find him some new sandals. In the end, we were out of luck at that hour. But we did wind up getting a bunch of extra diapers for baby Max (at Angel’s request) and some waters for them to take on their 75 km bus ride home. 

We had ordered some food for the kids to take with them (their shoeless mother waited at a bus stop in pure darkness) and then helped walk them back to their mother. 

When I came back I was introduced to Brian (who met the little kids while I was off with Angel and apparently was incredibly friendly and kind to them), the owner of the the restaurant. Turns out he’s from New York, as well. And what a great guy. I complemented him on the incredible food and the incredible service. But what everyone reading this needs to know? This place is BEYOND just a restaurant. It is a place of kindness and acceptance, of warmth and immeasurable culinary expertise. Most places would shoo ‘vagabonds’ away and get annoyed with guests who entertained it. They see it as a nuisance, a scourge that gets in the way of good business. But Brian and Gilberto showed that good food is not exclusive of warmth and love and kindness. A true dining experience comes from the heart. Brian (owner and exquisite chef) and Gilberto (cook and amazing temporary waiter) go far and beyond. The food was amazing, the people were amazing. But, most of all, the SOUL was amazing. May the world be filled with more wonderful people like this. (And, God, please may the world continue to be filled with food as continually amazing, too!)

Amazing meal – Best one this week

Had started out for another restaurant but couldn’t find it. Chose Unico instead and was amazed by the quality and care taken with the food and service. Beer was cold, wine was great and the complimentary appetizer of pickled vegetables and habanero hummus was the lead in to a unexpectedly fine meal. The Shrimp Croquette appetizer was fried to a perfect crispness on the outside and the insides were pillow soft filling and perfectly cooked shrimp. The accompanying red pepper sauce, and salad greens with grape tomatoes only enhanced the croquettes. The Shrimp Stuffed Avocado was no less delicious. A half avocado stuffed with pieces of boiled shrimp in a sauce reminiscent of Thousand Island but leaned more on the side of an aioli. The Caribbean Lobster Ravioli were made with homemade pasta stuffed with a creamy sauce and small chunks of very tasty lobster, served on a green pea puree and a few dollops of a balsamic reduction was excellent. I only managed to snag about 1/4 of a ravioli before a fork wielding wife attacked the back of my hand. Small bite but very tasty none the less. I ordered the Wild Snook and was served up two filet portions of tender juicy fish with a flawlessly crispy skin on top of sautéed asparagus and a squash puree and a balsamic reduction. This was one of the top two or three fish dishes I have ever had, of which I have had many types all over the world. We shared a Beer Bread Pudding (bread made in house) with homemade Tres Leches sauce and candied pistachios. Light and just sweet enough for a great finish to a wonderful meal.

When in Tulum do give Unico a try. Open only 9 months,Chef Bryan is doing some world class cooking. Our waiter Gilberto and the rest of the staff couldn’t be nicer! If you are lucky, you will be graced the presence of “Senior Sugar”, the restaurant cat who took a long siesta curled up by our feet.

Best meal we had in Tulum

My very picky family loved Unico. I was nervous about asking my parents to dine in the pueblo (they’d only just arrived in Akumal). My parents are very particular (and a little freaked out by travel to Mexico), and I’m sure they were a bit put off by the location. But once our waiter arrived with the absolute best margaritas we’ve ever had, they were fine. Sadly, those amazing margaritas totally spoiled us for all future margaritas…

Our server was outstanding (on a night when they were short-staffed), and made good recommendations. We all started with the shrimp croquettes, and agreed that they were unbelievably good. My parents had the lobster ravioli with was very good, though a bit al dente for my sorry suburban palette. I had the seared tuna, which was excellent. My husband had the vegetable lasagna, which was creatively prepared and delicious.

After dinner, the chef, Brian, came out to chat and offer us a complimentary digestif. Very nice young guy, who is clearly working very hard to make Unico the best restaurant in Tulum. I’d have eaten every dinner there, but my parents wanted to try some other places. Bad decision.

My very picky parents took my sister and her husband to dinner at Unico two nights later. While my parents didn’t love the sea bass (too fishy), they were very impressed overall, and also plan on returning when we’re next in Tulum. My sister and her husband are foodies, and they had nothing but praise for Unico.

Definitely the best meal I have ever had in Tulum. I can’t wait to return.

Gourmet flavors cooked with passion

Went for a very early dinner/birthday celebration. We were looking forward to trying the much raved over sea bass, but chef Brian advised no bass was available (luck of the catch). Undaunted we ordered instead the ribeye, tuna special, and lobster ravioli. For starters we also had mussels and the octopus. Every dish was beautifully seasoned with sauces perfectly complementing the main protein. Personally I had the ribeye with mushrooms and a wine reduction and it was unquestionably the finest steak I have ever had. 

Desserts were also stellar with bread pudding and pecan pie.

Do yourself a favor and go to see chef Brian…he is a truly inspired culinary expert and you can taste the love he puts into every dish!!!

Outstanding dinner

10 of us went for dinner this past week. We had an absolutely superb dining experience from appetizers to desert …drinks were also great. Don’t be deceived by the location…. Well worth it , reasonable prices and great service…

Delicious food and friendly staff

Even if the location was not the best, it is worth going! The food was delicious, the best was the cheese cake. The waiter was really friendly, he even gave us some ideas of places to visit nearby. It is a pitty that we live too far away from Tulum and we can’t go more often!

Truly Unico

Having dined at Unico a number of times and at a number of other high end Tulum restaurants. We found Unico to deliver very fine meals at “reasonable prices”. The cuisine is truly unique and creative, the pasta-less lasagna is very intriguing, using zucchini instead of pasta, the dish is excellent. Other pasta dishes are also very well prepared. Though the ribeye steak was very well prepared (medium rare), I found it too large and thin, better perhaps Unico should consider adding a nice small and thick NY. The desserts are great, the wine list short but adequate.

The service is impeccable and friendly without obsequiousness. We will certainly dine at Unico on our next trip to Tulum.

And Oh Yeahh, they do have coffee/expresso to enjoy after the meal unlike Pretentious Hartwood, where we were informed that it was too hot in Tulum to drink coffee, Imagine That!!

Incredible food, Amazing service, highly recommeded!!

Came here with a date, was immediately seated. The server gave us recommendations on drinks, the margarita and daiquiris were delicious (real fruit). Complimentary chipotle dip and bread was awesome, got the fried goat cheese balls(40 pesos) for an appetizer they were incredible! For our entrees we got the Lobster ravioli(200 pesos) and chicken breast (180 pesos) which were both excellent again, after our meal were offered a shot of a digestive liquor on the house. The server was awesome, and the chef even came out to check on us twice throughout the meal, great service! More expensive meal, but absolutely worth it. Would recommend for any one visiting Tulum, overall a amazing meal, and the best we had both had in Tulum so far!!