Oyamel combines Mexico's rich regional diversity with the modern urban atmosphere of Mexico City. The liveliness of the dining room is matched by the creativity of the menu and cocktail list, featuring antojitos—Mexican small plates—ceviches and tacos, plus unique margaritas, and an impressive array of wines and tequilas. Originally opened in 2004 in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, Oyamel moved to its current home in the Penn Quarter in March of 2007.
What does oyamel means? Every year, millions of monarch butterflies leave their homes in the US and Canada and migrate south to spend their winter in the mountains of Michoacán. The butterflies seek refuge in the oyamel tree, considered a sacred fir native to central Mexico. The forest appears to be draped in gold thanks to the thousands of butterflies covering the trees. Adding to the otherworldly quality of the place is the "shhhhhh" sound from the butterflies flapping their wings to stay warm. The locals welcome back the returning butterflies, which, because they appear about the time of Day of the Dead, they believe bear the spirits of their departed.
About Jose Andres
A native of Spain, José Andrés is chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup, and with partner Rob Wilder, is the team responsible for popular dining destinations in Washington DC, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Miami and soon Puerto Rico. ThinkFoodGroup oversees all of José's creative endeavors such as cookbooks, television programming, concept consulting and project development. José was named Outstanding Chef of the Year at the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards and was named among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2012. Recently he was named Dean of the Spanish Studies program at the International Culinary Center.