by George Culver
The coronavirus pandemic has afforded us extra time to consider things we’d like to do and places we’d liked be – other than the couch. My recent trip to lovely Tulum, Mexico, with friends keeps replaying in my mind. How I would love to hop on a plane and walk through the resort area, visiting open-air shops, bars and restaurants again.
We crammed as much as we could into a week’s time, hitting several places each day. On our must-do list was Hartwood, a restaurant that came highly recommended in our pre-trip research. The restaurant was known to have a month-long waiting list, but we just strolled in around lunchtime and asked if they had anything available that day. We scored an early dinner slot at 5:30.
Hartwood is an open-air restaurant and meals are prepared over a handmade, wood fired grill. You can watch the kitchen crew work their magic as you casually sip on delicious cocktails and local cerveza. The menu is fresh, creative and bright. Appetizers are made from regional fruits and vegetables and are colorfully inviting. Watching magnificently put-together entrees be delivered to neighboring tables made me want to order one of everything. Our server, Hunter, tried to entice us with the largest lobster I’ve ever seen, suggesting we live for the day and order one for the table. We didn’t bite, but we came pretty close.
Our orders included octopus, snapper, and even barbecue ribs. We passed our plates and glasses around – a foreign concept now – and sampled amazing food and drinks in perfect, temperate weather. Thinking about that day at Hartwood makes me excited to return to Mexico, hopefully one day soon.