Friday, February 13, 2009

Muelle Tres Ensenada - The Pearl of The Malecón

Sunday I spent a great day absorbing the sites, sounds, and taste of Ensenada. After taking a nice stroll on the boardwalk, I met up with chef-owner Benito Molina and his family at their casual waterfront restaurant.This was my second time at Muelle Tres and I'm still kicking myself for not discovering this gem earlier.

I was still dreaming of some of the dishes I had on my first try, particularly the Almohaditas de camarón. Almohaditas de camarón simply translates to “Pillows of Shrimp”, a delicate pastry like delicacy stuffed with succulent shrimp and cheese.

Muelle Tres - Almohaditas de camarón (Pillows of Shrimp)


I left the ordering up to Benito and I was pleased that he ordered another dish I enjoyed on my first visit, the Mejillones al vapor en 6 chiles. The fresh, meaty, and juicy mussels are served at your table in a steamy pot complimented with tomatillo.

Muelle Tres Ensenada - The Best Mussels ! (Reshoot for Blog)

Muelle Tres Ensenada - The Best Mussels ! (Reshoot for Blog)

The Tiradito de Pescado was a pleasant surprise. Succulent sashimi style buttery soft fish married with chili powder, red wine, olive oil, ginger, rice vinegar and serrano chiles.

Muelle Tres

The local Oysters are so good, they were meant to eat as is

Muelle Tres Oysters

I remember a fantastic Ceviche de Almeja (Clam Ceviche), but after a few good bottles of wine my details are blurred a bit. As with any Benito run establishment, the choice of local Baja wines is great.

Admiring the view from my seat and enjoying great company, great food, and great wine, I don't think theirs anything more I could ask for. The focus here is local seafood and I love Benitos concepts. I can’t thank Benito and family enough for their hospitality and the discussions on food and wine will always be memorable for me. My future visits to Ensenada will not feel complete without dining here.

Muelle Tres View

Muelle Tres is open Wednesday to Sunday from 1 pm. to 6 pm (summer 8pm closing)
and is located on the north end of the board walk next to the mercado negro. Its actually in the same building farm raised mussels are prepared to be shipped to the U.S. and Central Mexico.

Muelle Tres Outside

Ample parking is available at the entrance of Ensenada park just look for the lighthouse landmark.

Muelle Tres Parking Lot


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Anonymous said...

Those pillows of shrimp look amazing !!!
the Cougar Hunter

Anonymous said...

El tiradito de pescado espada me recuerda como sushi! Outstanding pictures!

Anonymous said...

I long for the fish market at Ensenada, and the mariscos. Nice photos- Cmunz Likey!

Anonymous said...

Those Almohaditas de camarón look awesome! They look like a deep fried apple pie but with seafood in them. Bet they were good. Nice blog my man! Keep up the great posts and pictures!

Tim S

Masa Assassin said...

Thanks all, yes indeed the Almohaditas de camarón are awesome. Muelle Tres is a great spot for Mariscos

merrily said...

Possibly the best post yet. Great narrative brought alive by the pictures. Do you have a shot of Benito and yourself?

Maybe you should hire a photographer for these excursions... (cough cough!!)

Masa Assassin said...

Thanks Merrily. I was actually lucky I took any pictures sometimes when I get so into the food I forget to take pictures.

Taking a photographer on these excursions is great idea :)

bajadulces said...

Is this the same Benito who was the chef at Manzanilla? Also, I see that the info on Manzanilla is from 2008. Any new info?

Masa Assassin said...

Bajadulces-Yes its the same Chef from Manzanilla Benito Molina. Manzanilla is better then ever and at a new location Teniente Azueta 139, Across from shipyard. I will be posting a detailed report within the next few weeks (I'm waiting on a new camera).

Meanwhile you can catch a glimpse of it on my youtube video labeled Ensenada Baja California Mexico Gastronomy 2009.


Anonymous said...

We went to Manzanilla on March 7 with a party of eight, arrived at 7, thinking we would be a party of 6, no problem getting a table, the joint was empty. Two more people turned up, no problem as our table seated 8. By around 8 o'clock, there wasn't a vacant seat in the house. Musical background and happy people noise made for a great ambiance.
The food was as we remembered from the old Manzanilla -- amazing. I had duck risotto and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. The duck melted in my mouth, the risotto was done to perfection. Others had different dishes and the reactions were the same.
Service was a bit spotty, as the restaurant was full and there seemed to be only two people serving. However, their attitudes and helpfulness overcame any delays.
The second best part (next to the quality and taste of the food) was the bill: $2850 MN, which, with the exchange rate that day being 15 pesos to the dollar, came out to about $190 US. This was for dinner for 8, desserts all around, two bottles of a great wine and assorted soft drinks.
We are so thrilled that Manzanilla is back and maintaining such high standards.
In the same week, we also went to Muelle Tres and LG; both were incredible. Now we have to stay home and eat frugally for a while!

Masa Assassin said...

Thanks for the report. Im glad you had a great time at Manzanilla, Muelle Tres and La Guerrerense.

You nailed the Manzanilla Experience. In Mexico things usually happen late, most go out for dinner after 8 pm. I love the exciting vibe their also, sometimes I'm eating their after midnight.

The value as you stated is hard to beat. It will be really nice when they finish the dining room. I hope to be reporting on it soon.

Mike said...

I have been to Muelle Tres, twice in the last couple of weeks, the mussels are to die for, I have never had better Mussels, both times I had the mussels, first time prepared in wine and the 2nd time in six chiles. Bring bread to enjoy the juice of the mussels. My wife and sister had the tasting menu and was fablous. Great Place, can't wait to go to Manzanilla.

Masa Assassin said...

Awesome Mike glad you enjoyed, Yes the Mussels at Muelle Tres are hard to beat.

Kathleen said...

Muelle Tres is probably now our favorite restaurant in Ensenada. In fact, we are there again on Wednesday. We love the tasting menu which is in the $270 range. Last time, the tasting menu consisted of a couple of oysters on the half shell, tiradito de Callo (my favorite by far), clam ceviche (a close second for favorites), steamed mussels, french fries (now THESE are good!!!), smoked marlin quesadilla, smoked turn balls, shrimp croquette, clam chowder and a berry mousse for dessert.

We tried Manzanilla on Saturday. Enjoyed it, but we prefer Muelle Tres.

Masa Assassin said...

Hi Kathleen - thanks so much for reporting back, im glad you enjoyed it. Yeah you cant go wrong for 270MN. Muelle tres is one of my favorites in all of Baja. Tiradito de Callo! Yummm you now have me yearning for a return trip.

Michael kienzl said...

What a great post. We have wanted to come to this place ever since it opened. David is one of the owners and he is the brother of the Manzanilla Restaurant in Ensenada. As we knew the Manzanilla we where trying to have lunch at Muelle Tres. Every time we came it was closed. I guess we always came on Mondays one of the days that they are closed. Finally we came on a day they where open and we where not sorry. The food was superb and so was the wine. We could not stay away the next day either and did two days in a row Muelle Tres.
Try it out and you will not be sorry.
Michael Kienzl

Unknown said...

Are reservations recommended for a Saturday night?