What’s a mole? There’s so many definitions to choose from! Am I talking about the small hairless mammal that bothers many gardeners? Maybe I’m referring to the skin lesion that each and every one of us has somewhere on their body. Perhaps it’s the number of particles found in 12.000 grams of carbon-12, which is roughly 6.02×1023, or more commonly called Avogadro’s Number. No, I’m talking about the much more appetizing Mole, pronounced MOH-lay, which is Mexico’s national dish.
Many gringos think that chocolate is the main ingredient that defines a mole, but there are actually over 40 different forms of the sauce, and some of them don’t even include chocolate! Chocolate often gets the attention, but its flavor should never dominate. A properly prepared mole takes hours – sometimes even days – to create, with as many as 30 individual ingredients prepped in different ways. The ingredients are all ground together into a powder or paste. In the final product, the sauce doesn’t taste like chocolate, or chili, or garlic, or cinnamon, it tastes like… mole .
My friends and I recently visited de Mole in Williamsburg, a family-owned and operated Mexican restaurant with a storied mole recipe, which is their namesake, that has been passed down from generation to generation, taking 3 days to make using 26 different ingredients!
We started off with a Roasted Beet Salad (apple, Candied pumpkin Seeds, orange, baby greens, Requeson & Tamarind-Balsamic glaze) and Kale “Caesar” Salad (green apple, Sundry cranberries, corn bread, croutons and Parmesan Cheese). Both were fantastic, and the homemade corn bread was delicious!
To follow we ordered Chicken Taquitos, Cocktail de Camarones, and Ceviche de Veracruz. The taquitos were great, but the ceviche stole the show. Their ceviche is simply out-of-this-world. We had both the fish and sea scallop versions, poached in fresh lime juice (Veracruz style), with onion, tomato, jalapeño, avocado, cucumber, cilantro and Olive oil. OMG – it you’re a fan of ceviche you need to get down here, Pronto!
No Mexican feast is complete without mole so we tried their signature Pollo con Mole Poblano, slow cooked chicken leg with red rice, beans, mole sauce, sesame seeds, and corn tortillas. The sauce was amazing. I’d like to just order a quart of sauce to take home. Can I do that?
We ended with a piece of Tres Leches cake and a bit of Vanilla Sponge cake, and a delicious espresso. If I lived closer I’d be here every night for dinner. Terrific food at a good price, de Mole is definitely worth the visit!
– Michael Riegelman
de Mole locations:
de Mole Williamsburg
2 Hope Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
between Roebling & Havemeyer Streets
de Mole Queens
4502 48th Avenue
Woodside (Queens), NY 11377
between 45th & 46th Street
Photos via de Mole and by Socially Superlative