De Mole is a family-owned and operated Mexican restaurant with a storied mole recipe, which is their namesake, and has been passed down from generation to generation, taking three days to make using 26 different ingredients. Celebrating their first anniversary this June at their Williamsburg, Brooklyn, location, the restaurant is led by Executive Chef/Co-Owner Jose Luis Flores, who was mentored by James Beard awarded Chef Douglas Rodriguez and Chef Richard Sandoval, who received two stars in the New York Times for Maya. Together with the help of his son General Manager Daniel Flores, Chef de Cuisine Ruth Nunez, his sister Mireya Mendez Co-Founder and brother-in-law Chef Ramiro Mendez, the team craft a premier authentic Mexican menu using time-honored family recipes.
Jose Luis Flores has been in the culinary world for almost two decades. He started his journey working with his grandmother in their kitchen in Mexico City, where he caught the cooking bug. From there he worked his way up, moving to Manhattan and beginning at China Grill. He soon attended a dinner and had a chance encounter with Chef Douglas Rodriguez at his then popular Latin restaurant Patria. Rodriguez took him under his wing and over the course of 12 years he was appointed the Corporate Executive Chef & Pastry Chef for Patria in New York, Alma de Cuba in Philadelphia, Deseo in Scottsdale, Ola Miami and D Rodriguez Cuba in Miami.
After his stint with Rodriguez, Flores went on to be the Regional Executive Chef working under Chef Richard Sandoval, traveling to Mexico several times a year to develop new recipes for Zengo, Maya New York and Pampano. Flores is also the author of Dulce: Desserts in the Latin American Tradition, a cookbook that gives readers a look inside the unknown Latin-American dessert world.
For de Mole, Chef Flores has appointed Ruth Nunez as Chef de Cuisine, who worked under him at the popular Zengo.
The menu at de Mole kicks things off with an array of appetizers featuring a fresh and zesty Ceviche de Veracruz with either sea scallop or mahi-mahi with special offerings like red snapper depending on what the Chef can find at the local fish market, all poached in fresh lime juice with onion, tomato, jalapeno, avocado, cucumber; Queso Fundido with house blend of melted cheese and a choice of chorizo or wild mushroom, served with flour tortillas; and the “de Mole” nachos with house made corn chips, black beans, cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo and sour cream for the ultimate dipping experience.
The menu highlights a range of tacos with choices such as Carne Asada, grilled skirt steak, Al Pastor, Achiote marinated pork with grilled pineapple, and Baja, crispy beer battered mahi-mahi with mango habanero. Burritos include options like Pollo con Mole Poblano, grilled chicken with mole poblano and sesame seeds, and Camarones, sautéed shrimp with vegetables and cilantro. Enchiladas like the Enchiladas Rojas con Pollo are also featured, which come in a corn tortilla with Guajillo Chile sauce, rice, beans, onion, cilantro, queso blanco and sour cream.
Platos Principales spotlights include the Pan Sautéed Salmon, served with jasmine rice, esquites and their signature mole poblano; Pollo con Mole Poblano, a slow cooked chicken leg with red rice, beans, sesame seeds, and served with corn tortillas; and Tinga de Puebla, a beef brisket stew with red rice, beans, avocado, queso blanco and corn tortillas.
Executive Chef Flores also showcases a number of limited quantity rotating specialty dishes like a beautiful regional dish from the eastern coast of Mexico with their octopus salad that is slow cooked and glazed with tamarin-pasilla sauce; an ancient inspired dish similar to an Ossobuco, which is braised with pibil, a sauce made with achiote and dry peppers, using a cooking technique dating back to the Mayans, and served over a bed of pinto beans; and a tender pork belly guacamole.
Vegetarian and vegan plate options include Seitan Fajita with mixed vegetables, garlic spinach, red rice, guacamole and tofu sour cream, served with flour tortillas; Enchiladas Verdes con Espinaca, sautéed spinach in a corn tortilla with rice, beans, onion, cilantro, queso blanco, sour cream and green tomatillo sauce; and the Nopales Burrito with grilled cactus, red rice, beans, cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo with tomatillo sauce.
Dessert is a must with recipes from Flores’ cookbook with classic choices such as the Coconut Flan, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside homemade churros with chocolate dipping sauce and a not-to-be-missed Tres Leches cake with bananas and strawberries.
Breakfast and Brunch is also served at de Mole featuring a variety of egg dishes like “de Mole” Benedict, tequila cured salmon with lemon kale, corn bread, mixed green salad and hollandaise sauce; Ahogados – Baked Eggs with spinach, cheese and spicy tomato sauce on sour dough bread; Avocado Toast, sour dough with poached eggs, lemon, chipotle and mixed greens.
The menu also includes pancakes with assorted toppings such as agave nectar, apple compote, Cajeta (Mexican caramel sauce) and Whipped Requeson, a Mexican style ricotta.
Tortas with options such as Milanesa de Pollo and Chorizo con Huevo, all served with refried beans, avocado, cheese, and homemade pickle jalapenos. Guests can indulge in other dishes like Unusual Twin Beef Burger, a classic hamburger with pickled cucumber, a chorizo slider, provolone and served with home fries.
Drinks: Bartender Felix Penaloza, who got his start at La Esquina, has curated a selection of Mexican takes on classic cocktails. Spotlights include the El Anticuado, a mezcal old fashion with Montelobos mezcal, Hornitos Reposado, charred orange, angostura and orange bitters; Oaxacan Mule with Yuu Bal Espadin Mezcal, lime and Thomas Henry ginger beer; and Blood and Popocatepetl, paying homage to the Mexican volcano made with Wahaka Espadin mezcal, blood orange, sweet vermouth and Luxardo maraschino cherries. The bar also includes a curated list of tequilas, including one on draft for margaritas, as well as a diverse mezcal selection.
The space was designed to create an essence of Mexico with little touches found throughout the space. Wooden tables and chairs are scattered through the restaurant with a long bar placed at the center and black clay lamps from Oaxaca are hung above. The family helped to build almost everything found in the restaurant and all of the plate ware including the coffee cups are from Mexico and made by Mexican artist Javier Servin.