Gold Coast, Chicago
You had us at Mexican and French.
There are few cuisines that make me happier than Mexican food. So when I caught wind of a spot combining the techniques of French cooking with these flavors I knew I was in for a treat.
The space inside is warm and earthy. The curated decor makes you feel transported. The vibe is rustic with earthen terracotta-colored walls. We sat on their patio which was a little stuffy, since it wasn't fully open air at the time, and the night was warm. It added to the feeling of being somewhere foreign though, and when one has the opportunity to sit on a patio it is pretty hard to complain.
The cocktails were good but the main dishes were what really impressed. I had the Tikin Xic which was marinated mahi-mahi, wrapped in banana leaves with boniato puree and a habanero beurre blanc. The textures and flavors were divine.
We also enjoyed the Pulpo Enamorado (roasted octopus) and the texture on this was fantastic. The Mushroom Cazuela was missing a tiny something that would have elevated to another level for me, but still pretty tasty (the concept was good).
This place had an interesting restroom setup so be sure to see the Loo Review.
Overall it was really nice to see how these two cuisines came together and were married through techniques and concepts. Definitely powered by a creative team of chefs following a unique vision.
Pictured below from right to left on the top row:
Oysters, shiitake, cremini mushrooms, salsa macha, goat cheese, and tortillas.
Tequila, activated charcoal, amargo vallet, fresh grapefruit, lemon, and agave nectar.
Achiote and orange marinated mahi-mahi, wrapped in a banana leaves, boniato purée, habanero beurre blanc, and tomato and avocado salad.
Bottom row, right to left:
Don Julio Reposado and Añejo, Grand Marnier, lime cordial, and gold flakes.
ARROZ CON LECHE
Rice pudding, toasted cinnamon, Rice Krispies, pink peppercorn ice cream.
Guajillo roasted octopus, salsa macha, pickled carrot, pea, potato, and tonnato aioli.
Not pictured, but also enjoyed:
MOLE OLD FASHIONED
Mexican corn whisky, mole syrup, xocolat mole bitters, and chile ash.