Can Ixcateco Grill turn Albany Park into a destination dining spot? Chef/owner Anselmo Ramírez hopes so, as the former Rick Bayless disciple opens his own restaurant tonight. At least 40 reservations have already been made for this evening, as Ixcateco generated major buzz over the weekend.
There's a more relaxed atmosphere compared to Topolobampo with bright colors inside the BYO restaurant with a family feel. Ramírez, at times, will be cooking inside a tiny kitchen alongside his daughters. The art on the wall and the restaurant's logo were designed by general manager Antone Jacobs, who Ramírez met while working at Topolobampo.
The tidy menu will change seasonally, and that will give Ramírez a chance to serve some of the items he left off the opening menu. But starting tonight, diners can try wood-grilled entrees such as carne asada and lomo de puerco. Vegetarians have a tasty option thanks to the calabacitas rellenas vegeterianas: Squash stuffed with seasoned veggies, served with a yellow mole, chihuahua cheese and garnished with microgreens. And of course, don't forget the labor-intensive, 20-hour black mole featured in the pollo en mole negro.
Reservations for the 45 seats can only be booked via telephone. Check out the photos above and the menu below.
Ixcateco Grill, 3402 W. Montrose Ave., (773) 539-5887, open tonight at 5 p.m., open for dinner daily at 4 p.m., weekend brunch upcoming.