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Former Dinner Lab Chef Going Modern Mexican in Old-School Pilsen

Expect Anomar to open in October from Daniel Espinoza

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Chef Daniel Espinoza is opening a restaurant in Pilsen.
Chef Daniel Espinoza is opening a restaurant in Pilsen.
Spencer Pernikoff
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Chef Daniel Espinoza has served his brand of modern Mexican cuisine in cities across the country for years via Dinner Lab, the pop-up start-up that ceased in April. Espinoza has rebounded and he’s now preparing to open a restaurant in Pilsen. Chicago reported that Espinoza will open Anomar in late October.

Espinoza, who also worked at Mexique, hasn’t shared the exact address of the restaurant, but he told Chicago there will be 20 seats on the ground floor and another 40 upstairs. Anomar, Chicago noted, spells the name of Espinoza’s grandmother backward. For an idea of what to expect, check out the menu from past pop-ups. Espinoza has served items including enfrijoladas (tortilla, pinto beans, queso fresco, marinated cucumber), cochinita rillette (mango habanero, red onion relish, petite green salad) and carne asada (pico de gallo, grilled onion, tortilla puree, salsa negra).

What this means for Antidote, the upcoming River North restaurant where Espinoza was to be in charge, is unclear. A Humboldt Park native, Espinoza two years ago told Chicagoist that his goal is to become a Michelin-starred chef. And thus, the bar has been set high for Anomar.