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Carlos Gaytán Applies His Michelin-Starred Approach to a Mexican Tasting Menu

Check out the pretty dishes at Tales of Carlos Gaytán before it opens in River North

Carlos Gaytán’s new dishes look like art.
| Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago
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.

Carlos Gaytán debuted his fine dining restaurant over the weekend with a special preview dinner joined by two superstar chefs from Mexico. Reps still won’t confirm an opening date for Tales of Carlos Gaytán, the 12-seat restaurant inside Tzuco in River North that will exclusively serve a tasting menu. But it should happen soon, and when it does, Gaytán hopes to redefine the standard for Mexican cuisine served across the U.S.

Chefs Orlando Trejo (right), Jonatán Gómez Luna, and Carlos Gaytán (right) pose at Gaytán’s new restaurant.

Gaytán enjoyed Michelin-starred success at his previous restaurant, Mexique, in West Town where he blended French and Mexican cuisines. Tzuco continued that tradition, and Tales of Carlos Gaytán takes an even more refined approach with elegantly plated dishes in a tasting-menu format. Gaytán mixes artistic invention with a fun, interactive element where diners have to smash shells to reveal hidden treasures like cactus sorbet and stone yogurt in one dish. The truffle dessert reveals vanilla cream, toffee, and ice cream.

The two preview dinners, held Saturday, were sold out for all 24 seats at $225 per person. Gaytán was joined by two friends who cook in Mexico, chefs Orlando Trejo and Jonatán Gómez Luna. They prepared a 12-course meal. The dinner will give Chicagoans insight to what Gaytán wants to accomplish within his fine-dining operation.

This is the last component of a three-pronged restaurant project for Gaytán, which includes Tzuco, bakery/deli Panango, and Tales of Carlos Gaytán. Take a look at a few of the dishes below as staff at Tales of Carlos Gaytán prep for opening day.

Tales of Carlos Gaytán, inside Tzuco, 720 N. State Street, opening soon.

Tartare (venison tartare, huitlacoche crostini, huitlacoche, huitzuco cheese, pickled black trumpet)

Biznaga (cilantro-flavored pineapple, tomatillo marmalade, cactus sorbet, stone yogurt)

Escamoles (blue-corn tortilla, escamoles, epazote, avocado)

Truffle (truffle ice cream, vanilla cream, toffee)


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