Located in north suburban Wilmette is Depot Nuevo, a Latin American-inspired restaurant housed inside one of Wilmette’s most historic buildings which was built in the 1870s. A large wrap-around porch surrounds the front of the restaurant and provides al fresco dining during warmer months. Inside, bright colors and eclectic artwork decorate the walls. In the center of the restaurant sits a bar serving up a large selection of tequila-based cocktails, beer and wine. My sister and brother-in-law will soon be moving to Wilmette, so we took a trip north to check out their soon-to-be ‘hood. After dining at Nuevo Depot, I approve. Good thing they will have an extra bedroom in which to crash after imbibing in some delicious margaritas!
We arrived on a Friday evening without a reservation. We waited only about 20 minutes and enjoyed a cocktail on the enclosed front porch. Once seated, we were greeted with tortilla chips and two different salsas – one green and one blue. While my husband and brother-in-law enjoyed the chips, the layer of grease sitting atop the chips made them completely unappetizing to me.
Fortunately things looked up once we placed our order. To begin, we started with the seviche, with calamari, shrimp, scallops, and vegetables, marinated in lime and cilantro. The flavors were bright, the seafood fresh and tasty, and the portion was quite generous. I would not hesitate to order it again, especially on a warm summer evening.
The shrimp and spinach quesadillas with spicy chipotle crema were just as impressive. The crema offered just the right amount of spice. And, no skimping on the quesadilla fillings here. Ours were chock full of plump shrimp and plenty of fresh spinach. While we shared the quesadillas, this dish would make a perfect entree for lighter appetites, or paired with a salad.
At this point, our chips were then refilled and luckily lacked the grease that permeated the first batch. I happily tried them and yes, they were delicious. They were just crispy enough to withstand the salsa without breaking.
For dinner, my sister and I both elected to go with the pan-roasted tilapia and avocado salad, served over baby greens and romaine with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, jicama relish, and an avocado-cilantro lime vinaigrette. The fish was nicely cooked and the salad components worked perfectly together. I could eat this for dinner every night, guilt free.
Also enjoyed at our table were a selection of tacos, as well as fajitas, served three to an order with either flour or corn tortillas. For the tacos, diners can choose between chipotle shrimp, fish, chicken, barbeque short rib, potato, steak, chorizo, or carnitas. For the fajitas, the choices are shrimp, flank steak, or chicken. All fajitas are served with vegetables, rice, sour cream, and guacamole.
Overall, our meal was very good. Our server was friendly, well-informed, and attentive. Prices are quite reasonable, as well, and portion sizes are generous. Depot Nuevo is great for families, as a kids menu is available, a group of friends, or anyone looking for a great Latin American-inspire meal. Luckily I have a great excuse to return to Wilmette, and to Depot Nuevo.
1139 Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette, IL 60091