After visiting Quiote recently, it quickly became one of my favorite new restaurants, where I enjoyed one of the best meals of the year. Stylish and modern, this small-plates Mexican restaurant is an ode to the agave, the flavors of the various regions of Mexico, and the stories of the artisans and producers behind it all. And, if Mezcal is your drink of choice, this place was made for you.
The Logan Square restaurant comprises a basement mezcal bar, a street-food-inspired lunch, and a dinner service with composed modern Mexican plates, effectively making it an all-day dining establishment offering everything from coffee, to tacos, to short ribs, to your favorite late night cocktails.
The decor is minimal and the space simple, allowing the flavors of the food to shine. Steer clear of the cocktails if smoky Mezcal is not your thing, and instead focus on the well-curated wine list. The dining room serves modern Mexican cuisine, complemented by local ingredients and rotating seasonal menus, inspired by the regions of Mexico and their unique flavors, ingredients and dishes.
We started with the Pan y Tostada, featuring buttered and toasted bread from Publican Quality Meats and housemade tostadas, along with a salsa verde and some of the world’s best butter.
The tostada is again featured in the Crab Tostada, served with mustard seed, black lime, hot sauce, and watermelon radish, which was one of the best bites of the evening. The flavors all balanced perfectly against each other.
Avocado Salad, with Brussels sprouts, tomatillo salsa, and quinoa, all lying below a bed of Cotija cheese, was surprisingly light, bright and and flavorful, and perfect for veggie lovers and meat eaters, alike.
The Mexicali Shrimp, effectively two shrimp tacos, with mojo de ajo, sun-dried tomato and jalapeño, was a table favorite and a second was quickly ordered.
The sleeper hit and the favorite amongst the meat eaters was the vegetarian Tamal Oaxaqueno, with mushrooms, salsa morita, and crushed peanuts. The melt-in-your-mouth Short Rib, with green chile caldo, sungold, turnips and radicchio was also enjoyed.
Luckily, despite trying most of the menu, we saved room for the housemade Churro, served warm with Pioncillo ice cream, banana, and chile peanut butter. It was incredible.
I look forward to visiting Quiote again, especially when the menu changes to feature new seasonal ingredients.
Reservations for dinner are highly recommended. Visit during lunch hours for tacos, and on Sunday for a Mexican brunch. The Mezcal Bar is open late night. Everything is closed on Tuesdays.
2456 N. California Avenue, Chicago