Had a really nice time at Mezcalina a couple of weeks ago. Opened last fall in Lakeshore East, next to Mariano’s. We were staying at our friends’ condo overlooking the park out front of the restaurant and didn’t feel like a long walk on a cold and windy Friday evening. Our friend has been several times and is a big fan.
Very cool space with a beautiful stone bar, modern design, and large contemporary Mexican paintings. Some of the friendliest service we have experienced in a long time.
Started with a couple of mezcal margaritas, the Margarita Mezcalina (Mezcal Joven De La Casa, Grand Marnier, lime, salt) and a Pinata (Mezcal Javis Joven, pineapple, lime, chile de árbol) and the excellent chips and three house made salsa’s (red, green, and hot, but delicious, habanero). Both margaritas were excellent, but I preferred the Mezcalina.
Really enjoyed the Memelitas (masa stuffed with refried beans and garnished with queso fresca, and I used some of the table salsas). Quesillo en Hoja Santa was a Oaxacan cheese, baked with hoja santa leaves and a roasted chile morita sauce to be wrapped in house made tortillas. Very filling after all the chips.
My wife had a vegetarian Chile en Nogada (Roasted poblano pepper, nuts, fruits,
almond cream sauce, pomegranate) and served with white rice. Very good. I had the Mixiote de Cordero (Maguey-steamed Colorado lamb shank in a mezcal adobo sauce) served with Oaxacan black beans and tomatillo-avocado salsa. Very satisfying dish on a cold wintery March night.
333 E Benton Pl
Chicago, IL 60601http://www.mezcalina.com