Outside the weather may be frightful, but inside Ixcateco Grill it’s delightful! Chef/Owner Anselmo Ramirez has created five delicious new dishes that honor the authenticity of delicious central and southwestern Mexican cuisine for his popular restaurant, Ixcateco Grill.
Ixcateco Grill is an intimate casual Mexican restaurant featuring authentically prepared dishes from the central and southwestern regions of Mexico. BYOB is encouraged. The restaurant is located at 3402 W. Montrose in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood.
The restaurant opened in 2016 and is still going strong with a brand new fall/winter menu available. New appetizers are the Ensalata de la Casa featuring cherry tomatoes, almonds, and the Cinco Queso with a crispy corn tortilla in a lemon dressing over a bed of mixed greens ($7). In addition, the Queso Fundido, comes melted with Chihuahua cheese, sautéed vegetables or wood grilled chicken, poblano rajas and molcajete sauce ($9).
The new main dishes include the Salmon en Crema, wood grilled salmon in a tomatillo cream sauce over white rice, plantains and microgreens ($19); and the Pozole de Camarones, wood grilled shrimp in a hominy stew with crab, cabbage, radishes and oregano ($20). For mole lovers seeking something warm and zesty, the New York Strip a la Mexicana, wood grilled New York Strip Steak in a mole agostadero sauce with chunky garlic mashed potatoes, dried fruit and garnished with sesame seeds ($23), which will more than satisfy that craving.
These dishes round out Ixcateco Grill’s menu, which still includes crowd favorites Pollo en Mole Negro, roasted chicken served in black mole, accompanied by chunky garlic mashed potatoes ($17), and the Carne Asada, adobo marinated wood grilled skirt steak served with a tomato Molcajete sauce, black beans and guacamole ($18).
When eating at Ixcateco Grill, I simply loved the simplicity of the culinary deliciousness it offered. My friend and I are both vegetarians, so we could not give opinions on the meat dishes, but we ate a marvelous meatless meal! While feasting on our wonderful dinner, we took in the walls of the restaurant, which were decorated with bright and colorful paintings of animals and mythical creatures, created by one of the restaurant servers.
We started out with a smooth and creamy flavorful guacamole appetizer (avocado, garlic, lime, onion, radish) with fresh, warm tortilla chips.
Our entrees were even more impressive. I ordered the vegetarian enchiladas with sautéed vegetables, tomatillo sauce, melted chihuahua cheese, black beans and microgreens. The different flavors and textures were all harmonious together. My friend had a dish that was not offered on the menu: a stuffed poblano pepper with a green vegetable medley, black beans and tomato salsa. He could not get enough of the salsa, but he felt that the vegetables in the pepper were bland, and could have used some additional seasoning.
The crown jewel of the evening was of course dessert: a melt-in-your-mouth tres leches cake soaked with a sinful cream, luscious yet light and fluffy icing, and flecked with pomegranate seeds and a chocolate plate garnish. I could not recall the last time I had consumed such a perfect piece of confection!
Ixcateco Grill is simple, casual, yet shines and stands out among other restaurants: its food, atmosphere, and Chef Ramirez’s passion and talent is dedicated to bringing his customers the best of the best. If you’re in Albany Park this winter, do stop by this hidden gem to get warm with its winter menu!
Photos: Jennifer Lunz
Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The restaurant is closed on Mondays.
All major cards are accepted. Reservations are highly recommended.
For reservations, please call the restaurant at 773-539-5887 or visit the website.