Punctuated by festive colors, a plentiful bar, and ample outdoor seating, La Chimenea's two locations put diners in the mood to celebrate. Owner Hector Jimenez—who also has a website dedicated to healthy Mexican food—offers dishes that run the gamut of Mexican staples. Menu items include homemade guacamole and sirloin-steak fajitas, along with more innovative creations, such as the specialty chilies en Nogada, which fills two poblano peppers with ground beef, peaches, apples, and nuts before slathering it all in a creamy cashew sauce. At the bar, a variety of tequilas anoint lime, strawberry, or raspberry margaritas, and patio seating keeps the seasons at bay with a fire pit during the winter months and a restaurant-sized snow globe over the summer.
With its half-timber historical façade, Arriba Mexican Restaurant & Lounge wouldn’t be out of place in an Alpine ski village. But step inside and the space practically glows with south-of-the-border charm: walls are swathed in warm magenta and yellow hues, and the original tin ceilings are gilded in gold.
The pleasant incongruity extends to Arriba’s menu, which landed the eatery the No. 10 spot on CityVoter's 2011 list of best Mexican restaurants. Traditional Mexican cuisine, such as shrimp fajitas and deep-fried chimichangas stuffed with housemade chorizo, takes center stage, but the restaurant also hosts Friday fish fries and serves thick burgers piled with southwestern toppings such as chorizo and guacamole.
Arriba's adjacent lounge hosts live music, potlucks, and open mics. Here, guests can sip libations from a vast drink menu that features 18 varieties of tequila, seven flavored martinis, and precisely one flavor of water.
Beneath the glow of warm lights, Casa Tequila delights taste buds with the vivacious flavors of authentic Mexican dishes. Chefs draw on fresh ingredients and produce exclusively, ensuring that every dish is free of packaged sauces and Lincoln Logs. Sauciers prepare guacamole before tables, and the restaurant's many flat screen TVs fill the space between bites with UW Badger and Green Bay Packer games. A full bar, replete with imported beer, margaritas, and daily specials, keeps spirits merry and coasters employed.
In a sleek, modern space, alternating red and brown walls provide a bold backdrop to pastel-yellow seats and hanging teardrop-shaped ceiling lamps as Anton's Salon & MSpa's talented staff greets customers. Looks are transformed and bodies receive potent doses of relaxation via a full slate of services, including haircuts, massages, makeup applications, laser hair reduction, and Botox injections. Stylists happily snip off 9 inches of patrons’ ponytails or pet ponies’ tail hair so strands can be donated to Locks of Love before offering a trendy haircut free of charge. Additionally, the team of trained professionals helps churn out tomorrow’s beauty pros in Anton’s Academy, which features an apprentice program and workshops.
Senor Sol's chili-slinging chefs dish up an artful menu of fiery flavors inspired by the cuisine of Zacatecas, Mexico. Warm masa, succulent meats, and fresh vegetables join forces to form edible entrees, such as the enchilada de mole, a trio of meat- and anjeo cheese-filled tortillas, basking in a homemade mole poblano sauce ($10.50). Urban ranch hands can tame wild tummies with the bistec rajas con queso, a sizzling dish of steak strips buddied up with poblano peppers and onions, then drenched in anejo cheese ($14.50). Meanwhile, the notorious chilis rellenos find their favorite hideout in mouth caves, pouring out their loot from inside fried poblano casings covered in ranchero sauce ($10.75).
La Parihuela's kitchen team guides diners on a tour of the diverse taste terrains of Peru with a mouthwatering menu of national dishes. A squad of nibblers can warm up jaw muscles with selections of appetizers, such as the fish ceviche, where fish stews in lime juice and guilt over not spending enough time with its guppies. Navigate spoons through the piquant waters of the parihuela, in which an assortment of fish, crab, and mollusks leave dinners with enough shells to fashion a stylish maritime necklace. After appetizers, guests turn the pages of the menu to uncover thrilling entree conclusions to their meal, such as the lomo saltado, where french fry and rice conspirators accompany strips of tenderloin steak or chicken, or the paella, where fresh seafood bodysurfs across a crowd of rice and cilantro.