Ivan López, head chef and owner of Casa Piquin, dishes up modern Mexican cuisine that fuses techniques he honed in French kitchens with authentic flavors he learned to weave as a chef in Mexico. Ivan ensures the freshness of his vegetables by purchasing them himself before crafting colorful salsas and sautéed fajita bell peppers worthy of being served in an eatery whose name means "House of Peppers." Signature molcajetes—traditional hot lava-rock bowls—cradle marinated and grilled mixed vegetables, meats, and seafood, and traditional dishes are sauced in a choice of five salsas, from a rich, sweet salsa mole made with dried peppers to a piping salsa arbol that lights mouths aflame so molars can lead campfire sing-alongs. Pitchers of sangria cool down mouths, as does flambé-fried ice cream, which is torched tableside.
Tortilla Sunrise’s gastro gurus imbue succulent meats and fresh vegetables with authentic south-of-the-border flair to create a menu of Mexican favorites. Feasting duos and foursomes can race to solve Pythagorean’s theorem with a basket of right-angled, homemade tortilla chips dunked in fresh red salsa and delivered straight to their door. Succulent cuts of beef, chicken, or lamb mix with a garden of fajita peppers and onions to allay stomach abandonment issues, and a cheesy plate of three enchiladas arrives stuffed with beef, chicken, pork, chorizo, or vegetables, and doused in the chef’s signature sauce. In addition to delivery, patrons can also place an order and carry out their fare on the way back from work or a peace-treaty signing that ran late.
Underneath Mexican Mike's festive, cactus-bearing rooftop, servers deliver a menu of fresh Mexican-American cuisine. The four soft corn tortillas served with Mom's enchiladas ($8.25–$11) embrace heaps of oaxaca cheese and a choice of meat, vegetables, or fish before being smothered in house-made sauce and secret butterfly kisses. The Diablo tequila-chicken burrito ($9) unites spicy vegetables with a tequila sauce to create a tongue-intoxicating bundle that's aptly washed down with margaritas fashioned from Mike's mixes and customers' tequila (BYOB). Competitive stomachs can take on the Papa Grande burrito challenge, requiring them to consume a pair of rice-, bean-, and spicy chicken-tinga-filled tortillas in less than 15 minutes, using no more than six wisdom teeth to chew. Mexican Mike's delivers its eats to designated nearby towns—Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Montclair, North Caldwell, Pinebrook, Roseland, Verona, and West Caldwell—and customers can recognize their approaching food by its trusty chaperone, a 1988 lime-green Reliant, topped by a brave sombrero hat. This Groupon does not cover delivery fees.
Monsignor’s has a fondness for crafting quality Italian entrees such as sausage and peppers over pasta and eggplant stuffed with ricotta. However, the menu also saves room for Spanish-inspired meals: flour tortillas envelop quesadillas, and sautéed meats bulk up burritos. Diners can take their meals inside the bistro-style cafe, or head out to a garden decked with grape and fig trees and birdbaths that bubble over with vinaigrette for robins with sophisticated palates.