Perfect symmetry is often associated with beauty, balance, and scientifically engineered tortillas. Embrace naturally shaped tastes with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Mexican cuisine at Cilantro Bar and Grill.
The Rick Bayless–trained chefs at Cilantro Bar and Grill scratch-make each of their authentic Mexican masterpieces during brunch, lunch, and dinner. Dishes such as the enchiladas suizas—corn tortillas with chicken in a creamy tomato sauce, all topped with chihuahua cheese ($9)—are handy for silencing midday munchies, and starters, such as the sopa de cilantro y calabaza—zucchini and cilantro soup peppered with corn kernels and tortilla strips ($5)—prepare palates for dinnertime feasts. Hearty plates include the carne asada con salsa de cascabel tomatillo—beef slathered with a red-chili rub ($22)—and the pescado a la veracruzana—fish baked in a special sauce hailing from the Mexican state of Veracruz ($17). For liquid love, Cilantro uncaps and serves many Mexican beers and tequilas, and it proudly blends a house specialty mango-cilantro margarita ($8) that's so overtly delicious that it's illegal for minors and bears to consume.
Cilantro's stained-glass fixtures, orange-colored walls, and acrylic paintings radiate the authentic south-of-the-border ambience that eyes everywhere can appreciate. Likewise, because the space plays host to all three of the day's major meals, breakfast guests needn't feel rushed to finish their margaritas.
- The menu's model is common in Mexico City, where classic preparations from all over Mexico are carefully prepared by real chefs working largely from scratch. That means no chips and salsa or burritos. – Adam Powell, A.V. Club
- This is they way Mexican cooking should be. The food and the service were awesome. We had a shrimp dish, two fish dishes one with a green mole and the other with a Veracruz red sauce and a vegetarian dish. All were very tasty. – TK, Citysearch
Cilantro Bar and Grill
Cilantro Bar and Grill’s Rick Bayless–trained chefs forge contemporary cuisine using fresh produce, locally sourced meats, and recipes culled from the families of owners Armando Cristobal and his sister and brother-in-law, Sylvia and Gonzalo de Santiago. The kitchen builds meals from scratch at brunch, lunch, and dinner, sating appetites after brisk strolls around the Capitol or romantic narwhal rides across Lake Mendota. Orange walls complement the colors of game hen en escabeche, whose mashed sweet potatoes balance the savory flavors of an achiote garlic marinade, whereas stained-glass fixtures mimic the vibrant hues of cabernet sangria, hibiscus iced tea, and mango-cilantro margaritas. Diners can sample the cuisine of four different regions of Mexico by ordering the tamales surtidos, a sampler of four cornhusks stuffed with steamed corn masa flour. Cilantro also serves seven types of Mexican beer for guests to sip or toss at supporting actors during rehearsals for upcoming daytime TV roles.