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 fare at Cilantro Bar and Grill.
Featured in Madison Magazine, Cilantro Bar and Grill’s Rick Bayless–trained culinary crew forges contemporary Mexican dishes from locally sourced meats and fresh ingredients. Vessels of queso fundido brim with melted chihuahua cheese, roasted poblano peppers, onions, and chorizo ready to drown handmade tortillas in a creamy, cheesy flood ($8), much like the rogue waves of pepper jack that often capsize whaling vessels. Alternate starters, such as the oven-baked empanadas de chilorio ($9), prep palates for carne asada con salsa de cascabel tomatillo—beef slathered with a red-chili rub ($22).
Classic corn enchiladas overflow with shredded chicken and a sauce made of dried red chilies, spices, and nuts ($18). Cilantro also uncorks and serves glasses of house wine for dinner guests to sip, swirl, slurp, and toss at supporting actors during rehearsals for upcoming daytime TV roles. From its stained-glass fixtures to its orange walls and well-lit paintings, Cilantro radiates south-of-the-border ambiance.
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.