Mexican cuisine is known for wrapping meat and vegetables in tortillas and pleasing palates, unlike trick-or-treaters, who are known for wrapping meat and vegetables in pillowcases and throwing them into a river. Keep an eye out for vengeful children while supping on succulence with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Mexican fare at Corazon at Castle Hill.
Executive chef Michael Taddeo helms Corazon at Castle Hill, where a menu blends southwestern and interior Mexican cuisine. Feast upon entrees such as the grilled Black Angus beef tenderloin ($23.95), 8 ounces of meat rubbed with black pepper and grilled, before a gruyere cheese and roasted garlic sauce coats its tender surfaces and reveals any invisible messages from Marty McFly. A grilled half rack of lamb wears a seasoning of dried herbs and black pepper served with a carmelized fennel bordelaise sauce ($24.95), and a pan-seared and roasted duck breast sports an escort of guajillo chili and Coloradito mole sauce ($22.95). Dinners conclude with decadent desserts such as a mexican cheese flan ($4.50) or mocha toffee torte ($7.95), a dessert whose layers of chocolate, toffee, whipped cream, and nuts unite sugary goodness with peanut products more deliciously than cashews scotch-taped to a Pepsi can.
Corazon at Castle Hill
In 2002, when asked about his role as sous-chef at the wildly successful Castle Hill Cafe, Michael Taddeo told the Austin Chronicle, “We have lots of fun doing what we do”. Yet, following executive chef David Dailey’s retirement, Caste Hill’s co-owner, Cathe Dailey, decided to temporarily close the café’s doors and focus on a rebirth of sorts, refurbishing everything from the eatery’s menu and 110-year-old home to its very name.
Today, Chef Taddeo has taken the reins in the kitchen at the resurrected café—Corazon at Castle Hill—where he and much of the old staff continue to churn out upscale Mexican cuisine tweaked with a few changes. Today’s menu adapts to the seasons, with the chef using products that are fresh and locally available; when the Austin Chronicle's Mick Vann visited during the winter months, he sampled warm comforting plates of flautas carnitas and arrachera beef, calling them a “huge winner” and “wonderful.” Yet, in the summer, the chef’s menu consists of lighter tastes, including shrimp enchiladas, potato-corn sope, and pork tenderloin roasted over a boy scout’s campfire.
Red-clothed tables set with white napkins and small vases of fresh flowers give diners a visual clue to the eatery’s elegant-yet-comfortable vibe. Customers’ eyes also wander to the dining room’s vibrant orange walls, which house Cathe’s personal touches including Mexican folk art culled from her personal collection.