Agave nectar is known as “tequila” to bartenders and “the best way to relax after a long day of pollinating” to bumblebees. Sample potent sips with today’s Groupon: for $39, you get a Mexican meal for two with a tequila tasting (up to an $80.85 total value) at Patron’s Hacienda in River North. The meal for two includes:
- One guacamole (a $6.95 value).
- Two entrees (up to an $18.95 value each).
- Two tequila flights (an $18 value each) that include three half-ounce pours of the customer’s choice of tequila, served with a shot of sangria and lime.<p>
This welcoming sports cantina and Mexican steak house doles out a menu packed with authentic Mexican dishes crafted from family recipes, complemented by more than 56 varieties of tequila from the brimming bar. Duos conduct tortilla-chip excavations into a starter of pico de gallo-topped guacamole, hand mashed to order. Entrees invite bites with selections such as huaraches ($7.95), cornmeal-dough pizzas bedecked with meat and beans and crisply griddled, or the tongue-igniting a la diabla tilapia ($12.95) sporting spicy habanero red sauce. A flight of tequila, accompanied by a shot of sangria and a slice of lime, wets customers’ whistles with a trio of personally selected agave-alcohols. A shot of un-aged Casa Noble crystal ($9/oz.) kisses buds with hints of pepper and pine and the rare, 11-month-aged Chinaco resporado ($10/oz.) leaves the palate fruity notes and spicy gossip from the past weekend.
Patron’s high-vaulted ceilings and exposed-brick accents provide contrast to the vibrantly colored walls, nature-inspired murals, and red lighting fixtures splashed across the spacious bar and dining room. Near the fully stocked bar, a cluster of flat-screen TVs broadcasts sports to score-hungry diners at nearby tables, and the rear of the restaurant holds wooden booths illuminated by a wrought-iron chandelier and teams of industrious scribes.
The epicurean connoisseurs at Patron’s Hacienda ply palates with tender steaks, traditional Mexican entrees such as enchiladas and tamales, and 56 varieties of tequila. Hand-mashed guac slips onto tortilla chips as diners choose from half a dozen steaks weighing in at 10–20 ounces. Sauces such as the spicy habanero and veracruzana salsa dazzle tongues, especially when poured into the breathing tubes of snorkelers, and ambrosial waves of butter and lime juice conceal sautéed tilapia or jumbo shrimp. Fruit freshly wrung yields juice for the margaritas that fuel salsa dancers’ footwork on Monday nights, and the dining room’s 18 55-inch plasma televisions flicker with NFL games.