Although anthropologists are still unsure what happened to the Mayan civilization, they know for a fact that the Aztecs simply evolved into what we know today as tax accountants. Delve into delicious dividends with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $25 worth of Mexican cuisine and drinks at Zocalo Restaurant and Tequila Bar, located in River North.
Zocalo focuses on authentic recreations of Mexican regional specialties, such as Yucatan-style marinades, fresh seafood and ceviches inspired by the beaches of Acapulco, and traditional Oaxacan moles. Taste all three of the restaurant's signature guacamoles with the trio de guacamole starter, which comes with corn, sweet plantain, and malanga chips for easy shoveling into mouth receptacles ($10). Fishermen nostalgic for maritime meals can sample the ceviche tasting, with citrus-marinated and slightly spiced tilapia, seared bay scallops, and the catch of the day ($15). House specials include the filete en chile pasilla, a grilled T-bone steak with pasilla-chili reduction, roasted potatoes, guacamole, and chihuahua cheese molote ($25), or the tortilla-enveloped tinga de pollo tacos, with shredded chipotle chicken, tomatoes, and onions ($15). Bring a 130-sided die to help choose one of more than 130 varieties of tequilas, made with 100% blue agave and sorted out in a digestible four-chapter menu: blanco, reposado, añejo, and extra añejo (which, translated into English, means more añejo).
A zocalo is a traditional meeting square in Mexican cities. True to the name, Zocalo is a warm and welcoming fine-dining experience where friends and family convene. Dark wood accents and earth-toned walls give the restaurant a rustic yet elegant feel. Though always buzzing with energy, the place is quiet enough to hear your own conversation, so speak kindly in case your spleen overhears you talking about it with your appendix.
Zocalo Restaurant and Tequila Bar
Yucatan–style marinades and Oaxacan moles spice up the contemporary Mexican arrangements at Zocalo Restaurant and Tequila Bar, winner of Citysearch's Best Mexican of 2011 title. Ceviches create visions of an Acapulco beach mysteriously littered with plates of chipotle-marinated chicken breast, grilled jumbo shrimp, and more than 130 bottles of blanco, reposado, añejo, and extra-añejo tequila served straight up or mixed into margaritas, mojitos, and sangrias. In addition to its tequila treasure, the 50-foot bar also guards a trove of Mexican beers and imported wines, which, as is tradition, the waiters ceremoniously juggle before opening. Wood accents and colorful paintings highlight the eatery’s dining area, an interior that Crain's called "stylishly rustic and handsome."