Tzuco

720 N. State St., Chicago, IL, 60654 , River North

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Tzuco

Tzuco - Chicago

As the only Mexican chef to have won a Michelin star, while also gaining an international reputation at Chicago’s Mexique and Riviera Maya’s Restaurant Ha, Chef Carlos Gaytan brings to Tzuco an international reputation for preparing both traditional and innovative dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious. Tzuco is a shortened form for the name of Gaytan’s birth city of Huitzuco, which comes from an ancient Nahuatl word huixochin word that means “plants with abundant thorns”. The interior design reflects the name with eco-conscious theming that is both gorgeous and startling. Dishes at Tzuco include bright ceviches, innovative preparations of shrimp, clams, octopus and snapper, as well as traditional Mexican dishes, such as chicken tinga and carne asada, prepared with fine dining flair.

As the only Mexican chef to have won a Michelin star, while also gaining an international reputation at Chicago’s Mexique and Riviera Maya’s Restaurant Ha, Chef Carlos Gaytan brings to Tzuco an international reputation for preparing both traditional and innovative dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious. Tzuco is a shortened form for the name of Gaytan’s birth city of Huitzuco, which comes from an ancient Nahuatl word huixochin word that means “plants with abundant thorns”. The interior design reflects the name with eco-conscious theming that is both gorgeous and startling. Dishes at Tzuco include bright ceviches, innovative preparations of shrimp, clams, octopus and snapper, as well as traditional Mexican dishes, such as chicken tinga and carne asada, prepared with fine dining flair.

In the kitchen with Gaytan will be Andrew Kim, Chef de Cuisine and formerly of avec, The Dearborn, Acadia, and Takashi. The menu is focused on shareable plates, and there’s a lot of creativity in all of them, some demonstrating Gaytan’s classic union of Mexican and French, like the French onion soup with poblano peppers providing a rich smokiness.

Serving pastries and bread (including a wonderful dark black huitlacoche roll) is Pastry Chef Jesus Escalera, named Latin America’s 2018 Best Pastry Chef on San Pellegrino’s list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. In the spirits department, Mica Rosseau, who placed first in the World Class Mexico competition, will be serving his imaginative and sometimes Latin American-inspired cocktails.

Almost as spectacular as the food is the interior design by Cadena + Associates Concept Design, created in a style they call Primitive Contemporary. There are lots of taupe and chocolate tones, with glass display cases containing fauna like the thorny plants of Gaytan’s homeland, as well as corn silks and husks, and other dried desert plants. The walls are arranged with abstract terra cotta and woven fabrics, making for a dramatic, stunning space. Mexico City-based ATRA From Furniture provides stylish and comfortable tables and chairs, making a dinner at Tzuco a complete experience.

Tzuco is the main restaurant, and the plan is to have a 16-seat high-end spot, Tales of Carlos Gaytan, upstairs of Tzuco, as well as a Mexican bakery, Panango.

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