NUNN IN THE OVEN
Feliz Año Nuevo para Barrio
Sun. December 11, 2022 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn
Bienvenido a Barrio, 65 West Kinzie Street, an upscale Mexican restaurant located in the River North area of Chicago after opening in 2017. Presented by the team of DineAmic Hospitality, who show they know what they are doing in terms of presentation and execution of a vision.
Barrio translates in English to a neighborhood and this place encourages a sense of community. The dark lighting, cozy booths and televisions mounted to the walls have created a casual atmosphere in a modern and hip setting.
Start off by falling into autumn with a seasonal serving of guacamole containing squash, apple, pomegranate and bacon. One pleasant surprise on the small plate menu was the incredible, cornbread that only grew in flavor with each bite thanks to a mix of roasted poblano chiles.
One unpleasant surprise that followed that course was the alcohol found in my drink when I asked for a mocktail. The server was stuck in the middle as the bartender added liquor to the beverage by accident. The two quickly rectified the situation and we moved on to the taco selections.
There is quite a range of choices in the taco category at Barrio with everything from octopus to jackfruit. The ancho-marinated shrimp tacos were served in blue tortillas and packed with crunch thanks to the cabbage and carrot slaw.
The adobo fried rice was suggested by our server and we were so glad he mentioned it. The pork carnitas were perfectly cooked and the egg on top was a smart addition to the dish. One suggestion is to have tortillas accompany this entree for guests to make their own tacos along the way.
Saving the best for last, the housemade dessert options were to die for. The heavenly cinnamon churro bites were served with three sauces, chocolate fudge, vanilla creme and dulce de leche.
Speaking of leche, the chocolate tres leches cake is everything one can imagine with a spongy light cake topped with chocolate and whipped cream. Wash it down with a coffee or ginger mint paloma and feel like you just took a trip to Mexico.
Bravo to Barrio for cultivating an environment full of fun and festivities. Throughout the year their programming has included fitness classes and indoor yoga groups.
During the warm months, the outdoor party patio comes to life with pitchers of margaritas and margarita flights. Every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. a bottomless brunch that includes Blood Marias is planned for $35 per person.
Celebrate New Year's Eve with a grand fiesta including fire dancers, margarita towers, and champagne toasts while a DJ spins tunes to bring in 2023. Book your reservation rapido at BarrioChicago.com or by calling 312-940-9900.