Zocalo Restaurant and Tequila Bar
Tue. July 8, 2008 12:00 AM
by Caroline Ahn
Zocalo is River North's new hot spot for authentic Mexican fare, tequila and Latin music.
Atmosphere : Zocalo's atmosphere is fun, vibrant and colorful with a modern rustic twist. This restaurant is a great place for after-work cocktails or an authentic Mexican dinner downtown. With natural wood accents, earth-toned decor and soft candlelight, the space is warm and inviting. The bar area showcases several different bottles of tequila that makes for a decorative presentation. For those who are dining during later hours, the restaurant dims their lights to create a romantic atmosphere. Tables are well-separated to allow for a sense of intimacy. The restaurant also features live Latin music Friday and Saturday evenings.
Eats : The menu features traditional Mexican fare with modern influences. Start with their Trio di Guacamole, three different types of guacamole served with three different types of tortilla chips. The Seafood Ceviche includes generous portions of scallops, crab meat and shrimp with a spicy kick. Entree highlights include slow-cooked meats that are tender and full of flavor. The Carne Asada Nortena is a tequila marinated skirt steak that packs a spicy punch. Served with roasted poblano strips in a tomatillo salsa, it will surely leave carnivores satisfied.
The Tacos de Pescado is a dish of three mini tacos, filled with adobo-mayo rubbed grilled tilapia. It is accompanied by roasted seasonal vegetables and a delicious Mexican white rice to balance out all the flavors.
Drinks : Zocalo offers more than 120 different types of tequila, all made with 100 percent Blue Agave. The drink menu features different types of margaritas, mojitos and beers. The Tropical Margarita, Coconut Mojito and Horchata are sweet, delicious and great warm ups to the rest of the menu. For diners who are feeling adventurous, La Republica Mexicana is a flight of five different tequila varieties.
Service : The staff at Zocalo are attentive and knowledgeable of the menu. Servers were willing to offer suggestions on menu items based on preferences and tastes. Dishes come out promptly and diners are never rushed.
Dress : Casual or Business Casual