Ixcateco Grill Opens in Albany Park, serving Authentic, Chef-Driven Mexican Street Food in a Casual Neighborhood Setting

For Chicago’s lovers of Mexican food, Chef Anselmo Ramirez is probably one of Chicago’s best under-the-radar Mexican chefs. But if they have dined at such stellar restaurants as Frontera Grill, Topolobampo and Mixteco, they have probably enjoyed his culinary talent, for he has built a long career at these establishments.

The good news is that Ramirez now is striking out on his own and his talents are on display with the launch of his own restaurant, Ixcateco Grill in Albany Park (3402 W. Montrose, Chicago; telephone: 773-539-5887). Opening today, Wednesday, August 5, Ixcateco Grill is a casual neighborhood full service BYO restaurant that presents authentic Southern Mexican cuisine.

Ramirez features dishes made the way they are prepared in Mexico. His specialty is mole—many moles, in fact—and he simmers his magical potions for two days, just as his grandmother did when he was a child. The menu is casual with a delicious touch of sophistication that reflects Ramirez’ experience working for such chefs as Rick Bayless, Tracey Vowell, Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris. He uses fresh, locally sourced organic or sustainably raised ingredients when possible, and he plans to add or adapt menu items regularly to showcase the bounty of the season. Serving as general manager is Antone Jacobs, a veteran of Maxim’s and Frontera Grill.

Ixcateco Grill’s storefront décor is warm, modest and comfortable. Bright colors abound and the dining room is furnished with flexible table seating for 45. As owner of an intimate restaurant, Ramirez will have the privilege of getting to know his guests and making them feel at home. “My restaurant will feel like going home to a great meal,” he said. Ixcateco Grill is located in a well-trafficked neighborhood that has recently seen the emergence of a number of new chef-driven restaurants, much to the delight of local residents. The neighborhood is becoming a destination for food lovers.

Ramirez is a native of Guerrero, Mexico who came to Chicago when he was 12 years old. His father told him that America is a country where he can do what he loves, and he has been pursuing his dreams for more than twenty years. Cooking truly is Ramirez’ passion, and he is on an endless mission to achieve perfection in his cuisine. “Working for Chefs Bayless and Vowell for thirteen years was a culinary education in itself,” said Ramirez. “Chefs Stegner and Bumbaris also taught me many things, including the importance of using the best ingredients possible. That’s why everything at Ixcateco Grill is freshly prepared. I don’t take shortcuts, and hopefully it shows in the quality of food I serve.”

The menu (pricing is preliminary and may change) consists of a varied selection of small plates and larger entrees that. After indulging in fresh Guacamole and Chips ($6), guests can begin with a delicious Ceviche, tilapia marinated in lime juice, cilantro, serrano, celery, tomato and tomatillo habanero ($8); Picaditas, masa canoe filled with slow roasted poultry carnitas, avocado cream sauce, and garnished with queso ranchero and pickled cactus ($7); and Ensalada, a mixed green salad with agave ginger dressing, cured mango, goat cheese and toasted walnuts ($7).

Entrée choices include Calabacitas Rellenas Vegetarianas, Mexican green squash stuffed with seasoned vegetables and served in yellow mole, Chihuahua melted cheese and garnished with microgreens ($13); Pollo en Mole Negro, roasted chicken served in black mole with mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables ($15); Camarones, wood grilled shrimp served in tomato cream sauce, with oyster mushrooms, epazote, accompanied by a side of tomato rice ($17); Carne Asada, wood grilled beef short ribs, served in molcajete sauce, yellow beans and guacamole ($16); and Lomo De Peurco, wood grilled pork loin in adobo marinade served in a pasilla tomatillo mescal sauce, served with sweet potatoes and grilled vegetables ($15).

For dessert, Ixcateco Grill serves a seasonal homemade flan and a several authentic homemade ice creams.

About Ixcateco Grill
Ixcateco Grill is an intimate casual Mexican restaurant featuring authentically prepared dishes from the southern regions of Mexico, by chef/owner Anselmo Ramirez. BYO is encouraged. The restaurant is located at 3402 W. Montrose in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood. Dinner is served from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is closed on Mondays. Weekend brunch service will begin in the near future. Ample street parking is available. All major cards are accepted. For reservations, please call the restaurant at 773-539-5887. The website is www.ixcatecogrill.com.

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Contact 

Cindy Kurman
312-651-9000