Let's face it, there are a lot of restaurants in Chicago that feature Mexican cuisine, but there are only a handful that really, really stand out.
Executive Chef Geno Bahena's specialty is mole sauce. Mole literally means "concoction" and describes a whole genre of sauces. Mole is complex to make and also represents the tradition of Mexican cooking. There are seven classic moles from a southern Mexico region called Oaxaca by which all moles are categorized.
Bahena features a different mole each night of the week, and they include, Amarillo, Manchamanteles, Verde, Chichilo, Rojo Coloradito, and Negro.
The menu is filled with a combination of traditional and specialty dishes that will make your meal memorable. Real Tenochtitlan credits the quality and authenticity of their dishes to the use of harvested fresh local organic ingredients.
Appetizers such as the Sopes Surtidos -- corn masa boats with a sampler of fillings like chicken, plantains, and black beans with chorizo, are a great way to get your meal started.
Memorable specialty entrees include a Natural Black Angus trater steak, a Chilean sea bass dish and a Sugar River Farm baby rack of lamb. I had the Negro specialty mole, which is considered the king of moles. Spicy and sweet the Negro mole contains over 28 ingredients that gives it a nice thickness and an intense flavor.
Skipping dessert here is not an option. The 10 desserts range from Mexican bread pudding and key lime pie, to buttered crepes and a warm individual pumpkin cake.
The restaurant is BYOB, which is another great reason to enjoy this restaurant during this challenging economy. The environment compliments the more upscale Mexican cuisine, and they have a separate dining room for private parties.
Take my word for it: Real Tenochtitlan is the real deal.