i`ve been to a few soft openings of restaurants and always feel so under-whelmed. although i always go back after 6 months and get the same, or similar, items to see if they have improved, it usually doesn`t get much better. so when the boyfriend & i & a few of his friends went to the private tasting for takito, a new restaurant in wicker park set to open on march 20th, i didn`t have very high expectations. i`m so happy to say that i was blown away at how impressed i was. before the tasting was even half over, i had already made plans to come back with a bunch of friends.
who doesn`t love a place that stays open late? especially after a night of drinking, takito is situated in the perfect location. i wish i had taken more pictures of the interior, but there were so many people in this small, but cozy space. i loved the cool lighting and the partially open kitchen.
i loved that the dips were served with masa crackers instead of chips. i`m not sure (and i could look it up, but you know me..) but i think they were like rice crackers. super healthy and because they weren`t salty, you could savor all the flavors in the salsas. i can`t handle spicy foods, but i heard the one with the ghost peppers has crazy kick to it! the drinks were so good and nothing like i`ve had before. we ordered a bunch and had a "little" alcohol tasting too.
for starters, we had the yucatan chicken soup, hearts of palm salad, and the three sisters polenta. i wouldn`t normally think to pick these (i`m a fatty..i go straight for the tacos!), but they were soo good. the chicken soup was a perfect starter because it was just starting to get cold outside. it definitely warmed me up and got my belly ready to eat lots! the salad was also really good: the arugula and avocado with a garlic lime vinaigrette..i don`t even have words to say. the polenta was my favorite starter though. i loved that the corn added a different texture to the otherwise smooth and creamy polenta, while the smoked bacon completed the yummy goodness.
we had so many different kinds of tacos, but my favorite? surprise surprise..the pork belly! another one i really liked was the chicken tacos. i loved that all of the tacos we tried were so juicy and flavorful. andddd they weren`t greasy like other tacos i`ve tried. they all tasted different, so it was so hard for me to decide which one to eat next!
the prime sirloin and seared scallops were also two other items i wouldn`t normally order. again, i was really surprised how much i enjoyed it. the sirloin had mushrooms, ham, and potato..a really yummy combination melded together. out of everything i tried, the scallops were the most surprising for me..and only because i really don`t like them at all because of the texture. it could`ve been the date-lime chutney or the toasted seeds that got my attention, but these may be the only scallops i`ll ever eat.
as if we didn`t eat enough already, we had to get desserts. the adult fruit cup was my favorite out of the bunch. it`s listed under the starters, but i really liked this at the end. it might be the chinese in me, but i love fruit after my meals! the watermelon and pineapples are soaked tequila, lime, pilocillo, sesame, and cilantro. but be careful how much you enjoy this `cause the alcohol is undetectable! the arroz con leche (with tequila soaked fruit and blood orange syrup) was also amazeballs..for obvious reasons! and for all you chocolate lovers..the mexican chocolate ganache is a must have.
thank you takito for having us..you`ll definitely be seeing lots of me!