Cuchara Mexico City Bistro

Michelle AviƱa
September 28, 2012

Ana Beaven and Charlie McDaniel’s new bistro, Cuchara, serves up Mexico City–inspired dishes that remind us of home-cooked meals: comforting, honest, yet perfectly prepared. Colorful, witty murals by artist Cecilia Beaven, Ana’s sister; a serious industrial interior by Jim Herd’s Collaborative Projects (Underbelly and Haven) and equally serious cocktails and infusions devised by former Anvil and Underbelly bartender Chris Frankel (who consults at Cuchara) make this restaurant a contender for a top slot in new fall dining options. Outstanding offerings range from simple tacquitos to the more complex pork mole verde and nopal with queso fresco, with special attention paid to side dishes such as black beans, white corn puree and amaranth grains. The menu also includes items for vegans (try the grilled cactus fillet stuffed with panela cheese), with a delicious rose petal salad highlighting several of the dishes. And be sure to stop at the bar for Chichicapa Mezcal and other hard-to-find tequilas. 214 Fairview St., corner of Taft, 713.942.0000; cuchararestaurant.com.

IMAGE: Cecilia Beaven in Cuchara. Photo by Simon Gentry.