Dining Tidbits

Hub 51, Café Orchid, Steve’s Deli, Mexique

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“I don’t have a culinary title,” says Carlos Gaytan, chef/owner of Mexique, a new French/Mex phenom in West Town. Could have fooled us. Gaytan’s trio of sopes brims with cross-cultural tidbits: shrimp provençale topped with avocado mousse, tender escargots bathed in chimichurri butter, mole-doused baked plantains. Tinga de pollo set on crispy tostaditas makes our taste buds tingle, as does a guajillo-rubbed, pan-seared tilapia. The enchilada dessert sounds lame, but two blintz-like bombs ooze with chocolate fudge that turns the vanilla bean ice cream on the side into something truly special. “I find a lot of pleasure in cooking,” says Gaytan. We find a lot of pleasure in his cooking, too. 1529 W. Chicago Ave.; 312-850-0288. –Penny Pollack



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