The opening of Carlos Gaytán’s triptych of Mexican establishments, all at the same address, threw down the gauntlet: The lauded chef, formerly of Mexique, was back. There’s Panango, a grab-and-go bakery; Tales of Carlos Gaytán, which sounds more like a Netflix series than an intimate prix fixe experience; and Tzuco, the largest of the three, the chef’s affecting homage to the Guerrero of his youth. Everything about Tzuco feels right, from the thorny vines and cornhusks adorning the earth-toned space to the housemade breads and Mexican-inflected cocktails. But it’s Gaytán’s intensely personal dishes that leave the deepest impression. The pulpo enamorado, smoky wood-roasted octopus alongside potatoes mixed with tuna aïoli, is meant to mimic the salads his mother packed for his childhood mountain hikes. It’s a thrill to go along on his journey.
Update:Tzuco’s patio has reopened and brunch and dinner service are now available. You can also still get food and drinks through carryout and delivery, with pastries from sister bakery Panango (you definitely want the Mexican chocolate croissant), brunch dishes like chilaquiles, and Tzuco dinner favorites, like the must-order guajillo octopus.