“Modern, Mexican-inspired” encapsulates the stance of Barcocina (2901 N. Sheffield Ave., 773-687-9949), an upcoming Lake View restaurant that modernly smushes together the words “bar” and “cocina,” the Spanish word for kitchen.
Chef Matt Williams, a veteran of Brendan Sodikoff’s Hogsalt Hospitality, explains, “We use a Mexican vessel like a taco, taquito, or quesadilla. But it’s not traditional Mexican. It’s a fusion of Mexican-inspired American comfort food along with some Asian influence.” For example, the tacos on offer run from the more-traditional adobo steak with Chihuahua cheese and salsa verde to the zanier cheeseburger with smoked cheddar, cabbage, and mango ketchup.
Although another Barcocina exists already, in Fell’s Point, Baltimore, Chicago’s menu will differ. Baltimore also has chicken Caesar flautas and tuna tartare taquitos, but only Chicago will serve the lamb French dip taco, a barbacoa-style lamb with pickled fennel and a lamb jus for dipping.
The 185-seater will open in May, come hell or high water, Williams says. A 160-seat patio follows next year, pending neighborhood-association approval. But the name will not change to Barcocinapatio.