Overall Rating: 6.250

Address: 445 N Clark St.
Cross Street(s): Btwn W Illinois & W Hubbard Sts.
City, State ZIP: Chicago, IL 60610
Neighborhood: Near North Side
Phone: 312.661.1434
Hours: Tu-Th 11:30am-10pm; F 11:30am-11pm; Sa 5pm-11pm
Type of Establishment: Restaurant
Cafe Rating: 6.50
Barista: 5
Savvy: 6
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 8
Consistency: Inconsistent
Espresso Machine: Rancilio
Coffee Rating: 6.00
Aroma: 6
Body: 6
Brightness: 7
Crema: 5
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: -1.0
Size: L
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Intelligentsia
Cup Manufacturer: Syracuse
Price: $4.00
Last Update: 12/26/2015
First Reviewed: 12/22/2009
Notes: None

This restaurant, which serves high-end Mexican cuisine, is a Presedential favorite with a head chef who won the first Top Chef Masters: Rick Bayless. But for all the accolades, half the patrons here are unclear on the concept, seemingly looking for a high-end Chevy's Tex-Mex. They offer modernized versions of traditional Mexican food you can rarely get anywhere else. So instead of seeking out meals with pasture-raised goat grown by high school brothers at a downstate Illinois farm, you have people ordering blended margaritas, guacamole and chips, and practically gorditas. Who goes to a four-star restaurant in Berlin and orders a hot dog, expects to see the face of God in it, and then complains about the price tag? They're here alright. But as inventive as the food may be, they serve a classic restaurant espresso disappointment. While they proudly use Intelligentsia beans, they are man-handled with a large pour, served a somewhat thin bodied, with a fading thin layer of darker brown crema. It has a flavor of muted, slightly watery cloves and herbal pungency. So much lost potential. Milk-frothing can be a bit dishwatery, but when using Mexican beans they can produce good flavors despite the subpar crafting: some chocolaty notes that aren't diluted.