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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Xel-Ha

710 N. Wells St. (Superior St.) Send to Phone
312-337-4560
A Mexican restaurant specializing in the cuisine of the Yucatan---and an extensive selection of tequilas.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

Cuisine
Open
Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly
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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Xel-Ha Restaurant Review

: The minute you open the menu at River North’s Xel-Ha, you quickly realize that this isn’t a typical Mexican restaurant. First off, there are the prices, which are slightly higher than the norm. Then there’s the fact that the eatery specializes in food from the Yucatan Peninsula, which is Mayan fare, with plenty of European influences. In the very capable hands of chef Dudley Nieto---Adobo Grill, Zapatista, Hacienda Tecalitlan---the subtle flavors of this often-overlooked cuisine come alive. Start with the panuchos de pato, small corn tortillas stuffed with black beans and piled high with achiote-marinated shredded duck and red-purple pickled onion. The ostiones Xel-Ha, another starter, feature oysters baked with xnipec---a Yucatan style of pico de gallo---and smoky pasilla chile and asadero cheese. The cochinita pipil entrée---pork baked in banana leaves and shredded---shows the chef’s proficiency in layering flavors. Seafood is an important ingredient in the Yucatan, and it is honored well in the selection of ceviches. Xel-Ha makes a margarita that rivals Frontera Grill---no easy feat---and also offers a reasonably priced wine list. The elegant atmosphere (check out the “wine wall” in the back room) is befitting of the cuisine. Service is informative without being overbearing.

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