La Ventana and a Second Meso Maya are Now Open Downtown (Photos)

Categories: First Look

This ain't Tex-Mex, folks.
There are only a tight handful of restaurants in Dallas that offer serious upscale Mex-Mex. Meso Maya is one of them, and now, luckily for us, there are two locations to choose from. But there's even more good news. In the latest expansion from Firebird Restaurant Group (the group that also owns El Fenix), Chef Nico Sanchez has created a new concept, La Ventana (Spanish for The Window, appropriately). And La Ventana sits adjacent to Meso Maya II, on McKinney right near the new Perot Museum.

Inside, the place is rustic Mayan chic. Brick, iron, stucco and wood are accented by bold colors like orange, green and brown that give the space a classy-festive feel. But don't you dare forget to walk outside. An oasis surrounded by the cold metal and gray cement of downtown Dallas, the strings of lights that crisscross Meso Maya's beautiful interior courtyard are sure to make every day feel like a fiesta.

There's a lot on the menu worthy of celebration, namely Spanish, Chilean and Argentinian wines ($7-$15/glass and $28-$56/bottle), margaritas featuring additions like avocado, mango or serrano peppers ($7-$12), and cocktails like the Mexican Martini and Mexican Mule ($6-$12). Start your meal off with a traditional 3-cheese queso fundido ($8.5), chicharrones served with queso poblano and brisket adobado ($8.5), or a simple sopa de lima ($5 a cup, $10 a bowl). Entradas ($17-23) like the pollo con mole and the carne Oaxaca are ones I've tasted at the first location and highly recommend. Others I can't wait to dig into, like the pato al pasilla with pan roasted duck breast, real blue corn tiacoyo, nopalitos and a smoky dark pasilla broth. Each entrée's ingredients read like poetry. I don't know what huachinango is, but it had me at calabacitas, guajillo and hoja santa sauce.

Holy chicharrones!
Desserts like the caprirotada (Mexican bread pudding) or pastel de chocolate range from $4 to $8. Can't decide what to order? Ask for the Chef's Cinco Platos: five tasting courses for $35 (available for dinner Thursday through Saturday). The lunch menu is similar to the dinner one, adding tortas and tostaditas to the mix.

On a personal note, I can't wait to get my hands on bury my face in Meso Maya's signature yellow-orange salsa, which will now be in close proximity to both my home and office. That's news worthy of any of Meso Maya's roughly 46 varieties of house and premium tequila. Salúd!

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Had dinner there at Meso Maya tonight and wasn't impressed.  It's basically an upscale El Fenix at 4 times the price.  The regular salsa had no heat; even the habanero salsa was devoid of heat.  The chips were a little stale and the corn tortillas tasted like store bought.  Hopefully La Ventana will be better.


@TacoTrail Thanks for the retweet, bro. Tacos at La Ventana soon!

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