CHICAGO (WLS) --There are dozens of stories of husband-and-wife teams working in the kitchen together, but a new Mexican-inspired restaurant in Logan Square has one of the most talented pairs in Chicago.
They both worked for Rick Bayless at Frontera Grill and Topolobampo for several years. Now they're striking out on their own, with a very similar approach.
Too many cooks won't spoil this kitchen, because otherwise there'd be marital strife. Brian Enyart and his wife, Jennifer Jones, are attempting to create their own vision at Dos Urban Cantina, their Mexican-inspired restaurant on a lonely stretch of Armitage in Logan Square.
"Mexican food is in our wheelhouse, I spent about 14 years with Bayless and she spent about five years with him," said Enyart.
And so Mexican ingredients are everywhere. Take a steamed corn-studded tamal, covered in parmesan-mayo and torched, served with a roasted tomato salsa.
"Spicy salsa kind of rounds it out and having that charred parmesan gives it a cool, interesting technique that is both delicious - which is paramount for us - but also pretty interesting," he said.
Trout fillets top a smoky-crunchy mound of charred cauliflower and broccoli, aided by peanuts and salsa macha, an almost Asian inspired drizzle of red chile, vinegar and garlic. It all rests above a swoosh of butternut squash puree and raisins.
Heartier plates include brined-and-braised chuck with annato seed, sour orange and allspice, plus sides of black beans and collards.
Jones' desserts are a highlight. Her piloncillo pie, made with that Mexican unrefined sugar, is showered with crushed toffee.
"Really delicious, has all of the molasses still intact so it's got a really deep, savory note. Similar to maple syrup, but I think it's got a richer, more savory quality to it," said Enyart.
There's plenty of tequila and mezcal at the bar - and a pretty ambitious cocktail program to boot. But please, don't call it a Mexican restaurant.
"Calling it just a Mexican restaurant I think would kind of be a disservice," he said.
Now while Dos Urban Cantina isn't a Mexican restaurant in the traditional sense, many of the ingredients and spirits will remind you you are somewhere south of the border.
Dos Urban Cantina
2829 W. Armitage Ave.