Rick Bayless debuts mezcal speakeasy, Bar Sótano, in Near North

Photo: Lauren F./Yelp

Hungry? A new neighborhood New Mexican spot has you covered. Called Bar Sotano, the new arrival is located at 443 N. Clark St. in Near North.

Bar Sotano is the latest endeavor by celebrity chef and restaurateur Rick Bayless. Sitting beneath Bayless' Frontera Grill, the newcomer aims to be a more casual mezcal-centric speakeasy with high-quality Mexican small bites, Eater reports.

On the menu, expect oysters and seafood cocktails; small plates like plancha-charred broccoli with peanuts and pumpkin seeds; larger selections like Mexican paella with chicken, shrimp and poblano tomato; and a couple of desserts. There's also a wide selection of mezcal. plus cocktails boasting mezcal, tequila or rum. (View the full menu here.)

Bar Sotano has earned mostly positive reviews thus far, with a 3.5-star rating out of seven reviews on Yelp.

An P., who was among the first Yelpers to review the new spot on Nov. 21, wrote, "We got some chips, a beyond-awesome salsa, avocado dip, peanuts and grasshoppers. I didn't expect to eat grasshoppers but was excited for the novelty! The Yucatan Fire Fried Chicken was crispy with a mango habanero glaze, which hit the spot."

Yelper Lauren F. added, "From the smaller section we ordered the Taquitos Ahogados, and from the larger section we ordered the Mexican Paella. Both of these dishes were absolutely incredible! For dessert we ordered the donas con chocolate, which were amazing as well and the perfect sweet ending to our meal."

Bar Sotano is now open at 443 N. Clark St. from 4 p.m.-midnight Tuesday-Thursday, and from 4 p.m.-2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. (It's closed on Sunday and Monday.)
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