notes from the mexican kitchen

XOCO in the Garden

The Aztec ate corn, squash and beans from the field (or milpa,) and wild greens and herbs grown on the grounds around the home (the solaris.)  The Aztecs would have loved summer in Chicago!  The Xoco menu for July is ripe with the bounty of locally grown goodness. Chef Alonso has brought back the Mexico […]


Five Questions with our Newest Sommelier, Jessica Dennis

Jessica Dennis home page

A server at Topolobampo for the past four years, Jessica Dennis has routinely impressed the restaurant’s guests with her style of friendly, elegant service. Along the way, she developed an intense interest in wine and began serving as assistant to our longtime sommelier, the impeccable Jill Gubesch. Earlier this year, Jessica set out to take […]

Mexican Weekend/

Cool Off with Chocolate Chile Ice Cream


Wherever you may be on Independence Day in America, chances are it will be warm outside. So let’s cool things down with chocolate ice cream, radiant pasilla negro chile and cold beer mixed together in a tempting blend of sweet and savory. If you’re concerned about the heat of the chile, rest easy: the ice […]


13 Guacamoles That Don’t Involve Peas

Frontera has been bombarded with inquiries in the wake of peagate. What’s #peagate? Referencing a recipe adapted from New York City’s ABC Cocina restaurant, the New York Times tweeted out a link imploring cooks to add peas to guacamole, appending a supremely confident “trust us” to its message. Add green peas to your guacamole. Trust us. […]


Our Downtown Restaurants Will Close July 4, But Xoco Wicker Park Will Be Rocking


This week, we begin packing for Frontera’s annual staff trip to Mexico. While we’re gone, Frontera Grill, Topolobampo and Xoco will close on July 4 in observance of Independence Day. We’ll be back to serve you July 8. In the meantime, you should totally visit Xoco Bistro, 1471 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park, which […]