Hey there food lovers! It is Saturday evening and time to try out a new restaurant. About two months ago I was driving west on 95th St and noticed a new restaurant by the name of, CACAO (cacaokc.com). The name immediately grabbed my attention since I am known to possess a huge sweet tooth. The word cacao comes from the bean that gives us chocolate. I kinda expected that to be the focus of the menu but I was mistaken. A couple of dishes that do pay homage to the name of this modern Mexican restaurant is their signature Cacao steak, which is rubbed with chilies and cocoa powder and then there is their mole. Mole is a Mexican cuisine that traditionally uses chocolate in its sauce. Ivan Marquez and Victor Esqueda are the business partners and owners of CACAO. Both restauranteurs have made it a point to serve Mexican dishes the way they are traditionally made in Mexico. The talented chefs of CACAO are Fernanda Reyes and Chef Ale. Both chefs have opened several restaurants in Guadalajara and showcased their culinary talents in New York. They also offer a healthier fare that includes veggies with seafood dishes for their health conscious customers. The jicamataco, which is CACAO’s modern twist on the traditional taco. The taco shell is replaced with thin sliced piece of jicama that is filled with shrimp, pico de gallo, mango and topped with chipotle cream. Along with their own version of traditional entrees they also have traditional street food favorites. They opened their doors for business back in March.
As soon as I walked into CACAO I appreciated the aesthetic. They used different shades of turquoise which instantly calms and gently invigorates. They combined palettes of grey and white with their main color. The hostess greeted with a genuine smile and immediately sat me at my table. So far so good. My waiter soon after came by to greet me and took the drink order. I have to add that he did bring me the usual glass of water but kept forgetting to bring me drink. I reminded him twice but it is an honest mistake. For starters I ordered the traditional guacamole, which came prepared in its peel. I thought that was a cute presentation. When I order guacamole I like for it to be lemony and it did not disappoint. Trust me, I have been to places where the guacamole is not up to par. I also ordered their sopes as another appetizer. I was so glad I did. They are small little corn meal based bites. Each one was filled with different meats and potato, delicious! As far as entrees I ordered their tacos and the mole enchiladas. I highly recommend the mole enchiladas. They were delicious and the perfect amount of savory and chocolatey sweet. I had not had mole in years. There are five tacos per order. I ordered two steak, one chicken, one carnitas and lastly a cochinita (pork marinated in achiote). Instead of a salad before the meal I ordered their broccoli soup. I will admit I was a bit iffy about ordering it but so glad I did. I had never had broccoli soup before but I would definitely order it again. The downside on the order was that my waiter forgot to being it to me before my entree. However, I did bring it to his attention after the fact. He was very apologetic and recognized his two mistakes. He did offer to bring me dessert to make for the mistake. Who am I to say no to dessert, especially comped? He brought over their corn cake with rompope (essentially eggnog) mousse. Overall, my experience at CACAO was delicious. My only negative critique and its not that big of a negative, is the lack of focus from the waiter. I highly recommend to drop by if you’re in the area.
Pictured above: Guacamole
Pictured above: Sopes
Pictured above: Broccoli soup
Pictured above: Tacos (two steak, chicken, carnitas and cochinita)
Pictured above: Enchiladas de mole
Pictured above: Corn cake with rompope mousse covered with strawberries, blueberries and cacao powder