Offering an alternative approach to Mexican cuisine, Lobo Rey (1307 S. Wabash Ave.) celebrates the culinary heritage of Mexico, fused with Midwest influence and ingredients from Executive Chef Daniel Espinoza, and owners Chris Bravos and Jeff Wolff. Slated to open later this summer in the heart of Chicago’s South Loop, Lobo Rey, which translates to Wolf King, will bring an unconventional interpretation of Mexican classics in a playful and interactive atmosphere.
An Eater Young Gun Awards 2017 semifinalist, Zagat 30 under 30 award recipient, as well as the fourth finalist on Top Chef Mexico, Espinoza will highlight cuisine rooted in the culinary culture of his upbringing, harking on the nostalgic meals and flavors he enjoyed as a kid. Guests can expect bright and bold dishes such as a take on a surf and turf taco with Scallop and Pig Ear with sikil pak, green apple and serrano relish with jocoque on handmade tortillas, and a Midwest Mexican Cheese Board served with a cactus salad, Jhoanas homemade bread, rotating seasonal marmalade, and pickles. The cheese board will boast housemade queso fresco, queso cincho, and housemade requesón, a soft, creamy, and mild-tasting, ricotta-style cheese. Espinoza’s wife, Jhoana Ruiz, will spearhead the pastry program, offering items including freshly baked bread and churros, all made in-house daily.
“I grew up eating traditional Mexican dishes my grandmother would make me, and at Lobo Rey, I’m taking those culinary memories and applying them to a modern Midwest palate,” explains Espinoza. “I’m excited to share a local, elevated approach to Mexican food and flavors, but in a laid back come-as-you-are atmosphere.”
The beverage program will spotlight Latin beers, as well as an emphasis on mescal and tequila. Just in time for the final sips of summer, the restaurant will also offer margarita slushies, and other Mexican classics such as a Paloma and Michelada.
The 4,700 square foot restaurant will exude a convivial and vibrant vibe with various elements of entertainment incorporated into the dining experience. The space will offer an ideal option for group dining, boasting several tables that can accompany parties of up to 15 people. The first of its kind in the city of Chicago, Lobo Rey will introduce a Mexican Teppanyaki experience within the restaurant, serving as a focal point of the restaurant.
Lobo Rey will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Stay tuned for more information surrounding the opening of Lobo Rey.
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