Rick Bayless is a big deal in Chicago. The chef and television personality has had a presence in Chicago for decades and has always been respected as a master at what he does. In 1989 he opened Topolobampo (445 North Clark Street) next to his casual restaurant Frontera Grill. The two restaurants share a front door and a bar, but that’s where the similarities stop. Where Frontera is casual and cool, Topolobamo is classy and serious. They really take Mexican food serious.
If you look at the website for the restaurant it says that Topolobampo “invites you into an elegant Mexican fantasy world and to dress up a notch for its incomparable, authentic, regional flavors.” The website also says they recommend making reservations 8-10 weeks in advance. With only 70 seats and an exceptional reputation it’s easy to see why that’s the case. To add to the elegant vibe of the restaurant, it also features museum quality art by the likes of Rudolfo Morales, Nicolas de Jesus and more.
But as far as the food is concerned, they make sure to use the best ingredients available, often organic and custom grown for Rick Bayless’s restaurants. This commitment to great food has been earning the restaurant praise since the beginning. Topolobampo was chosen as one of Esquire’s best new restaurants in America in 1991, it was the first ethnic restaurant to receive 4 out of 4 stars from Chicago Magazine, and the James Beard Foundation recognized it as one of America’s Top 5 restaurants for Outstanding Service. To judge the food for yourself, you can make reservations by calling 312-661-1434 or clicking here.
Images Courtesy of Topolobampo