PILSEN — When neighbors bite into the chicken mole or sopes at Señoritas Cantina, chef Bernardino Ocotl hopes the flavors remind them of the homemade food they ate in their abuela’s kitchen.
Focused on authentic Mexican cuisine, the new bar and restaurant, 1104 W. 18th St., is now open and will host a grand opening Sunday. The spot replaces Zebraz 18, a restaurant and lounge.
“When we were coming up with the menu, I wanted to start by making sure we had authentic Mexican flavors — the same flavors and tasty dishes you find in your mother or grandmother’s kitchen,” Ocotl, a Pilsen resident, said in Spanish.
A variety of tacos sell for $2.99 each, including arrachera (Mexican skirt steak), cecina (thinly-sliced dried beef), cochinita (pork shoulder), chicken, barbacoa, al pastor and duck carnitas.
Beer-battered Mahi Mahi, grilled Mahi Mahi and jumbo shrimp tacos are available for $3.99 each.
Señoritas will also be serving entrees like albondigas al adobo, meatballs in sauce with white rice for $9.99; chicken in mole poblano for $12.99, a nod to Octol’s hometown of Puebla, Mexico; carne asada with roasted red jalapeños and habanero salsa, poblanas and white rice $12.99.
The menu also includes mini sopes made with barbacoa, chicken tinga, cochinita or pork shoulder for $10.95.
Señoritas will also serve brunch on Sundays with items like chilaquiles, enchiladas with an egg on top and pozole, owner Giulio Spizzirri said.
Octol said they wanted to keep the menu “simple” and approachable.
The restaurant and bar also offer cocktails and mixed drinks including margaritas, mojitos, and sangria ranging from $5 and $8, Spizzirri said.
Spizzirri, who owns La Cantina Grill in South Loop and Brandi Pizza in McKinley Park, said the restaurant and bar will offer 14 beers on tap. Domestic beers will start at $3 a bottle or can, and $4 for international.
Señoritas Cantina is open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.
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