HYDE PARK — El Oso, a new residency from chef Jonathan Zaragoza, will feature traditional Mexican dishes with a Midwestern flair when it opens Thursday at the Promontory in Hyde Park.
Zaragoza’s menu will feature wood-fired cuisine made using seasonal Midwestern ingredients and the hearth at the Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave.
All available dishes are $20 and under, including:
- Small plates like tacos dorados, enmoladas and sikil p’ak, a dip made with pumpkin seed, tomato and habanero.
- Entrees including chicharrón de puerco, tamal de maiz and chivo tatemado, a bone-in goat shank with mole negro.
- Sides like papas con chorizo, elotitos and frijóles charros, baked pinto beans with bacon and chorizo.
A menu of agave-based cocktails created in collaboration with bartender Mark Phelan — of 16” on Center, the collective that operates the Promontory — will also be featured.
El Oso will be open through at least the end of the year, with the following hours of operation:
- 4:30–11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, with food service ending at 10 p.m.
- 4:30-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
- 2:30–9 p.m. Sunday
The pop-up will feature counter service, so patrons can take their meals to go or dine in at the Promontory’s first-come, first-serve restaurant space.
El Oso will lean on chef Zaragoza’s strong suits — built up during his time at Masa Azul in Logan Square and Sepia in the West Loop — while he experiments with new techniques on the Promontory’s hearth, he said.
“I’ve cooked moles a lot, but I’ve never really done them at a place with a comal,” Zaragoza said. “The flavor is very different. It’s really cool what the fire does to my food.”
Beyond his Promontory residency, Zarragoza also owns and operates Birrieria Zarragoza. The Archer Heights restaurant, founded by his father Juan, only serves dishes of birria, or slow-roasted goat.
Zaragoza said he has been eyeing a chance to work out of the Promontory’s restaurant space for several years.
The West Lawn native said he’s excited to bring authentic, wood-fired Mexican options to a neighborhood he often visited growing up.
“Hyde Park was the spot to go as a kid — that was our downtown,” Zaragoza said. “For me, it was important to open up something on the South Side. It’s important to stick to your roots and what you know and give back to the neighborhood that you’re from.”
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