Review Revue: Amelia’s

Everybody’s got something to say about Amelia’s, the Back-of-the-Yards newcomer that spun its menu off from the kitchen of Mundial Cocina Mestiza.

Chicagoist: “It’s that location that’s the biggest obstacle Garcia faces in making Amelia’s a success. The other is convincing residents of the Canaryville, Back of the Yards and New City neighborhoods to shell out an average of $16 for an entrée when they can just go to a taqueria for “some Mexican.” … For those looking for more than a burrito as big as your head, Garcia’s cooking remains one of the most inventive takes on Mixteco in the city, with its balance of spice and savory.”

Sky Full of Bacon: “Chef Eusebio Garcia worked at MK before opening Mundial, and his thing has been high-end Mex tinged with Mediterranean flavors. My feeling is that the former are much, much more promising than the latter. …Generally, in most of the upscale Mex places I think you’re better off ordering off the appetizer menu … and Amelia’s is no exception to this rule.”

Chicago Reader: “Lomo de puerco, an entree of grilled pork tenderloin, was terrific—thick medallions of pork painted with a tart, sweet tamarind glaze and seared till crisp. Plated with a handful of sauteed purslane, a smear of roasted quince, and a tangle of grilled onions, it could have come out of a far more pretentious kitchen… little things like the teensy shavings of avocado garnishing the ceviche led me to think that Garcia and the tiny, effusive staff are trying to do a whole lot with very little.”

Time Out Chicago: “If anything, the subtle weakness of Garcia’s cuisine is that the sides—a lemony patty of crusted potato mash and a simple slaw of sugar snap peas and sautéed onions—deserve more attention than the supposed main attraction, in this case slightly chewy grilled lamb loin. The chile relleno is a prime exception: the pepper oozed cheese-covered sweet corn and eggplant and asked for nothing more.”

[Photo: Martha Williams for Time Out Chicago]

Review Revue: Amelia’s