Thursday, August 4, 2016

Inside La Cava's "wine cellar"

Posted By on Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 5:29 PM

In this week's Side Dish, we meet the new La Cava Fine Mexican Cuisine, which just opened near Smiling Toad Brewery. 

I spoke with the kitchen at La Cava for Side Dish, but I failed to connect with the woman behind the venture, Patricia Castrejon, who was traveling last week. Her husband Miguel, who operates the attached Colorado Pain and Rehab Medical Center, reached me today though to clarify some points and elaborate on Patricia's effort to share something really special from her home state of Sonora, Mexico. 

Miguel says they have indeed been working on La Cava over the course of three years: The whole interior is lined with stone that required laborious and meticulously placement. The couple also traveled back and forth to Mexico to purchase furniture, and also bought a 100-year old bar in Dallas, to complete "a real, rustic hacienda feel," he says. 

click to enlarge Chimichanga de pollo con salsa quemada. - COURTESY LA CAVA
  • Courtesy La Cava
  • Chimichanga de pollo con salsa quemada.
That authenticity also translates into plates that surpass the Tex-Mex norm in town, he says. "This is a true Mexican hacienda experience," he insists, noting that Patricia has been teaching the cooks exactly how to prepare and present dishes that date back far in her family.  

Yes, the dishes might appear expensive, he says, but the intent is to "expose people to the kind of food we eat in Mexico," which means more lavish dishes than the average combo platter. 

Take the historic Chiles en Nogada, for example, a pork-, beef- and dried fruit-stuffed poblano with walnut sauce topped in pomegranate seeds. 

And as for the hidden location (not visible from Eighth Street), Miguel says that in a way, that's just like going to Mexico, where on the "tucked away streets is where you find the best foods." 

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