After bringing Spain's distinct flavors to Philadelphia with his genius restaurants Amada and Tinto, superhot young chef Jose Garces has decided to take on the food of Mexico. Back in February, Garces called me raving about the taquerias, tequilas and nightlife in Mexico City. He hade been there researching his new restaurant, Distrito, which opens this Monday. Here, he gives some cheeky hints at what we can expect:
I received a fluorescent green lucha libra wrestling mask in the mail as a preview to Distrito. Is that a hint that we can expect live lucha libre fighting?
"One of the walls in the restaurant is made from more than 650 masks that we got from Mexico. It is really striking and sets a fun, lively tone for the restaurant. As for the actual fighting, I can’t make any guarantees, but never say never."
Why did you choose the name Distrito?
"Mexico City is known in Mexico as the Distrito Federal, or capital district. Since so much of our inspiration came from the vibrant culture of that city, the name is an homage."
Is there a signature dish you'll be making? Any personal favorite on the menu?
"My favorite dishes include esquites—sweet corn, queso fresco, chipotle and lime; atun ceviche— big eye tuna with serrano-coconut sauce and a tecate lime sorbet; and the hamachi “estilo OG”— tacos with yellowtail, chipotle remoulade, avocado, red cabbage and lime."