The Mexican Adorns The Design District

Una Pequeña Reseña de The Mexican

What is surely one of the most beautiful restaurants to open recently, The Mexican is elevated and luxurious on every level.  From the setting to the service and, of course, the food, it is Esplendído.

My friend and football mom extraordinaire, Margaret Stafford, and I went for an early dinner, entering the majestic space when the bar was filled with mostly gentlemen having cocktails and the dining room empty. We toured the 15,000-square-foot restaurant with Co-Founder Nic Villareal and found it gets more and more impressive as we migrated through.

There are three absolutely gorgeous private rooms for events, thoughtfully designed restrooms, and an atrium, which has a structurally perfect Japanese Maple growing within, that transitions the main dining spaces to the cigar bar and patio.

The cigar bar is visually intoxicating, with a gravity-defying display of tequila and an undulating beamed ceiling that hides a sophisticated ventilation system. The seating arrangements are chic and clubby, the furnishings repeating the gentle curves designer Paulina Moran uses throughout this space, a nice juxtaposition for a cigar bar, traditionally a bastion of edged masculinity.

The terrace of The Mexican is expansive and as dressed up as the interior. Dark teal cushions give the wood and stone surroundings a pop of color that, combined, remind me of sand and sea. Several tall trees cradle the patio, giving shade to several fortunate tables.

Sea Bass

So, what about the food? It’s as thoughtful and gorgeous as the space itself. Margaret and I shared several dishes, every one impressive; beautifully plated and with abundant, but not complicated, flavors.

The standout for me was a starter recommended by Chef Christopher Tunnel: Aquachile de Ribeye, which consists of seared American wagyu ribeye cap, avocado, citrus aguachile, onions, radish, cilantro, truffle oil. Dude. I’m just saying, unless you don’t eat beef you need to order this. Every one of you.  It was tender, rich, punchy, and gentle all at the same time. 

Between the other wonderous items that arrived, the dining room filled with bold name jet setters and early adopter diners who were fortunate to get a reservation before it becomes nearly impossible (because it’s that good).  Many of them stopped by our table to congratulate Margaret on her son Matthew’s recent Super Bowl win and ask her how the whole experience was for her.

For the record, Margaret says she is grateful for all the love and encouragement that came from this community, and that Matthew and her entire family felt that support. She is gracious to well-wishers and says they truly appreciate it.

Though there are plenty of traditional Mexican dishes to order such as elevated enchiladas and tacos, I recommend that beautiful steaks, seafood, and side dishes.  The shrimp and scallop duo was a great share item, tenderly pan seared with an addictive lime rice.  On a subsequent visit I ordered the filet mignon, and it was sublime with the creamy arbol chile sauce. 

Vegetarians delight!  There are extraordinary vegetable options including the cauliflower starter which dresses up the otherwise meh crucifer with truffle, habanero pistachio dressing. The roasted beet is a deep carmine vitamin bomb with a sophisticated earthiness that’s low calorie but satisfying.

The drinks are notable, especially the $250 margarita made with Clase Azul Ultra Añejo. Tequila afficionados will tell you to drink such a fine tequila as that straight up, not in a cocktail, but the Pancho Villa does sound pretty good.

The Mexican’s comprehensive tequila list can be intimidating but I highly recommend downloading the Tequila Matchmaker app so you can learn a bit more about tequilas before you order blindly.  Tequila is about much more than blanco, reposado, añejo, it’s how the agave juice is extracted, cooked, and fermented. High quality tequilas are not always the most expensive or popular, but they sure taste better than some of them. The Mexican offers all kinds.

Like spring blooms, glamorous new restaurants seem to be popping up overnight throughout Dallas. It might seem so, but the seeds of many of these restaurants, including The Mexican, were planted before or during the pandemic and now the conditions are perfect for their arrival.  This one is a beauty, I hope you enjoy it.

PHOTOS: The Mexican

Kersten Rettig

Kersten Rettig has represented some of world's best known brands in her 30+ years in marketing and PR, including Montblanc, Rosewood Hotels, Highland Park Village and Taco Bell. As a former restaurant owner, she knows the business and has a deep affection for the hospitality industry. She is a Park Cities resident and a happy wife, mom of three and dogmother. Follow her @KerstenEats.

One thought on “The Mexican Adorns The Design District

  • April 15, 2022 at 4:38 pm

    Great article…amazing writing.


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