ABC Cocina

Total Bill: $125 for two

ABC Cocina - Sweet Pea Guacamole

Put the tastes of Spain on the rustic fields of the Midwest and you’ll get the enchanting basis of ABC Cocina.

The two approaches can easily clash, but there’s a crispness to the experience from the moment you step through the doors. It’s a visual experience first, from unique one-off fixtures to the thoughtfully selected tableware. Most of these things, by the way, you can purchase.

ABC Cocina - Sweet Corn SoupABC Cocina - Patatas Bravas

It’s always a risk when so much is invested in the surroundings that your food falls second fiddle. But that’s not the case here when just as much care goes into their menu. Anny and I shared the sweet pea guacamole. It’s a dip that’s gone why too long without innovation, and ABC changes that. Fresh peas, micro greens and sunflower seeds come layered on top of a creamy avocado blend. I’d take this ten times over the “made-before-you” guacamole at Dos Caminos.

ABC Cocina

We also shared the patatas bravas with a tangy rosemary aioli sauce. This is good as a side if you order a lighter main dish like one of their salads, or in my case, the sweet corn and roasted poblano soup.

The soup looks pretty basic, but don’t judge it by its cover. There’s a deep smokey flavor with a really strong poblano punch. I make a lot of corn soup at home and there’s a reason why they charge $10 for this.

I also had a set of griddled fish tacos with aioli sauce and cabbage-chili pickle. A bit heavy handed on the aioli because the fish itself is already really bold. But here again, they take a basic Spanish dish and liven it up with a homey, country flavor.

Our lunch quickie doesn’t do this place justice. It’s a beautifully crafted setting that you should just see for yourself, and try not to order the whole menu while you’re at it.


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