(By LAUREN BARRY)
A taste of the urban dining scene recently settled into the Glenview-area. Mesa Urbana serves Mexican dishes with a modern twist, utilizing fresh, seasonal ingredients. According to Moe Taleb, the restaurant’s owner, they focus on medium sized share plates that come out of the kitchen as soon as they are ready. Share plates allow the restaurant to accommodate communal dining, a recent trend in fine dining. According to Taleb, these plates are easier for groups to share than the small portions at Tapas restaurants, meant more for tables of two. The restaurant seating, featuring large tables for multiple groups of patrons at once, also encourages communal dining. Freshness is another staple of Mesa Urbana’s philosophy. Local, seasonal ingredients are used to create the menu, according to Taleb. Authentic Mexican dishes create the backbone of the selection, with modern variations, such as parpadelle pasta with oyster mushrooms and bok choy, smoked trout and a trio of ceviche prepared in different styles. To compliment these dishes, Taleb offers a wide variety of wines, craft beers, hand crafted cocktails and spirits. Included is an extensive list of tequilas. “Our margaritas are amazing,” said Taleb, “we have three bartenders that prepare fresh ingredients for the cocktails every day.” “We spent a lot of time on the menu,” he said regarding his work with chef Eusevio Garcia. They carefully selected each offering, right down to the complimentary chips and green salsa.
Taleb’s and Brothers runs two catering companies and he previously owned Kith & Kin, a Chicago gastro pub, from 2009-2012. He said that with Mesa Urbana, he wanted to “re-create that downtown, city feel.” Indeed, the restaurant’s clean sophisticated design, coupled with original murals, contributes to its “urban table vibe.” Glenview residents can swing by for a chic, city night out without leaving the suburbs.