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New Highland Park restaurant echoes cuisine of Tulum, Mexico


Valerie Karns, her husband Mike Karns (the CEO of the company behind Meso Maya and El Fenix) and chef Nico Sanchez have partnered to open Tulum, a new Highland Park restaurant they say is inspired by the cuisine of Tulum, Mexico.

Take a look inside:

With blond and dark woods, pretty banquets and an open kitchen, the former Aurora and Madrina space at 4216 Oak Lawn Avenue has never felt so comfortable. The team cleanly separated the buzzy bar, whose menu focuses on mezcals, from the less frenetic dining room by a series of broad arches and bleach-blond tree limbs.

Judging from a preview visit last week, Sanchez’s menu of familiar upmarket seafood dishes such as snapper and scallops, a couple of rich soups (sweet corn, for example) and masa-based appetizers are amplified by bold sauces and bright citrus accents. Despite the Tulum-inspired seafood combos and taquitos filled witj roasted chicken (they’re called flutes here, but they’re not fooling anyone), what entree was most in demand that night? A CAB New York strip steak.

“It’s the neighborhood,” says our server. “You have to offer a steak if you want your restaurant to survive here.”

Give them a ring for a table (972-677-9747) or find them on OpenTable.

 

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