Long the destination for special occasions, the menu here is itself a celebration: classics drawn from the border’s bi-culinary heritage. A recent appetizer made one of our party nostalgic for a guilty pleasure from his Nuevo Laredo childhood: golden fried frogs legs ready for a deep dredging in a jalapeño-spiked tartar sauce. The Hatch Pepper Patty Melt is a Santa Fe–worthy platter that takes an eight-ounce beef patty embraced by Swiss cheese and chipotle mayo, tops it with griddled mushrooms and jewel-like Hatch peppers, and nestles it all into the requisite Texas toast. We’re sold on a bewitching treatment of sea bass that pairs the sweetness of pineapple with the savory depth of miso, siding it all with a creamy black rice risotto and a perfectly grilled hunk of bok choy. Duck confit is the surprise star of little-seen enmoladas (an enchilada kissing cousin) served up street-style but burnished with a darkly mysterious Oaxacan mole and ethereal sweet potato shoestrings. All ten brick oven pizzas come with an addictive cauliflower crust option. Sadly, we’ve never made it to the dessert menu.
Cuisine: Modern American