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Dining Guide

El Naranjo

El Naranjo has transported itself into bright, airy new digs (formerly El Chipirón, on South Lamar). Celebrate chef Iliana de la Vega’s good fortune with a starter of pastel azteca. You must share—no sensible person could finish this layered creation of corn tortillas with spinach, almonds, raisins, and goat cheese all under a crown of tomato chipotle sauce. Then, for a novel crudo, check out precisely cut cubes of raw tuna and avocado; they’re richly drizzled with sesame oil infused with chile pasilla Mixe and perched on three crisp tostaditas. The most meat-centric dish we tried was braised beef ribs in a sauce with the depth of a classic demi-glace; alongside were intensely rich goat-cheese mashed potatoes and a green salad. But our favorite of the evening was a sort of deconstructed chile relleno based on chile pasilla Mixe (seductive and smoky) with mild, melty Oaxaca cheese and black bean sauce. From a changing lineup of desserts, we checked out the not-too-sweet almond torte topped with chocolate ganache and sided by blackberry ice cream.

City: Austin


Drinks: Bar

Price: $$$

Rating: ★★★★

Address: 2717 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX, 78704

Hours: D Tue–Sat. B Fri–Sun.

Phone: 512-520-5750

Website: https://www.elnaranjorestaurant.com/

Last updated: October 1, 2019