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Rick Bayless revamps and renames Xoco in Wicker Park

Amy Cavanaugh
Written by
Amy Cavanaugh

When the Wicker Park offshoot of Xoco opened last year, it was basically the same as the original River North outpost, with a couple key differences: a bar, a brunch menu and tableside service. Now, he's changing things up. It's henceforth called Xoco Bistro, and the menu expands beyond tortas and caldos to include what Bayless is calling "classic plates."

In an email, Bayless said that Xoco's tortas and caldos are Mexican comfort food, and he's adding other, larger dishes in this vein, like enchiladas suizas, barbacoa, roasted chicken with salsa or mole, carne en su jugo and chilaquiles, which used to just be a brunch item. All items come with tortillas so you can make your own tacos. It's not just food that's been added—there's more wine, more tequila and mezcal cocktails, plus ceviche.

Bayless says that the changes are a response to "neighborhood guests," and it definitely seems like the new menu appeals to a neighborhood dinner crowd. While a fast torta may be ideal for lunch in River North, a dinner menu makes more sense for the Wicker Park location.

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