At Mesero Miguel, Great Plates Lost in the Crowd

Mico Rodriguez's latest tries to do too many things to communicate any of them well.

So is the range chicken served on stiff chipotle grits. The waiter includes crispy skin in his sales pitch but the exterior steams away to a flaccid rubbery texture beneath a blanket of lightly dressed arugula. Halibut tacos might be better if they were made with fresher fish (the smell arrived just before the plate) and a scallop ceviche with avocado and pineapple looked dull, as if it had been made hours before it was carefully sculpted into a long rectangular shape on the plate. Plates like these show why restaurants with a more singular focus are more likely to have thoughtful execution.

Rodriguez's Mesero Miguel tries to offer diners too much, reaching well beyond his menu at Mr. Mesero, which offers what he describes as American standards and Mexican classics. Now ceviches, a flatbread, a lobster hand roll and other curious dishes like the rosa pistola, which perches pieces of seared scallops the size of gumdrops over a tall shot glass filled with coconut curry soup, add even more noise.

What's worse is that these dishes detract from some of the great ones. Why make it hard to find the tacos filled with a crispy duck confit and tangy pickled onions to cut a subtle sweetness? The braised pork served with meaty, earthy mushrooms dressed in a cilantro zigzag of pastel green is quite good too. Choose the flour tortillas over the corn, which are so greasy they drip, and roll yourself a porky cigar.

The world’s most complicated nachos.
Catherine Downes
The world’s most complicated nachos.

Details

Mesero Miguel

2822 North Henderson Ave., 214-821-6426, meseromiguel.com. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. $$$

Duck confit tacos $13

Braised pork $16

Nachos $10.95

Mexican combo $12

Guacamole $10

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Enjoy food like this with a decent margarita and an order of that guacamole and you'll wobble out the door more than satisfied. Or just sit at the bar, have a drink and people-watch. It's not hard to make the argument to sip on cocktails and graze on smaller plates if you're lucky enough to get a good piece of real estate. Just don't get caught up in the dishes that wrap a world's worth of flavors in a single tortilla, because that's when things fall apart.

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