"It's corn, more specifically, masa, that's the cornerstone of the menu at this modern, airy Mexican eatery by chef Kelly Myers (formerly at Nostrana). Every day, the masa is ground in-house before it finds its way into countless delicious items, including warm tortillas and freshly fried chips, which arrive with a tray of unusual, flavor-packed salsas. One salsa is the Sikil P'ak, a creamy, slightly chunky dip made of toasted pumpkin seeds. It's nutty, slightly sweet profile provides a pleasant change of pace from the typical spicy and tangy characteristics of most salsa. The much-touted house pozole, like the tortillas and chips, also gets a delicate update. Instead of pork, Xico's version is made with seafood and orange, which lends the hominy-studded broth a bright, clean flavor. And don't pass on the smoky mescals, which are available by glass and by flight."

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