The restaurant group behind The Monterey, Barbaro and Hot Joy has added a fourth concept with the opening of Chisme this week.
Located inside the former location of the original Teka Molino is Chisme, which brings flavors of South Texas as presented by chef Mara Serna (formerly with The Monterey, and several Houston eateries including Goro & Gun and Foreign Correspondents), desserts by Jess Perez (pastry chef for all of the Empty Stomach Restaurant Group joints) and a cocktail program by Elisabeth Forsythe (who also manages tipples for Barbaro and Hot Joy). Collectively, the trio is being dubbed The Chismosas.
The menu is made up of starters, veggies, taco plates, platos grandes and desserts. During a soft opening on Sunday, I sampled the double avocado tacos with fried avocado, guac, cotija and cilantro and Mexican Cheeseburger tacos with a ground beef patty, grilled ham, queso, avocado and jalapeño slices. Tortillas, corn and flour, are made in-house. The pollo asado, which has plenty of living up to, had me reminiscing on days when tios would man the grill. The result is pleasant, uber moist and slightly charred (you know, like when the tios would get distracted by a caguama or two...). Prices range from $7.50 to $19.50.
On the cocktail side of things, we tasted the Chismosa, a frozen number with cachaca, coconut lime cordial, coconut milk that'll likely sneak up on you on Chisme's patio come springtime and La Pistola, a boozy concoction with tequila reposado, Bittermens coffee liqueur, El Dorado 5 Year Rum, piloncillo syrup and orange bitters. A selection of cocktails will be available during happy hour along with free house-made chips and queso.
Chisme is open 4-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 4-11 p.m. Sunday.
2403 N. St. Mary's St., (210) 530-4236.