Chef Antonio at Cinco TacosI recently took my husband along to attend a relaunch celebration for Cinco Tacos Cocina & Tequila in North Dallas (5000 Belt Line Road).  It was  hosted by Chef Antonio Marquez (pictured) and GM Mario Letay.

Judging from the quality of the food we tried and the throngs of people who turned out to mingle and chat while sipping free beer and house Margaritas at the opening February 4, Cinco Tacos will be a very popular addition to Addison Walk’s restaurant row.

The area is a popular destination for single professionals as well as families who live or work in the area, which is directly across from Medical City’s sprawling complex and only a few blocks west of North Central Expressway.

Of course, free beer and margaritas are always big draws.  However, the quality of the appetizers convinced many first-timers to stay over and make dinner reservations.  Duck Barbacoa

Chef Antonio Marquez proved his mastery with a dinner menu that featured some authentic specialty items as well as those from the regular menu.  We started the meal with a delicious Duck Barbacoa sope with Ancho pepper mole.

Since I’m a sucker for a good mole sauce, I was especially impressed with the dense, lovely Ancho pepper mole.  The presentation of each dish was so artistic and picturesque that cameras were flashing as each course was served.

I remember the first time I had lunch with a friend who took photos of her food and beverages before tasting them, I was quite taken aback.  But now we all do it!  Other dishes that we sampled included rib eye tacos that were exceptionally tender, and a Durango beef tenderloin with mushroom sauce.

Cinco tuna with guamacoleA vegan friend at our table shared some of the specially prepared dishes the Chef brought out for her to try since she didn’t eat meat or fish dishes.  My husband (who is definitely a committed carnivore) discovered such a liking for her pinto beans with cauliflower the waiter brought him an extra plate of the vegetarian special.

My personal favorite was Bolo’s Mahi Mahi with hot avocado salsa.  The salsa made a piquant relish that brought out the delicate flavor of the grilled fish.  Cinco tres desserts

A dessert trio consisting of grilled corncake, cajeta crepe and Cinco vanilla flan put the finishing touches on a fine meal.  My husband and I share a weakness for flan, and agreed this tiny but tasty morsel was one of the most mouth-watering examples of flan we’d ever tasted.

Although the restaurant is a little far to travel for people who live downtown or south of Dallas, this kind of sublime dining experience is well worth the drive.  And for those of you who live in the area, what are you waiting for?  For reservations or more information call 972-866-8900.