Restaurant Review: Canaryville’s “Del Sur”

It’s been less than a year since Del Sur Bar & Grill has been open at their Canaryville location, 4559 S. Halsted. The space was previously occupied by Amelia’s Mexican Restaurant, and it continues to turn up the heat in the southwest side’s dining scene.

As previously reported by the Gate Community News, the founder of the restaurant is Jorge Hernandez, former sous chef for critically acclaimed downtown restaurant “The Gage.” He grew up in Chiapas, a state in southern Mexico, hence the restaurant’s name. “Del Sur” translates to “of the south.”

Toasted bread and bean dip as an “on the house” appetizer.

I had been to the restaurant once before, and decided to revisit yesterday with my husband on my RDO (day off). What strikes me about the restaurant is that the food could easily rival any fancy downtown restaurant in terms of quality, creativity, and presentation, yet the atmosphere is so unpretentious. It lends to a fine dining ambience while being warm and welcoming, a feat not easily achieved, but one that fits the neighborhood quite well.

Del Sur’s fare is inspired primarily by Mexican and Latin American cuisine. For an appetizer, we were given toasted bread with a black bean dip. For our main course, we went with the half Amish chicken and the skirt steak. The addition of vegetables not commonly found in standard Mexican restaurant dishes (carrots and green beans for the Amish chicken and cucumber and yuca root for the skirt steak) provide a fresh and unique twist on a familiar cuisine.

Skirt steak entrée with cucumber, tomato, and yuca root in a sweet corn chimichurri sauce.

At this time, Del Sur is BYOB. I’ve been told that they may inquire about liquor licensing in the future. I feel that will benefit their business and compliment their upscale dishes. The restaurant itself is unique for the area–fine dining with dinner entrée options averaging $20, but I hope they continue to find a solid place in a neighborhood with really no similar options. Opening this sort of restaurant in the New City area is clearly a risky financial move, but given the excellent food and friendliness of the staff, I feel that their business deserves to be patronized by locals and visitors alike.

I’d highly recommend Del Sur for a date night without all of the hassle of traveling downtown or up north. Next time I visit, I’ll definitely try some of their seafood. If you happen to visit, please comment below with your recommendations for dishes. Buen provecho!

Half Amish chicken entrée with green beans, carrots, and tomatoes in a succulent peanut sauce.

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