CHICAGO
08/18/2012 12:24 pm ET Updated Oct 18, 2012

Mexican Chef Manuel Bañuelos Opening Oaxacan Restaurant Mezcalina

Oaxacan tamales, large corn masa based, meat filled, rectangular tamales wrapped in a banana leaf, are a specialty in the reg
Oaxacan tamales, large corn masa based, meat filled, rectangular tamales wrapped in a banana leaf, are a specialty in the region of Oaxaca, Mexico. (Photo by Erik Unger/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)

Chicago has its share, albeit small share, of Oaxacan restaurants, but when Mezcalina opens in the next couple of weeks, it will take the idea of food from the Mexican state up a level. And it's doing so with the help of celebrated Mexican chef Manuel Bañuelos, who comes here from La Frambuesa at the Gran Casa Sayula Hotel outside of Guadalajara.

Mezcalina will open near Eggy's in the Lakeshore East development near Millennium Park officially on Sept. 15, but will be in soft opening starting on Aug. 25. The restaurant will focus on the cuisine of Oaxaca, including chapulines, a high-protein, nutty-tasting grasshopper delicacy often served in tacos.

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