One of the most highly acclaimed chefs in Arizona is about to open a second restaurant -- and the location is the burbs, not the barrio.
Silvana Salcido Esparza -- chef-owner of Barrio Cafe and current nominee-in-the-running for a James Beard Award for Best Chef, Southwest -- says she's working on opening a second location of her destination-worthy Mexican restaurant in Gilbert.
Although the deal for the still-undisclosed location is being finalized, and more details are forthcoming, Esparza says she's excited to venture into a new part of the Valley.
"I grew up countryside in rural farmland California," says Esparza, who used to reside in Merced. "These are my peeps. I know how they eat!"
Gilbert is quickly gaining urban cachet. Restaurateur Joe Johnston established three hip eateries in his home town (Joe's Real BBQ, Joe's Farm Grill, Liberty Market) that have drawn foodies from across the metro area. And soon, CenPho wine bar guru Craig DeMarco will be opening a third location of Postino Wine Cafe.