Chantico | Central Phoenix | Mexican, Contemporary | Restaurant
Chris Malloy


Walter Sterling and the Ocotillo crew’s latest restaurant channels Mexican influences as far north as Sonora (a Sonoran rib-eye) and as far south as Yucatan (cochinita pibil). That cochinita sears the brain, and not just with chiles. An order brings a pile of richly spiced pork that retains the animal's full charm, roasted in a banana leaf. The kicker: an arsenal of expertly pickled vegetables, including nopales, micro-thin onions, and offbeat carrots. Chantico’s al pastor is a strong, pineapple-forward rendition. Though tacos come loaded, tortillas could use a bit of work. This early discordant note is more than offset by dishes like duck leg drenched in black mole — which sees a skinless trapezoid of grilled orange to create stunning depth — a plate with flavors of alarming contrast and harmony.