Sorting Atipico’s Great Menus and Flavors

Atipico is a new restaurant just north of the city center where Harry Hines Boulevard meets North Akard Street. Along with The Henry, Royal 38, North Italia and Tacolingo, it is part of a large courtyard at The Union Dallas, an office and residential tower.

Atipico hails from Mexico City and the concept comes from chef Claudia de Murga. Other than that, it’s hard to discern much about the restaurant. Its Google metadata offers this:

“Be original, stay different. In short, Atípico is the place where you will find international dishes and drinks that will define your personality through flavors.

After that, the website implores us to “Find Your Thing,” and is followed by a menu that includes breakfast, bowls and fruit, a savory corner and a sweet corner. The dinner menu includes starters, salads, soups, bowls, pastas, entrees, rolls and burgers.

Here too: a coffee program (“cold press hot”, “latte and more”), a juice bar menu that offers a mix of Sex Me Up, Hangover and Kombucha, and a full bar with house cocktails, new classic cocktails and classics of the world cocktails.

A Meet and Eat section of the site explains that this restaurant was inspired by the personalities of the six daughters of the chef, explaining that she “created atypical recipes according to each preference”.

Ah. Now that makes a bit of sense.

We visited for lunch recently. Surprisingly, parking here is easy even though the restaurant is attached to an office building. A garage available for private customers is easy to find and free with validation. It was very hot outside the day we visited and the whole area was pretty dead. In all honesty we passed in the evening and saw a lot of people in the restaurants. Maybe lunch on a hot day is just bad timing.

Specifically, there was no one else in Atipico when we visited. We are almost out. Question: Is it rude to ask a kitchen to cook for only one table? Sounds like a big ask. But there was a parking ticket to validate, so we sat at a stand.

The space is cozy (one person reviewed the awesome dining room chairs) and decorated with light purple (faux) lavender throughout, warm wood tones, and modern touches. The service could not have been nicer or quicker. The water glasses were constantly filled, to the point that we felt bad about the amount of water we were drinking.

In terms of ordering and a large, diverse menu, our approach has been to trust those who know the menu best. Our server recommended two dishes from the salads, soups, bowls and pasta section, and we got them both.

Click to enlarge

Before and after with Andean soup.

Lauren Drewes Daniels

The first was the Andean soup ($10), a thick tomato soup poured into a bowl of bread that had a goat cheese stain on the bottom. The soup is presented in a unique jug-like pot and poured into the bread bowl at the table. This soup was phenomenal. You can use your spoon to scrape as much or as little cheese or bread as you like, creating a mix of flavors and textures. Then you can just eat the bowl. Busy menu or whatever, the soup was pretty amazing. One of the six girls has impeccable taste.

The second plate was the octopus salad ($17), with octopus – 100 grams, depending on the menu – lettuce, arugula, cherry tomatoes, olives and grilled potato squares, all tossed together with a lime vinaigrette. It was also fantastic – cool and light on a hot day.

Occasionally, when we write about new places, we look at other diners’ comments for insight, perhaps with the aim – as the world is wont to do now – to confirm what we are already thinking. And here too, in line with everything else on Atipico, the comments are confusing. They run the full spectrum of positive and negative, although mostly on the positive side. Some note how confusing the menu and space are. But, in our experience, most seem to swoon over actual food once it hits the table.

So yes, the menu and offerings are well filled. There’s a lot going on. You can have a freshly squeezed organic juice or an octopus burger or salad. There is something for everyone, including families with six children. But one thing is also true: the kitchen offers very good dishes. We still don’t know what the theme is, but maybe that’s because it’s just atipico, which means atypical in Spanish: non-compliant, abnormal.

Atipico, 2300 N. Akard St., Suite 230, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

About James Almanza

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