It's only been about two months since Anastacia Quinones was announced as the new head chef at Jose, the popular modern Mexican restaurant from Brady Wood on Lovers Lane, but she's already spicing things up in the kitchen.
"I've been excited to implement the daily tacos and the aguachile on the new menu," she says. "The Tacos de Tacha and seasonal aguachile are like a permanent pop-up. They change weekly and sometimes every few days, depending on what's available or if I get an early morning text from one of my purveyors with something exciting. It allows me to stay creative and keeps my staff on their toes."
AQ, as she is known in the biz, was named CultureMap Dallas' Rising Star Chef of the Year in 2018. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York, she has more than 15 years of experience producing regionally inspired dishes from Jalisco, Oaxaca, Mexico City, and beyond.
She's been tasked with overseeing Jose's new menu development and bringing a fresh twist to many of the restaurant's popular favorites.
"Diners can expect the unexpected," she says. "Too often, people think Mexican food is all hearty, cheesy, meaty food. And it can be. But it's also light and bright and colorful. I'm thankful to be in a pool of very talented Hispanic chefs helping to move this modern Mexican movement forward."
With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, diners might find that the ideal time to visit — or re-visit — Jose. In addition to its nightly dinner menu, the restaurant is offering a handful of specials in honor of the holiday.
These include a crab salad with poblano crema, mango, cucumber, red onion, pea tendrils; redfish aguachile with serrano, coconut, pomegranate, and arugula; a 32-ounce bone-in ribeye for two served with carnitas fat-fried potatoes, habanero hollandaise, and sauteed verdolagas; and seared scallops atop faro risotto, carrot mole, chihuahua cheese, and blue corn tortilla chips.
For dessert, fresas con crema with toasted meringue and XO Patron macerated berries can be paired with an XO coffee/chocolate cocktail.
"Everything in the restaurant has a story," says AQ, in reference to her decision to come on board at Jose. "The mural on the tiles, the fountain, the plates — everything was a thought process. I loved that! It's hard to find that kind of passion and I'm very fortunate to share mine with them."
Jose is located at 4931 W. Lovers Ln. Reservations can be made online or by calling 214-891-5673.