A forthcoming restaurant described as drawing inspiration from the culinary traditions of Mexico City and Oaxaca is opening later this fall in Midtown. Vecino, which means neighbor in Spanish, will be led by executive chef Ricardo Mojica, formerly of Sava’s in Ann Arbor, and head chef Stephanie Duran, who held stints working under the tutelage of lauded chefs in Mexico City and Chicago.
According to a media release distributed Thursday, Vecino is the first project by Midwest Hospitality, launched by co-founders Adriana Jimenez, and Colin Tury and Michael Haener of the design studio, Midwest Common. Jimenez is a native of Mexico City, who grew up working at her family’s two Mexican restaurants in Waterford, and has a background working as a real estate developer.
“The vision for Vecino was to bring an elevated Mexico-style concept to Detroit with an emphasis on authentic cuisine,” said Jimenez in the media release. “Chefs Ricardo and Stephanie bring unique personal and professional backgrounds to achieve the concept we’re looking for. We’re thrilled to have them aboard.”
Mojica is a Michigan native, who became a sous chef at P.F. Chang’s at the age of 19, and eventually went on to work at Sava’s. Duran is originally from Texas and studied at the Culinary Institute of America, before spending time working in Mexico City — including under the leadership of renowned chefs Enrique Olvera (Pujol and Eno) and Maycoll Calderon (Huset) — and eventually as a line cook at the Aviary — a part of the lauded Alinea Group in Chicago.
The menu is said to feature dishes traditional to Oaxaca and inspired by the inventiveness of Mexico City’s dining scene, utilizing a wood-fired hearth at the center of the kitchen. Diners can expect heirloom corn tortillas made in-house, sharable plates, raw dishes such as ceviche and crudo, as well as entrees like pollo al carbon and whole snapper.
Vecino is expected to open its doors in late November at 4100 Third Street.