A trip to Watertown’s newest restaurant will be like taking a trip South of the Border, with authentic Mexican dishes, margaritas and real tiles and decorations from Mexico.
Ixtapa Mexican Grill & Cantina will take the spot at 18 Mt. Auburn Street in Watertown that was occupied for many years by Verona Restaurant. It is part of a local group of family restaurants that started in Lunenberg in 2005, said Jillian Canavan, director of marketing for Ixtapa Grill.
Ixtapa is modeled after a cantina in Guerrero, Mexico, Canavan said, and the experience will be “like walking into a real Mexican hacienda.”
“All the recipes, the food, are all homemade, family recipes,” Canavan said. “Most of our decor – the tiles and ceramics – come from Mexico. And the paintings are commissioned from an artist in Mexico.”
The area of Mexico where Ixtapa is based upon – Guadalajara – is famous for its tequilas and its tortillas. There are also many seafood dishes, Canavan said.
The goal of Ixtapa is to allow the whole family to enjoy a meal together.
“The average entree costs $12 to $13, so you can take the whole family without breaking the bank,” Canavan said. “And in Mexican culture, family is hugely important. We don’t care if you bring your 2 year old in. We want you to feel comfortable bringing the kids without getting looks.”
Family friendly does not mean people can’t enjoy an adult beverage. The restaurant has about a dozen imported Mexican beers, along with plenty of domestic brews. They also have more than a dozen top-shelf tequilas to enjoy.
Along with the traditional margarita, Ixtapa has its own recipes, including the Cadillac Margarita (Cuervo Gold Tequila with Triple Sec and margarita mix. Served on the rocks with a float of Grand Marnier), and the Rosarita margarita (Sauza Tequila, Triple Sec, cranberry juice and fresh lime juice).
The opening date has not been announced, but the interior is almost complete, Canavan said. Now they are working on getting the signage approved.
“We are aiming to open sometime in mid-June,” Canavan said.
The restaurant will have a soft opening, followed by an official grand opening.
There are other locations in Lunenburg, Lexington, Woburn, Acton and Groton. See more about Ixtapa Mexican Grill & Cantina at ixtapacantina.com