I had been to the small take-out version of Itacate in North Chili several times. A friend from southern California told me that it was the most authentic Mexican food he had found since moving from there to New York. In my experience everything has always been REALLY fresh tasting and the service has been great. I liked asking for suggestions because they have so many authentic items that most of Rochester's Mexican Restaurants have not served including unique soups, fish empanadas, etc...
I finally made it out to the Penfield restaurant a couple of months after they opened. Prior to discovering Itacate, I had certain expectation about what Mexican food tastes like which was based on previous restaurants I have visited. I liked all of these other places (Monte Alban, Los Gallos, etc...), but this food is just different. It seems fresher to me and more unique. I like the fact that the restaurant has a restaurant feel and wasn't converted from a fast food place. Some of the previously mentioned restaurants have no waiting area, no seperate bar area, no distinctively different ambience from room to room (most only have one room) Itacate ssems to have much more potential for group functions, intimate date nights, or big family dinner use. Also the restaurant seems less pretentious. I don't mean that those other Mexican restaurants are snooty. It just seems like often ethnic restaurants are like big theme parties. Mexican restaurants tend to be over the top with pinatas and sombreros and mariachi music and they cater to the stereotypes and preconceived notions of white America. Obviously, some degree of decor and mood music is a good thing and I think Itacate manages to "seem Mexican' without resorting to as much of this. It felt cozier, more like a favorite place to relax and eat my favorite "comfort food."
I went with a friend and wanted to go earlier in the evening but she had a lot going on and so we didn't get there until after 9:00. By this time I was so hungry that I was nauseous. I almost changed my mind about coming because I was afraid nothing would taste good to me. Thankfully the chips and salsa that we immediately received helped immensely. I decided to order "anything with mole" because I was just kind of in a mashed potatoes and gravy kind of mood by then, so I got the enchiladas with mole, black beans, and rice, It was so good. There was fresh lettuce and queso fresca (cheese) topping the yummy chicken enchiladas. The black beans were rich and wonderful, and the rice was a nice compliment. Nothing was too spicy and everything tasted like Sunday dinner at moms (if my mom had been Mexican.) I ended the meal with the rice pudding and it was really good (Grandma's secret recipe.) I plan to go back and try a lot of different items. I still have to try the Tamales.
The next day I was talking to a friend who went before I did based on my recommendation of the North Chili take-out store, and she asked if I had tried the bean soup. Since I hadn't, and I was in Spencerport the next day on business, I ran over to the take-out store and got some. It's available at both locations I believe. (I'm usually the sort of person who doctors up bean soup with butter and brown sugar)...this soup was not sweet, but was so rich and delicious that it won me over. I love that not everything is hot, spicy, covered in salsa, and garnished with jalapenos. Most of the food at Itacate tastes like something I would eat even if I was not in the mood for exotic, hot and spicy, ethnic cuisine.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.