The Spring celebration of Carnival that precedes Lent is a storied week of vibrance and culture around the globe.
From street parades to late-night parties, it’s become a favorite among world travelers and a pre-eminent event in the Latin region of South America—and it’s from this colorful and joyful moment that Carnivale restaurant in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood gets its name.
Boasting an award-winning menu of pan-Latin flavors and inventive dishes alongside costumed performers and a lively atmopshere, Carnival invites guests to celebrate every day like it’s a holiday.
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Specialties including seafood paella, Faroe island salmon, Uruguay-style Amish chicken breast, Puerto Rican-style Berskhire pork shoulder and Colombian-style arepas keep customers coming back for more—not that the seafood bar, cevicheria or colorful cocktails don't help.
Today, you can take a taste of Carnivale home with you, because executive chef Carlos Garza has shared his specialty recipe for Lamb Shank Barbacoa with our readers below.
“Barbacoa is made differently across all parts of Mexico,” Garza says, “but here at Carnivale, we like to highlight the Oaxacan version which features lamb wrapped in avocado leaves and is smoke-roasted over a pot of lamb broth and vegetables to elicit maximum flavor and tenderness. The meat and chili juices drain into the soup as it roasts and in the end you will be delighted to find two dishes in one: a spicy vegetable soup and an incredibly succulent, smoky cut of lamb.”
This delightful main course will wow any guest at your table and is sure to be a favorite among friends and family. A good cut of meat is the best base. Add to it all the spices and flavors of Mexico’s best, and you’ve got yourself a true mouth-watering treat.
Visit Carnivale at 702 W. Fulton Market in Chicago and online for more delicious dishes and inspiration.
Photography by: Courtesy of Carnivale