Juarez eatery promises to inject new life into local food scene

Ardeo in Ciudad Juarez

From oysters on the half shell to sublime steak to grilled octopus, a new culinary contender has arrived in the Borderland: Ardeo Brazas Kitchen celebrated its grand opening in Ciudad Juarez this week. And it's only the first chapter in what will be a three-part campaign to inject new life into the local food scene.

“It’s a restaurant with like a rustic and local twist," said Edgar Orozco, the corporate chef at Ardeo.

Orozco and his father developed the concept for the restaurant.

“Everything we did is family style so that way you can try different types of plates,” he said.

Orozco studied to be a chef in New York and Italy. But when it came time to open his own restaurant, he knew he wanted to come back home.

“You cannot forget where your’e from," he said. "First you got to do it where your roots are. You gotta love it and the passion that you get helps you a lot.”

Ardeo features an exciting menu that manages to swing from carnitas to jamon iberico - from grilled jalapenos to roasted beets.

“Our focus is Mexican Spanish," Orozco said. "That’s what we thought about when we did the concept.”

The bar features several signature cocktails, built around fresh ingredients like grilled pineapple. Since we're in Mexico, Ardeo offers authentic Cuban rum and real Cuban cigars.

Ardeo is located on Gomez Morin Boulevard in a new development called La Morin, an ambitious project that's two years in the making.

Eventually, two other high end restaurants will open here at La Morin. They will be equally as impressive as Ardeo. And the owners say the idea is to change the game when it comes to the culinary experience in Ciudad Juarez.

“It’s been in the planning, we’ve been grabbing ideas," Orozco said. "We went to Chicago to New York to San Francisco. We went to Spain to see the ovens.”

The next restaurant to open will be an Italian kitchen. The concept for the third and final restaurant is still under wraps. The owners want La Morin to be more than another fine dining option. They envision a place where people come together to enjoy an ambieance that's unique to this border city.

“ I feel very proud," Orozco said. "This is a family business. We are all in the operations. We are all here grinding it. But we really like it. We love it.”

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