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Restaurant brings new variety of Mexican food to Lodi

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Posted: Friday, November 14, 2008 10:00 pm

Revolucion 1910 plans to revolutionize Mexican cuisine as you know it.

In his completely renovated Lower Sacramento Road restaurant, owner Javier Del Castillo is taking the traditional recipes from Mexico's kitchens and altering them.

"I want to raise them to the elegant status they deserve," said Del Castillo, whose family owns La Campana, an order-at-the-counter restaurant for busy people on the go.

Unlike his family's restaurant, the concept of Revolucion 1910 is relaxation, to provide a place to sit for a while and enjoy yourself at the end of the day.

The experience of Revolucion 1910, or Revolucion Mil Nueveciento Diez, as Del Castillo calls it, starts at the door. Dark booths line the walls. Soft, art deco lights handpicked by Del Castillo himself hang over each table. Lively Spanish music plays in the background. The staff is professional and attentive. The full bar expansive and clean.

The menu is partially tapas style, following in Spain's tradition of one table sharing several appetizers. Everything on the menu is a revamped version of original dishes. When creating the menu, Del Castillo and his chef, Jose Sigifredo "Sigi" Lopez , looked at original Mexican dishes throughout history.

"They were humbled," Del Castillo said.

American-created "Mexican" dishes - such as chimichangas, nachos, flautas and even flour tortillas - have been eliminated from the Revolucion 1910 menu.

What's left are dishes and appetizers that combine unlikely ingredients for ultimate flavor.

Pumpkin seed crusted ahi tuna and watermelon with asparagus. (Brian Feulner/News-Sentinel)

Served in a terracotta bowl is queso fundido ($9), Oaxaca cheese baked with chorizo, Anaheim chile and roasted corn. It's a flavorful mixture you eat with fresh corn tortillas.

Chilaquiles casi listos ($9) is also unique - tortilla chips tossed with chipotle cream, roasted chicken, queso fresco and sweet red peppers. The chips swim in a white cream sauce that is not spicy, but entirely addictive.

The pumpkin seed-crusted and seared ahi tuna (atun enchipotletado ($11)) will even impress those who don't eat fish. It is served with an asparagus-quinoa salad and chipotle vinaigrette.

Tamales de polla are a variety of tamales you've probably never had. Filled with cotija cheese, sauteed spinach and chahote, they are covered with the house mole. The mole (pole poblano) is a rich sauce made of spices, chiles, nuts and chocolate. The tamales come with slices of cactai that look like sliced honeydew melon. The cactai makes your palate neutral so you can enjoy each bite of food as if it were your first.

Chilaquiles Casi Listos is tortilla chips tossed with chipotle cream, roasted chicken queso fresca and sweet pepper rojos. (Brian Feulner/News-Sentinel)

Open for just over a month, Revolucion 1910 is already earning loyal customers. "This place is going to do well," you hear first-time customers whisper. One customer, after finishing off an echilada plate, wouldn't let the waiter take her plate because she wanted to wait for more homemade corn tortillas to wipe up the last bit of enchilada sauce.

"When she did that, it reminded me of when I was a kid and my mom's food was so good I wanted to clean my plate," Del Castillo said.

For those who prefer traditional plates, there are carnitas, mole with chicken, arrachera (marinated and grilled skirt steak with roasted red peppers, garlic and sweet potatoes) and enchiladas.

There are also plenty of seafood dishes: shrimp cocktail, ceviche, tartare de salmon (salmon with mango, cilantro, pickled red onion and navel orange olive oil).

Revolucion 1910 has also added their classy twist to the traditional taco with several varieties. Tacos de asada includes ranch skirt steak, guacamole, carmalized onions, arugula and queso fresco (three for $8). Revolucion's fish tacos are made with battered cod, chipotle mayonnaise, pico de gallo and sweet red peppers.

Tamales De Pollo: chicken tamales with moel poblano, cotijia cheese, sauteed spinach and chayote. (Brian Feulner/News-Sentinel)

Learning of Del Castillo's ideas for the restaurant, Lopez created the menu, using everything he learned working in Mexico and the United States. After working in French and Italian restaurants, Lopez joined Ernesto's of Sacramento and then helped open Zocolo's in Sacramento. House manager Alvaro Gonzalez also worked at the popular Zocolo's.

One of the first things you notice when you walk through the doors is the bar. The flat screen TV, colorful bottles of Patron and the shiny black décor help create an evening atmosphere. Christian Lara is usually the bartender.

The margaritas are the house specialty. There are eight to choose. Only three ingredients are used: 100 percent blue agave tequila, organic agave nectar and fresh-squeezed lime juice.

A bar menu will be released in a month. It will include the martini carnival, and apple martini, which is Lara's newest creation.

Restaurant At A Glance

What: Revolucion Mil Nueveciento Diez (1910)
Where: 307 S. Lower Sacramento Road
Specialties: Tapas-style entrees
Hours: 10:45 a.m.-10 p.m., daily
Information: 334-1519



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