A year into its life at 1150 Main Ave., Cantera’s menu is changing. The restaurant wants to pivot away from stereotypical Mexican cuisine and focus on becoming a higher-end dining experience, said General Manager Aaron Brandes.
“The menu is going to be more focused – it’s going to be smaller,” Brandes said.
Brandes and chef Arturo Rojas were hired last fall, and the addition of both will allow the restaurant to implement its new direction, said owner Beto Navarro.
Navarro, who was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, said he and Rojas grew up in the same area, so Rojas knows more of the foods Navarro is looking for. Meanwhile, Brandes, who previously worked at Seasons and the Strater, knows Durango and what restaurant-goers are looking for here.
Among the new changes, which went into effect Monday, are a greater focus on steak and seafood and a commitment to sourcing local ingredients. Brandes also said the menu will represent the entirety of Mexican cuisine rather than just the dishes Americans typically associate with it.
“A lot of people use ‘farm-to-table’ and they may have an onion on the menu that is from a farm. ... We’re already bringing in goats that are local, we’re going to continue to do that with cows, we’re going to continue to do that with much product as we can,” Brandes said.
“We feel really good about our team and the quality of service that we’re working on, and that will continue to improve as well ... to be in the ilk of Seasons, Eolus, Ore House kind of pantheon of higher-end cuisine in town,” he said.