De la Cruz Bistro

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10 W. Main Street, Mesa

Oscar and Silda de la Cruz -- who made Mangos one of Mesa's most popular restaurants -- are the brains behind this Contemporary American restaurant and wine bar, situated catty-cornered from Mesa's Center for the Arts. In the East Valley, the de la Cruz name is synonymous with Mexican food, but the couple knew they'd have to do something a little different (and perhaps more upscale) if they hoped to win the hearts and minds of event-goers. High ceilings, exposed brick, heavy curtains and massive furniture pieces give this historic space an old world look, but it's neither fussy nor dated. Meanwhile, the eclectic menu sticks to basics, including meat loaf and pork chops, although that may change as the bistro's audience grows. Crispy wontons with sweet and sour sauce and creamy artichoke dip make tasty appetizers. Do try Sharon's chicken salad which combines fresh greens with grilled chicken, craisins, candied pecans and feta, served with creamy, house-made raspberry vinaigrette. Desserts are not made in-house, but that won't stop you from loving crème brûlée cheesecake on a graham cracker crust. Yum. Lunch and dinner M-Sa. $-$$$