Casa Carmen will open next week

Casa Carmen, the first restaurant outside Mexico for the family of revered Mexican cook Carmen “Titita” Ramirez Degollado, will open next Thursday at the former Tutto Il Giorno space at 114 Franklin. It will no doubt be a hot ticket: Titita’s grandsons, who are running the restaurant, smartly used a Mexican designer (beautiful) and trained the head chefs in Mexico City at one of Titita’s El Bajio restaurants.

Titita was named one of the “matriarchs of Mexican flavor” by Mark Bittman in the Times in 2007, and now, at 83, she has 19 El Bajio locations. The original opened in 1972 — 50 years ago in October.

I will have more details after next Wednesday, but in the meantime, here’s from their press release:

At Casa Carmen, nearly all of the recipes will come directly from Titita. Two of the head chefs trained at El Bajío for months in preparation for the opening, undergoing exhaustive training about ingredients, recipes, techniques and cooking protocols. In the tradition of the restaurants in Mexico, Casa Carmen will also entrust “mayoras” – the elder stateswomen of the kitchen – to oversee the creation of the sauces and other fundamental building blocks of the menu such as tortillas. Titita herself will be in NYC for the first week of the restaurant’s opening, and El Bajío’s executive chef Josep Rivera will also come from Mexico City for the first three weeks of the restaurant’s opening to oversee the execution of Titita’s recipes.

The menu will feature a duck tostada, plantain empanadas, enchiladas de mole (a special mole that only a handful of cooks know how to make), pescado “Veracruzano” and shrimp in a special salsa negra made with charred chipotle peppers. The cocktail program is agave-forward, and there is also a large list of mezcal and tequila. The restaurant will also offer Mexican wines (mainly Valle de Guadalupe and Parras).

Reservations will be open next week on OpenTable. Hours will be daily for dinner from 5 to 11p, with brunch and lunch coming in the near future.



  1. Very exciting, and what a great addition to the neighborhood – can’t wait to try it!!

  2. Can’t wait to try it !! Love Mexican traditional food and the space looks incredible!