Chef Tello Carreón will helm Alta Calle, a new Mexican restaurant on South Grand

Alta Calle
, the latest eatery from the team behind Las Palmas, is set to open later this month at 3131 South Grand Blvd., in the space that formerly housed Mekong and Upstairs Lounge.

Not only will the restaurant be bringing authentic Mexican fare to the international panoply of cuisines available on South Grand, but Alta Calle will also bring chef Tello Carreón back to a restaurant kitchen as its executive chef.

Carreón said he and Las Palmas founder Veronica Morales worked together in the early 1990s at Casa Gallardo in the Galleria, and were brought back together when a mutual friend told him of the Alta Calle project.

While he’s a longtime veteran of the local food scene, Carreón is perhaps best remembered as the first executive chef at Nixta, where he garnered attention creating dishes like the grilled octopus, which made Sauce restaurant critic Michael Renner’s Top Three Dishes of 2017 list.

Carreón left Nixta in fall 2017 and has concentrated on catering and consulting since then. Alta Calle marks his return to helming a restaurant kitchen, though he said he’ll continue to consult and pursue other projects.

Nixta fans will be happy to hear that Carreón will also recreate some of his signature dishes like ceviche and crab tostadas, though he’ll be tweaking them significantly. “I get bored,” Carreón said. “I like to change things up.”

Carreón said he’s familiar with the South Grand strip, having helped open the now-shuttered Mojo Tapas and consulted at Tree House among other area projects, so he’ll have plenty of vegetarian offerings on his menu, including vegetarian flautas, which he debuted to great effect at this year’s Taste of Maplewood street festival.

Matt Sorrell is a staff writer at Sauce Magazine.