Modern Mexican in Historic Hinsdale
Cine owner Peter Burdi sits at the base of a decorative palm tree festooned with orange glass balls, that grows into the plaster dome in the ceiling of what once was the Hinsdale Theater. | Kimberly Fornek—Sun-Times Media
What: Cine restaurant, “a modern taqueria.”
Where: 29 E. First St., Hinsdale
When: Open Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to midnight; Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Closed Monday.
For more information: Call (630) 590-5655, or look at website, www.cinehinsdale.com
Updated: December 16, 2012 6:06AM
HINSDALE — More than 300 people were eager to try a new Mexican restaurant in Hinsdale.
Peter Burdi, the owner of Cine in the former Hinsdale Theater said the restaurant served more than 220 people on Saturday and more than 150 on Sunday, its opening weekend.
“We had to turn people away,” said Burdi, who lives in Burr Ridge.
With Cine at 29 E. First St., Burdi and his wife Dana now own three restaurants on the same block in downtown Hinsdale.
“I can basically visit all three in an hour. It makes them easier to control,” Burdi said.
Burdi was a real estate attorney and investor when he bought a building at 8 E. First St., designed by R. Harold Zook. He was planning to lease the space to someone who was going to open an Italian restaurant, when the party backed out.
Burdi decided to open his own restaurant, Il Poggiolo, there. That was between 2006 and 2008, when the real estate market collapsed and Burdi was looking for a new venture.
After the restaurant, was up and running, “a very close friend of mine said there’s a need for sushi in this town.” Together he and Burdi opened the Japanese restaurant Nabuki at 18 E. First St. in 2010.
Two years later, Burdi saw another food craving and decided to satisfy it.
“There’s a real need here for Latin cuisine,” Burdi said. He called the restaurant, Cine, Spanish for film or movies, in honor of the closed theater.
Cine features different dinner, bar and children’s menus.
“It’s nouveau (or nuevo) Mexican cuisine,” said chef Yanni Sanchez.
Some of the entrees may sound familiar, such as carne asada or pollo enchiladas, but “only the names are the same,” Sanchez said. The taste is fresh and creative, and the presentation beautiful, she said.
Although a woman’s clothing store occupied the building after the theater ceased operations, much of the original theater décor remained intact, such as the decorative plaster ceiling and moldings, exposed brick walls, and the theater balconies, although they are visible only to the staff.
The same designer, Katherine Ingrassia, who decorated Nabuki furnished El Cine. The vivid colors and contrasting textures were inspired by the work of the Mexican artist Luis Barragon.
“I wanted a more modern look, and not so kitschy with sombreros and such,” Burdi said.
Burdi’s wife and partner, Dana, who worked as an art department coordinator and set designer in the entertainment industry, also had input.
“Her involvement gets greater as I open more restaurants,” Burdi said. “It’s all about teamwork. I couldn’t do it without her.”