Chef Ana Castro took over the space vacated by the brief pop-up Here Today and Thalia, where she was co-sous chef, to create something entirely her own: A Mexican restaurant featuring a nightly tasting menu that serves as an exploration of the people and places that fueled her passion for cooking. And Castro’s passion is catching. Though the restaurant was just a few months’ old by the time the James Beard Foundation Award Semi-Finalists were announced for 2022, Lengua Madre landed directly on the esteemed list. When Castro opened the restaurant, she kept things simple with a five-course tasting spread coupled with an optional wine pairing. Each dish arrives with a story detailing its origin. On a recent night, the meal began with a small clay vessel of Shrimp Caldito, a briney broth imbued with an unexpected kick of spice, and cheese-filled Tetelas that left us wondering if we could buy them by the dozen.