Ever since I moved back to Massachusetts nearly 9 years ago, I had been looking for a Mexican restaurant that rivaled my favorite restaurant in Indiana, Hacienda. I’ve been to a couple decent places around the North Shore, but none had ever really quite hit the spot, until my husband and I relocated back to Beverly last summer and we discovered Cielito Lindo, located on Cabot Street in Beverly.
Cielito Lindo is a small place, maybe 12 tables or so at the most, but that’s part of what makes the atmosphere there so great, even on a busy night. Their authentic food is fresh, and very flavorful. Everything is made fresh in house, including the complimentary chips and salsa served when you sit down. Of course we always order a small dish of guacamole to go with the chips and salsa. They cook most of their dishes without much spice, but the food doesn’t even need it because it has so much flavor. If you do like it more on the hotter side, you can ask for it to be made that way, and they are more than happy to do so. The wait staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about the dishes. I recently ordered something other than my usual, and our waiter immediately told me what was in the sauce, which is a good thing, especially since I recently discovered I have an allergy to red onions. Yes, just the red ones, it is possible! I wish we had discovered this place a long time ago! They recently celebrated their 6th anniversary, and of course I stopped by to listen to some live music and enjoy some wonderful food.
I’m always looking to expand my palette as an artist and photographer, and I decided I wanted to add some food photography to my portfolio. I contacted the owner of Cielito Lindo since I’m all about helping out fellow local/small businesses. He was very excited to work together, and to get some photos to use for web and social networking use, especially after the restaurant won another Best of North Shore Award for 2012. It also doesn’t hurt that I live a mere 1 minute walk from their door!
Back in July we set up a day for me to come in and take photos of various dishes, drinks, and a few of the restaurant itself. I had a blast, letting my creativity take over and experimenting with some new techniques, and really getting to use my macro lens, macro photography being another favorite of mine. I’ve definitely found a new passion in food photography, and combining it with the fun of macro photography, I hope to reach out to more local businesses and restaurants and do a lot more food/product shoots!