Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘tapas’

Hungry Z, NBCChicago Street Team

Have you ever gone to a restaurant with your buddies and wished you could just order a bunch of appetizers instead of an entrée? Maybe you just landed a date with that hottie from the gym and thought, “Man I wish she would share what’s on her plate.” Here’s where a tapas restaurant can really come in handy. Simply put, tapas are small plates of food that are meant to be shared over a drink. Those looking for that 32oz porterhouse should look elsewhere, like the cardiologist!

While many tapas restaurants focus on cuisine from Spain, Mezé offers a more international menu. Located in the West Loop, this spot exudes a cool vibe. Local art adorns the walls while the exotic music offers a cool mix of international sounds. All this means nothing without good food, so pour the sangria and let our world wide journey begin!

We start in Asia with the vegetarian Thai rolls. Served cold, the crisp carrotts and cucumbers are wrapped in rice paper and served with a dynamite sweet chili sauce. Hop on a plane to the Carribbean and chill out with the bright citrusy flavor of ceviche. They’re served with organic chips, so you can tell your beer buddies they’re nachos! Grilled talapia is the star of the addictive fish tacos served with an delicious carrot slaw.

After your buddies have finished their tacos and “nachos”, a stop in America will leave them licking their fingers from the barbecued chicken winglettes. Tender lollipops of chicken are served with a warm barbeque sauce that is sure to be a favorite. Our final stop is in the Mediterranean, so feel free to relax and stay a while. Say goodnight to the guys and hello to that hottie who agreed to meet you here. Pour some of the smooth house made sangria and you my friend are Joe Cool.

The colorful Boursin stuffed peppadew wows with creamy garlic infused goat cheese stuffed inside pickled sweet peppers. Butter knife tender peppercorn beef and gorgonzola is sure to make your taste buds explode with joy while satisfying your carnal need for red meat. To finish our journey we need to enjoy the grilled baby lamb chops. This super tender meat is topped with a roasted red pepper puree and is thankfully devoid of the mint jelly that many restaurants offer.

Prices average $6-7 per plate with only three over $10. Overall Mezé offers a cool vibe, wonderful diverse food, and killer sangria for a suprisingly reasonabe price.

Location

205 N Peoria

Chicago, IL 60607

(312) 666-6625

http://www.mezechicago.com

Check out more reviews at www.hungryz.com

Read Full Post »

D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyday was Friday?  Well supposedly the tropical island of Eivissa evokes the type of energy where every night out seems like a Friday night celebration.  Eivissa, the Catalan name for Ibiza, is known for its summer club parties that attract a ton of tourists and a lot of publicity.  It’s no wonder why the owners of the new tapas restaurant Eivissa are attempting to bring that same type of energy to Old Town.  The concept sounds cool, but can the new kid on the block pull it off?  Maybe for partying, but not so much for the cuisine.

Eivissa Cocktails

Eivissa Cocktails

The best thing about Eivissa are their “Islas Baleares” cocktails and “Chupitos” (infused shots).  Their standard red sangria is infused with vanilla beans and Ceylon cinnamon for a warm, spicy taste.   But after the alcoholic beverages nothing else is memorable, except for their Pinxtos, a unique mixture of morsels on toasted bread.  The “Salpicon Aioli”, consisting of different seafood was the winner in this category.  Their classical tapas are just average and be sure to order more cocktails to help wash down the  dry “Croquetas De Jamon”.  The “Carnes-Meats” section featured a duck and asparagus dish.  My advice is to take the asparagus and leave the duck.  The dessert menu featured a tart, rice pudding, and a chocolate churro, but I was too disappointed with the service to move on to the next  course.  Oh, did I mention service?  Two words sum up the service.  Not good.  The communication or lack there of with the server was frustrating.  There was no explanation of the menu and dishes were slower than normal to arrive at the table, despite a sparse lunch crowd.  The restaurant is nicely designed, but a return visit is necessary to determine the vibe.  Eivissa is not a first choice for tapas, but their fabulous drinks may have the Old Town folks sipping libations on their patio throughout the summer.

Eivissa is located at 1531 N. Wells St.  Log onto www.eivissachicago.com for more information.  Check out www.efete.net for more restaurant reviews and an inside look into Chicago’s newest and hottest restaurants.

Read Full Post »

Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team

I’m not the big plate of pasta girl. Not that I have the super model stamina to live on nothing but olives and champagne and diet pills, no; I simply like my big plates to be filled with lots of tiny different foods. In other words, as my brother says, “My favorite food is snacks.” So true.

Given this, tapas is the obvious choice as my restaurant favorite. Now I know that life is subjective and everyone has a right to an opinion, blah blah blah, but if you don’t like Cafe Ba Ba Reeba, I don’t trust your opinion on taste or fun, and I’m not even sure that you are human. Sorry. Maybe it’s partly due to the fact that every time I’m there I’m celebrating, and maybe it’s partially that we always drink a lot of sangria, but I’m all about their patatas bravas. I’m not entirely sure if it’s an actual “authentic” recipe like you might find if you visited Spain, but I don’t care. And although I’ve met with argument on this one, I’ve found that Ba Ba Reeba is also the most affordable and best bargain for what you get. (And we always get a LOT.)

Then there’s Emilio’s Tapas and Cafe Iberico, which are always fun — but when are sangria and cheese not fun? Emilio’s queso de cabra is a hot goat cheese garlic tomato mess of deliciousness, but overall Emilio’s is somewhat pricier. Iberico’s fine, but just not my favorite. I feel like I always get caught in the corner seat by the bathroom directly beside an incredibly loud stranger. My disapproval stems partly from the fact that I typically enjoy taking the role of Incredibly Loud Stranger myself, but also because there seems to be something about the acoustics in that place that elevates the drunken roar of diners to an impossibly loud pitch. It defies physics.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to 1492 Tapas, so I’ll have to give it another try, especially given that I walk by it daily and the promotions (Monday specials on sangria and beer, Tuesdays wine and martinis, etc) are enticing. I remembered enjoying it, but I don’t remember much else. Perhaps it was those drink specials.

Lucille’s Tavern and Tapas is also enjoyable, but given that they also serve French onion soup, it’s somewhat less true to the tapas theme. Ole Lounge is relatively new and has some fancy-pants delicious drinks, and Arco de Cuchileros is always yummy and bills itself as the “most authentic” tapas restaurant, which I appreciate.

What have a missed? Tiny Twist in Wrigleyville, where we found it’s not so easy to get a table, and Sangria on Weed Street, which I have yet to try because everything (including the giant rotating bubble-letter sign and the fact that it’s on Weed Street) leads me to believe it’s more club-y and less tapas-y. Which is totally fine, but just not what I’m looking for in my tapas restaurant.

Besides, I already have a favorite…and I apparently don’t like change. I’m always up for a suggestion, though! Email me at llodewyck@nudehippo.com.

Read Full Post »