4 Things to Try at Tavernita

February 09 2012 - 10:30 AM

Ryan Poli’s Tavernita opened just a few weeks ago to patrons hoping for the chic style of Mercadito, a bar dressed to impress and the flavors of Spain. Needless to say, guests haven’t been disappointed.

The ambiance is sophisticated and trendy, and the food matches perfectly. The bigger problem is what to order. From crudos, to small plates and entree sized meals, there is almost as much to offer on the food menu as the drink menu. Here are four dishes worth the buzz.

  1. The Turista – The kegged cocktails don’t taste like they came from a tap, but at least they arrive to your table in that fashion. The Turista combines grapefruit and tequila in the perfect marriage. The smokiness of the black pepper syrup and the bbq bitters makes this cocktail reminiscent of a spicy Mercadito creation. Plus, the preserved cherries sitting at the bottom pack a serious punch.
  2. Escalivada – It seems like anything on the “en pan” section of the menu makes a great choice to start. This dish has even more flavor than you might expect, and it all fits on a few tiny pieces of toasted bread. The creamy goat cheese perfectly complements the roasted peppers and eggplant.
  3. Corn Pudding – Sweet and savory meet in the middle with this dish. The pudding is smooth and sweet, studded with pieces of corn and peppers. The shrimp and herb salad adds a nice topping to a completely perfect dish. Don’t miss this one.
  4. Artichoke Salad – Compared to some of the exotic dishes on the menu, ordering a salad sounds just plain boring. But this is no ordinary salad, and it shows why Tavernita deserves to be the River North shining star that it is. The beets are a pinkish color and a milder flavor than your traditional red beets. And artichoke chips? I’m not even sure what these are but they added a lovely crunch to the salad.

(312) 274-1111
151 W. Erie St.
Chicago, IL 60654

–Marly Schuman