I came to this bar about 10 years ago during the holiday season and had an amazing dinner experience. I remember that wine was terrific, the atmosphere cozy, and service amazing! I dreamed of returning. My last few visits to Chicago I wanted to come here as well as I saw it was open. I walked by a few times and saw many people in outdoor seating. I was happy to see that it was still open and in business.
I met my best friend here for dinner this Sunday evening. We sat outside as it was a beautiful summer evening. All I could think about was some good conversation, good wine, and tapas.
The waiter brought the wine list and started to explain it. I thought to myself, "I know what a wine list is, thanks." I found a bottle and soon ordered. The waiter returned with another bottle as my selection was out. Now, I am no wine expert by any means but if I order a Chilean wine and you are do not bring a California wine to try to "sub" for it, which is what he tried to do. "No thanks," I spouted and asked for the wine list again. He decided, in Spanish slang, to offer his suggestion. I realize that this is a Spanish (from Spain) establishment, but there is a big difference between Spain Spanish and his Mexican/Central American Spanish (I know the accent). Also, I was speaking English the entire time so I am not sure why the change in tounge.
My second selection was equally unavailable and, again, the waiter offered an equally sub-par alternative. The third choice was in so we were on our way.
The waiter asked if we could order by number (yup - the menu had numbers by each item) which really meant the loss of the experience. This isnt McDonalds is it? If this is fine dining - let it be fine. Not cheap and quick. Even by ordering 3 different numbers he missed one. We fixed that pronto.
After the second tapa the waiter asked if we wanted more. I had to remind him that we ordered a third that had not arrived. We ordered two more and our missing tapa arrived
Overall, the food was good - at times great! The salmon, shrimp, and lamb were on the A list. The others were ordered were a B. The desert was a B, too. Sitting outside was great, albeit the wait staff subtracted from the atmosphere rather than added to it. A couple of bus boys were telling jokes and just being crazy by the stairs.
Service could have been better. None seemed to care. If service was better then prices would be reasonable. Remember these are basically mini-entrees and although each is $8-12, you will probably need 2-3 per person. We had 5 plus desert. Bill over $100.
Will I return again? Sure, eating outside in good weather can't be beat and the food is good. Will I spend as much? Probably not, unless I score better servers.
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