Tavernita, River North, Chicago

Earlier this month I was in Chicago for a week, and I had the chance to check out Tavernita for NYE dinner. I went with my friend Josh, who often accompanies us on our culinary adventures, and one of his friends from the city- even though they had a prix fixe option, we chose to go a la carte (pretty much because of my pickiness). The food came out a dish or two at a time, and we kept the cocktails (which were absolutely delicious) flowing throughout. The first dish was a salmon crudo- it looked so wonderful that I ventured a bite, and was incredibly pleased with that decision. The flavours all blended beautifully with the salmon, and created a dish that was really unique and a great start to our meal. A burrata crostini was next- while it was good, seeing how every restaurant now features a burrata starter, I was hoping for something a bit more exciting. The mushroom flatbread that came out third was probably the biggest disappointment of the meal- it fell flat in comparison to the creativity and flavours of the other dishes we had. Next out were some brussels sprouts, and these were AMAZING. Rich, winter flavours combined to make something incredible- I probably ate 2/3s of this bowl by myself. Next up were patatas bravas topped with a fried duck egg- these were also good, but don’t come close to the ones at Viva Madrid. We finished the meal with house-made linguini topped with a shellfish butter- this was the star of the dinner. I never thought I would enjoy a dish like this, yet it was spectacular! You simply cannot visit Tavernita without getting this pasta. Overall, we had a great experience- albeit an overpriced one, and I would recommend Tavernita to anyone looking for a unique, fun option in the heart of Chicago.

- priya

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Faroe Island Salmon crudo, piquillo peppers, olives, charred onions, sherry vinaigrette, marcona almonds

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Burrata, tomato marmalade, crostini

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Mushroom flatbread with goat cheese, herb salad

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Brussels Sprouts, chestnuts, fontina cheese

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Patatas Bravas, fried duck egg

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House-made linguini, shrimp sausage, grilled radicchio, shellfish butter

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