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Oct 11, 2006 07:34 PM

Good Spanish menus - NOT just Tapas

When I lived in New York there were lots of Spanish(and Portuguese?) restaurants that served wonderful paellas and glorious seafood "stews" (I guess) with a luscious Green Sauce (that seemed to be made with lots of parsley, garlic, wine, butter, olive oil and maybe Sherry.)

In any case, I really miss those places (many were just holes in the wall.)

Does anyone know of such places in Chicago - preferably on the North Side? Thanks!

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  1. Most of the tapas places I'm familiar with also have entree-sized dishes on their menus - Ba-Ba-Reeba has several paellas on the menu, as well as other dishes, as does Arco de Cuchilleros (both on Halsted). Since the demise of La Paella (owned by the parents of the owner of Arco de Cuchilleros), there has been no purely non-tapas Spanish place in Chicago, that I'm aware of. Another great place with entrees as well as tapas is Rioja, on Clark south of Foster (in the old Atlantique space - same owner, different concept - great food).

    1. Any of Emilio Gervilla's restaurants serve many Classic Spanish dishes as well as a wide variety of Tapas. My favorite Emilio's restaurant is the one in Hillside on Roosevelt. This one was his very first restaurant. FYI: Emilio was the original chef at Cafe BaBaReeBa many years back. There are 2-3 Chicago locations as well. He is a really nice guy...I bet he would cook up your favorite dish with proper notice. I was thrilled to hear that Emilio will be catering my high school, "all class reunion", at Morgan Park Academy on 111th street in Beverly this Saturday. Emilio's food, a band, and open bar for $50...what a bargain!

      Check-out Rioja on Clark Street in Andersonville...great food. Have a Belgian Brew at Hopleaf afterwards. This is one of the very best Euro Pubs around. Decent Belgian menu as well.

      2 Replies
      1. re: amoncada

        I'm a big fan of Emilio's on Fullerton in Lincoln Park, but a couple months ago I went to the new outpost on Ohio in Streeterville and was very disappointed. Decor, service, wine selection, and food were all second rate compared to the Lincoln Park location. I've since been back to the Fullerton spot and its still great. It is primarily Tapas, but there is a big selection - more than 50 different options, plus they do serve Paella. The menus are all on their web site.

        FYI, Emilio also has a place in Wheaton called La Rioja, not to be confused with Rioja on Clark.

        1. re: wak

          Yeah, I don't care for the Ohio location. If you haven't already tried the Hillside location, give it a try. I prefer the food over the Fullerton location. La Rioja appears to have some classic Spanish dishes.