Tapas & Small Plates in Chicago
We (me and my wife) are big tapas/small plates fans.
In chicago, we tried Cafe Iberico, Babareeba and Mercat Planxa so far and, actually loved all of them.
We are wondering if you guys have any other recommendations for genuine tapas restaurants (with nice spanish wine selection is a plus!) in Chicago.
Since you specify that small plates are okay too, I would put a strong recommendation in for Purple Pig, which is a brand new wine bar with Mediterranean small plates. It has received a lot of press lately and deservedly so. The food is creative and comforting, plus the wine list offers glasses, quartinos, half bottles and full bottles. The food and wine are primarily from Italy, Spain and Greece, but there are a few other selections as well. Enjoy!
We have roughly a dozen tapas restaurants in the Chicago area. The three you have already tried are among our very best. I would also recommend the various Emilio's locations ( www.emiliostapas.com ). Emilio Gervilla opened his first, namesake restaurant in west suburban Hillside, and now also runs locations in Streeterville (downtown Chicago) and Lincoln Park (on Chicago's north side). His Streeterville location is called Sol y Nieve.
I would NOT recommend Tapas Barcelona in Evanston, where, in my experience, the food is just okay and the service is rude.
I concur with Emelio's. I prefer Iberico, but the night my daughter won a full college scholarship I was in the mood to splurge. And it was worth it. It's not cheap and I thought the paella was just mediocre, but the rest was great. And the service was excellent and personal. I went to the Clark/Fullerton location and would go back. But it cost us over $100 for what would have been $50 or $60 at Iberico.
I know some people must suspect I work for them, but I don't. I just really like the place. I haven't been there since Halloween, when all the employees were in costume and I had an amazing meal.
They only offer them as specials, but if you ever see grilled oysters or squid ink pasta casserole on the menu, pounce. Two of the best dishes I have had anywhere.
The first time we went, when it had just opened, the tapas at TV seemed quite ordinary. The second time both the quality and the preparation had improved considerably. Both times we took advantage of the $2/tapas from 4-6:30 M-F. We were glad we did since the prices are IMO a bit high. We will definitely return, however, perhaps even at full price if the tapas continue to impress. Good Spanish wines are also available.