Highly Recommended ***** Last evening we visited the Ravenswood Area. This is a section of Ravenswood that is being revamped where factories and office buildings are being converted to studios, offices, residences and one of the most interesting restaurants I have had the opportunity to visit, “artango bistro”, exotic South American dining with no limits! The restaurant is located at 4217 N. Ravenswood (by the way, parking is a snap and free) in what appears to have been either a factory just a few stairs up from the street level. There are tables outside as well with a pretty view.
When one enters the building, one can see the detail that has gone into the artwork that has been created for the mood using soft colors and wood for wall hangings and beautiful hardwood floors, which makes more sens when we talk about the Tango dancing that can be a part of your dining experience. The Hostess, Maria greeted us and introduced us to our server for the evening Francisco, who then escorted us to our table. The dining room is open and had tables filling about three quarters of the room. Along the back wall, we saw wooden chairs, a sign that dancers would be seated waiting their turn to tread the boards.
There were four in our party, so we decided that we would allow the expert, Francisco to make our evening special. He did not let us down! This is a BYO restaurant, so Francisco made sure we had the glasses for our wine along with a cooler and of course ice-water. Our dining experience began with the Ceviches, Isla, a shrimp specialty, Pacifico, mahi mahi with a passion fruit sauce, and Nikkei, a combination tuna with avocados mixed with scallions. These were all delicious.
Next, the Entadas; pulpo a la gallega (octopus with potato) and as someone that has never enjoyed octopus, I tried it and to my surprise, found it to be delicious. I have a new attitude towards this dish, at least as it was prepared at artango!. We also had a selection of dynamite empanadas and some delicious guacamole peruano.
Now it was time for the main courses- platos fuertes. So far, Francisco had exceeded our expectations. Could he keep it up. Of course, he is a Latino- he would pick the winners! We had Chilean Sea Bass (Lubina Celestial) with a mango sauce and relish as well as jasmine coconut rice- mmmm!. The Entrana, a grilled skirt steak that was juicy and sliced thin on mashed potatoes with a chimichurri sauce that was divine, alongside some beautiful lamb chops cooked to perfection (Cordero Patagonico) and then one of the most fantastic steaks I have ever had, and I have had a lot f steaks , the Malbec Mignon, an 8 ounce filet with new mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus with a malbec sauce- man this was special.
Before we had our coffee and desert, Jane and I ventured to the Tango floor. Yes, they have a teacher on certain nights who will show you the steps and work with you, but if you are not a dancer, sit back and watch them. There were some true Tango fanatics on the floor. We went back to order some after dinner treats, and learned from our leader, Francisco that this part changes every day. Once again, he came through bringing us only three (which was more than enough) for the four of us: flourless chocolate cake, Dulce de Leche crepes and the most divine bread pudding I have ever tasted. In fact, the bread pudding caught all of us by surprise. Jane, Vicki and Alan all agreed that this was to “die for”.
This is an experience, not just a dinner out. Be prepared to spend some time enjoying and savoring the flavors o fthe South American cuisine that you will enjoy during your dining experience and later as you recall each portion of the evening. The presentation of each plate was as eye appealing as the aromas were and then the tastes. Yes, often one or two of the three is present. At artango, you will see, smell and taste the flavors of South America in an atmosphere that will make you feel as if you are on a vacation and after spending a day at the ocean, are out for a local dining experience. There are others who offer this style of dining, but not with this flair and expertise. No fancy boleros who keep cutting meat off sticks, just great food at a pace where you can savor the flavor.
For reservations call artango at 773-697-7479 or 312-823-4859 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org
5 p.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays until 12 a.m.
Brunch/Lunch Saturdays and Sundays 11 am- 3 p.m.
I can’t wait to return. Maybe I will see you there! I hope so!