ML - Michigan Avenue

2014 - Issue 1 - Winter

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 73 of 123

TASTE FROM TOP: The chaufa aeropuerto, a molcajete filled with crispy fried rice, topped with a fried egg and mixed tableside; dinner guests on a weeknight. DRINK ME This Peruvian classic will continued from page 70 who love food in the most perfect sense of celebrating food with freedom." With Tanta, Acurio and his newly Chicagobased chef de cuisine Jesus Delgado share artful renditions of the nation's colorful cuisine—specifically its street food, which is created from the natural fusion of centuries of disparate cultures. It hasn't taken long for Chicago's foodie community to embrace Acurio's concept; early on a recent Wednesday night, the long, low-lit space quickly filled with a stylish crowd of postwork cocktailers, hip 30-somethings, and neighborhood couples out for a lively date night. "Tanta stays true to what you would find in a small family-owned restaurant in Peru," says Check, Please! host Catherine De Orio, who has dined at the restaurant multiple times. "Everything works together, and it's cool to see all of these cultures come together in the food. It's not contrived. It works. It makes sense." With the range of menu options—think fresh, zingy seafood cebiches; bites of sashimi; whipped potato causitas; and traditional anticucho skewers of meats like chicken and rib-eye-esque beef heart—deciding what to order can be a challenge (we suggest going with a larger group and ordering most of the menu or even ordering the cebiche tasting and street food feast). No matter where you land, though, you'll be treated to a global parade of flavor: the pobre nikei, a thin buttery slice of skirt steak atop rice topped with a perfectly cooked quail egg and a drizzle of ponzu; the chaufa aeropuerto, a molcajete filled with fried-egg-topped crispy fried rice mixed tableside; the flaky paiche, an imported Amazon River fish served with a decadent yucca and bacon mash; or the freakishly gorgeous pescado frito, a golden-hued Japaneseflavored crispy and meaty whole striped bass with piercing eyes and jeweled seasonings and fresh herbs that look like a glimmering tiara. The setting itself is a striking complement to the continued on page 74 put you in a sour mood in the best possible way. Tanta's beverage director Tomy Lokvicic features the classic Pisco Sour (Peru's national cocktail) front and center, with its recipe written in vibrant colors above the bar. Tanta's bartenders make each cocktail to order, shaking each twice: first dry and then with ice to give it a perfect frothy head. The result is a wonderfully chilled and blended drink that will make you feel like you've escaped to the tropics. Pisco Sour 2 oz. BarSol Pisco Primero Quebranta 1 oz. lime juice ¾ oz. simple syrup 1 egg white 1 dash Amargo Chuncho Peruvian Bitters Add all items to Boston shaker except for the bitters, and dry shake for 15 seconds. Add ice and shake for 10 seconds. Single strain into sour glass and top with bitters. WALL brings Peru's STREET Tanta's mural Chicago artist Jeff Zimmermann, a longtime friend of Tanta partner Veronica Beckman, was commissioned to create a mural depicting scenes of Peruvian culture. Zimmermann, who lived in Peru for three years when he was younger, took inspiration for the multipanel mural—which features 14 distinct vignettes, including a famous Peruvian anticucho street vendor and a world champion Peruvian surfer—after hearing Acurio discuss the 72 idea of "street food" over dinner. "I created a mural that gives us some zeitgeist—the city and nature at the same time," he says. "Items are faithfully painted to represent themselves and also act as signifiers for more." PHOTOGRAPHY BY HUGE GALDONES street culture to life. MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 070-074_MA_Taste_SMD_Opener/Cocktails_Winter_14.indd 72 1/10/14 2:21 PM

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