Small plates prepare diners for more difficult sharing situations, such as co-owning a car or dividing up free time between your spouse and personal caricaturist. Master fair sharing with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of small plates and other Spanish cuisine at La Tasca Tapas Restaurant in Arlington Heights.
Lauded for its vibrant atmosphere and imported style of sharing by Just Off the Tracks, La Tasca Tapas Restaurant plays hosts to hordes swapping mini dishes and dividing paellas from a diverse menu. Diners snag sundried dates baked in bacon and red-pepper butter from platters of delicias andaluzas ($7.95) rotating like lazy susans on a merry-go-round, or cordon off a personal corner of the tortilla española, a spanish omelet stuffed with onions and potatos ($6.75). Chefs stash the paella alicantina's fresh seafood in a baked mound of saffron rice and veggies ($14.95/person; two person minimum) colossal enough to manage multiple appetites, arriving at tables after roughly 40 minutes of preparation. Parties cap off dinners or engage in competitive politeness by passing around house-made red or white sangria ($6.75/glass; $25/pitcher).
Two-dimensional diners mirror real life feasts in hand-painted murals stretching across sandy walls trimmed with exposed brick and emerald vines. Mosaic tiles crawl up pillars like toddlers up tree trunks beside a marble-topped bar, and Latin tunes ring out across weathered hardwood floors the first Thursday and third Friday of every month.
La Tasca Tapas Restaurant
Spanish for local gathering place, La Tasca brings diners together with shareable feasts of hot and cold tapas, bubbling pots of saffron-tinged paella, and mouthwatering Iberian wines. The restaurant’s turreted, half-timbered façade hints at Old-World charm, and the décor inside sets a rustic mood with walls and columns peppered with hand-painted tiles and murals depicting bullfights, feasting peasants, and grain futures prices. Leafy garlands dangle from the rafters as guests sup on plates of patatas bravas and grilled lamb, and troubadours serenade throngs of diners and dancers with live Latin music the first Thursday and third Friday of each month. Guests pair plates with glasses of fine Spanish wine, or belly up to the luxurious marble-topped bar for tasty digestifs of jerez, mojitos, or sangria.