Tapas Quezada treats guests to zesty, colorful dishes of traditional Spanish cuisine in the form of hearty entrées as well as shareable tapas and small plates. Diners prime their appetites with appetizers of goat cheese and tomato salad before digging in to main courses of baked salmon, grilled strip steak, or seafood or chicken and pork paella. Cold tapas delicacies such as jamon serrano and citrus-marinated olives or hot plates of bacon-wrapped figs and spicy patatas bravas come in shareable portions perfect for snacking or studying fractions. Sweet sangria made with wine, fruit juice, and brandy pairs nicely with the spread of Iberian fare and encourages performances during karaoke nights every Sunday and Wednesday.
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From Sunday through Thursday visitors to La Espanola Tapas can snag any tapas for $4.99 and pitchers of sangria for $9.99. Wednesday and Thursday night karaoke allows clients to sing odes to their mushroom empanadas or salt cod croquettes, while live music fills the air Fridays and Saturdays.
Created in 1981 on the back of a few family recipes, Buona’s serves up appetite-satiating italian-beef-based sandwiches and comfort-fare classics. The menu is packed with palate-pleasing favorites such as hot dogs, sandwiches, grilled paninis, and thin-crust pizzas. Try an original Buona beef sandwich ($4.95 for a 7" size) made from a family recipe and served on freshly baked italian bread with natural gravy and beef that arrives tender, lean, and sheepish following an in-house roasting. Larger feasts such as the barbecue baby-back ribs ($9.95 for a half slab) or the grilled salmon cibatta ($7.25) quell the quagmires of even the most sovereign starvations. To keep meals as light as a globetrotting eccentric's hot-air balloon, try one of eight crisp, hand-tossed salads, such as the pesto balsamico, tossed with whole-wheat pasta, pesto, and toasted pine nuts, and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette ($7.25).
With a menu bearing what Examiner.com Chicago called Chicagoland's most indulgent italian chocolate truffle, La Notte Cafe sates classic and contemporary Italian tastes with tempting dishes and an extensive wine list. Italian-born chef Giovanni Matteo Mancini tailors entrées to individual tastes, giving pasta patrons and veal votaries the freedom to add ingredients, substitute sides, and perform calculus equations with complex pasta shapes. Diners can warm up tenacious taste buds for the main event with a creamy polenta La Notte, bedecked with sausage and peas ($9.95), before moving on to the tender veal cutlets of the vitello saltinbocca, with prosciutto, mozzarella, and sage in a white-wine sauce ($22.95). Like a bouquet of roses, the sauce of risotto del mare ($26.95) can be ordered in red or white and is imbued with the aroma of fresh seafood, brimming with shrimp, mussels, clams, and calamari atop italian arborio rice ($26.95). Just as every business deal ends with a chocolate-covered handshake, meals at La Notte meet an ambrosial end with desserts such as the tulip, a chocolate cup filled with liquid tiramisu and strawberries drenched in raspicello liqueur and adorned with chocolate mousse, whipped cream, and velvety ladyfingers ($8).