Hot potato, the earliest dish designed to be passed, is nearly extinct due to the constant ravages of grade-school appetites. Today's Groupon revives shifting sustenance: for $15, you get $30 worth of Spanish cuisine, tapas, and drinks at Tapas Gitana on 3445 North Halsted. Today's deal is valid for Tapas Gitana's everyday menu items as well as their $5 martinis Wednesday special.
After touring Spain, chef and owner Andrew Novak created Tapas Gitana with the goal of having a private piece of Barcelona in the Midwest. The menu is comprised of his own versions of the cuisine he tasted on his trip. Nibble and pass plates of traditional tapas, such as grilled slices of chorizo with cumin mayonnaise and lemon ($6.50) and marinated spanish olives nestled with onions, garlic and herbs ($5.95). Saffron rice sets up the selection of paellas, including the vegetariana (bell peppers, onions, and assorted seasonal vegetables, $10.95 per person), and the Valenciana (chicken, shrimp, mussels, and clams, $14.95 per person). Entrees come in tapas-size small plates or in twice-as-tastable portions, such as grilled sea scallops assembled over sautéed spinach, in the vieiras con espinaca ($9.95).
Tapas Gitana emulates its Spanish ancestors in more ways than on the menu. Its décor is tapas-bar typical; it has rich, dark hardwoods, sultry lighting, and an Old World aura exactly unlike the inside of Winston Churchill’s sock drawer. There’s an outdoor patio for breezy dining during warm weather.
Find more restaurants in Chicago.
Tapas Gitana is closed on Mondays.
- Their vegetarian tapas are simply delicious. Three tapas was more than enough to fill me up. The sangria was wonderful too. Outstanding service and pretty damn good tapas makes me want to return very soon. – Jade T., Yelp
- We ordered half a dozen tapas and each was as great as the last. The pork medallions were out of this world. – Christopher G., Yelp
At Tapas Gitana, waves of steam steeped in saffron, chorizo, and seafood stock rise from paella pans and dishes featured on ABC's Hungry Hound to carry palates away to Barcelona. Cold tapas twine ingredients such as avocado, seranno ham, and manchego cheese, and hot tapas exhibit tiger prawns that fuel the sharing and conversation of small-plate dining. On the outdoor patios, glasses of wine clink together and effuse stories of sun-soaked Spanish grapes the hue of a matador's sports car. Chef Andy Novak appeared in a culinary demonstration hosted by Sheridan Road magazine, in which he cloaked sizzling shrimp in lemon and arbol chilies to forge a dish ideal for serving with pasta or distracting party guests from cartoon-silhouette holes in walls.