Chefs’ ovens burn much hotter than conventional ovens, allowing them to quickly roast meats and melt glacier chunks into gourmet ice water. Enjoy professional cooking with today’s Groupon to Tumbao. Choose between the following options:
- For $20, you get a Caribbean meal for two (up to a $43 value). The meal includes:
- One appetizer (up to a $9 value)
- Two entrees (up to a $9 value each)
- Two drinks (up to an $8 value each)<p>
- For $39, you get a Caribbean meal for four (up to an $86 value)
- Two appetizers (up to a $9 value)
- Four entrees (up to a $9 value each)
- Four drinks (up to an $8 value each)
Tumbao’s chefs infuse the tropical flavors of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean into a menu of lively fusion cuisine. To begin eclectic repasts, small-plate appetizers assail hunger’s armies with dishes such as twice-fried green plantains with a garlic and house dipping sauce or the flaky pastry of chicken or crab empanadas. For the main course, diners can opt for the jibarito sandwich, a uniquely Chicago creation with Puerto Rican roots⎯ a tender serving of skirt steak or chicken not with bread, but with fried plantains. As the meal winds down, diners can finish up with a drink as they soak up the restaurant’s live entertainment, which can include DJs, live bands, and extreme-spelling competitions.
On Saturday night, DJs spin salsa, merengue, and bachata, and couples and quartets can cut a rug at the table, sipping a raspberry-, passion-, or mango-flavored margarita. Guests can linger on the fresh mint peeking out from a mojito, or sip an imported Modelo lager beer or a local IPA from North Side brewery Half Acre. A coquito nonalcoholic eggnog treats those whose meal may be done but whose dancing to DJ-spun, old school, Friday-night favorites has only begun.
Co-owner Luis Saldana thinks of Tumbao as a cultural experience as well as a restaurant. The food clings to its Caribbean roots, but chefs also repurpose familiar ingredients, using them to create innovative new dishes or a new line of edible jewelry. Alongside flaky chicken and bean empanadas made in-house, cooks create distinctive jibaritos by sandwiching patties of grilled steak or chicken in between fried plantains.
Even the drink selection includes specialty cocktails that depart from the norm, including passion fruit-, raspberry-, and mango-flavored margaritas and mojitos. Drink-toting diners can remain on the club's dance floor until 3 a.m., when the restaurant closes its doors and turns into a nuclear laboratory. Patrons can belt out tunes every Wednesday during karaoke sessions and live salsa bands or DJs entertain guests on select nights, supplying bachata and merengue rhythms to get toes tapping and hips swaying.