Latin-Inspired Eats at Bar Takito

October 13, 2014

Last week the BF and I headed to the West Loop to check out the second location from the Takito Kitchen group. Bar Takito opened in August and features Latin shared plates and cocktails.  The restaurant is vibrant and eclectic, fitting in amongst its neighbors in the popular dining area. We stopped by on a Wednesday night and nearly every table was taken. Definitely a good sign.

The restaurant features bright graffiti walls and even huge letters spelling out "Bar Takito" attached to the ceiling. There are even typewriters attached to the exposed brick walls.

We sat at one of the communal tables near the bar and ordered some cocktails. I ordered the Peruvian Margarita and the BF tried the Oaxacan Chalice. Mine was awesome--I love a spicy cocktail and this one didn't disappoint. It featured aji amarillo, a Peruvian pepper, to add a little kick. The BF's cocktail was mezcal based and was smokey and complex. We were both happy with our choices. We also tried the regular margarita and it was pretty great too!

Peruvian Margarita & Oaxacan Chalice
We decided the best way to explore the menu was to try an item across each menu section and share everything. We started with the suzuki bass ceviche with tomatillo, cucumber, habanero, avocado, basil, mint, cilantro. This ceviche was so different than others I've had previously--I really enjoyed the beautiful green color, fresh citrus, and mix of herbs.

Suzuki Bass Ceviche
Suzuki Bass Ceviche
Next, we tried a side order of the beer cheese arepa with aji peanut sauce and cilantro. This thing was incredibly delicious, as one would expect with something containing the words beer and cheese. I loved the sprinkled crushed peanuts on top, and the spicy peanut sauce.

Beer Cheese Arepa
The chorizo stuffed peppers also were from the appetizer section of the menu. These came five to an order and were topped with breadcrumbs, marcona almonds, and basil. The peppers were mostly seeded so they were not spicy but they did have a wonderful sweet and smoky flavor. These were one of my favorite dishes of the night.

Chorizo Stuffed Peppers
Bar Takito offers four varieties of tacos including beef, pork, fish and cheese. We are both huge coffee lovers so we picked the coffee braised beef tacos with cherry tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro and peanuts (sense a theme here?). You could just pick up on the coffee flavor and it complemented the beef well. I was a big fan of the homemade beer corn tortillas also.

Coffee Braised Beef Tacos
Our last shared plate was from the larger plates portion of the menu. We tried the lamb barbacoa with aji panca, pickled vegetables, queso fresco, pistachio and basil. The lamb was served deconstructed with tortillas and picked veggies on the side. I LOVED this dish because it was a different take on standard barbacoa and all of the flavors just worked so well. They give you a ton of meat too, so you can make tacos or just eat it on its own.

Lamb Barbacoa
Our meal at Bar Takito was fantastic because everything we tried (and we tried a diverse selection of items) was great! I'd recommend stopping in for drinks and bites after work or on the weekend, or catching the live music every Thursday night beginning at 8pm. The space is a bit on the louder side, so I wouldn't recommend it if you're looking for an intimate meal, but it's definitely a great spot for a flavorful and upbeat night out.

Note: my meal at Bar Takito was complimentary; however, the opinions expressed herein are my own.

Bar Takito
201 N. Morgan St.
Chicago, IL 60607
Bar Takito on Urbanspoon

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