Thursday, November 19

Artango Bistro

Argentinian
Artango Bistro
I don't know about you, but when I discover a new restaurant I previously knew nothing about, I get excited. That's how I felt about Argentinian restaurant, Artango Bistro. Owned by the husband and wife team of Tango dance pro Maria Alferov and Buenos Aires-born artist Sebastian Casanova, Artango blends the food, music, art and dance of Argentina to create a full Latin-American dining experience. The 80-seat BYOB restaurant is located on the border of Lakeview and North Center and has a warm, intimate feeling. The dining room features custom art, exposed brick, and some very unique light fixtures. The space also acts as an event space for weddings and other events.

Dining Room
Artango Bistro
Dining Room
Artango Bistro
Dining Room
Artango Bistro
Argentinian
Artango Bistro
The BF and I stopped by with a bottle of Malbec for a weeknight dinner to explore the menu and enjoy a relaxing evening. Artango's menu is split up into appetizers, entrees, and chef recommendations. We started with two of the most popular appetizers, the ceviche trio, and empanada trio, so we could get a little taste of everything.

The ceviche trio that evening featured octopus, salmon, and tuna ceviches, served with a side of crispy tortilla chips. The octopus ceviche was served with passion fruit, aji amarillo, and truffle oil, the salmon ceviche was served with tuna, soy sauce, orange juice, and caramelized carrots, and the tuna ceviche was served with avocado, sesame seeds, and scallions. My favorite was the octopus because of the truffle oil, but I have to say the orange juice and salmon ceviche worked quite well together. The BF was partial to the tuna ceviche which was similar to a tuna poke. This was one of my favorite parts of the evening, everything tasted so unique and fresh. For the size and quality of this dish, it's a must-try.

Ceviche
Ceviche Trio
Ceviche
Tuna Ceviche
Ceviche
Salmon Ceviche
Ceviche
Octopus Ceviche
The empanada trio features three unique variations: taleggio, onion and grape, beef and olives, and provolone and onion. They were served with a side of chimichurri which we devoured as well. The crust was flaky, albeit a tad greasy, but we did enjoy the three varieties. The clear winner was the taleggio, onion, and grape. I wouldn't expect to see taleggio on an Argentinian menu, but trust me, it was delicious.

Empanadas
Empanada Trio
Emanada
Provolone & Onion Empanada
Empanada
Beef and Olives Empanada
Empanada
Taleggio, Onion & Grape Empanda
Moving along to the main course, we decided to split two dishes so we could try as much as possible. The menu is very meat focused, with a variety of steak dishes, but there also are vegetarian and seafood options. One of the recommended dishes was the Malbec mignon, and since we were drinking Malbec, we figured it had to be a delicious pairing. We ordered the filet medium rare, but sadly, it arrived medium well. I love the texture and flavor of a rarer steak, so I thought this would leave the steak completely unpalatable, but I was wrong. It still locked in great flavor from the Malbec sauce, although it was definitely overcooked. The huge filet had beautiful grill marks and was served with mashed potatoes, red and yellow peppers, grilled onions, Brussels sprouts, and a side of chimichurri. The Malbec sauce was so fantastic, I found myself bathing each piece of steak in it. We loved the freshness of the veggies too.

Filet Mignon
Malbec Mignon
Our second entree was the salmon con noquis, a baked salmon filet with pesto gnocchi, sun dried tomatoes, and shaved vegetables. The salmon was perfectly cooked, fork tender, and fresh. Again, I was surprised to see the Italian influences in the dish with the pesto and gnocchi, but they were tasty. I thought splitting two entrees, especially one meat and one seafood entree, worked really well. However, we were so stuffed that we didn't have room for dessert.

Baked Salmon
Salmon Con Noquis
I think Artango Bistro is a wonderful place to share an intimate meal and your favorite bottle of wine. The quality of the food, reasonable prices, and unique ambiance, make it a great dining option. Artango also offers free tango lessons Tuesdays-Thursdays led by Buenos Aires-born and trained Tango pros Hernan Prieto and Daniela Roid. The class is an optional, 30 minute intro to tango group lesson held at the end of the dining room.  They also offer a three-course, $40 prix-fixe menu.

In early 2016, Artango also is opening a brand new location in the heart of Lincoln Square (4767 N. Lincoln Ave) which will feature a full bar and a dining room for 180...talk about a major upgrade. The original location will remain open, but only for private events, so make sure you stop into the old location while it is still BYOB, and be on the lookout for the brand new restaurant!

Note: my meal at Artango Bistro was complimentary; however, all opinions expressed are my own.

Artango Bistro
4217 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60613
773.697.7479
Artango Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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