151 W. Erie St.
- Chef: Ryan Poli
A couple of pegs down from Goosefoot and Next in terms of sophistication, but several up in terms of scene, Tavernita may come across as a swaggering Spanish-themed sorority mixer. Look up and down the tufted leather banquettes at the stunning women with their Booty Collins cocktails and tuna crudos and you might scoff. Doing so would shortchange the tuna, the drinks, and the women.
Poli's captivating small plates, delivered by endlessly enthusiastic servers, ooze with unmistakable allegiance to España: Pork belly bocadillos, housemade pappardelle with mushroom ragoût and manchego, and lamb sausage with chickpeas and spicy giardiniera are all inspired bursts of flavor. Tavernita is as loud as you might expect a space with three bars to be, but the drinks, many of which come from a state-of-the-art keg system that regularly agitates the ingredients to keep them mixed, are virtuoso creations. Just another thing that's shaking at 151 West Erie Street.
¢ … under $20 | $ … $20 to $29 | $$ … $30 to $39 | $$$ … $40 to $49 | $$$$ … $50-plus