A taste of Barcelona at Tapas Gitana in Northfield
Owner of Tapas Gitana in Northfield and Chicago, Andrew Novak, with sous chef and kitchen manager Tiffany Nelson. | Lee A. Litas~Sun-Times Media
310 Happ Road, Northfield
11:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. Monday - Thursday; 11:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. Friday - Saturday; 4:30 - 9 p.m. Sunday.
(847) 784-9300, www.tapasgitana.com
Updated: September 20, 2012 12:17PM
A glass of aromatic, fruity, dry sangria, the sultry sounds of acoustic Spanish guitar and plate upon small plate filled with succulent morsels of authentic Iberian tapas and you are transported — sans lengthy flight delays — to the capital of Catalonia, courtesy of Tapas Gitana in Northfield.
Its chef/owner, Andrew Novak, says that Gitana tries to encompass the full range of Spain in its offerings, but “Barcelona is really (the region) we are shooting for.”
Spaniards knew a thing or two about mixing up flavors and textures, long before “small plate” became de rigueur, so as to have their meals fit seamlessly into the picturesque context of their lives, along with the likes of Gaudi and Salvador Dali.
Prices range from $3.50 for a single plate to $13.95 for double portions; menu items are marked for gluten free (GF) and vegetarian (V) diets, and everything is made “a la minute.”
Staples like baby grilled lamb chops over sautéed vegetables ($14.95), crispy new potatoes with kickin’ cayenne aioli ($4.95) and artichoke hearts filled with warmed Pisto Manchego ($8.95) (GF) compete for patrons’ attention with wine-poached Anjou pears served up with whipped cream and fresh raspberry coulis (V,GF) ($5.50) for dessert.
Novak admits he had always eaten tapas-style even before he knew what it was. “I’m not too keen on eating all of the same flavors,” he said.
“Take a trip through Spain while you’re in the suburbs,” invites Novak. “You really are missing out if you haven’t been here.”