Our food-ly adventures of Friday on Restaurant Week didn’t stop with lunch. With a job that has non-traditional hours, I’m always looking for places that offer food that fits my schedule, and on the days when I’m traveling for work, a late-night spot is a great (but sometimes rare) find. Enter Ibiza Tapas and Wine Bar.
Oh yeah: tapas and wine and it’s open late-night.
Ibiza is the sister spot to our favorite Spanish restaurant around, Mallorca, on the South Side. And now that we know we can get some similar dishes next door after 11pm? We’re sold.
They have regular entrees on the menu, but they also have a huge tapas menu, and since we love sampling, we knew right away that we were going to order several of the small plates.
Here’s another reason to love Ibiza: instead of traditional bread and butter prior to dinner, they serve you a plate of bread and hummus. Hummus! AKA, my favorite thing! We enjoyed the hummus while poring over the giant tapas menu and trying to narrow down our choices.
Also, while we were enjoying our hummus, we ordered some of their wine flights. They have a really excellent list of wine flights that give you an opportunity to sample several different varietals with different themes. Pictured here is the Chile flight, and behind it is the Argentina flight.
Once we had finally narrowed the menu down, we wound up going with two rounds of two-plates each.
First was the atun espegado servido sobre wanton chips, which is a spicy tuna plate served on thick, crispy fried wontons, with an aioli-like sauce. The plate was a LOT bigger than we were expecting for tapas, but the flavors were excellent. The little bit of kick was a good match for my Chardonnay as well.
With the spicy tuna, we got a plate of alcachofas empanizadas con ajo y aceite de oliva, artichoke fritters in garlic and olive oil. This sauce was almost identical to the sauce in Mallorca’s stuffed grilled calamari, which, in case you weren’t reading our blog in 2010 when we reviewed it, is one of my favorite calamaris of all time. The sauce is ultra-garlicky, and the breading on these fritters was immaculate. If you’ve ever wondered, ‘what would good bar food taste like if it was kind of fancy?’ these fritters would like to help answer your question.
Round two of our tapas plates brought this massive plate, the tortilla clasica de patatas, a potato and onion omelette. This was probably my least favorite of the dishes, simply because of the sheer magnitude of the food. Taste-wise, it was good, somewhere between a quiche and a potato pancake, but it was just SO HUGENORMOUS. More than half of it made its way home for lunch the next day.
Finally, we got the Kobe beef carpaccio. If you’re unfamiliar, carpaccio is an ultra-thin seasoned raw meat dish, most commonly beef or tuna. I know it sounds weird to be like, “I ATE RAW BEEF,” but hear me out: it’s tender, it’s juicy, and this one was in a delightful olive oil dressing that heightened the beefly experience. So yes. To review, we are now tigers, and we eat raw beef, but we are HAPPY tigers.
The only thing that makes me happier than eating raw beef after midnight?
Flan is high up on my ‘I will try an order each and every time it’s offered to me’ list, and this one delivered. It was just the right consistency: that fluffy melt-away jiggliness that only a really good flan can achieve. This was the perfect dish to close out the evening.
Our trip to Ibiza was a success all around. We loved the intimate, sleek dining room, the food was excellent, and the service was stellar (and our server Robert even gave us a complimentary gift card for our next visit, woot woot!). Now that I know they’re open late night (the kitchen serves until midnight Monday through Thursday and 1am Friday and Saturday), I have a pretty good idea where we’ll be stopping for pre-karaoke fritters and flan every Tuesday night!