A quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of Michigan Avenue, 1492 Tapas Bar beckons lunch patrons into a quiet, classy graystone for a three-course delight. The atmosphere evokes a castle, with its elegant wood bar, clean white linens, shields, simple paintings and multi-story layout. Its intimate setup allows for easy conversation, without having to shout over other patrons (or worry that someone might overhear you.) The lunch special changes frequently, but is generally available for $8.92 or $10.92, which includes soup or salad and your choice of one tapa or entree from the lunch menu. If it's available, choose the chicken brochette: it's worth the extra calorie indulgence. 1492 Tapas Bar is a best bet for lunch with a close friend or coworker: a perfect place to catch up on gossip, and, as with all tapas restaurants, it's a lot more fun when you have someone with whom to share your dishes.
A few greats include the grilled chorizo (sausage imported from Spain) and Salpicon (mixed seafood vinaigrette). House specials include pollo relleno (stuffed chicken breast with goat cheese, piqillo pepper and spinach with sauteed potatoes and mixed vegetables) and arroz negro (black rice, as tinted with squid ink and dressed with fresh shrimp and squid) ($17). Donít miss the paella, reasonably priced at $17 per person. A glass of sherry or whiskey will cost $6-28, but donít come expecting to order your favorite California zin. The wine menu is 100 percent Spanish. What a treat!
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Stephanie Kuenn