Arco is a local restaurant that has been in Boystown for over a decade. The owner is originally form Spain, and has capture the essence of a typical tapas bar. I lived around the corner from this restaurant right after I returned home from six months in Spain . Whenever I was missing the lifestyle, language and cuisine - I would head to Arco de Cuchilleros. The kitchen is an open setting so you can smell and see everything being cooked, which adds to th charm of this place. Check it out, order the tortilla espaola, some sangria and a caf con leche.
I don't honestly know how this place got such great reviews. Based off of this sites' previous ratings for the restaurant, we decided to go there. The service was good and prompt, however, the food was definitely lacking. It lacked culinary sophistications, and the portions were lackluster -- even by tapas standards!! We have been to several tapas places in the Chicago area, and this was by far the worst. We highly dis-recommend the Avocado shells stuffed with crab (tasted more like rice, tuna fish, and mayo in an avocado shell), and the scallops in saffron sauce (the scallops were fishy and about the size of a dime). Not to mention that the below-average sized portions were completed overpriced!!! Don't go here!
Pros: Service, Location
Cons: Small plates, Poor quality, Overpriced!!!
Very much enjoyed the ambiance and the food. A small, intimate space. I felt like I was on a short visit to Spain, and I got to use my Spanish a bit, too!
I was born and raised in Spain and this is by far the closest thing to Spanish tapas I've found in this city so far. I admit, I haven't tried all, but this place can run circles around Cafe Iberico. The place is small, but we found a table for 3 no problem when we went in. Most of the menu seems reasonable, sticking to typical tapas. My biggest gripe in most places is always the "Pan con Tomate" (bread with tomato), this places gets it right, but rubbing the tomato on the bread instead of piling the bread with chopped tomato. To me it was a bit on the pricy side, but I guess you pay a premium for authenticity 7,000 miles away! Excellent, coming from a Spaniard.
Pros: Food quality, Autentic, ambiance
Cons: A bit cramped space, It's not cheap
I am part of a nationally redognized Spanish tapas bistro in Grand Rapids, MI and have done a lot of research on Spanish style dining through out the United States. The only consistent inspriation we have is Arco De Cuchilleros. I have recommended more people to this place then any other restaurant ever! I even keep a menu in my office to give to people from Chicago that are visiting Grand Rapids. Keep up the great work, thanks for the good times when we head South for some fun in the City.
Pros: Location, Friendly Staff, Value
I wanted to echo some of the comments already posted. Arco's food is very tasty and probably some of the most authentic in town. We took my brother (upon his return from 7 months in Spain) to Arco's as a sort of welcome home dinner. He was quite pleased with the meals, which really says a lot as he had probably the best chef in Sevilla preparing meals for him daily while he was abroad. Regardless, if you're hungry for tapas, Arco should be your first choice.
Pros: Gazpacho, Crema de Cataluna, Patio
Cons: Busy nite wait time
I was born to eat tapas, but if you weren't, this is the perfect place to begin your education. Lovely room that ranges from romantic to energetic depending on the crowd, beautiful outdoor patio and excellent food prepared in a very authentic style. Start out with two or three plates and then order another round. Be adventurous! This is one of the few restaurants in this town where I can honestly say I have NEVER had a substandard meal. I think the sangria is the best in the city. I love it!
Pros: excellent food, beautiful patio, great snagria