This week’s Best Bite: Octopus skewer and Lima Llama cocktail, Tanta

Pulpo (octopus) with chimichurri, fried garlic, and olive sauce
Pulpo (octopus) with chimichurri, fried garlic, and olive sauce

Why it’s this week’s Best Bite: Nearly three-month-old Tanta is carving a new place in the Chicago culinary landscape for its upscale take on Peruvian food, a type of cuisine that I consistently enjoy. I was immediately refreshed by the Lima Llama (think Moscow mule, but with Peruvian pisco and lots of lime), one of the two cocktails on draft. It was the perfect precursor to one of the best octopus dishes I’ve ever had, right up there with Taxim’s Greek version from earlier this year. Cooked in the style of street-food skewers, the plump tentacles were draped with roasted red pepper, which added its own complementary char and spice. The extra-garlicky chimichurri potatoes underneath were like a more exotic version of hashbrowns, brought together by a briny, brilliantly purple olive sauce. The bright colors were what really made the plate – which seems to be Tanta’s strategy across its vibrant menu.

Lima Llama draft cocktail with pisco, lime, and ginger beer
Lima Llama draft cocktail with pisco, lime, and ginger beer

The details: Tanta, 118 W. Grand Ave., Chicago.

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