With a deep fervor for gastronomy, ARTango owners Maria Alferov and Casanova brothers have made it their mission to bring healthy South American fare to the Ravenswood neighborhood with the opening of new restaurant. ARTango South American Bistro offers an innovative twist on Latin cuisine without compromising the provocative flavors of its roots. With influences from Argentina, Venezuela, and Peru, the food is created from scratch with fresh, all-natural ingredients that are often locally sourced.
Spurred by heart, passion and good health, Casanovas and Alferov brought on Executive Chef Isaak Reyes, formerly at Bistrot Margot on Wells Street, to join their team and together create the unique menu for the bistro. They describe the food as “a combination of artistic expression and fresh Latin fare with unique ingredients.” Some of these unique ingredients include aji Amarillo (a Peruvian yellow hot chile pepper), rocoto peppers, quinoa, mango, and guava. Their goal was to provide those with even the most discriminating palates an exotic dining experience.
Food lovers can enjoy a variety of arepas, corn flour buns stuffed with meat or veggies, which are prominent in the cuisine of Colombia and Venezuela. Alferov’s favorite is the arepas de verduras made with poblano pepper, mushrooms, onion, and mango salsa, but they note that the arepas de pernill with slow cooked pork is a big hit with her customers.
Other menu offerings include empanadas (choice of ham and cheese, vegetarian, or meat) and grilled tilapia tacos. The salads are anything but boring, with options like the ensalada de quinoa with quinoa risotto, grilled portabella mushrooms, goat cheese, mixed greens, and pickled veggies; and the crocante verde with tossed kale, romaine lettuce, green lentil, avocado, cucumber, pumpkin seeds, and mango-yellow chili pepper dressing. A variety of mouth-watering steaks will satisfy the meat lovers that dine at the bistro—with the most popular being the lomo saltado, a traditional Peruvian dish made with marinated, stir-fried strips of sirloin combined with other ingredients and vegetables.
Brunch items are equally innovative—you won’t find a chorizo benedict or crab cake benedict just anywhere, and they even serve Bristot coffee, the leading brand of coffee in Italy. Diners are sure to appreciate that ARTango is BYOB.
One of the few restaurants to open on the charming historical Ravenswood Avenue, ARTango is a tango studio by night and also an event venue. The space is gracious yet edgy, modern yet rustic. The interior design is original and features artwork, installations and photographs by one of the owner Sebastian Casanova. With its expansion to include the bistro, ARTango is not just a restaurant, but a destination, bringing South American flavors and entertainment to guests and the surrounding neighborhood.
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