Thursday, January 12, 2012

Meson Sabika

Location: 1025 Aurora Ave, Naperville
Cost: About $25 per person

On my way back from Springfield, I made a stop off to visit my friend Amber in Naperville. Being her home turf and all, I let her pick where we should go. When I finally figured out where I was going, I picked her up, and we were off to get some tapas at Meson Sabika.

The best thing about Meson Sabika by far is the building. The restaurant is really this large home. Basically this means that there are a ton of diverse seating options. We were put somewhere on the second floor in this medium sized dining room. I feel like this place can get kind of loud, but it wasn't really an issue in our room. We had a reservation and probably didn't need one. I could see this place being difficult to get a table on the weekends.

Our service was pretty good except when they forgot one of our dishes. It's not really a big deal with tapas since things come out in a rather haphazard way, but we got our goat cheese and marinara dish last. The cost seems pretty average for tapas. There were plenty of options in the $7 range, and they had other, fancier dishes near $15. We didn't get any paella, but that would've been around $12 per person.

The Food
We didn't go crazy with our ordering or anything, but we did end up with a decent variety of items. The first thing that came out was the Remolacha salad with beets, hard boiled eggs, white asparagus, and avocado with a honey mustard vinaigrette. There could've been more beets, but the rest of it was done well without too much dressing. Next, we got the Grilled Calamari which had a nice exterior sear and wasn't too chewy. I really didn't care for the order of Patatas Bravas that we got. The potatoes were mushy and bland, and the cheese wasn't melted enough. Then we got the Grilled Scallops and Couscous. The scallops were nothing special, but the couscous had this apple butter sauce that made the dish worthwhile. After that, we got some Goat Cheese in Marinara with garlic bread for dipping. The main part of the dish was fine (it's pretty hard to screw up baked cheese and tomatoes), but the garlic bread was greasy and cold. Finally, for dessert, we got the Terrine of Bittersweet Chocolate with Raspberry Coulis (sauce). It was rich and just a bunch of straightforward chocolate, which is usually the way I like to end a meal.

The Remolacha

The Grilled Calamari

The Patatas Bravas

The Grilled Scallops with Couscous

The Baked Goat Cheese with Marinara

 The Bittersweet Chocolate Terrine with Raspberry Coulis

Meson Sabika seems to me to be a great place to have some kind of special event. The restaurant structure is really interesting, and there are lots of options for group seating. The food on the other hand is just alright. In the same way that I'm skeptical of any brunch spot that can't make hash browns well, I'm skeptical of a tapas restaurant with bad patatas bravas. I'm giving them 2.5 out of 5 Pearls.

I'd like to extend an extra thanks to Amber for taking all of the photos.
Meson Sabika on Urbanspoon


  1. Try it again ... you missed some of "my" favorites...garlic potato salad, bacon wrapped dates, salmon, etc.