Monday, December 30, 2013


Location: 118 W Grand
Cost: About $30-$40 per person

Note: This guest post is written by Marc Kovarsky. If you haven't seen this before, Marc contributes on about a once a month basis with a post. I'll be going to Tanta shortly and will let you know my opinions then too.

I’ve heard lots of buzz surrounding Tanta, which is why I was so excited to try it out. This Peruvian restaurant has only been open for three months and is located in a quieter part of River North. As you approach the entrance and walk through the door, you immediately notice the hip and funky atmosphere that makes the dining experience unique.

At first glance, the menu seems intimidating with all the different sections and dishes that you probably can’t pronounce. Luckily, my sister had been once before and had some recommendations. Our waiter seemed extremely knowledgeable on the menu and was able to answer all our questions. We started with the Cebiche Tasting and Pulpo (Octopus Skewer). Although the skewer comes in a portion for three, they were able to add another serving without making us order two dishes. Later, we ordered the Pan con Chicharron (Pork Belly sliders), Chaufa Aeropuerto (Pork Fried Rice), Pollo A La Brasa (Amish Roasted Chicken), and Lomo Saltado (Beef Stir-Fry).

The two best things were the Octopus and Pork Fried Rice. The grilled piece of Octopus was placed on top of something similar to mashed potatoes. It was extremely flavorful and a great start to the meal. The cebiche trio was good but small. The best of the three was the Nikei (Ahi Tuna and Avocado). The Mixto was a nice combination of seafood, but the Clasico was a little bland.

The Octopus

 The Cebiches

 The Pork Fried Rice

The Pork Fried Rice was served in a large bowl with a thick egg layer on top. The food runner mixed the dish tableside. It was hearty and had huge chunks of pork, shrimp and egg along with other vegetables. The Amish chicken was a nice choice because of everything included with the dish. There was rice, beans, salad, potatoes, and dipping sauces. The chicken was moist and plentiful (we only ordered half). The beef stir-fry included large chunks of meat in a delicious sauce that is meant to be poured over the white rice that comes with the stir-fry. The pork belly sliders were awesome. We didn’t originally order them, but after seeing them on another table, we decided to add them on. Both the bread and meat were delicious and the portion size was perfect.

The Beef Stir-Fry

 The Chicken

 The Sliders

For dessert, we went with the Alfajor (Short Bread Cookie) and Mazamorrita (Fruit Pie). Both were tasty, but the general consensus was the Pie was the winner.

The Shortbread

 The Fruit Pie

Overall, we were extremely pleased. When we first sat down our waiter explained that Peruvian food is influenced by all cuisines- Japanese, African, Italian, German… the list goes on and all the flavors worked so well together. If you’re looking for an adventurous dining experience filled with robust flavors, check out Tanta.
Tanta on Urbanspoon


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