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The Chicago Traveler


by Matt B on January 15th, 2008

If you remember anything from your high-school Spanish, you'll know that Cuatro means 'four,' which is exactly how many reasons there are to come to this Nuevo Latino restaurant in the South Loop.

cuatro1. Atmosphere. The restaurant has one of the most diverse clienteles you'll ever see. Patrons of all ages and all backgrounds enjoy the floor-to-ceiling windows, earth tones, and pitch-black bar with an eight-foot (2.4-meter) aquarium stocked with tropical fish. If you look closely enough, you can even catch glimpses of the kitchen behind the tank. Exposed beams and well-spaced seating complete the open and airy ambiance.

2. Food. The all-things-Latin menu offers starters like ceviche de salmon y callos'citrus-marinated salmon, seared bay scallops, avocado, and pickled red onions'and empanadas de pernil'slow-roasted pork and black bean empanadas, warm hominy, and spinach salad. You might be suspicious of the cachapas de papa (corn crepes filled with three-potato mash and Irazu cheese), but I assure you, it is one of the best unique combinations you've never thought of. And while the ponchos de pollo are perfectly seasoned, just remember, they are hot. You'll be grateful for the sweet plantains they are served with. The roasted chuleta (pork chop) is nothing to scoff at: it is cured in sugarcane juice and is 16 ounces (454 g) of hearty meat. And I swear the costilla (beer-braised short rib) is as big as a baseball bat.

3. Dessert. The delectable Oaxacan chocolate mousse cake with sweet corn ice cream is simply out of this mundo. For something on the lighter side, the sponge cake drenched in three-milk sauce is a must-have.

cuatro mojito4. Drinks. The rum cocktails here are nothing less than delicious' and strong! The bartenders here are generous with the liquor, so if you're planning on a cocktail or two, be sure you have a designated driver. Specialties here include mojitos, martinis, and caipirinhas. The chocolate martini brings together dessert and cocktail beautifully, blending Bolivian chocolate, Argentinean sugarcane vodka, and black chocolate liqueur.

Whatever your reason for dining at Cuatro, you're bound to have un tiempo bueno.

Photo credit: Cuatro

Cuatro ($$$): 2030 S Wabash Ave; 312-842-8856
Mon ' Thurs: 5:30 p.m. ' 10:00 p.m.
Fri ' Sat: 5:30 p.m. ' 2:00 a.m.
Sun: 10:00 a.m. ' 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. ' 10:00 p.m.
Street parking and valet available
Public trans: Bus # 1, 3, X3, 4, X4, 18, 21, 29

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POSTED IN: Restaurants

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