Although the winter season is nigh, Chicago just got a little hotter. Nacional 27, the beloved Latin resto in River North, has just launched their new menu. Their menu was pretty good already, and their drinks as well, but now, in my opinion, the food is exceptional. The new menu items provide a literal explosion of flavors. Some of the good old standbys such as the pumpkin and goat cheese croquetas chorizo and beef empanadas are still there, but it’s in the added items where the menu really begins to shine. Highlights of the new menu include a new queso empanada with pepperjack cheese, roasted peppers and tomatillo salsa. The heat from the cheese and the peppers gives way nicely to the mild creaminess of the tomatillo.
Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE beef—N27’s grilled beef tenderloin on skewers with adobo three-chile salsa was right up my alley. And even though it was on a skewer, there was a ton of meat. There are also chicken skewers with cilantro, and shrimp skewers with pineapple salsa.
The tiny barbecued lamb taco was perfectly tender and melted in your mouth. Although it was doused in barbecue sauce, it still had a distinctly Latin flavor with avocado, agave and guava.
And then there’s more meat. The short rib enchiladas only come with two per order, but after all of the other food that I just consumed, it definitely put me over the edge. Additionally, the portion sizes of these enchiladas was enough to put a competitive eater over the limit with its cabbage slaw, corn, pepper jack cheese and mole sauce poured over it.
At the end of my meal, I had the non-alcoholic verdido, which is a combination of cilantro, pineapple and limejuice. The drink had a refreshing taste and reminded me of a day sunning on the beaches of Cabo with my floppy hat and avoid-the-paparazzi sunglasses.
J’nai’s meal was provided by Nacional 27