At The Local Tourist, we’ve been fans of El Tapeo since they opened in 2014. Located in Oak Brook, they’re a destination restaurant that should be on your must-try list, according to our Food and Drink Xpert Tommy Hensel. With their recent relaunch, that designation is even more appropriate.
That relaunch includes a new, Spanish-inspired menu with a selection of simple, ingredient-driven dishes and the launch of regular, food-focused events. In addition to monthly Chef’s Table dinners with Executive Chef Matthew Cappellini, there will also be Paella Nights and weekly prix fixe menus.
“The new offerings in El Tapeo seek to use flavors, ingredients, and techniques found in Spain’s culinary heritage in a manner that creates a comfortable, fun, and engaging experience,” said Elmer Stunkel, Director of Food and Beverage.
El Tapeo’s updated menu features a wide variety of savory small and large plates for sharing. Featured items include:
- Pulpo Negro, charred octopus with fennel, oranges, tarragon and black pepper sauce
- Vieras Fritas, fried bay scallops with chermoula, frisee, and espelette.
- Patatas Bravas, fingerling potatoes, spicy tomato sauce and crème fraiche
- Croquetas de Setas, cremini mushroom fritters with cilantro yogurt
- Carne Asada, grilled wagyu skirt steak with arugula, manchego cheese and piquillo pepper
- Paella de Pollo with chicken, chorizo, serrano ham, peas, pepper, onions and lemon aioli
- Paella de Catalana, squid ink, lobster, shrimp, clams, mussels, bomba rice, peppers, onions, and lemon aioli.
The paellas are available in full and half portions, and they’re also a large selection of Spanish meats and cheeses.
The beverage program is also refreshed, with creative craft cocktails, including The Violet Femme with Ketel One, Art in the Age Sage, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur and blackberry simple; Bee Sting with Botanist Gin, Ancho Reyes, local honey and lemon; TBD with Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, cucumber, egg white, lemon and sea salt; The Garden with Bulliet Bourbon, Aperol, maple syrup, soda and basil; and Latin Manhattan with George Dickel Rye, Ancho Reyes, Carpano Antica, mescal rinse and black walnut bitters.
And, since wine makes everything better, their list features both new world and old world wines with an extensive offering of Spanish varietals.
With a focus on an approachable menu for guests and locals alike, “La Cena” pre-fixe menus will be offered every Wednesday night from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. This three-course meal will include a choice of tapa, entrée or half paella, and a salad or dessert for $38. Every Friday, El Tapeo hosts Paella Night. Endless Paella of the Chef’s Choice will be available for $18 per person from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Monthly Chef’s Tables offer another up-close-and-personal way for locals to interact with El Tapeo Executive Chef Matthew Cappellini.
El Tapeo is located at 2100 Spring Road, Oak Brook, Illinois, on the 9th floor of Le Méridien Chicago. Regular hours for the restaurant are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The lounge is open from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, offering happy hour Monday through Friday from 4p.m. to 6p.m. For reservations or additional information, please call 630.828.2044 or visit www.eltapeorestaurant.com.