22 July 2007
My first night in Illinois, dinner was at La Tasca, a tapas restaurant in Arlington Heights. The dining rooms are rather large, but that made sense as the place was very busy. There was also a fairly lively bar crowd having drinks and small plates of olives, cheese and bread. The bar offers basic beer selections, a decent Spanish wine list, and a wide variety of spirits including some fantastic PX brandies. There is also 50 million variations of the martini available in many different ridiculous flavor combinations.
La Tasca offers a number of excellently prepared vegetarian selections. Tapas are typically offered in hot and cold formats. The cold (tapas frias) vary from the fire roasted tri-colored peppers peppers in an olive oil vinaigrette to the garlicky potato salad to the tomato and mozzarella salad. There is also a cheese plate with a cow, goat, sheep and blue cheese served alongside various accoutrements, in addition to the Spanish omelet that is available for gross vegetarians who eat eggs.
The hot tapas include fried potatoes in a creamy hot sauce (very good), herbed goat cheese baked in tomato basil sauce (also very good and pictured above), a grilled vegetable plate, and vegetable paella.
After eating 80 million little plates, I had no room for dessert. That being said, this is a very nice place located in the middle of downtown Arlington Heights. It's a great dinner spot.