7.4
CHI

Ronero

Perfect For: Action at the Bar Girls' Night Out People Watching Scoping Hot Girls/Guys
PHOTOS: Sandy Noto

Maybe your idea of fun these days is a long dinner and drinks with friends and no intention of going to the bar. But your friends from college who you haven’t seen in a while are in town and you want to prove you’re still fun. They don’t care you totally rocked that slide deck earlier in the day, or that you modelled the sh*t out of the future capital expenditures. None of that matters right now, because the gang is back together and you’re ready to have a good time.

Ronero is the move for those times you want to have fun at dinner and prove you still got it in life. The vibe in the dimly lit West Loop dining room is upbeat and lively, and the modern Latin American food is pretty good. Plan dinner in the dining room or hang out in the bar upstairs, particularly during those precious months of nice weather, when the huge bay windows up there can be opened.

The menu here is a mix of Latin American dishes, and works well for a variety of situations. We typically order a few of the smaller plates (especially the ropa vieja) and one of the much larger main dishes like a whole fried fish or pork shoulder cooked in banana leaf. But you can also keep it light and hit the cocktail and salsa bar upstairs, where you can load up on some smaller plates and call it a meal.

Hit Ronero the next time you need some quality food and want to have a good and trendy time, especially if you want to prove the old crew can hang like the old days but in a slightly more sophisticated way. Maybe you’ve still got it, or maybe you’re realize quickly the next morning college is much further away than you thought.

Food Rundown

Ropa Vieja

Anytime you can get slow-cooked beef as an appetizer, you have to do it.

Queijo Coalho

Literally just a slab of cheese on a stick that’s been grilled. It isn’t as good as you just assumed it was when you read the words “literally just a slab of cheese on a stick that’s been grilled.” But hey, it is a slab of cheese on a stick that’s been grilled, so it isn’t the worst idea to put on the table.

Pulpito

The best thing on the menu. Octopus has a tendency to be tough, but this is just about perfect.

Tostones And Yucca

If I ever ran for office it would be on the back of a platform to replace french fries in America with fried plantains and yucca fries. My campaign would fail miserably, but my .000001% of voters would be passionate #PlantainBros.

Patatas Rescoldo

All the carbs in these potatoes aren’t going to help you show off the moves you learned in that one salsa dancing class you took seven years ago, so skip these for that reason. Also because they aren’t that good.

Arrachera

A nice, mid-sized beef dish to split if you don’t want to go for the bigger portions. Simple, grilled skirt steak.

Pescado Frito

This is the presentation dish that will make you wish the lighting in the room were better so you could get that sweet, sweet Boomerang of them slicing up the whole fish at the table. It’s a massive portion that comes with really great coconut rice and tostones that both overshadow the actual fish.

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