These people know what Chicagoans want, starting with a chic but chill place to hang. Located within a 100-year-old Victorian building, People Lounge features faux-painted walls in caramel-latte hues, wrought iron chandeliers lit up with faux candles and a 30-foot bar made of rustic oak. A few communal tables await the pile-up of tapas plates, so order up a few rounds of gambas
(sherry-garlic marinated shrimp skewer, golden raisin couscous, shrimp bisque) and calamari frito
and start passing.
The food menu, designed by executive chef Ralph Steinberg (North Pond and NoMi), is divided into sections of hot tapas, cold tapas and a few choice desserts like tres leches cake (house-made dulce de leche ice cream, candied almond tuille, dulce de leche sauce). None of the selections top $18 and most dishes ring in at about $9.
Be sure to try popular menu items like the queso de cabra (goat cheese baked in tomato sauce with garlic crusted bread) and the datiles con bacon (goat cheese-stuffed dates, applweood smoked bacon, apple cider reduction).
The bar features an international roster of beers that focuses on Belgian breweries: look for Piraat Amber Triple IPA and strong golden ale Delirium Tremens. To get back to Spain, the drink list also offers white and red sangria. Expect a similarly exotic buffet of music, from world music to hip-hop.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Jennifer Berg
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