In the thick of the rowdy brat-and-beer-and-burger joints that surround Wrigley Field, Twist's colorful wall mosaics, displays of local artwork and casual sidewalk seating are a breath of fresh, exotic air. And if the warm and festive Spanish decor doesn't immediately draw you in, a glance at the menu will likely seal the deal.
In addition to the requisite traditional tapas (goat cheese in tomato sauce and bacon-wrapped dates), this Wrigleyville joint makes a name for itself, literally, with "twisted tapas," or tapas featuring a fusion of flavors from across the globe. Think jalapeno gnocci, eggplant twist (battered eggplant over marinara with goat cheese), caprese salad and mini crabcakes, all served tapas-style for around $7 or less. End your meal with the chef's specialty, poached pear served with a mascarpone raspberry sauce.
The modest space features a crowded window and wall of tables along one side, a bar along the other and an open kitchen in the back. It's not exactly a spot for people who like their space—you can expect to get pretty cozy with your neighbors. Since the restaurant doesn't take reservations, there's typically a bit of a wait on weekends and during the dinnertime rush hour on weekdays. Pitchers of homemade sangria ($23, or $6.50 per glass), however, keep the crowds lively, happy and extremely talkative.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Emily Browne