Good food has a way of bringing people together. That's actually kind of how husband and wife, and restaurant co-owners, Manuel Moreno and Mara Baer met! While Baer was teaching in Spain, she met Moreno in the Spanish square, where they indulged in the festivities and flavorful food of the culture.
The couple now lives in Chicago and are making their dreams of bringing Spanish culture to the city a reality with their restaurant, The Spanish Square. Featuring a deli, bodega and indoor market, the restaurant is located in Lakeview, by the corners of Southport and Belmont.
Moreno and Baer strive to feature authentic food and drink, as well as culture-focused activities and specials for guests to enjoy. The Spanish Square often hosts tastings in the bodega on Thursdays, as well as wine dinners, offering a prix fixe menu, highlighting Spanish tapas paired with featured wines. On Fridays at 10:30am, the restaurant invites children of all ages and families for Story Time in Spanish and English, while on Saturdays, guests are invited in to sample meats, cheeses, olives and more from the deli, for Sample Saturday!
My favorite special that The Spanish Square offers is Paella Night, every Wednesday, starting at 5:00pm! This rice-based dish is traditionally made with seafood, safron, snails or rabbits, but varies widely depending on the ingredients available in a specific season or region. Chef Rafael Hurtado concocts a new recipe of paella to be featured each week. During my visit to The Spanish Square, I had the opportunity to sample his take on seafood paella and squid ink paella! Both dishes were flavorful, full of seafood, and left me wonderfully full!
My next visit to The Spanish Square will most definitely be to sample their newly launched brunch menu. Carne con huevo and the stuffed torrija are the first dishes on my list! Breakfast food meets traditional Spanish cuisine - you're speaking my language!
Check out The Spanish Square on Facebook to keep up to date with specials, events and other happenings!