South American, Central American and Caribbean influences are drawn upon at the rum-focused Ronero in the West Loop. The multi-level venue, from Chicago nightlife vet Nils Westlind, features a main dining room offering a peak into the open kitchen, plus a cocktail lounge, private dining and hidden "speakeasy"-style bar.
Executive Chef Cory Morris (Mercat a la Planxa, Rural Society) is behind the menu that's meat and seafood heavy with lots of updates to traditional South American fare. Start with the daily selection of empanadas, which are filled with meat, seafood or offbeat delights like plantains. Main entrees range from daily seafood offerings to a hearty Hangar steak accompanied by Yukon potatoes, mushroom and chimichurri jus.
Ronero's cocktail menu is overwhelmingly rum based, featuring the bar's interpretations of classic drinks like the Hotel National, pina colada and Hemingway daiquiri--with the glass rimmed with smoked sea salt.
For more drink selections, guests should seek out Esobar, Ronero's "speakeasy" bar with a hidden entrance in the rear. It features a tightly curated menu of large-format cocktails and deejay spinning contemporary and classic Latin music. There will be occasional live acts.