Nuevo Latino cuisine brings a melting pot of flavors to Oak Park
An intimate candlelit ambiance makes Amerika’s at 734 Lake St. in Oak Park (708 613‑4254) a nice choice for date night.
With seating for just 44, plus 10 at a bar that serves signature cocktails, guests share small plates crafted by Chef Armando Gonzales, who blends the best of his Latin roots with unique flavors from around the world. Gonzales relies on techniques learned long ago from his mother in Oaxaco, Mexico, yet his cuisine is far from rustic. Starting out as a dishwasher, he honed his skills in several upscale Chicago-area restaurants, most recently Libertad in Skokie. His forté is adding color, texture and spice to familiar American ingredients to entice depth of flavor.
Among a diverse selection of meat and seafood options, an early favorite is Pato, a chili-braised duck served with couscous, butternut squash and the Mexican herb hoja santa. Popular vegetarian dishes include Coliflor, a cauliflower, carrots, almonds and manchego cheese concoction, and Chile Rellano, a poblano pepper stuffed with wild mushrooms, tofu and goat cheese.Edit Module