Argentinian steaks and tapas perform a perfect two-step in downtown Naperville
It may take two to tango, but you don’t need a partner to savor the dining experience at Tango2 Argentinian Steaks and Tapas. On a busy weekend night, or even a weekday lunch, parties of all sizes flock to this Argentina-inspired eatery.
Once settled into one of the sleek black chairs or, if you’re in a mood, a cushioned banquette along the wall, you can’t help but tap your toes to the tango music that fills the air. The music, along with colorful walls and framed pictures of dancing couples, lends the charisma of Buenos Aires to a historic storefront along Jackson Street in the heart of downtown Naperville. (It’s the same location as the original Tango, run by the same owners from 2003 to 2015.)
The food takes the lead at Tango2, with the décor following in step. The restaurant touts itself as Home of the World’s Longest Steak — a grilled skirt steak that literally hangs off the end of the plate and is delectable when drizzled with an accompanying chimichurri-like sauce. In tune with the romance of the tango, some menu items are meant to be shared, The chef special, Parrillada Argentina, served on a traditional Argentinian hot plate, has grilled skirt steak, beef filet, pork chops, chicken breast and salchicha sausage.
Indeed, proteins are a star on this menu, which includes entrées like bone-in rib-eye, grilled pork chops, pan-seared Lake Superior whitefish and Lamb Chops Oreganato — a portion of grilled rack of lamb topped with house-made lemon oregano sauce. Sauces are standouts with virtually every meat dish, from the white wine garlic sauce that enrobes the Pollo Parrilla grilled chicken to the garlic cream sauce drizzled atop filet medallions.
There is a host of pasta choices and salads on the lunch and dinner menus. The refreshing Tango Salad is a bed of baby field greens tossed with red apples, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, carrots and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
Tango2 scores with its side dishes, particularly the fried plantains — with just enough golden-brown crisp on the outside and sweet, soft banana-like flavor on the inside — and the garlicky spinach, a tasty and colorful accompaniment.
Hot and cold tapas are a specialty, with steak or chicken skewers, salchicha sausage, grilled calamari, and lollipop lamb chops. A unique choice is the roasted bone marrow with beef cheek marmalade or the basil crostini and bacon-wrapped sweet plantains dipped in spicy apricot sauce. A tapas staple — fresh goat cheese baked in tomato sauce — is good for sharing, as is the Argentinian potato salad studded with garlic and hard-cooked eggs and a trio of empanadas served with creamy aioli.
Highlights of the dessert menu are an authentic flan (caramel custard, done just right) and a fresh banana sautéed with cinnamon sugar and caramel rum sauce, sprinkled with chopped nuts and served with a scoop vanilla ice cream.
5 Jackson Ave., Naperville
Parrillada Argentina entrée for two;
Appetizers: $6 - $12
Entrées: $14 - $38
Desserts: $6 - $9
Mon - Thur: 11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Fri - Sat: 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sun: 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Buy 2, get 1 free tapas on Tuesdays;