Tango, anyone? In Lincoln Square you can experience a superb, sultry, and sexy version of traditional Argentine tango culture at Artango Bar & Steakhouse. In May of 2016, just after they opened this new location in Lincoln Square, I was lucky enough to be invited to review their menu. You can revisit that review here.
Since then, they have continued to excel as one of the top spots in the city for Argentine cuisine – particularly the parrilla-grilled steaks, meats and seafood. I still highly recommend all of their ceviches and empanadas . . . and the Asado Argentino (traditional selection of flank steak, short ribs, morcilla & sausages) is delectable. Honestly, you cannot go wrong with any of the selections on their extensive menu. In addition, the cocktail list has expanded tremendously over the past year with both Latin American favorites and unique versions of prohibition-era cocktails.
On my most recent visit, however, the focus was primarily on the stunning entertainment offered nearly every night of the week. Imagine stepping back in time to a dimly-lit supper club with tables ringing a stage. Ample portions of food and drink arrive at your table as the lights dim, the sounds of tango music fill the air, and dancers arrive onstage to thrill the audience with the sexy moves of traditional tango. This the experience that awaits you at Artango.
Tango was born on street corners of Buenos Aires with the mingling of dancers, musicians, poets, and lyricists. Buenos Aires during the 1930s-1950s was flourishing with milongas, tango dance and music venues. Tango is improvisation and connection. A partner dance with two distinct roles: a leader and a follower. Like a language, the couple learns the alphabet and vocabulary, and when they meet in embrace they start a conversation. This energy – the energy of tango – is truly at the heart of everything they do at Artango.
They currently offer live performance nearly every night of the week. You can check out the schedule online, but current offerings include:
- Professional instruction with the best teachers from Argentina Hernan Prieto & Daniela Roig every Tuesday. The evening starts with a free introduction followed by a beginner lesson for a small fee.
- Live music on Thursdays from a variety of fantastic Latin American performers. For the summer of 2017, one of the featured performers is guitarist virtuoso Guillermo Sebastian Paolisso from Buenos Aires. Guillermo’s style is a fusion of Argentine folklore, latin jazz, and Argentine tango with hints of inspiration from Brazilian bossa nova and candombe.
- Fridays, from 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Artango offers more live performance, from Latin American music to lively, authentic tango dancing. One of their signature shows is titled “Sabor a TANGO” which they describe as “an unforgettable night of tango — the vertical expression of a horizontal desire . . raw, sensual, and fun.” On a recent visit, my guest and I were delighted to be able to enjoy this performance and I can attest that it is tango at its best. The performers will vary from week to week, but regardless of specific artists you will feel as though you have stepped into the authentic, underground milonga scene in Buenos Aires.
- Late night tango! There’s also an opportunity to try out your own tango skills. Just like an Argentine milonga, every Friday night, tango aficionados gather to share an embrace on the dance floor at Artango. Whether you’re a seasoned dancer, just curious, or simply enjoying dinner and drinks, be sure to stay for the late night tango.
There is really nothing else quite like this experience in Chicago.
Artango Bar and Steakhouse is located at 4767 North Lincoln Avenue. For more information, visit the website, call 872.208.7441 or email [email protected]. You can also follow their social media conversations on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+.