Flavor and execution are as skimpy as the servers' outfits at this new tapas lounge
The female servers at Olé wear uniforms that consist of minishorts over fishnets, stilettos and bustier-style tank tops. The lone male server and male busers? Black pants and black shirts. Seems a little one-sided to us, but then again, consistency isn’t really this spot’s strong suit.
What it does have going for it is an interesting angled space, a low-lit hideaway vibe and gulpable cocktails, including a bright, fruity, sweet-and-sour sangria and a fresh raspberry mojito. But even after two stiff drinks, it was tough to overlook the basic and often poorly executed tapas. Croquettes are overfried and turned into hard pucks; flavorless grilled chicken chunks are tossed onto a gigantic pile of sweet caramelized onions with nothing else on the plate; small shrimp arrive only in a pool of garlic butter; and patatas bravas are merely small potatoes roasted in their jackets and doused in a blah, far-from-brava sauce. Even when given a respectable cut of beef tenderloin, the kitchen somehow manages to drain the flavor from it.
Chocolate cake and flan may seem difficult to mess up, but the former arrived as dense as shelf-stable fruitcake and the latter fared only slightly better. Now we understand the uniforms—they’re a necessary distraction.—Heather Shouse
2812 N Lincoln Ave at Diversey Pkwy (773-388-3500). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Diversey. Bus: 11 Lincoln, 76 Diversey. Dinner (closed Mon). Average tapa: $7.