Siboney Cuban Cuisine
CUBAN EVOLUTION “We are basically rookies,” Julio Perez says of himself and Jose Luis Hernandez, the first-time restaurant owners of Siboney Cuban Cuisine, which opened in the former La Bonita Ixcapuzalco space on the Bucktown edge of Logan Square. Not that a lack of experience could temper the pair’s ambitions any. “We’re going to do dishes that are not really found anywhere outside Cuba,” Perez says: “grand, high-end Cuban cuisine,” with Italian and French influences, executed by Guillermo Numa, a Cuban-born chef. Which means you can start with oxtail stew (“Our version of osso buco,” Perez explains) then move on to chimichurri-topped steak or a seafood paella dotted with mussels and crab legs. Granted, it’d be hard to open a Cuban place in this town and not have Cubanos, which is why traditional sandwiches, as well as more familiar dishes like ropa vieja, pop up on the menu. If that’s not your cup of tea, don’t worry: Perez promises the menu will change frequently, in hopes of revealing to Chicagoans Cuba’s embargoed culinary treasures. The restaurant’s BYOB for now, with a mojito-slinging bar scheduled to open in the coming weeks. 2165 N Western Ave (773-904-7210).