Ryan Poli Says Tavernita Will Open After New Year, Promises It Won't Be "Clubby"
As we all anxiously await Ryan Poli's return to the dining scene with forthcoming River North restaurant Tavernita, Eater nabbed an interview (oddly, a national one) with the chef, who shares an interesting profile of his roots in Spanish cooking long before the wave of restaurants like Mugaritz, El Celler de Can Roca, and La Broche gained the international recognition of today. As for how these experiences translate to Tavernita, Poli was most inspired by his off-hours, exploring the tapas bars, pintxo bars, and casual culture of Spain.
He says to expect a three-part restaurant with stand-and-eat San Sebastián pintxo bar in the front with "a slightly more formal dining room with a crudo bar" that leads to a lounge in the back. Naturally, words like "River North," "lounge," and "Mercadito" (his partners) automatically conjure an image of bottle service and headache-inducing bass, Poli claims that food comes first and that "there's no way it's clubby." An ambitious claim we're hoping will hold true, we'll believe it when we see it (which should be shortly after the New Year, pending inspections).