Voted #4 Best Fine Dining by UrbanSpoon.com (and I’m sure up there according to other rankings), Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba was THE New years eve dinner choice by The BF and I this year. Visit: http://www.cafebabareeba.com/chicago for more information.

Overall, our experience was fabulous! Hip decorations, attentive waiter, and fast food service was definitely a plus. We ordered a lot of food, and all of them were served in a way that was creative and fun – exactly what we wanted! Without further due, let me take you through our little 2 hour journey to conclude the last meal of 2008!!!!

Cheers! Here’s half a pitcher of passionfruit sangria to kick off the night


We started off with just one cold tapa…

Citrus Cured Salmon on Cucumber Toast
Almost tasteless salmon slices (thumbs down for that) served with buttered toasty bread that are covered in shredded bits of cucumber flesh. It all came with a dollop of sour cream in the middle.
Likes: VERY refreshing, palate-cleansing dish; Unique and colorful
Dislikes: Lack of flavor from pretty much all of the ingredients, this was The BF’s least favorite

Sea Scallops with Raisins, Couscous, & Pinenuts
Likes: The BF’s favorite dish! Flavorful, sweet couscous flavors highlighted the fresh scallops
Dislikes: Scallops were a tad salty, just a tad

Grilled Squid olive oil & garlic

Likes: The strong grilled flavors of the squid itself and the crunchy tentacles!
Dislikes: I have nothing to complain about, perhaps it was a tiny bit oily for my palate
Baked Crab & Shrimp Dip piqiullo peppers, cheese
A pretty self-explanatory dish…definitely VERY cheesy, and Nick complained about not being able to find any crab. I can’t comment on this dish since I’m not a fan of cheese.😛
Garlic Shrimp olive oil, chili flakes

Likes: My favorite dish because of the crispy fried garlic and green aioli sauce. YUM!
Dislikes: The shrimps were drenched in oil – I mean…covered head to tail

Chicken Toro Brochetas
Chicken skewer dangling above a plateful of toasted bread, caramelized onions, grilled potato pieces and a baked tomato. All served with a tartar sauce.
This picture does NOT do this dish justice. I LOVED the tender chicken skewer pieces. They went perfectly with the onions! I also devoured the tomato before Nick knew it existed. Oooops!!!

Roasted Salmon artichoke and fennel confit
Unfortunately, this earned a TWO THUMBS DOWN from the both of us. The salmon was too fishy and the confit just didn’t go well with the fish AT ALL. Cafe B..maybe try reformulating the recipe? Like…season your fish?

FINALLY, the dessert menu.

Since this was our first visit, dessert was on the house! Yippee!!
Banana caramalized and vanilla ice-cream Mango sorbet
Both were YUMMY but not blow-your-socks-off yummy.
We were just happy we got free dessert!

Following our new years eve dinner, we went home and played 2 hours of Rockband while drinking sparkling wine until 2009. YEAHHHH.

***

RATINGS:

Overall: 4/5

Taste: 4/5 (Most of the dishes were amazing but some just didn’t work at all)

Originality: 4/5 (Definitely quite a few unique tapas there!)

Plating: 3.5/5

Value: 3/5 (Though the food was good, it wasn’t cheap!)

Service: 3/5 (Just way too many people for the waiters to get around to in good time)

The verdict? Highly recommended restaurant, but know what to order! You may be pleasantly surprised if you keep an open mind, but don’t be upset if things are too oily.

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba on Urbanspoon