Chicago >Food & Dining > Nacional 27
325 W. Huron, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061041.894746 -87.636625
Dining room Mon-Thurs 5:30-9:30pm; Fri-Sat 5:30-11pm. Bar Mon-Thurs 5-10pm; Fri-Sat 5pm-2am
Neighborhoods: Central, Near North Side
Nacional 27 is one of my favorite LEYE restaurants with great cocktails and pretty darn authentic South American food.
This River North spot's Latin flavors and a festive backdrop make for a decent night out. Try the shrimp/scallop ceviche, the chorizo empanadas, and the seriously delicious blood orange caipirinha (which also comes by the pitcher!).
Worst Dining Experience Ever – Last night was one of the worst dining experiences of my life. We reported to the hostess stand as soon as our party arrived. They not only struggled to find my reservation, they had the number of people in my party entirely wrong. We then had to wait another 20 minutes, while they prepared a table for us.
Once we were seated and served drinks, I received a phone call from the restaurant. They wanted to know where my party and I were at. I stepped away from the table to address this situation first hand. They didn't even realize we were already present and seated just 15 minutes prior.
The seating was absolutely horrendous as a couple of the chairs were in such poor structural condition, they were about to give out. In addition, the upholstery on them was beyond nasty. My suit was covered in filth from them not keeping the chairs clean.
This restaurant is in some serious need of improvement for the "caliber" of establishment they portray themselves to be. I had to have numerous conversations with the manager to address issues throughout the evening.
Although this restaurant has received the "Wine Spectator Award of Excellence" for the past four years, I wonder what the folks at Wine Spectator would like to think of them serving $100/bottle wine in glasses that were dripping wet inside and out with water. I was finally able to bring this to the Wine Sommelier's attention 20 minutes later.
It's clear to me that the owners of this restaurant (Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises) have done a poor job of managing this restaurant. This was a enormously disappointing and stressful dining experience.
Thought you had Latin cuisine...think again! – I'll admit I'm fairly new to this Latin cuisine style of food (and I'm not talking about burritos and tacos from a certain drive through place or ChipolFAKE or a TB(this place is a dump)K). i've been to Coobah on Southport and to Laguardia on Armitage. Both are excelent...for those everyday cravings for something Latin. But for those very special occations, this is the place to go. Their menu is has a variety of choices from 5 different styles of civeche (which you can try all at once if you choose) to truffle crusted filet mignon to the Florida grouper Huachinango; you'll want to try everything on the menu. Let's not forget a complementary "amuse" before your meal and the innovative drinks ranging from Sophia (sparkling wine from a can which is surprisingly good) to the "nuevo-popular" pina colada mojito made the right way by "mulling" the mint, surgar, and rum together. Make a reservation saying it's a special occation (mine being my 25th birthday) and get a dessert complements of the house. Make sure you bring you dancing shoes if you plan staying late night; on certain nights, the main floor is cleared out and the Latin sound busts out with the DJ playing the latest Salsa, Meringue, Bachata, and Cha Cha songs till early in the morning. Everyone needs some Latins flavor in their life and this is where to get it on that certain special occation.
ok food, very slow service! – I went for the first time on a saturday night around 6:30. We couldn't get reservations, but they were able to seat us in the lounge area....which was very comfortable and trendy. Our food came out extremely fast but every time we ordered a drink it took at least 20 minutes....our coffee arrived well after our deserts were finished....and need I say, my glass of wine that I had ordered while we were still eating our meal came along with the coffee. The food was "ok" for such an international restaurant I was expecting more flavor in some of the dishes, it was a little bland. The deserts on the other hand were to die for, some of the best flan that I have ever had.
Mojito, anyone? – The mojitios here are bananas, especially the pomegranite. The waiters know their stuff backwards and forwards and have great recommendations. The food was average, decor was hip, and the vibe was nice. Worth a look.
BEST LATIN FOOD – HIGHILY RECOMMENDED..I LOVE THIS PLACE..THE FOOD IS WONDERFUL AND GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE, MY BOYFRIEND AND I BOTH ENJOYED THIS PLACE.
Pumpkins and Pomegranite – Wow, wow and wow... I see so many mediocre reviews in here, and then a few fantastic ones as well. Add this one to the "HIGHLY RECOMMENDED" pile!
Music: Relaxing (during dinner.. around 7:00) but not droaning ... you know, because some places play stuff that act as a catalyst to that "I feel as tired as I do after eating Thanksgiving dinner" feeling.... but not this place. Latin-house/bossa nova vibes set the stage wonderfully.
Appetizers: The pumpkin croquetes or something along those lines (can't remember EXACTLY what they were called). They were absolutely PHENOMENAL. Mmmm...
My date and I had two mojitos each over the course of the entire meal. First of all, it is one of the few places that uses REAL sugar cane sticks in their mojitos.... and both times we ordered, we ordered the POMEGRANITE which I now HIGHLY recommend to anyone that's a mojito lover, or a fruity/sweet drink lover in general. These are fantastic and loaded with alcohol! I came into the restaurant sober as a stone and left drunk as a skunk. That's on TOP of all the food I ate that could've absorbed the alcohol.
Bottom line: amazing food prepared in a timely manner.... unique dishes that you would really have to search hard for in Chicago to find something similar.... the bartender on Tuesday nights around 7:00 will wet your whistle with a stiff drink or two... and the service/ambiance has caused me to go out of my WAY to recommend this to my friends/co-workers/random people on the streets! ;)
QUe rico! – I went to Nacional with my boyfriend. The food was excellent, though he complained he didn't get enough. They had a cuban band. The ambience was romantic. I would go again.
Overrated - below average food – My wife and I were there recently to have tapas. None of the dishes were satisfactory, and a few of them we actually decided not to eat. Our server was pleasant and helpful though. I am very surprised that people have been rating National 27 with high marks on food. I have not been there for the salsa dancing, so I cannot comment on that; Perhaps that is why the restaurant has receive such high marks. For your money, and for your enjoyment, go for anything else. There are many other restaurants that surpass National 27. I will not go back here.
Drinks only...dissappointing dinner – I had enjoyed N27 for drinks and music so I decided to give them a try for Valentines Day dinner. Instead of live music, they played latin pop too loud for the number of people. The lighting was like a dentist's office and the decor wasn't any better. My girlfriend caught her heel on one of a million cracks in the floor. Luckily I was there to catch her as I pulled out her (plastic) chair since the host didn't bother. I've seen fancier school cafeterias. The staff were pleasant but poorly attentive for how uncrowded it was. The experience lacked the polish I expect for $300. Nothing we ate was outstanding but everything was interesting and looked good. For a holiday menu, I was impressed with the selection and quality. The cocktail list is a highlight. In lieu of new management or lower prices, I won't be back.
No customer Srvc – I called in advance to book a party for up to 16 ppl. The person who answered the phone would not take my reservation and I was told leave a VM for someone else. After several days of calling and sending an email, I finally reached someone, tried again to make a reservation only to find out that their party menu was $36 pp for food only and they were already booked. Very irresponsible and Lazy of Nacional to treat potential customers that way.
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