The first of five concepts that acclaimed chef José Andrés plans to launch in Chicago, Jaleo is an extension of the contemporary Spanish restaurants of the same name that operate in Washington D.C., Orlando and Las Vegas. Inspired by the traditional dishes of Andrés's childhood, the menu includes tapas, paellas, sangrias and Spanish wines—all served in a casual dining room decorated with bold red tones and honeycomb patterns.
Diners can choose from one of two tasting menus focused around contemporary and traditional tapas, or order from the expansive à la carte menu. Highlights include head-on shrimp prepared with garlic and olive oil and paella made with a selection of seasonal vegetables—plus two varieties of sangria served by the pitcher. The Chicago outpost of Jaleo also features some city-specific experiences including paellas created tableside and a full tapas bar.
In the coming months, a speakeasy-style bar called Pigtail is scheduled to open alongside Jaleo, offering a menu of cocktails and bites that can be experienced on their own or as a prelude to dinner at the Spanish restaurant.