Black Bull | Wicker Park/Bucktown | Tapas/Spanish, Bar/Lounge | Restaurant

Black Bull

Hours: Lunch: Sunday; dinner: seven days
Open late: Saturday till 3, other nights till 2

Price: $$

Spanish-style tapas bar from the group behind Barn & Company.

Restaurant Details

Angels & Mariachis, the Mexican restaurant that has become Black Bull, initially impressed me with its food despite truly hideous decorations. Now the space has been transformed completely, with not a single lucha libre mask left; the metal chandeliers and repurposed wood on the wall are a definite step up. But the food, while respectable enough, didn’t blow me away—and at these prices, I think it should. Tapas are rarely cheap, but most of these run closer to $10 than $5, which means that the recommended three to four per person adds up quickly. A well-balanced heirloom tomato and onion salad had good-quality ingredients; clams in a spicy tomato and onion broth were tender and tasty. Grilled scallops, though, were a touch overdone, and grilled figs with pickled cherries, almonds, and Cabrales blue cheese might have been a winning combination if we hadn’t been served only the rind of the cheese. Even the best of the lot, tender beef skewers served with a piquillo pepper vinaigrette, was good but not outstanding. The cocktails don’t help, either: sangria was too sweet, a negroni tasted like nothing but Campari, and we didn’t even attempt the Paloma, made with tequila and Squirt.

Julia Thiel

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Price: $$

Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, Discover

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