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“They "Aim to Please"!!”
Review of Macarena Tapas

Macarena Tapas
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Ranked #53 of 458 Restaurants in Naperville
Price range: $0 - $30
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Private Dining, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Aurora Ave
Description: Macarena Tapas was opened by Executive Chef John Borras in 2007. Whith an emphasis on traditional yet creative Spanish tapas cuisine, the menu incorporates both classic favorites and original new dishes. Macarena has a contemporary flare, but encompasses a welcoming, traditional Spanish tapas atmosphere.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Cliff's notes version:
Mussels: Very fishy tasting; red sauce is Very spicy (I liked that part).
Chicken with mushrooms & sauce: Chicken WAY over cooked; thin; dry; sauce was bad; tasted like a broth that was thickened with cornstarch or the like.
Scallops wrapped in bacon: AMAZINGLY GOOD but Very pricey; they were awesome but very very small and very expensive (~$14.00 for 5-6 very small scallops); mayo & sauce on them was excellent.
Bread: warm, good tasting; oil at the table in little oil can seemed 'off'/'rancid' tasting.
No salt or pepper at the table.
I'd return with a Groupon--too $$ if you're hungry.

I only discovered this restaurant when a Groupon became available for it, so I thought I'd try it out with my 8 yr. old daugher one night.
We went on a Saturday night at about 5:30 pm which is early but I was with my little girl and also I was told that that's when it isn't crowded.
The place is indeed SMALL and the parking is limited in front. We were greeted very warmly by the gentleman at the entrance.
We sat down and I noticed that several of the open tables were "reserved". This is highly recommended when wishing to dine after 6:30pm, btw.

I am completely unfamiliar with tapas menu items so I asked for what was 'recommended'. Our server (I suspect he had some viable interest in the restaruant, as I will explain later) said he would go through the items and tell me what was "good" and what was "popular". This was very helpful, actually because that can be quite different. The menu is brief so it didn't take long.

I ordered the mussels (dau. wanted) & the chicken for us to share (to start) along with & a glass of merlot for me & a lemonaid for my daughter.

The (6) mussels came covered in a very spicy red sauce which my daughter gasped at when she saw (she likes them plain, in broth). The mussels were VERY fishy-tasting but the sauce was good (I thought), although it WAS very spicy (I like hot, though). It was WAY too hot for my daughter to even try & they were very fishy anyway. I ate them all because I was hungry.
The chicken came & it was so difficult to cut because it was so overcooked. This chicken, mind you, was VERY thin & should have only taken a few minutes (if that) to cook through. It actually shredded when I was cutting it, that's how overdone it was.
When the server came by & asked how it all was I said, "Welllll...it's terrible, actually." He was taken aback and immediately said he will take it off the bill. I said he didn't need to do that but that it was all just very very disappointing. He immediately sat down at a nearby chair, interested in my opinion. I explained that I cook a lot and that the chicken was terribly overcooked and the sauce was not a genuine reduction but simply thickened with a thickener, instead. I also explained about the mussels.
He seemed upset & asked if he could bring us anything else but sadly I said, "no, thanks." I just really didn't want to taste anything else. What I wanted was the grilled octopus (It's awesome at Basil's) but they didn't have it that night (it was Friday. ??) so I was kind of disappointed right off the bat.
He seemed intent on bringing us something we'd enjoy, which I thought was VERY genuine, sweet and SMART! He came back with the bacon wrapped scallops (as above). Very Very good, but too $$ to order, in my opinion unless you have a groupon to get them for half off, which would be 'appropriate' in my opinion.

In the end, he presented my with a bill for just the glass of wine I had & the lemonade my daughter had, which was very very generous & unexpected. I paid the bill & added the cost of what we liked (the scallops $14) plus a $10 tip which is what it would have been on the entire bill, just because of the effort he made that night.
All in all, I would return because this man was so very accomodating but I think it is still too $$ for the quality of food that was presented to us that night.
Service was the savior here~
Hope this helps.

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Thank Anastasia32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 - 56 of 75 reviews

Reviewed November 5, 2012

This is a great tapas bar. Every thing is fresh and served in a timely manner. It is a small cozy restaurant you will want to visit time and again. Reasonable and a very gracious helpful staff.

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Thank eej19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2012

Tiny little place with great tapas and great service. Tapas in general are more expensive, so don't expect any "bargains". Most everything on the menu is delicious. However, the garlic potato salad was bland and ordinary, unlike this item at Meson Sabika's in Naperville. In fact, I recommended the cook from Macarena's visit Meson Sabika's and try their garlic potato salad!

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Thank eternal411
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2012

It's located in a little strip shopping center in a non-descript store front but once you get inside you'll be pleasantly surprised. They've done a nice job decorating the place like you were in Barcelona, the menu is great with all types of spanish tapas. They had a great selection of all different types of sangrias. The service was spot on. I say check it out for something different. The only minor negative was that the prices were a little on the high side but not outrageous. Also if you sit outside you're not allowed to have alcohol.

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Thank gdagesse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2012 via mobile

The hubby and I went here earlier this year before catching a movie at Hollywood Palms. We had excellent service, good food and wine reccomendations and were overly very pleased...
We decided to come back this past Monday on my birthday for a bite before heading out to another movie...ugh what a waste of time and money. After waiting by the front door for several minutes we started to just head for a table, when an employee stopped us and asked if we had reservations. (really?? It's Monday and you're half empty...) So we respond that no we don't and he asks us to wait a moment for a table. Ok fine moving along. We are seated, given menus, bread and water. Waiting. Waiting etc... 15-20 minutes go by. We finish the bread and water and still have yet to have our server greet us. I'm seriously starting to get pissed now, it's my bday and I have a movie to catch (and I've worked in the service industry for close to 15 years, this is simply unacceptable). I'm ready to just leave.
Finally our waiter comes, asks us for only our drink order and takes off, we are like HELLO we've been ready to order for 15 minutes! We finally order and receive our food which is good, yet the server who seems super pompous and pissy that we are taking up his time never checks on us. I wanted more wine, but hey what am I supposed to do...walk to the bar? Come on, I work for tips AND THIS IS NOT THE WAY! I was so aggravated that I passed the tab to my husband to pay, as I am usually in charge of tipping and tend to overtip as a rule. Ouch he left $4. I was mortified for a moment, but this was seriously the WORST service I have ever had anywhere period. Got over it real quick.

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Thank Nunya300
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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