Chicago: Twist

I heard about Twist: a tapas cafe when a co-worker recommended it to me. I was pretty stoked, because not only did the food sound pretty good, but it was within walking distance of my apartment. It’s located on Sheffield, near Clark. Unfortunately, I find that triangle intersection pretty confusing, and I always have trouble figuring out exactly where Twist is. I’m pretty embarrassed about that.

Twist is one of our favourite restaurants; it was so close and so reliable that it was hard to say no. Why take two trains and a bus to get to an unknown quantity when we could just go to Twist? My Yelp review sums up my Twist experience:

Every single dish I’ve ever ordered from Twist I’ve devoured to the last bite. They’re all delectable perfections, and if I had a hat I would tip it to the chefs. Those guys execute like they’re cooking for exalted beings far above us commoners.

Oh yeah, the rest of the restaurant is cute too. But who notices when the food is one bulls-eye after another?

So of course, when I met up with a friend who used to live a couple blocks away from me, I proposed we eat at Twist. During my visit, I was lodging with five other people, and all of them plus one came too. So it was pretty big group.

Unfortunately, Twist did not live up to my expectations this time. Old stand-bys, like the mac and cheese, bacon-wrapped dates and paella twist, weren’t quite up to snuff, and new dishes, such as wild boar tacos, failed to impress. None of the dishes were bad, of course, but they couldn’t be described with adjectives like ‘celestial’. Maybe it was them — it’s possible they have different cooks who aren’t as good? Maybe it was me — I have a theory that I don’t focus on and appreciate the food as much when I’m with a large group of people, especially if those people don’t care about food as much as I do.

I don’t know which it was, but I’m determined to give Twist another chance. My previous experiences there were far too good to simply write this restaurant off. Next time I’ll go with Hide and other people who stop talking when the food arrives, because they’re too busy experiencing the food to multi-task.

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