La Noche

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Opened in November 2007, La Noche has breathed new life into downtown West Chicago. Formerly Cheerleaders Sports Bar, the warm and inviting interior shows no signs of its former incarnation. Deep merlot-colored walls are accented by mahogany floors and trim, while the floor-to-ceiling windows are outfitted with pearl-gray silk curtains. A stately mirror-backed bar is lit with red votives, while six cozy tables are topped with plush white tablecloths. A snug little lounge area in back is enhanced by a fireplace and exotic potted ferns. The menu is a well-edited list of Mediterranean tapas favorites, such as patatas con aioli (garlic potato salad), datiles con tocino (baked dates wrapped in bacon) and queso de cabra (oven-baked goat cheese with tomato-basil sauce and thick chunks of garlic bread). The housemade red and white sangria is a sweet accompaniment.