Mercat a la PlanxaSouth Loop | Website
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Denver-based Sage Restaurant Group is behind this splashy Spanish spot in the South Loop’s Blackstone Hotel. Planxa (pronounced plahn-CHA) refers to a style of grilled-to-order tapas popular in the Catalan region. They're highlighted on a sprawling menu that offers 15 a la planxa choices, including yellowfin tuna, prawns and steaks. The bar offers sangria, of course, plus Spanish-inspired cocktails and martinis, as well as Spanish wines. The festive, over-the-top interior goes for Spanish mod, with a touch of Antoni Gaudi-inspired mosaic work. Sibling lounge Bodega No. 5 off Michigan Avenue sells $5 pepper, egg and onion sandwiches and other breakfast and lunch fare--plus $5 margaritas, wine and other cocktails.