South American cusines converge at this upscale Bucktown neighborhood restaurant.. The Scene The Armitage storefront marked by a red awning gives way to a spacious dining room with soaring two-story ceilings and sweeping murals on the walls. An immense landscape of Rio de Janeiro backs the curved bar, offering a dramatic focal point. A staircase leads to a second dining area overlooking the main floor. Despite the cavernous feel and piped-in South American pop music, conversation is unchallenged. Service, though well-meaning and friendly, is scattered.
The Food The meat, potatoes and seafood menu encompasses traditional dishes from Peru, Brazil and Argentina. Fat empanadas, wrapped in a flakey, slightly sweet pastry, and sirloin-stuffed croquettes made from mashed potato set the tone for the rich meal. Well-seasoned beef dishes, like 2-inch-thick grilled bone-in rib eye and smoky tenderloin strips sauteed with tomatoes, onions, potato and Pisco outshine underdone, bony grilled halibut. Silky passion-fruit cheesecake drizzled with strawberry sauce offers a light, refreshing finish.