A new look and new chef , but the same amazing taste of Latin America in River North

Nacional 27 {325 West Huron Street, Chicago; 312.664.2727} is a long-loved Latin American spot in River North that recently celebrated two decades of amazing food and spicy date nights. Known for a menu that’s representative of all 27 Latin countries, the restaurant takes food very seriously. That’s why they were honored to add the expertise of Chef Cory Morris to their team! After working at other Latin American restaurants in Chicago, like Boleo and Ronero, Morris is bringing his expertise from years in the kitchen and his extensive travels to Spain, Argentina, and Portugal to the Nacional 27 team.

So now, in addition to salsa dancing and cocktails, Nacional 27 is unveiling a bold new look as well as new menu items from Chef Morris. Think 
Steak Empanada with braised Ropa Vieja flank steak and 
Chicken Croquette made with crispy Aji Gallina chicken, all of which you can dig into to fuel a night of dancing and fun! We spoke with Morris for a sneak peak at the new look and his new menu… 

DiningOut: What are some of your earliest food memories?

Morris: Growing up I remember my dad grilling out every Sunday. I was always excited for Sunday dinner.

How did your travel affect and expand your culinary scope?

Traveling to Spain was instrumental in my development as a chef. I learned that in order to represent a food culture well, you need to learn its history, explore the different regions, and interact with the people. In Spain there are regions that are famous for just one single dish and that fascinated me.

Tell us about Nacional 27’s new look:

The recently renovated dining room at Nacional 27 was inspired by the warm colors and tropical vibes of Central and South America. The space has been transformed into a modern “dinner and salsa club” with plush leather booths, gold, black and wood accents, and leafy palms.

What do you want people to feel when they dine with you?

I hope that if they are from any of the countries that we are representing on our menu, that the flavors and ingredients will remind them of home.

The restaurant is quite an experience! How does that play into the menu?

We put very bold exciting flavors on the plate to keep up with the lively atmosphere.

What are some of your favorite menu items right now?

Salmon Ceviche with Aji-Pineapple sauce, mango, and lime. Its really fresh and perfect for the warm weather.

What is something no one tells you about being a chef?

Chefs are role models and teachers. You will build relationships with people that will last a lifetime.

What are your favorite parts of your job?

Collaborating with awesome people!

To what do you credit the restaurant’s ongoing success?

Keeping up with the trends and listening to our guests.

We’re also going to start exploring some of the more obscure regions of Latin America and introduce dishes that are really going to excite people.

If all of this makes you excited to try Morris’ new menu, you’re in luck! You can try the new dishes out for yourself this week because Morris is hosting a“Puerta Cerrada Dinner” on Thursday, May 23. And you can still get tickets! Join the Nacional 27 team for a night of delicious food and lots of fun. Get your tickets NOW.