Chicago: Proxi and Fat Rice
Fat Rice, Chicago
For the past several years I’ve been fortunate to travel to Chicago for work at least once or twice a year, which is awesome because as many of you know, one of my besties lives there. It’s always great when I can combine work and pleasure! Unfortunately this year the stars did not align and I had no work travel to the Windy City in 2017.
But at least I still had my annual girls trip to look forward to this month! It had been over a year since my last visit to Chicago, which is just a tragedy, let me tell you. This city is one of my favorite places to eat, so I need to get my fix fairly often.
Fat Rice, Chicago
Ever since I saw Fat Rice listed in 2013’s Bon Appetit Best New Restaurants in America issue, I’ve wanted to go. Problem was, they didn’t take reservations, and honestly, I just don’t have the patience or time to wait for a meal at this point in my life. Alas, they changed their policy and began taking reservations, so the day finally came for me to go experience Macanese cuisine for the first time.
Did I know what Macanese cuisine was? Not really. Turns out it’s a blend of a lot of different places: Portugal, Sri Lanka, China, India, Africa… and many others. Sounds good to me.
I tried a little bit of a lot of things, but my absolute favorites were the curry cabbage and the dry fried cauliflower. In fact, everyone’s favorite was the cauliflower. A couple of my friends aren’t super adventurous eaters, and I’ll be honest, they didn’t love the meal. Even I wasn’t quite as blown away by it as I thought I would be. Not to say it wasn’t good — it was. Just probably not as great as I’d hyped it up to be in my mind. I personally know people who have eaten at Fat Rice and raved about it, saying it was one of the best meals they’ve ever had, so I’d be willing to give it another chance. If you’ve been to Fat Rice and loved it, let me know what dishes you tried, so I can be sure to get them when I make it back there again!
2957 W Diversey
Chicago, IL 60647
Girlfriends take Chicago 2017
On that To Do list for Chicago was also Proxi, Chef Andrew Zimmerman’s (Sepia) newest restaurant that just opened this summer. And while I wasn’t blown away by Fat Rice, I most definitely was blown away by Proxi. My friends and I absolutely loved everything about this meal and I would find it hard not to go there again on my next visit to Chicago!
Tempura Elotes at Proxi, Chicago
Everything from the Thai Beef Salad to Black Pepper Pork to the Cobia with coconut, turmeric, and curry leaf were all excellent. The most excellent of all and what we unanimously agreed required a second order mid-meal? The Tempura Elotes.
Honestly, one of the best snack foods I’ve put in my mouth all year. Melt in your mouth, crispy tempura battered sweet corn with a hint of spice. Hello, Mama.
Proxi’s Shaved Zucchini
And you know I always love a good salad too, and the shaved zucchini was perfection. Feta, pine nuts, and mint topped the thinly shaved and lightly dressed zucchini. If only I could recreate this at home.
In addition to all of the delicious food, I was excited to see that the restaurant had a Spanish-style gin and tonic menu. When we visited Barcelona a couple of years ago, I fell in love with gin tonics served in huge goblet’s the size of my head, and that’s just how Proxi serves them. Infused with herbs and fruits, I tried three different kinds, and all were terrific.
Pot de Crème at Proxi, Chicago
And then of course, there was dessert. Holy heavens, I just had the most amazing Pot de Crème of my life. For real. We also got the Mexican Chocolate Semifreddo and it too was delicious, but that Pot de Crème will stay etched in my memory forever. And ever, amen.
565 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60661