After meeting in River North, he let me know we were headed to Chef Rick Bayless's Frontera Grill. If you know anything about Frontera Grill, it's that a) it's owned by celebri-chef Rick and b) it can be difficult to grab a table. Since they only take limited reservations, the BF stopped by right at 5pm when they opened to put our name in. This minimized our wait time immensely and allowed us to grab a cocktail at the gorgeous bar before we were seated. We both started off with cocktails made from mezcal, an alcohol made from the maguey plant. The mezcal provided a smoky and spicy flavor to each of our citrus-y options. I went with the Paloma Oaxaquena with grapefruit, lime, honey and grapefruit bitters while the BF chose the Mezcal Margarita with brandy, bitters and lemonade. I was quite pleased the BF's drink was as pink as mine :) I also tried the Blue Agave margarita, which was probably the best margarita I have ever tasted!
|Paloma Oaxaquena & Mezcal Margarita|
Luckily for us, we were also served two of Frontera's famous salsas. I love buying these salsas at the store, but it was nice to try them in a restaurant setting. We tried the Three Chile and Tomatillo salsas which were great when combined with the guacamole.
|Three Chile & Tomatillo Salsas|
It was rather difficult to decide on an entree, but after asking our server a million questions, I decided to order a steak. Steak is not something I tend to make myself, so that's what ultimately swayed me away from the fresh fish special that was also offered. The Carne Asada Brava was marinated in spicy habanero and was served with a side of even spicier habanero and tomato salsa. On the side were grilled and bound knob onions and probably the best part of the dish, sweet corn tamals. The steak was pretty tender and amazingly flavorful and I didn't even need the salsa because it already packed intense heat. The real stars of the show were the tamals. These little masa pockets were filled with sweet corn and were as soft as pillows. I had to ration out each bite just to savor them that much more. We were also given a plate of fresh corn tortillas to eat with our meal. If I thought the tamals were delicious, they didn't even compare to the tortillas! O.M.G. I can't even explain how delicious they were. You might be saying, how good can a tortilla be? Good enough that I wanted to eat it plain. WOW.
|Carne Asada Brava|
445 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654