Thursday, October 13, 2011

Frontera Grill

There were two restaurants that I really really wanted to check out in Chicago. One was the Girl and the Goat.  Unfortunately, the time I got around to make reservations the only one available was at 10:45pm Sunday night.  This is way past our bedtime so that was out.  The other restaurant was Rick Bayless' Frontera Grill.  Mr. J and I have a tradition of having a great meal as the first activity of a vacation.  We arrived in Chicago shortly before noon and after leaving our luggage at the Drake we walked over to eat lunch.

Rick Bayless is created with bring fresh Mexican cuisine to the US.  In addition to being a fabulous meal, this was also the birthday meal for Mr. J.  Of course, you cannot eat Mexican food without a Margarita and Mr. J promptly started his meal off with the traditional "limey" Margarita.

Blue Agave Margarita: Cazadores Blanco tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, shaken tableside.  

Entremes Surtido: Appetizer platter of cheesy quesadillas, chicken taquitos with crema, ceviche tostadas, jicama salad & guacamole

We absolutely could not pick what we wanted to have...there were SO MANY options that looked delicious.  Our compromise was an appetizer sampler platter.  There was quite a few different samples and the deal maker was the ceviche.  I enjoyed the jicama salad way more than I could have ever imagined.  Basically after this I was full but when you are at a restaurant like this there is just no reason to stop.

The platter came with a trio of salsas.  The one in the far right corner was a habenero salsa. It is some of the hottest salsa I have ever tasted.  A smidgen on the tip of your fork sets your mouth on fire.  Needless to say Mr. J dumped on his food and then ate making the funniest facial expressions.

Picking an entree was equally as hard. I was leaning toward the make your own duck tacos but our waiter convinced me of the duck entree.  See the tacos just came with the three salsa above. Although they were delicious I wanted something new.  The entree came with a new sauce and tortillas.  I could only eat half of the dish but it was phenomenal. 

Pato en Tlatonile: Wood-grilled Gunthorp duck breast, rustic sauce of toasted sesame, arbol & ancho chiles. Sesame-flavored corn torta, braised City Farm chard with caramelized onions.  

Enchiladas de Mole Poblano: Homemade tortillas rolled around Gunthorp free-range chicken, doused with Mexicos most famous mole. Black beans.

Mr. J got the mole enchiladas.  I find this funny for someone who does not live and die chocolate.  Crazy enough, I love chocolate but don't really care for mole sauce.  The black bean side that came with the meal was my favorite.  If I could back I could just eat a bowl of these black beans.

Cafe Tacuba: Arette blanco tequila, Kahlua, fresh-brewed Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso and half-and-half, shaken over ice tableside.  

Of course no dinner is ever complete without dessert.  Mr. J opted for a dessert cocktail.  Very strong, very coffee - E and very chocolate - E.

The only disappointment was the dessert.  Although delicious, my ice cream was more like a milkshake.  Mr. J's after dinner drink came and then we waited...and waited.  It was almost 10 minutes later before my ice cream made it to the table in its melty-state.  The taste was great, fresh and sweet.  I only wish it was colder and non-liquid.

Homemade Ice Creams: Salted pecan with brandy & cajeta with dark rum. Topped with homemade cajeta (goat milk caramel) .  

 It's good stuff!  In the end we called this Mr. J's birthday celebration meal.  Happy Birthday Mr. J!

Frontera Grill
445 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 312-661-1434


  1. Lucky you! I have always wanted to try the Frontera Grill but am too far from Chicago! Hopefully one of these days...

  2. I am jealous! I want to go there so bad! Everything looks so delicious!

  3. Wow - it looks like a delicious dinner! I'm craving margaritas now!

  4. Love your menu choices. And I love going there. We went for my birthday for a late lunch. Chef Rick was taking a break to eat something and we got to meet him.


Thanks for leaving a message. I always love hearing your thoughts and comments.

You might also like reading:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...