Mmm Mmm Monday: Frontera Grill

One of the billion reasons we were so excited to get our buns to Chicago was the chance to eat in the embarrassing amount of top quality restaurants in this town. So we wasted no time and last week started checking our "must eats" off a very distinguished list. We started at Rick BaylessFrontera Grill.

Birria de Chivo @ Frontera Grill

Like you need MY review to confirm what is common knowledge. Frontera Grill is top notch. There's no doubt in my mind why Saturdays book up eight to twelve weeks in advance. We stopped in on Saturday fifteen minutes after the doors opened and there was already an hour and a half wait for the tables they keep available for walk ins. Ninety minutes. So imagine our surprise and excitement when we discovered there was an available reservation during the same week ON the hubby's birthday. Score! We snatched it up immediately.

On the night of our feast, we started, as nearly every other table in the place, with the most incredible guacamole. The hint of citrus is what made it so special for me. Served with house made chips, we practically licked the bowl clean. I mean, I even dipped the radish garnish in the guac and scarfed it down. It would have been shameful behavior had it not been so stinking out of this world. I promise it stands up to the hype. 

Then, because I was feeling totally adventurous, I tried the Tuesday night special. It was goat. I've never eaten goat before and I can't say it was on my "to eat" list. But, I have this goal to try foods that might make others gag* and I thought goat might fall into that category. Turns out, I was satisfied with my risky choice. It was rich in flavor and prepared so that it had the texture of a perfectly fork tender beef roast. I probably should have stopped 5 to 10 bites before I did because I left no room in my tummy for dessert. But I could not put my fork down. Really, it was that good.

Red chili braised Pleasant Meadows Farm goat with runner beans and Napa cabbage

The birthday boy ordered the daily fish special. Neither of us can remember what kind of fish it was. Fail. But both of us remember how delicious it was. See those square patties beside the fillet? Those are crispy-herby Three Sisters corn polenta cakes. Let's just call them insane and call it a day.

Daily catch @ Frontera Grill
Garlic-marinated day-boat catch with almond pipian (tomatillo, fennel, poblano), crispy-herby Three Sisters corn polenta cakes and slow-cooked fennel

Our meal was so darn good, it inspired us to include Bayless' Frontera Farmer Foundation in our give 10 project. (Yes, we're still going. December turned into January turned into...) The fact that Bayless is not only putting yummy food in the stomachs of Chicagoans, but he also cares where the food comes from and how it's produced just makes me appreciate the meal even more. Obviously, our night at Frontera Grill was one for the history books. We can't wait to continue the culinary adventure awaiting us in our new home town.

Would you ever/ have you ever eaten goat meat?

*Of course I never thought Rick Bayless would make gag-worthy food. Please don't misunderstand. But goat is kind of scary, right?