Chicago Restaurant Week 2022: Dinner at Proxi

This is part of a series of posts about Chicago Restaurant Week 2022, held March 25–April 10. To browse past Restaurant Week coverage between 2013 and 2021, click here.

Steamed yellow curry custard with jumbo lump crab, curry leaf, and fried bitter melon; Szechuan-style braised lamb dumplings with chili crisp and scallions
Steamed yellow curry custard with jumbo lump crab, curry leaf, and fried bitter melon; Szechuan-style braised lamb dumplings with chili crisp and scallions

Best Bite: Proxi has been on my list to try for a while, and the mostly family style Restaurant Week menu allowed us to try 12 different dishes inspired by cuisines across Asia. The steamed curry custard with generous lump crab on top was the most unique bite, comforting yet elegant. I also couldn’t get enough of the salmon salad, perfectly dressed with coconut, peanut, and heat from the chiles.

Poached king salmon salad with young coconut, smoked trout roe, and peanut
Poached king salmon salad with young coconut, smoked trout roe, and peanut
Shrimp toast with lemongrass and red chili; roasted carrots with berber spice butter and whipped tahini
Shrimp toast with lemongrass and red chili; roasted carrots with berber spice butter and whipped tahini

Other notes: Among the other highlights were the roasted heirloom carrots, well spiced with creamy tahini, and an especially excellent version of shrimp toast where the topping and bread melded into singular goodness. My favorite of the heartier dishes was the wood-grilled pork tenderloin, which came with a smoked peanut mole sauce that I wanted to drink by the gallon.

Wood-grilled pork tenderloin with smoked peanut mole and knob onions; wood-grilled prime beef short rib ssam with butter lettuce, pickled daikon, rice, and spicy ssamjang (plus a cameo from chef Andrew Zimmerman)
Wood-grilled pork tenderloin with smoked peanut mole and knob onions; wood-grilled prime beef short rib ssam with butter lettuce, pickled daikon, rice, and spicy ssamjang (plus a cameo from chef Andrew Zimmerman)

All three desserts were outstanding, from the purple corn sorbet with warmed spiced pineapple jam, to the cardamom-laced mango kulfi with a beautiful shortbread tuile, to the coffee-chocolate opera cake with a s’mores-like combination of accompaniments. And it was a bonus to sit at the counter in view of the kitchen, with chef Andrew Zimmerman (also of Sepia) expediting.

Dessert course of mango kulfi with cardamom mousse, citrus shortbread, and frosted pistachios; chicha morada (purple corn) sorbet with pineapple jam and coconut; and vietnamese coffee & chocolate opera cake with chicory streusel, hot fudge, and whipped cream
Dessert course of mango kulfi with cardamom mousse, citrus shortbread, and frosted pistachios; chicha morada (purple corn) sorbet with pineapple jam and coconut; and vietnamese coffee & chocolate opera cake with chicory streusel, hot fudge, and whipped cream

The details: Proxi, 565 W Randolph St., Chicago.

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