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Critics Embark on an International Adventure at Proxi and More Reviews

But Elizabeth’s Twin Peaks-themed menu is a rip-off

A large dining room
Marc Much

Proxi is a culinary trip across the globe that’s executed with “unrestrained enthusiasm,” according to Phil Vettel. Whereas its sister restaurant Sepia is refined elegance, Proxi is full of “bold” and “wide-ranging” street fare. Tempura elotes are a flavorful starter with “endearing umami richness,” while “wonderful” roasted mussels luxuriate in a cider-spiked, ‘nduja-butter sauce. Fried halibut collars are “surprisingly meat, marrying well to a lively Thai chile and garlic sauce” and lamb ribs are an equal “hit,” glazed with a mango-pickle barbecue sauce. Desserts include avocado mousse topped with tapioca pearls, coconut gelee, and grapefruit bits. Finally, the whole menu is complemented by an “exemplary beverage program” that features “excellent” cider, beer, and cocktails as well as wines from a rotating region. [Tribune]

Mike Sula agrees with Vettel and thinks Proxi is a “fun” adventure with a “wild array of delicious successes.” Farmer’s market bhel puri is a bowl of veggies packing an “explosive bite” while a “luscious” whole grilled fish is marinated and dressed with guajillo and arbol chiles, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, clove, cumin, and shrimp bouillon. An “astonishing” cobia fillet is one of the best things Sula has eaten this year—“meaty and delicate,” sitting in a “mild, gently sweet sauce.” Similarly, “jiggling-tender” Wagyu beef short rib comes in a “saucier, nuttier version” of rendang. It’s all topped off with sweet treats like a spiced chocolate semifreddo. [Reader]

Anthony Todd spends $500 on a Twin Peaks-themed dinner at Elizabeth and leaves feeling sorely ripped off. A dish called “Laura’s Diary” literally “taste[s] like nothing at all” while “Mackerel and Rye” features a slice of fish that’s devoid of all flavor on top of a rye cracker with garnishes. Pork shoulder isn’t any better as it’s “incredibly fatty and hard to eat,” and dessert doughnuts are “bad, tough and cakey and served cold.” Wine pairings are also insanely marked up and the whole meal lasts four and a half hours. All in all, Todd says there aren’t any “luxury ingredients that help to justify the price of the menu” and worse yet, it’s “like the kitchen [has] forgotten that food requires seasoning.” [Chicagoist]


565 West Randolph Street, , IL 60661 (312) 466-1950 Visit Website

Elizabeth Restaurant

4835 North Western Avenue, , IL 60625 Visit Website