A little over a week ago, one of my Chicago readers reached out to me looking for ideas on some paleo-friendly restaurants in the city. Happy to help out a fellow foodie, I sent over a list of a few spots I love. Little did I know, just a few days after sending that list, I was going to discover another to-die-for spot. Presidio, is nestled in the heart of Wicker Park and takes advantage of the increasing farm-to-table restaurant trend. I had the pleasure of attending a blogger dinner there and was impressed by the vibes, the food and the service.
The first thing I noticed upon entering was Presidio's incredible atmosphere. Rustic wood walls and dim date-night lighting combine with modern furniture pieces to make the perfect ambiance. If I was able to bottle up the feeling and sell it, I'd be a billionaire. I was equally impressed (if not more) by the delicious food. Presidio happily accommodated me by serving me a few courses different from the others so I could enjoy paleo-friendly, gluten-free options.
Artful Roger, a tequila based cocktail with hints of coconut, cinnamon and lime, kicked off my dining experience. When it comes to cocktails, the liquor can easily overpower the rest of the flavors, but this drink was perfectly balanced and very smooth. I happily sipped on it throughout the meal. The first course, arguably one of my favorites, was a coconut curry pumpkin bisque with black rice and a hazelnut pesto. If I'm going to eat rice, this is how I forever want to have it. The texture of the rice added a great crunch to accompany the creamy soup. Next, while the others noshed on polenta with mushroom ragout, I enjoyed a gorgeous roasted beet salad. The salad was topped with Montamore cheese and pistachios, giving a sharp and slightly salty element. I know beets scare some people off, but these ones shouldn't. Presidio did it right with this cold salad.
When I looked at the restaurant menu prior to attending this dinner, I was excited by the prospect of lamb loin. My insides did a little happy dance when the plates arrived in front of us. The perfect sear and crispy green bean/carrot combination was enviable to any cook. Curry yogurt and a tamarind sauce adorned the plate and were easily devoured in addition. I briefly considered licking my plate, but the classier side of me decided it wouldn't be appropriate, so I abstained. You're welcome fellow diners! A small plate of black mission figs with a sherry glaze appeared next. These were good, but arguably my least favorite dish of the evening. Personally, the sherry sauce was a bit too sweet and overpowering; however, the figs were delectable on their own. The big finale came next in the form of dessert. Presidio's Affogato consists of their homemade vanilla ice cream and Chicago's own Sparrow Coffee Not familiar with affogato? Think of it as a cold brew float. Genius. Why didn't I think of this before? I enjoyed a few mouthwatering bites before sadly pushing it aside since dairy and I are only friends in small quantities. My only regret is that I couldn't box up my dessert and take it home to enjoy for days to come. (Note to self: Invent ice cream float transporter that will prevent it from melting while traveling the CTA.)
From the perfectly timed service by attentive and friendly staff to the amazing decor and incredible food, Presidio provided us with a truly delightful dinner! Thank you so much for having us!