province was indeed a great way to kick start my chicago restaurant week 2010 experience. i was especially excited when my friend told me three weekends ago that restaurant week was just around the corner when i had brunch with him.
to recap how chicago restaurant week works, it is essentially 170 food establishments around the chicago area offering a prix fixe three course meal for lunch or dinner or both. lunch would cost $22 and dinner at $32 for an appetizer, an entree and a dessert from their special restaurant week menu.
province is located in west loop, chicago, serving up cuisines inspired by central, south american and spain. we've decided on dinner at this place because ryan and i have never tried duck confit or any sort of confit (at least not that i can remember) and it was on their menu. i think it was also featured as one of the top 8 restaurants recommended on redeye for restaurant week.
we decided to take the 'el' to our location this time for a few reasons: we didn't want to pay insane amounts of money just on parking, it was close to loop and it was saturday evening. but i was cranky when we decided to take public transportation cos it was a freaking cold night. poor ryan got cranked at the whole way there but i was freezing!
they started us off with some complimentary appetizers. the waiter explained what it was but i could barely hear him. it was kinda like caramelized onions and mushrooms topped with a chives cream. the taste of reminiscent of french onion soup. we also had some bread sticks with an onion/garlic spread. oh did i tell you i really like their silver ware? it's different and it's awesome! i told ryan i'd like to have those when i have my own house..hehe
appetizer| ryan ordered the house smoked salmon tartare parfait which has layers of avacado, cucumber and chive crema. the diced smoked salmon tasted excellent with the savory smokiness and the crunch of cucumber with the richness of avacado were good accompaniments. we did feel it needed more citrus to give the dish a lil more freshness and cut through the richness.
i opted for the roasted wild mushrooms and market winter vegetables tossed in orange mojo. i particularly love this dish. it had so many levels of textures with the different crunch and sweetness from the red bell pepper, jicama, and pumpkin paired with the earthiness of the mushroom and then finished off with the spiced, citrus-y mojo. i looked up what mojo is and mojo's basic ingredients are olive oil and large amounts of garlic, cumin and paprika. i guessed that the spice in the vinegarette was cumin which i wasn't sure but i am right! :D between the two appetizers, we both prefer the wild mushroom salad.