What a great way to celebrate the end of the year, and decade for that matter, with a reliably satisfying meal at Wildfire. I was a little surprised to see a packed house on a tuesday night during the holidays, but then again, people always know where to find good food. Even though there was a very tempting three course meal option for $30 (great value), we opted to navigate the menu on our own.
We started with baked goat cheese in tomato sauce (how very tapas of us) that was served with an interesting pita-like bread. No complaints, a great way to start the meal. For round two we decided to mix in some healthy greens in the form of a caesar salad for two. Very large serving, which we almost finished because I am always on the lookout for high end caesar salads. The dressing wasn't too heavy and the cheese didn't overpower. A nice dose of fresh pepper and I was very content. Now for the main course, I may have made a fatal flaw. Since the previous night I was at Hub 51 (notice any pattern with LEYE??) and ordered filet tacos, I had a taste for something that swims even though I know for certain that steaks at Wildfire are first rate. With that being said I ordered the special of the day, Crab Cake Crusted Trout served with wild rice and a mustard sauce.
I should have ordered a steak (as my smarter girlfriend did). It wasn't a bad piece of fish and there were no major disasters, I just didn't want to eat the second half of the dish and could not find any real flavor to enjoy. The mustard sauce was too creamy for me to use which is unfortunate because I love mustard. The crab cake crust was interesting, something I don't think I have ever tasted before. There were bits of corn and red pepper in the mix, which worked well with the side of wild rice that also included corn and peas. The major problem though is that the fish did not have any flavor, period. Some of my first bites actually tasted a little fishy, and then as I kept going, lost everything all together. My eating partner agreed that it didn't taste like anyone. Odd, and better than tasting bad, but disappointing. The petite filet on the other side of the table looked and tasted wonderful. None was left to take home. Her side of mashed potatoes were also delicious, creamy and buttery just the way they should be. (I also used them to sample the BBQ sauce since we didn't order anything BBQ. One of my favorite sauces I have tasted yet...for future reference). With little room left our server tortured us with his dessert tray presentation.
Even though I may have fumbled my entre this one time, I thoroughly enjoy Wildfire and can see why it is one of the most popular Chicago establishments. Great food with spot on service all combine for an enjoyable dining experience and all for a price that is more than justified (steaks for < $30). I think the "supper-club" idea should make a comeback, but until then I'll be eating at Wildfire.
Caesar Salad to start
Crab Cake Crusted Trout with wild rice