Supper with Sylvia
By Sylvia Perez
Prime & Provisions Steakhouse
If Chicago isn't the steakhouse capitol of the world, it should be. I tried to find out just how many we have in our city but couldn't confirm the number. And guess what? There's a new one in town. Fairly new as it opened in May and is already creating a lot of chatter. It's called Prime & Provisions, and while steak is its claim to fame, you are not going to believe what keeps me going back: the fried chicken. But I'll get to that in a moment.
Prime & Provisions made the bold move of opening right across the river from one of the cities' premiere steak houses, Chicago Cut. If you're going to take that risk, you better be good and… it they are. Like Chicago Cut, Prime & Provisions is pricey but worth a special night out. The decor is elegant. They have one booth that is my favorite as you go from the bar to the dining room. You'll know it when you see it.
Onto the food.
I've been here twice and here's what I've tried so far. The tuna tartare was delicious and the chopped salad was good. My favorite, of all things located under appetizers, was some of the finest fried chicken I have ever eaten. It may even be the best I've ever had. (This now has me searching for the best fried chicken restaurant in Chicago.)
The chicken was super crispy on the outside, yet the inside was not only moist, it was also flavorful; a combination that’s hard to find. When I bite into my fried chicken I like to hear that crunch. This was so satisfyingly crunchy I asked if I could speak to the chef to find out how he makes it. I thought maybe he dipped it in batter more than once. But no, he says the secret is the combination of flour to corn starch mixture. It's almost like a tempura. Of course, the buttermilk brine is what makes the inside so moist. I could do a whole review on this but I should move on. Let's suffice it to say the second time I went back, I skipped the steak and went straight for the fried chicken.
As far as the steaks go, I had the bone-in rib eye. It's was juicy and delicious, but a word of caution. The steak arrives on a super hot plate and while it sits on the plate, it continues to cook. So if you like your steaks rare or medium, ask for an extra plate so it will stop cooking. We were encouraged to try the mashed potatoes and they were good.
The desserts are insanely delicious. The waitress brought us a peanut butter chocolate pie. I was worried it was going to be too rich, but instead it was just too good. I couldn't stop eating it.
The star of the desserts has to be the tableside s'mores. I never would have ordered this since I'm not a huge fan of this bonfire dessert… but this was different. It was so much better. It comes in a chocolate sphere that lies on top of a decorative strip of graham crackers and marshmallow sauce. The waitress then poured a hot chocolate sauce over it. We watched in childlike amazement as the sauce melted the sphere, resulting in campfire-like smoke, only to find the sphere was filled with yet more chocolate, ice cream and marshmallows. It was not only fun to watch but incredibly delicious. Worth every calorie.
I loved this place and will definitely go back. I know what I'll order: fried chicken and tableside s'mores for sure. Maybe I'll order the chopped salad too so I can feel as if I'm eating healthy. YUM! I'm now searching to see if I can find better fried chicken at any other Chicagoland restaurant.
Do you have any suggestions? Please let me know.
Connect with me @ sylviaperez.com or on Twitter @Sylviaperezprod
Photos courtesy of Nathan Michael & Mark Ball