Two hands grabbing mini tacos off of a shared plate

Restaurant Review: A trip around the world at the West Loop’s Proxi

Two hands grabbing mini tacos off of a shared plate

“Chef Andrew Zimmerman’s varied menu reads like an Asian hawker market.”

Conde Nast Traveler

Chef Andrew Zimmerman’s companion restaurant to Sepia is a chic stop for, as their website describes, “global street food and cocktails in an architectural setting with dining room and lounge.”

Zimmerman’s creative direction in the kitchen earned Sepia a Michelin star every year since 2011. He has also been a James Beard Foundation Award finalist for “Best Chef: Great Lakes” from 2012-2015.

But at Proxi, he expands the concept of ‘world cuisine,’ mixing and matching cultures and flavors as if they were fabric swatches for a quilt. For diners, it’s a quick trip around the world…of food. 

Take, for example, the restaurant’s Tasting Menu selections. For $75 Per Person, $45 Wine Pairing, you can start with sharing your choice of three starter plates, including an Asian-inspired Wood Grilled Yuba (dried tofu skin) with Szechuan peppercorn, and sweet soy, or an Indian-inspired Sweet Corn Chaat (seasoned fried dough) with tamarind chutney, cilantro, mint, and sweet yogurt, or a Poached King Salmon Salad, served with young coconut, trout roe, and peanut. Course II may include the Italian-inspired Toasted Masa Cavatelli with chestnut mushrooms, esquites, (Mexican street corn)  and poblano cream, Asian-inspired Grilled Eggplant & Caramelized Miso with furikake, bubu arare, and  umeboshi, and Swordfish Kofta Kebab with a tomato pickle bbq, andbeluga lentils. For Course III, your choices could include Lentil Dumplings palak dal (spinach, lentils, spices and herbs)and preserved lemon chutney, Thai Yellow Curry with black cod, shrimp, and mussels, or a Grilled Berkshire Pork Collar nahm prik pao (Thai chile jam) lemongrass, Thai herb salad. Dessert could be a family-style presentation of Dark Chocolate Marquise withTurkish coffee ice cream, sesame halvah, and cardamom, or a Thai Tea Namelaka, with butter mochi and toasted milk meringue.

Proxi’s Michelin Guide reviewdescribes the West Loop restaurant thusly:Chef Andrew Zimmerman seems intent on presenting his diners with a culinary whirlwind that blows from Thai beef salad to coal-roasted oysters with ssamjang butter and beyond.”  

Theydescribe the dining room as  “effortlessly cool and sleek, with blue-tiled columns set beneath the white-vaulted ceiling. It also features an open kitchen and myriad seating options for everyone—from solo diners to large groups. A front lounge is ideal for lingering and waiting for your party to arrive.”

Proxi and Sepia are located at 565 W. Randolph Street. They are open Monday-Thursday for seatings from 5pm-9pm, Friday and Saturday from 5pm-10 p.m.  Happy Hours are Monday-Friday 4pm-6:30pm. For reservations, click here.

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago