Rick Bayless - Frontera Grill

 

Star chef Rick Bayless’s take on authentic Mexican cuisine is one of the highlights of the Chicago dining scene, encompassing six restaurants in locations throughout the city.

 

At each of the restaurants, wine is a key part of the experience, as is immediately clear on the dinner menu at the highly acclaimed Topolobampo, where each original dish is matched with a perfectly pitched—but never predictable—wine pairing.

 

And so a complex, multi-layered dish of wood-grilled Alaskan halibut, rich-and-meaty roasted poblano broth, spring snap peasand favas, spicy chamomile-infused carrot crema, and pea trendils is paired with Terre Nere Caldera Sottana Etna Rosso, Randazzo, Italy 2012; and black garlic-glazed lamb shoulder and freshwater eel, black zapote sauce, black salsa (chile pasado, cuttlefish ink, roasted rhubarb), yesterday’s bread, charred broccoli meets its match in Acustic Celler Braó Montsant, Spain 2011.

 

But diners themselves will have no problem in finding creative pairings of their own from a superbly eclectic, wide-ranging but focused international wine list.