Monday, April 18, 2011

Chicago Paleo Restaurant Review - Vinci

One thing our 45-day challenge taught me is cooking good food is not difficult, it just takes some time and planning.  On those occasions when time and plans do not come together, having some go to restaurants where we can get a relatively 'clean' meal is critical to my long term happiness.

Friday night was one of those nights.  Earlier in the week we returned from vacation and, aside from picking up a handful of staples, no real meal planning had taken place.  I had a Groupon to Vinci, which has a decent gluten-free menu, so dinner out was on!

  • Italian sausage in a tomato sauce with goat cheese (normally we don't do dairy so for us this was a little cheat) - for me, the sausage was a little bland, could have kicked up the spice level a bit.
  • Beef carpaccio with mustard and tomato sauces and arugula salad - very tasty.
  • Grilled pork chop, sauteed spinach and smashed yukon gold potatoes with cheese (I tried the potatoes and they were delish, but could only take a couple bites) - this was a great dish, the pork chop was HUGE and seasoned well, maybe a little too much salt in the spinach.
  • Grilled duck breast with broccolini, fonduta stuffed tomato and grilled polenta cake (this was Ryan's entree) - the duck was delicious, and the broccolini got good reviews too.  Ryan enjoyed the cheese stuffed tomato, a pretty decent cheat given the amount of cheese - which resulted in some congestion later on...

Overall Thoughts

The service was truly wonderful and accommodating.  Had we been more particular, I'm sure they would have subbed out items for more paleo friendly alternatives.  Was also pleased that the gluten-free menu was actually more extensive than the one posted online. We went at this meal with a little bit of a cheat mentality, so cannot consider it a solid paleo meal.  But, it was at the minimum gluten-free and that's about as low as I want to go.  If you do dairy, you could easily consider this a good option to get a primal friendly meal in Chicago.  Also, the location is perfect if you are on your way to a show at the Steppenwolf Theater, it is right next door!

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