KICK Chicago – Bringing the Heat Volcano Style
By Patricia Ruiz
In Chicago’s North Center neighborhood, one restaurant is bringing the heat in a big way: KICK Chicago throws convention out the window by offering a no-limits approach to heat, spice and fire. Drawing influence from Mexico, Vietnam, India, Peru, Argentina and Italy, this volcano-inspired spot is on its way to being the hottest restaurant in the Windy City.
With bright red walls and inset fireplaces, the restaurant’s décor hinted at the heat to come. On the patio, some tables came complete with their own bonfires. String lights and intimate seating made this a perfect place to start a fiery romance.
The restaurant’s cocktail offerings are outstanding—take the opportunity to try something new while you enjoy your snacks! These smaller, sharable options were also a choice way to get our appetites revving. The Vietnamese Steak Wraps, with Garlic-Lime-Cilantro and Jalapeno Marinated Ribeye, were one of KICK Chicago’s spiciest options. Brace yourself—the Bibb Lettuce that accompanies the brightly flavored filling does little to tame the heat. The Crab Ballz with chili aioli are chock full of crab meat, and they’re a less spicy option.
For entrees, we picked from a varied selection of sandwiches, including the Fuego Wrap, which features Hanger Steak, Avocado, Citrus Onions, Black Bean Relish and Cilantro Rice in a Flour Tortilla. The burgers at KICK Chicago were the real stars. Made with a half pound of 100% Wagyu Beef, Kick Chicago’s burgers catered to a wide range of tastes. The Island Burger featured Avocado, Grilled Pineapple Relish, and Chipotle BBQ Glaze. The Pit Fire Burger appealed to bacon lovers, with House-Cured Pork Belly, Aged English Cheddar and Smoked Tomato BBQ Glaze. All of the burgers at KICK Chicago were served with fries. The Fire Fries, which resemble seasoned French fries with a just a hint of spice, were highly recommended.
Larger entrees were also offered. The Southern Hot Fried Chicken with Cayenne Glaze, Mashed Potatoes, Collard Greens and a House Buttermilk Biscuit was a hit. Intensely spicy and just a hint sweet, the cayenne glaze brought the heat in this large and comforting dish. The buttery biscuit was a dream—order an extra if you can.
Desserts at KICK Chicago didn’t escape the heat treatment! A hint of spice in the Smoldering Chocolate Torte’s Cayenne Chocolate Mousse made this take on the usual molten chocolate cake a huge success. Pillow Talk, KICK’s version of a Napoleon, featured a tart Cherry Cream that brought to mind rainbow sherbet, as well as White Chocolate Ganache, Almond Powder, Candied Black Sesame Seeds and Brandied Cherries.
KICK Chicago is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (midnight on Thursday and Friday), Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.