When you want Greek food in Chicago, you automatically think of Greektown. “No sh*t, thanks for nothing.” Great, now that you’ve said that to yourself, let’s talk about some less traditional Greek food in Wicker Park. Taxim is not your normal Greek restaurant, so let’s not compare it to Pegasus, The Parthenon, or Santorini. Unlike the above-mentioned restaurants, you aren’t going to stuff yourself with saganaki, gyros, and moussaka at Taxim. Don’t get us wrong, you may still stuff yourself, but it will at least have a different feel.
Taxim specializes in small plates Greek food meant for sharing, with a less extensive selection of main dishes to round things out. We like Taxim for a number of circumstances ranging from Big Groups to First Dates, just don’t let them seat you at one of the two-tops up front because those tables are the worst.
While you won’t necessarily see all of the traditional Greek dishes you’re accustomed to, the flavors are very traditionally Greek. Grape leaves, lamb, veggies, and superb olive oil all play a significant role in the food, and we think the familiar flavors will ease any reservations you have about the more modern and upscale Greek style. When it comes to ordering, we like to imagine ourselves as the Odysseus Of The Menu, navigating and conquering from dish to dish, except ideally we do a better job of making it home.
The decor and vibe will play into your expectations of Mediterranean flavors too. Wide arches and carefully cultivated furnishings fully commit to the Greek vibe, plus, there are some big *ss battle shields on the wall just in case you weren’t entirely sold. Consider yourself a Greek God and go all out.
Roasted beets with feta and a little walnut skordalia, which is a thick puree of garlic, walnuts, and olive oil. Great combination of flavors and good way to start the meal.
Lentils with a little side of sheep’s feta. No joke, this might be our favorite thing on the menu. That says a lot about something as basic as lentils.
Fresh grilled shrimp wrapped in grape leaves with grilled hot peppers too. Grilling the shrimp in the grape leaf gives it a very distinct grape leafy taste. How’s that for a culinary description.
Grilled octupus with fennel and red onion. Grilled octopus can do no wrong in our book. Order it.
The go-to if you want a big entree. Five or six grilled lamb chops over a base of wheat bulgar with grilled lemons. Make no mistake, the nicely marinated and well-cooked lamb chops are the star.
Half an oven-roasted amish chicken with fingerling potatoes and Greek oregano. Moist and flavorful chicken, unlike the dry and tasteless frozen breasts you probably cook at home.