FDM is OMG Good!

And now, a riddle: What’s white, sleek, bare, chic, and impossibly streamlined? No, it is not the new iconic Art Institute Modern Wing or the Zaha Hadid Millennium Park pavilion or even a new Prada Summer ‘09 must-have. Rather, it is FDM, the latest addition to Chicago’s exclusive posse of sexy restaurants.

Defying expectations without shunning traditions, chefs de cuisine Luis Montero and Angel Hernandez bring something that is sorely lacking in many of the famed Mexican restaurants in Chicago: originality.

Peeling off the stereotypical layers of orange walls, adobe brick arches and massive paintings of cacti commonly found in Mexican restaurants, the chefs, justifiably confident in their creations, left the color and energy to the dishes.

And hombre, que rico!

From the delicious marlin ceviche to the rich sopa Azteca and the delectable uchepos, the appetizers give patrons flavorful bundles that hint at the colors and spices that are to come in the next round.

The pollo al cacahuate spins an innovative take—a non-cream based peanut sauce seldom found in Mexican restaurants—on a familiar dish. The unique texture and flavor of the sauce is carefully calibrated to compliment—not overwhelm—the smoky, tender feel of the chicken.

Sauces play a major part in the menu, as Chefs Montero and Hernandez eschew the cliché moles and salsas in favor of creating something reflective of the wide variety of cuisines within Mexico. For example, the grilled mahi-mahi served over a bed of spinach, was topped with a creamy, ground walnut sauce, and studded with ruby red pomegranate seeds. The sweet and light flavor was a surprise, but a welcomed one at that. It was nice to see (and taste) stale traditions replaced with something refreshingly new.

And the desserts, oh, the desserts. Let’s just say that anyone who can keep their tongues from licking the bottom of the chocolate maya custard with chile ancho-orange sauce, or the coconut flan drizzled with fresh fruit, can congratulate themselves for doing the impossible.

Be sure to compliment your food with the trademark rustica drink, and if wine is more your thing, then by all means pore over a wine list extensive enough to satiate event the pickiest of connoisseurs. Abundance, it seems, is a Mexican tradition always worth keeping.

FDM is at 3908 N. Lincoln Avenue. For a full menu list, please click here. For reservations, please click here.

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