Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe
Mike Sula reviews two new Japanese restaurants featuring kushiyaki, fire-grilled skewers, as well as sushi and specialty maki. River North’s Union Sushi & Barbeque Bar adds to that exotica like an alligator pop, fusion dishes such as uni alfredo soba, and an extensive sake list; Yuzu Sushi and Robata Grill, in East Village, is a humbler, less expensive BYO spot that also offers teriyaki and a few Thai dishes.
In Key Ingredient chef Shawn McClain of vegetarian Green Zebra gamely takes on blood. “My staff was horrifed,” he told our team. “I brought in special dishes to keep everything from touching.” In the tradition of blood sausage, he made a breakfast cake of cow’s blood, Chinese sausage, and grits, which he served with a sunny-side up duck’s egg and grilled crostini, garnished with grated horseradish and—a surprise ingredient he called “serendipitous”—neon green Chicago-style pickle relish. Next up is Nick Lacasse of the Drawing Room, working with whelks, i.e., sea snails.
In the listings are five select spots for Bastille Day, July 14, among them Bistronomic, which is slated to begin offering lunch later this month; Cafe des Architectes, which now has weekend brunch; and Paris Club, where the rooftop lounge Studio Paris (TM—I kid you not) is now open.
And in Scraps, there's an update on Mia Francesca jefe Scott Harris's latest moves: Joe Farina, longtime Rosebud chef and former owner of Cafe Bionda, is now exec chef at Salatino's, and Francesca's Forno, Harris's Wicker Park small-plates spot, is set to reopen on July 20. Mixologist Tim Williams, whose remarkably delicious pulque concoction Hidalgo's Hundreds was featured in last week's Cocktail Challenge, is signed on there.