Hours: Lunch, dinner: seven days
Open late: Friday & Saturday till 11
Chicago's best-known Senegalese restaurant.
Yassa is run by a family from Senegal, a former French colony whose cuisine, apart from fresh-baked pain francaise, bears little resemblance to anything European. We started with thiebu djen, a fish stewed in tomato with onion, cabbage, and jollof rice; the last is typically "broken" by soaking and pounding with the hands or the butt end of a bottle. Yassa is grilled marinated chicken covered with a sauce of mustard, onion, carrot, and palm oil and served on a bed of rice. Senegalese couscous is made from millet, which gives it a deep flavor that stands up to lamb and vegetables in a thick and creamy peanut sauce. Fish, grilled whole over charcoal, had a golden red, deliciously chewy crust and firm white flesh; debe, grilled lamb chops, were also very flavorful. Be sure to try one of the marvelous homemade African beverages: gingembre is fresh ginger root, pounded and sugared in Yassa's kitchen; bouye is the creamy, sweet juice of baobab fruit; and bissap is a gorgeous rich red liquor made from the hibiscus flower. Read more >>
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