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Posts Tagged ‘sushi’

D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

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Palm Wraps

The song “When You Wish Upon A Star” was made famous in the Walt Disney movie Pinocchio and includes the lyrics “Anything that your heart desires will come to you”.  The song has some other inspirational lyrics such as, “If your heart is in your dreams, no request is too extreme.  When you wish upon a star as dreamers do”.  Well the folks at Nozumi Japanese Cuisine must have sang that song a few times, because their “wish” has come true.  Nozumi is the newest Japanese restaurant to open in the North Western suburbs, but the 45 minute drive out to South Barrington is well worth the trip.

The literal translation of Nozumi is “wish”.  Their wish is to take you on a journey of the five senses while exploring their Japanese cuisine.  Nozumi’s culinary team consists of world travelers that give their own interpretation of the menu items, therefore they soar above the traditional approach to sushi.  Nozumi is all about sharing and Executive Chef Andy Park created the menu with that in mind.  Even the Nozumi Menu Box – a collection of five books, or menus, are meant to be shared.  This new approach is distinctly separated into a beverage menu, plates menu, sushi menu, sweets and treats menu, and a chefs daily special menu.  I had numerous favorites out the fourteen dishes that were shared, but the following were at the top of the list.

Scallop Ebisu – seared scallops, saffron cream couscous, asparagus, tomato confit, soy balsamic reduction.

Shinju Crab Cake – Shiso remoulade, scallop puree, sawgani, haricort vert, shitake vinaigrette.

Chef’s Special Signature Roll – Roasted pepper seasoned spicy tuna, cucumber wrapped in nori topped with Japanese sea bream in ponzu sauce.

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Togarashi Maguro Penne Pasta

Nozumi doesn’t only serve sushi, but meat and pasta dishes.  Don’t leave the table without trying their tender Taiyou Short Ribs.  The Kobe Steak melts in your mouth and the Togarashi Mauro Penne Pasta has a sun-dried tomato cream sauce and big eye tuna combination that will have you biting your fork.  Dessert is a must with the Shokura Dream chocolate layered cake and the Natsuki Apple Brulee

Nozumi is simple yet stylish.  The sushi bar area is upbeat and vibrant, but a separate dining area appears to be more relaxed and chilled.  The bar area is roomy enough to enjoy a cocktail and an entree without being too crowded.  Owner Fred Hong was certain to hire a staff that was knowledgeable about their cuisine and serious about their service. 

Yes, Nozumi appears to have had their wish fulfilled, but the true test will come from the wish of their customers.  Nozumi is located at 100 W. Higgins Road in South Barrington.  For more information log onto www.nozumirestaurant.com.  Also check out www.efete.net and Fete Select TV  for an inside look at the newest and hottest restaurants in Chicago.

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

Head to any neighborhood in Chicagoland and you’re bound to run into at least one or two sushi spots.  Eating sushi has become as common as grabbing a turkey burger or cobb salad.  It’s tasty, healthy and in most cases affordable.  However, not all sushi is made the same.  In-fact, Sushi Mon’s “pressed sushi” is the only sushi of its kind in Chicago.  Created by Bat, a certified sushi wizard, Sushi Mon has become a popular new hot spot known for great sushi, crazy combinations and an intimate atmosphere.pressed_sushi_banner[1]

Bat honed his sushi skills in LA and brought his creativity to Chicago three years ago.  His pressed sushi consists of compressed rice and ingredients topped off with avocado, slices of succulent fish and tasty sauces.  To experience the true flavors of the pressed sushi, Bat suggests that you try his creations without soy sauce.  Pressed sushi favorites include “Salmon Bliss” made with salmon, seaweed, masago, avocado, and sesame seeds, the “Chicago” consisting of crab, unagi, avocado, masago and spicy mayo, and the “Crazy” created with salmon, tuna, ebi, wasabi mayo, wasabi tobiko, avocado and seaweed.  The menu also allows sushi lovers to create their own pressed sushi.  Sushi Mon still has the usual Sushi Nigiri and Sashimi selections along with a number of appetizers and salads.  Expect to discover fresh sushi at an affordable price.  Average cost for pressed sushi rolls are $12, but other rolls range between $3.50 – $6.95 per roll.  If you’re in the mood for cocktails, be sure to bring your favorite bottle of sake or wine, because Sushi Mon is BYOB.

Sushi Mon is located near Lincoln Park at 2441 N. Clark Street.  Guests can dine-in, carry-out or have their favorite sushi delivered.  For more information log onto www.sushimonchicago.com.  Check out Fete Select TV on www.efete.net for an inside look into the newest and best Chicago restaurants.

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

Springtime weather has gotten Chicagoans all in a tizzy.  Hibernation season is over, which is evident by the outside tables being set up at restaurants all over the city.  Sure the seventy degree weather is what’s popular these days, but the talk of the town has been Chicago’s hottest new restaurant, Sunda New Asian.  Brought to you by Billy Dec and Rockit Ranch productions, this hip and modern designed restaurant has been the place to be since its grand opening.  Check out Fete Select TV, as Bill Dec gives me an inside look at the cuisine, cocktails and vibe of Sunda.

 

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rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team

Many restaurants make claims or throw the words “world famous” in front of an item like a meatball - “famous” in the eyes of the chef, perhaps. Shine restaurant, however, actually has a history worth bragging about. Formerly known as Shine Morida, the restaurant was the first in Chicago to incorporate a Japanese sushi bar back in 1993.

But alas, even some of the best (or first) need a refresh. Owners Jeff Zhang and Sandy Yu (Rise and Farmerie 58) recently debuted their new location, 756 W. Webster Avenue, at the corner of Webster Avenue and Halsted Street in the heart of Lincoln Park. shine20i11

What to expect? “Our Chinese cuisine and Japanese sushi menu is predominately the same from the former location to stay true to our roots and to continue to provide our customers with the best quality offering as possible, ” said Yu.  This is good news for fans of  Shine’s Maki or Lemongrass Chicken. New menu items include Hong Kong Steak and Shiro Miso Glazed Salmon.

If you are over eggs and pancakes, Shine jumped on the Sunday brunch bandwagon and is offering their own version of a weekend favorite. And for the lazy, Shine delivers to your door at a $15 minimum.

Over sixteen years and going strong, looks as though there is a bright and shiny future ahead.

Dinner hours are 4 pm-10 pm, Sunday-Thursday and 4 pm- 11pm, Friday and Saturday. Weekend Brunch is served from 11 am – 3pm on Sundays.

www.shinerestaurant.com or call 773. 296.0101

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

The political scene has been at the forefront for Chicagoans the past 18 months.  My personal friend and Illinois Senator Barack Obama has taken the world by storm with his charisma and inspiring speeches that have won over hundreds of millions of people.  John McCain is experienced, but is trying to change his perception of being old and out of touch with typical Americans.  With the help of the media, You Tube and cyberspace nothing has been off limits when comparing and contrasting the Presidential candidates on policy, style, age, family, wealth, and now…um…sushi?

Yes folks, it’s true.  Now Obama and McCain will go “maki-to-maki” in a taste test at RA Sushi for the best maki roll.  You will have a chance to vote for either the Obama roll or the McCain roll as the best political roll conceived by the RA Sushi chef.

The “Blue” Barack Attack Roll is layered with smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumber and artichoke rolled in rice and seaweed and topped with crunchy blue tempura bits, finished with a sweet eel sauce and wasabi mayo.

The “Red” McCain Terrain Roll consists of spicy tuna, crab mix and cucumber rolled in rice and seaweed and topped with crunchy red tempura bits, finished with a sweet eel sauce and spicy mayo.

In a non-biased taste test, I personally liked the McCain roll better, although I think that they could have come up with something better for Barack who represents more flavor than the roll that represents him.  Nonetheless it was an interesting and enjoyable taste test.

During both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions starting today thru Sept 5th, you can taste and vote for your favorite Presidential roll on the Campaign Platter at RA Sushi for $10.  A portion of the proceeds, $3 from every sale of the Campaign Platter, will benefit Rock The Vote.  The winning candidates roll will be inaugurated onto the menu at all three Illinois RA Sushi restaurants starting on Friday, September 12 through Friday, Oct 3.  Also diners will be able to register to vote at RA Sushi Chicago on Monday, Oct 6, as part of a Rock The Vote event that will be held there.

Check out RA Sushi at www.RAsushi.com for more information.

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D.C. “Fete TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

I’m always looking forward to trying hot new restaurants in the city and Chicago always has a lot to choose from, especially this summer. Therefore over the past week I set out to try four new hot spots that have been generating a lot of buzz since opening. My criteria for deciding whether a restaurant is worthy of a repeat visit boils down to the cuisine, service, vibe, cocktails, cost, and location. For the most part the four dining venues hit the mark on food, but service was a bit sketchy for at least one of them.

My first stop during my week long dining crusade was Ajasteak. Located at 660 N. State St. (in the new Dana Hotel and Spa), they boast on offering the artful precision of Asian cuisine coupled with the robust flavors of a modern steak house. Basically they serve sushi and a very high grade of beef (Kobe). My wife and I had lunch there and were surprised to see the dining room nearly empty. The lunch menu however, provided an interesting choice of sandwiches, although a little pricey. I ordered the Pulled Pork Sandwich, which our server touted as his favorite, and the steak fries deemed the best ever. My wife chose the Seared Tuna Sandwich and a side of their heaping Onion Rings. We both shared a Maki roll to compare to our favorite sushi joints. The sandwiches were tasty; the service not so much. The steak fries were not even close to being the best ever. The sushi was decent, but nothing better than our more affordable BYOB sushi spot in Lakeview. Be prepared to open your wallet for an expensive and tasty meal, but the service may not coincide with the price.

My second stop was at OTOM, the sister restaurant to futuristic cuisine MOTO. OTOM Executive Chef Daryl Nash prepares post modern cuisine without being futuristic.  They pride themselves on having stress free and fun food and I have to say that we had a lot of fun trying his creations. Cuisine such as Carbonated Watermelon to cleanse the palate and Butter-poached Shrimp appetizer were big hits. I’m not a huge fan of tofu, but their tofu poached in olive oil, corn puree and topped with freeze dried corn was savory. The Chicken ala King with oyster mushrooms and the Fried Short Rib Ravioli entrees were spectacular. After the Coconut-Pineapple Paradise dessert we were sold. The cocktails and service were great and the ambiance was low key. This is a great place to relax and chill with a significant other or a group of friends. OTOM is located at 951 W. Fulton Market St.

 
C-House was recently opened by acclaimed Chef Marcus Sammuelson. Sammuelson, out of New York City, is the youngest chef to receive two 3 star reviews from the NY Times. C-House is an American Seafood and Chop House restaurant. I taped a segment of Fête Select TV there recently and had a chance to enjoy some of Executive Chef Seth Siegel-Gardner’s specialty dishes, including Chili Crusted Fluke, Yellow Tail Fish Tacos, and Chorizo Mac & Cheese. C-Bar, their raw bar, offers standard seafood favorites and allows guests to sit and view the preparation of their meal. Executive Pastry Chef Toni Roberts created The Candy Bar- variety of bite size chocolates, confections and cookies. C-View is their upscale lounge located on the 29th floor and I became a fan of their Honeysuckle specialty cocktail. C-House is a few blocks off Michigan Ave in the new Affinia Hotel (166 E. Superior St.)

The final destination on my parade route of restaurants was Hub 51. Owners R.J. and Jerrod Melman, sons of Richard Melman (Lettuce Entertain You), recently opened this 10,000 square foot space with a 20 ft bar. Hub 51 has definitely attracted a big crowd early and appears to be the new place to see and to be seen. The food is American cuisine with different influences from California, Mexico, Australia and Asia that includes homemade tacos, seafood, signature sandwiches and sushi. We had a Sweet Potato Roll, Chicken Nachos, Halibut Tacos, and the Sea Bass. The dishes were all very good, but the winner was the Sea Bass flavored with horseradish broth. My very pregnant wife couldn’t enjoy the Hub Punch, which is their specialty cocktail concoction of Grey Goose le Citron, tequila, Lcor 43, and pomegranate. The kicker for the evening was Martha’s Carrot Cake; RJ & Jerrod’s mother’s own carrot cake recipe. I’ll be back just for the carrot cake alone. Hub 51 is not a quiet place to have a romantic dinner, however it does offer a lively atmosphere with a bar scene that revs up as the evening grows. Check it out at 51 W. Hubbard St. (Corner of Dearborn and Hubbard).

Now that you have four new spots to try, drop me a line and let me know what you think at dc@efete.net.

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