Posts Tagged ‘ajasteak’

Reggie Brown, NBC5 Street Team

When was the last time you had a chance to kick it in the penthouse of one of Chicago’s hottest hotels? Introducing Vertigo, the newest addition to the Chicago nightlife scene. Located on the 26 floor penthouse of the Dana Hotel, Vertigo provides more than an eyeful inside and outside of it’s space.

With dim sum like cocktail service, drinks are served via drink carts by cocktail waitresses dressed in sleek leather catsuits. If the hunger bug bites, a select menu of small plates and sushi from AjaSteak with be sent up from below with the quickness! Vertigo houses comfortable and stylish leather seating indoors and extends about 1/3 of its space outside where astroturf carpeting, cubic seating and a warming fireplace await you.

Vertigo opens to the Public this Saturday October 10 @ 5:00 Get out and welcome them to the neighborhood!

Vertigo at the Dana Hotel, 660 N State St.


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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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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

Watch the weekly “Word On The Street” segment on 24/7 Chicago: Secrets of the City,” at 12:05 a.m., immediately following Saturday Night Live on NBC5.

Dana Spa and Hotel

This week’s Word On The Street segment took us to the brand new Dana Spa and Hotel, a Chicago owned and operated facility located at 660 N. State St. The word “Dana” translates in Sanskrit to “the pleasure of giving,” which is what the operators of this swanky new establishment try to deliver.

The hotel is set up to be a refuge from all the hustle and bustle from the busy downtown streets surrounding it. Along with the plush rooms, the spa offers a full range of treatments. The hotel restaurant, Ajasteak, is looking to put its stamp on the city’s culinary map. Think of it as a traditional steakhouse with an Asian twist. Make sure you check out their signature floating sushi bar, located on the first and second floors.

Gen Art Chicago Film Festival

Five movies, five nights, five after-parties. It can only mean the second annual Gen Art Chicago Film Festival. The festival kicks off Monday, with the opening night event being held at The Music Box, 3733 N Southport.

Two of the stars of the opening night movie, Bart Got A Room, will be at the Opening Night event — Alisa Shawkat (star of the upcoming Arrested Development movie), and Steve Kaplan.

A $75 pass gets you into all five nights of activities, including the after-parties.

Check out an interview about the festival with one of the organizers.


Taste Of Chicago

What more can you say about the Taste of Chicago? It’s one of Chicago’s most famous events, even though many locals turn up their nose at the over-the-top sweat-fest.

But pick your spots and Taste can be a great time (like playing hooky from work and going during the day when it’s less-crowded).

The music lineup is pretty stellar this year, with Stevie Wonder, Chaka Kahn, Joss Stone, Bonnie Raitt and more taking to the stage.

Load up the kids — Taste kicks off on Friday.

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