RAVE REVIEWS CONTINUE FOR MIKU

Miku Sushi - photos: Lucy Hewett

Miku Sushi – photos: Lucy Hewett

Miku Sushi continues to win rave reviews since opening earlier this year in the same Lincoln Square location that once housed Chicago’s venerable Tank Sushi, and was recently named #3 Hottest Restaurant by Chicago Magazine.

Owned by former Tank Sushi vets Stanley Liem and Nuchsara “Sara” Katekaew,  Miku’s menu features an extensive selection of creative, artfully presented Maki Rolls, Nigiri, and Sashimi. A line-up of hot and cold small plates include Seared Duck Breast — Asian pear sauce, mushroom, shallot, red wine reduction $10; Spicy Tuna Ravioli — tempura crunch, crab meat, wrapped in thinly sliced avocado $6; Pork Belly Chips — crackling salt and lemon pepper pork belly, spicy mayo $6, and King Crab — butter soy sauce, caviar, chive $18. Assorted grilled mini-skewers, ranging from simple Rib Eye $2, to exotic Alligator $2.50, along with Tonkotsu Ramen $12 and Spicy Roasted Garlic Miso Ramen $13.

Miku Sushi, 4514 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.

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WISE OWL NOW OPEN WEST LOOP

Wise Owl Drinkery & Cookhouse - photos: Peter Pawinski

Wise Owl Drinkery & Cookhouse – photos: Peter Pawinski

Wise Owl Drinkery & Cookhouse has officially opened in Chicago’s historic West Loop. Housed in a 120-year-old landmark building, this new West Loop gastropub underwent over 9-months renovation, including the meticulous restoration of its centerpiece: the space’s original 1940s solid oak and mirrored panel bar.  Wise Owl’s retro look and vibe continues with a boozy toast to Chicago’s colorful past, courtesy of chief-mixologist Benjamin Tozser’s Chicago-centric cocktails like Prairie House Punch, Second Empire, and The Madhouse. In addition, standouts include classic cocktails like Sidecars ($11), Manhattans ($10), Negronis ($10) and Moscow Mules, made with Absolut vodka, ginger beer, served in a traditional copper mug ($8). Beyond signature cocktails, and dozens of craft beers from around the country, Executive Chef Mark Hill, formerly of David Burke’s Primehouse, has created a menu of small plates and shareables, like Steak Carpacicio ($13), Goat Cheese Fondue ($7), Smoked Salmon Sliders ($11), Blackened Shrimp Tacos ($11) teamed with favorites like the Wise Owl Burger ($15), and Mac n Cheese ($6). Wise Owl Drinkery & Cookhouse, 324 South Racine, Chicago. 312-374-8915.

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ARTANGO BISTRO NEW PRIX FIXE MENU

ArtangoCollage

Argentine hot-spot Artango Bistro continues heating things up, now with a new $30 prix fixe menu available Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday evenings. In addition, Artango continues offering free group Argentine Tango lessons 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, 8:00 p.m. Wednesdays, and 8:30 p.m. Thursdays, at this 80-seat BYOB.

Artango’s new $30 prix fixe allows guests a choice of three appetizers, 6 Argentine and Latin-American entrees like Entrana (grilled skirt steak, chimichuri sauce, mashed potatoes, guacamole), Salmon de Passion (grilled salmon, quinoa, passion fruit sauce, truffle butter), Cazuela Chilena (braised oxtail, root veggies, mushrooms), and  Rocoto Relleno (bell pepper stuffed with quinoa, veggies, smoked provolone cheese), followed by a choice of three dessert options.

Owned by the husband and wife team of Tango dance pro Maria Alferov and Buenos Aires-born artist Sebastian Casanova, and with Isaak Reyes (formerly Bistrot Margot) as Executive Chef, Artango blends the food, art, music and dancing of Argentina and beyond to create full Latin-American dining experience.

Artango Bistro, 4217 North Ravenswood, Chicago. 773-697-7479.

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Real Kitchen: Comfort Food Ready for Pick-Up, Delivery

RealKitchen

As Chicagoans endure another round of record-breaking low temps, the gang at Real Kitchen is busy making warming, comfort classics like Roast Amish Chicken, Veggie Pot Pies, Lasagna Bolognese and more, along with mom-approved sides including Potato Gratin, Roasted Winter Vegetable, and Grilled Mushroom with Red Onion…ready to grab-and-go at Real Kitchen’s two locations, or delivered straight to your door.

First opened 2011 at Montrose and Clark, another location at 3301 North Sheffield last summer, the concept is simple: take a Charlie Trotter protege, turn him loose in his own kitchen to create classic home cooking favorites. Make everything affordably-priced, ready for delivery or take-out to heat and enjoy at home, and you have the recipe for Executive Chef/owner Nick Schmuck’s Real Kitchen.

Real Kitchen has locations at 1433 West Montrose (773-281-2888), and 3301 North Sheffield (773-857-1240) Chicago. Menus change weekly, and are up-dated on their website: http://www.realkitchenchicago.com.

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Miku Sushi Opens in Lincoln Square

Miku's Flaming Dragon Maki, Sashimi Matsu

Miku’s Flaming Dragon Maki, Sashimi Matsu

The husband and wife team of Stanley Liem and Nuchsara “Sara” Katekaew, have launched Miku Sushi,  now open at 4514 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago. The opening of Miku Sushi signals the return of an upscale Sushi destination to Chicago’s explosive Lincoln Square dining scene,  while bringing Stanley and Sara’s expanding mini empire to a now total of three Chicago-area restaurants.

The couple first met in 2008, while working together at Chicago’s renowned Tank Sushi (2003 to 2014); Stanley as a waiter, Sara as Tank’s long-time General Manager. Stanley left Tank in 2011, pursuing his dream of opening his own restaurant, Inari Sushi. The couple eventually married, and Sara left her decade-long run at Tank Sushi in 2013 to focus on two pending projects: the fall 2013 opening of Sala Bua, the couple’s popular Thai concept at 2002 South Wentworth, Chicago, and the arrival of their now 17-month-old son. Ironically, Stanley and Sara’s latest venture, Mikui, is in the very same Lincoln Square space that once housed Tank Sushi, where they first met 7-years ago.

Miku’s menu features an extensive selection of Maki, Nigiri, and Sashimi. A line-up of hot and cold small plates include Seared Duck Breast — Asian pear sauce, mushroom, shallot, red wine reduction $10; Spicy Tuna Ravioli — tempura crunch, crab meat, wrapped in thinly sliced avocado $6; Pork Belly Chips — crackling salt and lemon pepper pork belly, spicy mayo $6, and King Crab — butter soy sauce, caviar, chive $18. Assorted grilled mini-skewers, ranging from classic Rib Eye $2, to exotic Alligator $2.50, along with Tonkotsu Ramen $12 and Spicy Roasted Garlic Miso Ramen $13, round out the offerings at the 80-seat Miku, which is currently BYOB.

Miku Sushi, 4514 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago. 773-654-1277.

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HOLIDAY DINING WITH LATIN-AMERICAN FLAIR AT ARTANGO

ArtangoHolidays

Discover the flavors and traditions of Latin America this holiday season, presented with a fresh, innovative twist by Artango Bistro’s Executive Chef Isaak Reyes. Housed in a century-old landmark building, Artango’s dramatic interior was designed by co-owner Sebastian Casanova, a Buenos Aries-born artist whose original artwork and installation continually rotate throughout the charming 85-seat BYOB. This holiday season finds Artango decked in hundreds of twinkling lights and candles, creating a rustic, yet modern setting to enjoy signature favorites likes Ojo de Bife (grilled rib eye, chimichurri, potatoes, assorted grilled peppers) and Paella de Mariscos (with langoustine, calamari, shrimp, scallops, octopus, chorizzo).

Christmas Day, from Noon to 8 p.m, Artango  features a special 4-course, prix fixe Christmas Dinner. The menu begins with choice of 5 appetizers, followed by soup or salad, a selection 8 special Christmas entrees including Pavo Relleno (stuffed turkey breast, smoked Serrano ham, mushrooms, spinach, sweet potato cake), Paella de Mariscos, and Pato con Peras (spiced duck breast with roasted pears, almonds, red wine raisin reduction), along with a full holiday dessert menu. Artango’s Christmas Dinner is $55 for adults, $25 children 3 to 12.

New Year’s Eve, Artango pulls out all the stops, with an exquisite South American-inspired, 4-course, prix fixe menu. Entree selections include festive favorites like Cordero (spiced-rubbed lamb chops, couscous, chorizo, raisins, pine nuts, apricots), Fillet Mignon (with Malbec-blackberry reduction, mashed potato, roasted shallots), Lubina Celestial (Chilean Sea Bass) and Entrana (grilled skirt steak, mashed potatoes, guacamole, chimichurri sauce). Artango’s BYOB New Year’s Eve dinner is available at three reserved seating times: 5 p.m. ($55 per person), 7 p.m. ($65 per person), and 9:30 p.m. ($85 per person, includes DJ, party favors, Midnight countdown).

Artango Bistro, 4217 North Ravenswood, Chicago. 773-697-7479.

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$2 Lunch, $22.22 Dinner as Local Root Marks 2-Years

2LocalRoot

Farm-to-table focused Local Root marks its 2-year anniversary Sept 15-19, continuing to bring farm-fresh, organic, locally-sourced goodness to the center of Chicago’s high-rise heavy Streeterville. Using a network of small farm owners and food artisans from around the Midwest, Local Root continues to impress with an imaginative line-up of lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch selections.

In celebration of the 2-year milestone, Local Root offers a 3-course, $22.22 dinner menu Monday, Sept 15 through Friday, Sept 19 with choice of appetizer, entree, and their signature bread pudding with gelato and caramel sauce. Wednesday, Sept 17,  from 11 am to 2 pm Local Root will set-up an outdoor station offering $2 mini versions of their most popular sandwiches like Champagne Chicken, BBQ Pulled Pork, Stuffed Portobello, along with $2 pomme frites, and $2 Local Root brand soda in 6 assorted flavors.

Local Root, 601 North McClurg Court, Chicago, IL, 312-643-1145.

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