Sumi Robata Bar

So Sumi

Japanese Fried Chicken in River North

Ec227ba34c87d4139f70afd93e788539c86075275 PhotosSumi Robata Bar
Yep, the cold weather is still with us. It’s time for a serious, full-scale tactical response:

Build a roaring fire, pour some whiskey and find the nearest Japanese chicken to get cozy with.

Oh, good: Sumi Robata Bar, soft-opening tomorrow, is way ahead of you on all fronts.

This is the new roost of Gene Kato, the talented chef who helped make Japonais so very... Japonais-y back in the mid-aughties. See, that’s him, right there behind the glass when you walk in. He’s stoking that sumi (that’s Japanese charcoal) and carefully doing all sorts of delicious things to jidori (that’s Japanese-style chicken), Wagyu (that, of course, is Japanese-style beef) and whole lobster (this one’s Australian, mate).

So we’d advise you to take a seat at that magnificent split-timber robata bar to watch him. Just sip a bottled cocktail like The Sad Flute (bourbon, ginger, yuzu and grapefruit) and order whatever looks the best.

If you’re searching for a more intimate setup, you could slide past the bar—it’s really that narrow—to the dining room in back. Or try to sweet-talk your way into the dark downstairs lounge, called Charcoal Bar. With just 11 seats, think of this subterranean lair as a Japanese version of the Office.

The one with Grant Achatz, not Dwight Schrute.

Vitals

Sumi Robata Bar
702 N Wells St
(at W Huron St)
Chicago, IL 60654
312-988-7864
website

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