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Monday, January 9, 2012

January 8, 2011: Red Bar Raises the Bar at Hyatt Regency Chicago

Unfortunately, tonight I am eating without my husband. Married 8 days and already separated by work! Of course, for those who know us well, you are probably saying,”What took you so long?”
I am in Chicago, my former place of residence, work  and education, and one of my very favorite towns on this planet. They call it the  Second City, but in my mind, it is America’s greatest city. I like the Midwesterners and their practical and friendly approach to things.
Maybe that is why the Hyatt at O’Hare decided to put sushi in their bar—it was practical. Sure, they have wings, burgers and other manner of fried bar foods. But I couldn’t resist this unusual sushi menu which is definitely a fusion cuisine. It reminds me a lot of our local sushi giant, Nama, in Knoxville.  I had a Japanese student living with me a few years ago named Yoshi.  I took him to Nama, and he said, “It’s not really sushi, but it adheres to the fresh  quality ingredients principle and it tastes good.”  Of course you need to read this with a great Japanese accent . I loved Yoshi for his continuous perplexity, struggle and bravery with the letter “L.”
Fortunately, even if I had to get to Red Bar on the “el,” there is no “R” in sushi. And I wish Yoshi and my husband could have joined me.
I started with their edamame. For those of us who are postmenopausal (or even perimenopausal) and watching our calories, it is hard to argue with a big dose of soy. These were great with big sea salt crystals sprinkled about the hulls.  
Red Bar had such an interesting assortment of sushi, it was really hard to choose. This is the point at which I really missed Paul a lot. He always shares with me which is convenient when you want to taste more than one menu item.  I started with the green dragon. This roll had crunchy shrimp, freshwater eel, snow crab, asparagus  and avocado in it.  It was creatively displayed as a curvy fish on the plate…the photo truly does not do it justice. If only I had the courage to actually set off a flash in a bar while a bunch of people are watching a hockey game…but I might end up in a penalty box far away from this mouth watering sushi!

I was really pretty close to full after these two menu items, but for anyone who has my thigh measurement, you will know I ordered one more roll. I had to and  here’s why. Ever heard the popular restaurant slogan. “Where’s the beef?” Well, in Red Bar, it’s in your sushi!   This sushi was composed of Waygu beef, snow crab, panko fried asparagus and truffled microgreens. YUM! I could smell the truffle oil while the sushi was on the way to the hatch, and it really increased the enjoyment of the experience.
This meal, as anticipated at a Hyatt, was not cheap $55,00 with a Half Acre beer and a tip.  And in general, don’t we all agree that the words “cheap” and “sushi” rarely belong in the same sentence?
What did Paul have to say about HIS dinner which was obviously NOT this sushi:  “Rumors that I do not consume leftovers are highly exaggerated.”

1 comment:

  1. Stunning! There is that place right down the street from Nama that has a pretty interesting Sushi menu... and I've totally forgotten the name of it.

    Anyway, that did look good.