Red Eye Chicago - - Around Town -

Aba Aba is a lively homage to all fla­vors Mid­dle East­ern; in a sense, it’s a se­quel ef­fort to chef C.J. Ja­cob­son’s Ema res­tau­rant in River North. But Aba shows its in­de­pen­dence with its em­pha­sis on pro­teins. Spreads are a must, if only to get one’s hands on the warm, puffy house bread, brushed with but­ter and dusted with za’atar. You’ll find a va­ri­ety of meats in “hum­ble” and “prime” cuts. The for­mer in­cludes eg­g­plant-wrapped braised lamb and beef short rib. Prime cuts are le­git steaks and chops, served in pe­tite por­tions. Ryan Arnold’s wine list is a treat, keep­ing the less ad­ven­tur­ous bases cov­ered while of­fer­ing a trove of bot­tles from such places as Le­banon and Is­rael. Liz Pearce’s cock­tails in­cor­po­rate in­gre­di­ents found on the menu (turmeric, honey, mango) into nifty takes on daiquiris and mar­gar­i­tas.

Open: Din­ner daily. Prices: Main cour­ses $13.95$27.95. 302 N. Green St., 773-645-1400. — P.V.

Arami The rev­er­ence with which sushi chefs han­dle rice here is rea­son enough to visit, but this is one of the rare Ja­pa­nese res­tau­rants in which the hot dishes are even bet­ter than the sushi. Pay

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