Michelin-starred omakase restaurant, Sushi by Scratch Restaurants is making its move into Chicago with its first restaurant set to open in the River West neighborhood (415 N. Milwaukee Ave) in February. Husband and wife chef founders of Los Angeles-based Scratch Restaurants Group, Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee, noted their first Midwest outpost, Sushi by Scratch Restaurants: Chicago, will offer guests their award-winning 17-course omakase-inspired tasting menu, preserving some of the Lee’s signature creations in addition to debuting new offerings.
“We are thrilled to be opening our first dining concept in Chicago, a city that is widely recognized for its vibrant and dynamic culinary scene,” says the Lee’s. “We design every night with us to be an unforgettable, deliciously fun, one-of-a-kind personalized experience, and are greatly looking forward to continuing that with our new Sushi by Scratch Restaurants: Chicago.”
The Sushi by Scratch Restaurants: Chicago location is built around an intimate, dimly lit dining room, where 10 guests find themselves face-to-face with three chefs at the sushi counter. With three seatings offered a night (5 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 9:30 p.m.), guests are guided through an intimate, progressive 17-course nigiri tasting menu experience—showcasing fish and shellfish primarily flown in twice a week from Tokyo’s world famous Toyosu Fish Market—all of which were inspired by the omakases enjoyed by the Lee’s over the years.
The menu will feature new creations along with some of Chef Lee’s signature pieces, including Hamachi painted yellow with sweet corn pudding and topped with a fine sprinkle of breadcrumbs made from Kallas-Lee’s famous sourdough; aged Blue Fin Tuna served simply with Lee’s homemade soy sauce and fresh wasabi; Albacore wrapped in sake-soaked nori and topped with ponzu, fresh wasabi, and crispy onions; as well as Lee’s signature 1-2 punch of Roasted Bone Marrow nigiri seasoned simply with soy sauce, sea salt, and freshly grated wasabi root; followed by a fan favorite of Unagi that’s fried crispy in the rendered bone marrow fat from the previous course and then dressed with poblano yuzu kosho, soy sauce, ponzu, lemon, and sea salt. For dessert, guests enjoy Chef Margarita’s Matcha Bon Bon with makrut lime, white chocolate, and shortbread paired with a Hot Green Tea that is brewed with a bit of umeshu plum wine, smoked lavender honey, and fresh yuzu to round out the dinner.
The beverage program at Sushi by Scratch Restaurants: Chicago—led by Sake Sommelier and Director of Operations Gavin Humes—showcases a thoughtful selection of Japanese beer, sake, and whisky. Three different beverage pairings are offered (ranging from $105-$125); the first includes three sakes, two micro cocktails and a beer; option two includes six pours of sake; and the third option includes six pours of Japanese Whiskey. Beverages are also available a la carte.
The new Sushi by Scratch Restaurants: Chicago will be located at 415 N. Milwaukee Ave. The Sushi by Scratch Restaurants: Chicago experience is $165/person plus tax and service charge, with additional add-ons and beverage pairings available. Reservations are required, and are released on the first of every month at noon CST, and can be made via Tock.
pronounced: Boh-la-jee, like the Bellagio but w/o the O. SLC Editorial Director, loves to write about topics at the intersection of career and lifestyle for today's young professional and future leaders.