Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Resting our tummies.

When you're spending the weekend feasting on lobster, caviar and pheasant fritters, it probably isn't a terrible idea to pause for something on the simpler side. On Saturday afternoon, before we met up with Josh and Liz for an architecture boat tour of downtown Chicago, Nick, Louisa and I went out in search of sushi.

Nick and Louisa's concierge recommended Oysy, which was just a few blocks south of our hotels. We sat down at a table near the window, ordered some unfiltered sake, spicy shrimp and three bowls of chirashi. Louisa had been craving chirashi ever since our visit to Go Fish in St. Helena, and I couldn't very well let her go it alone!

Before the sushi, though, came the miso soup. It was warm and delicious, and, as always, a nice way to kick off a meal.

The spicy shrimp were awesome - fried in tempura batter and then tossed with a spicy red-chili sauce, they were piping hot. The shrimp themselves were fresh as could be and pretty much popped in your mouth when you bit down on them. Bar food, elevated, is something the Japanese do so well. Sooooo well. (Exhibit B: Kasadela.)

Finally, the chirashi! I forgot to snap a photo before I dug in, so please excuse the bite marks on barbecued eel (Nick's personal favorite.). Chirashi remains my favorite way to consume sashimi - what's not to love about a heap of pristine raw fish atop a bed of sticky sushi rice, especially when it always comes with that nifty egg cake thing? Not a thing, that's what. My favorites in this batch were the white tuna (down front with a dot of plum sauce), the red tuna (toward the back) and the ridiculously rich salmon (at nine o'clock).

I know you've all seen thousands of dishes of wasabi and ginger before, but I just couldn't resist - this one was too pretty not to share.

50 E. Grand Avenue (at Rush Street)
Chicago, Illinois

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