Hi, I'm Lu!

A PhD Student at University of Chicago who loves discovering the world and trying new eats! Hope you enjoy!

Anniversary at Naha

Anniversary at Naha

Champagne vinegar sorbet over French-kissed oyster from New Brunswick
Champagne vinegar sorbet over French-kissed oyster from New Brunswick

Andrew and I have been together for four years now, and we decided to go to Naha to celebrate this occasion, especially since I had bought a Travelzoo deal for a 7-course dinner there that was about to expire.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect since reviews were either hits or misses.

Before I get into the drinks and the bulk of the meal, I must RAVE about the French-kissed oyster starter.  The oysters are flown in every other day from New Brunswick, and you can definitely differentiate them from those served at other Chicago restaurants that do not fly them in regularly.  The champagne sorbet on top added some light flavoring, accentuating the freshness of the oyster.  If only there were a dozen of these oysters (I’ve never said that before)!

Left: St. Germaine cocktail with agave nectar Right: Neversummer - Angel's Envy Bourbon, Rare Tea Cellars Gingerbread Dream Rooibos, Small Hand's Gum Syrup
Left: St. Germaine cocktail with agave nectar Right: Neversummer - Angel's Envy Bourbon, Rare Tea Cellars Gingerbread Dream Rooibos, Small Hand's Gum Syrup

We were welcomed with two refreshing St. Germaine cocktails with a splash of citrus.  If you are into something a little less girly, I’d recommend the Neversummer, which may sound girly but is a strong mix of bourbon and gingerbread tea!

Cranberry bread
Cranberry bread

When I go to a fine dining restaurant, I’m always excited to see what they have for bread service.  At Naha, I could not stop spreading the rich, smooth butter on their soft, comforting cranberry bread.  I enjoyed it so much I asked for another plate of carbs, which I devoured.

Blue hubbard squash soup over mascarpone mousse and toasted almonds
Blue hubbard squash soup over mascarpone mousse and toasted almonds

I was very excited when we were served the blue hubbard squash soup.  It was freezing outside so I was more than ready to warm up with a creamy bowl of coziness.

Diver scallop with prosciutto, grapefruit, endives and vanilla sauce
Diver scallop with prosciutto, grapefruit, endives and vanilla sauce

Then the carnivorous dishes started coming, starting with diver scallop, which was cooked perfectly and would have been divine if it only had that single slice of prosciutto on top.  But somehow, a slice of grapefruit made its way onto the dish, making a discordant mesh of ingredients.

Red wine braised short ribs, onions, cannelloni stuffed with ricotta topped with mascarpone
Red wine braised short ribs, onions, cannelloni stuffed with ricotta topped with mascarpone

My favorite meat dish was definitely the red wine braised short rib, which was paired with a ricotta cannelloni.  Please give me some more of that short rib to melt in my mouth!!!

Wild striped bass with rock shrimp, mustard and fennel
Wild striped bass with rock shrimp, mustard and fennel

Side note: When we were seated, I immediately noticed the kind nature of the wait staff (including the busboys)—they were always smiling and brought positive energy.  Service really affects how you perceive a meal at a fine dining establishment!

Duck two ways: Left: Fois gras over carrots Right: Seared duck breast and broccoli rabe
Duck two ways: Left: Fois gras over carrots Right: Seared duck breast and broccoli rabe
Chocolate and caramel popcorn dessert!
Chocolate and caramel popcorn dessert!

I really wish they had a printed menu delineating some of the items of the dessert platter.  In any case, it was a beautifully done crunchy, crispy and creamy composition of chocolate and popcorn.  I was ready to leave with a content palate, but then we were served a pair of white almond lokum (Turkish delight), which were definitely on par with the ones I had in Turkey!  Now that’s how to end dinner on a high note!

White almond lokum and chocolate truffle
White almond lokum and chocolate truffle

Tips:

  1. Naha still has this awesome 7-course deal on Travelzoo so get it before it sells out!
  2. I highly recommend you to get a cocktail or two - they are classy yet modern and fun!
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Snack EOS

Snack EOS

Num Pang Sandwich Shop

Num Pang Sandwich Shop