I know it's been a couple of days since I've last blogged. I think it's because I've been consumed with breaking in a new pair of patent leather glossy black winter flats from Endless.com (my Mecca for online shoe shopping--I even purchased a pair of boots last winter, wore them once, hated them, then returned them for a full refund. I'm now a loyal customer for life).
Anyways, last Friday I went to a place called Takashi that I had never heard of before. Well, let me tell you, I've not only heard of it now, but am obsessed with it and want to go back. Plus I can't stop raving about it. Find this place, and go there. It's on Damen and Armitage in Wicker Park. It's close enough to BlackBird, which is a cute little place we ventured to prior to having dinner with two of our out of town friends (Doug's friend since he was born). I would suggest you try the same (but bring band-aids in your purse if you are wearing new shoes, it's about a 7 minute walk in between the two locations).
Now to Takashi. This place is adorable. Absolutely precious. Small seating area outside with shades of gray painted awning and entry way. It's small yet refined, don't be taken aback by the small first room you walk into where the hostess "nook" is practically sitting in the door way, there is an upstairs area, too. Side note, that's where the restroom is hidden behind an orange piece of artwork. Good tip to know if you have had too much wine and can't find the restroom.
I'm proud to say it (although we were laughing in slight embarrassment during the meal) that we found the restaurant through Groupon. It's okay, it was a great deal Doug got, so we decided to use the coupon. MAN was it worth it. I haven't had a meal this tasty in a long time. We were with "foodies" who (I have a feeling) given their past eating experience, probably tend to be "good at menus" as I claim to be (except know more about food and wine than I do). So I trust what their opinion was and plan of action included for our night at Takashi: order lots of small plates. Done.
We ordered 8+ small dishes and got an assortment of multiple hot and cold plates. It was a perfect mix of taste, presentation, flavor, and creativity in each plate we received. From the lentil curry soup, to the pork belly (we ordered two of them because the meat was just incredible) to the home made tofu plate and these scallops that were absolutely to die for. Each dish I was pretty much more impressed than the next, to be honest. Nothing was too heavy either, but was perfectly balanced. I even forgot about the fact that my heels were bleeding during the start of the meal because the soup was so fantastically prepared. A must do. Please dine immediately. Ask for a table on the second floor. Trust me!
Chilled Fresh Homemade Tofu: Oba Leaves, Green Onion, Bonito Flakes, Wakame, Umami-Ginger Soy
Soy-Ginger Carmel Pork Belly: with Pickled Daikon Salad, Steamed Buns (and mind you, I don't even eat a lot of red meat, it was just THAT good).
Sauteed Main Scallops and Soba Gnocchi: Trumpet Royale, Celery Root-Parmesan Foam
Takashi Main Website
Bluebird (Not to be confused with BlackBird in the West Loop)