Last week Ian and I decided to have a date night. Sure, we go out to dinner with each other very often, but we haven’t had a really nice date night since Valentine’s Day! Now Ian is not super into fancy restaurants; he’s more of a “mom and pop” comfort food kinda guy. I tried to think of a restaurant that wouldn’t be uncomfortably fancy that would also have delicious, comforting food and I came up with Japonais!
Japonais has been open for almost 15 years but was taken over by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto 2 years ago. I was so ready to try their new menu! After being seated at our table, we ordered our drinks and began browsing the menu.
We started our meals with the Toro Tartare and the Tuna Pizza. I am a HUGE tartare fan and this is the best I’ve ever had. The tartare itself is placed in a thin layer on a glass plate and you are provided with small metal scrapers. The scrapers allow you to remove small pieces of tartare and so that you can dip each bite into all of the different sauces. It was so delicious!
The tuna pizza is a prepared on a thin cracker crust. It was the perfect light appetizer!
We then moved on to a tofu dish that was made tableside. A heated clay pot containing soy milk is placed at the table and the waiter places a lid on it and tells you to not touch it for 10 minutes. After he returned, the tofu was set! It had a very soft consistency and an array of condiments is provided to add however you like. I added all of it!
Next came the sashimi! I’ve never had such fresh sashimi in my entire life. My favorite is usually the salmon, but this time the amberjack and needlefish won the prize!
At this point I was stuffed, but we pushed on and had one last dish: Duck, Duck, Duck which is a dish of (you guessed it!) duck prepared three ways. The fried rice with a sunny side up duck egg was amazing, but the duck breast was absolutely delectable!
Our experience at Japonais was amazing. The staff was knowledgeable, attentive, and very friendly. The space was warm and inviting, while still being fancy. And the food, the FOOD, was delicious down to the very last bite. It was one of the best date nights I’ve ever had! If you’re looking for a great place to eat for a special occasion, or just a delicious meal, Japonais is the place to be. They also have an outdoor seating area on the river that is perfect for sunset cocktails. We can’t wait to go back!
Japonais is located at 600 W. Chicago Ave and are open for lunch and dinner on weekdays and for dinner on the weekends. Their instagram can be found here.