October 9, 2012
- Food: sushi, pan-Asian
- Decor: energetic, sexy, modern
- Service: excellent
- Cost: $$$
- Wine / Cocktails: specialty cocktails, sake and wine
Everyone can uncross their fingers now! There’s somewhere new and exciting to eat in Gold Coast. That’s right! There’s a hot, new, trendy restaurant that screams sexy. It’s time to welcome Jellyfish to the neighborhood.
Just off of Rush Street, an elevator leads you upstairs to the second floor where all the magic happens. The slick and sexy interior reminds me of Miami or maybe I feel like I’m underwater. Either way, I love it. Rocco Laudizio, Slick + Design, is the mastermind behind this masterpiece. White washed wood plays off the white leather booths while blue LED lights line the ceiling and create a mystical yet energetic ambiance. A rectangular blue stone is situated against a white textured wall and serves as the centerpiece for the bar. It immediately captures my attention as I make my way through the cocktail menu.
The cocktail menu is playful and inviting. The signature drinks use unique flavors like bbq bitters, lychee or coriander. Since this is a pan-Asian restaurant, I look for something with sake. To my liking, there’s a signature cocktail with sparkling sake. I already feel like I’m winning. The Tea-Chee Spritzer Zipang combines sparkling sake, lychee, fresh lemonade, organic tropical tea and lemon bitters. The drink itself is beautiful and refreshing.
Once finished with our cocktails, we make our way to a booth in the atrium. A soft breeze flows through the open windows. Our server greets us and is extremely attentive throughout our entire dining experience. He suggests a great bottle of sake for us to enjoy. Fortunately, we were able to snag the last bottle that evening. It’s light, crisp and exactly what I had wanted. His recommendation was superb for what we were asking. It’s always nice to have a knowledgable staff.
To start, we ordered the Rocco Taco. Three mini (and crunchy) wontons were filled with hamachi, radish, red onion, citrus and ponzu. What a great introduction to our meal! They were beautifully presented on a white plate with minimal garnishes. The tacos themselves had so much color and flavor.
Next came the sushi rolls. Between the two of us, we ordered four rolls. The rolls were big so lets start with the Big Chicago Roll: fresh mizuna, tuna, salmon, tamago, yellowtail, Japanese pickled cucumbers. Wow! This roll lived up to its name. The different fish were so fresh. It was my favorite roll of the night! Unless you want to embarrass yourself, I wouldn’t attempt to eat this in one bite.
If you like sushi rolls with a little bit of a kick I suggest the Kiss of Fire. It’s appropriately named and has spicy tuna, jalapeno, white tuna, salmon and wasabi sauce. This was a treat for me! It was the perfect amount of kick or should I say fire? The Black Diamond included shrimp tempura, Alaskan crab mix and black caviar. Lastly, we tried the Lobster Mango Roll. It was rolled with lobster and sea salted crab. On top were mangoes and flying fish roe. The mango was such a nice treat, and kept me reminiscing of summer. Again, the flavors were simple, clean and fresh. Too often, sushi restaurants try to do too much and lose the essence of sushi. Jellyfish captures the natural flavors of the fish and accents them with fresh ingredients. They’re creative and true. It’s sushi done right.
I cannot recommend this place enough! Whether you’re looking for a fun cocktail, quick bite or an exceptional dinner, this is the place. If you’re not a huge sushi fan, Jellyfish also offers main entrees. The service is exceptional. The drinks are carefully prepared, and the food is made with passion. I am so happy Jellyfish has found its way into my neighborhood.
Chicago Roll, Rocco Taco,