Aba is now open for dinner and with summer in Chicago almost here, we’ve got our eyes set on summer in the Mediterranean and we’re heading there!
Well, maybe it’s not quite the Mediterranean, but once you enter Aba (302 N. Green St,), Lettuce Entertain You’s newest rooftop patio and restaurant in Chicago’s Fulton Market District, we guarantee it will sure feel like it. Aba (which means “father” in Hebrew) is an extension of Chef CJ Jacobson’s first restaurant, Ēma (which means “mother” in Hebrew), incorporating its Mediterranean-style of cooking with an emphasis on raw and cooked protein.
Before you get too hungry, it’s important to mention the best part about summer in Chicago – eating and drinking al fresco! The rooftop patio at Aba brings a whole new meaning to “patio season.” Chicago’s newest patio has 220-seats and is also equipped with string lights and greenery. Grab a seat on one of the couches or cozy up around the fire pit because we have a feeling you’ll have no problem soaking up the sun while sippin’ on craft cocktails all summer long.
Now onto the food.
Top Chef CJ Jacobson takes his California roots and mixes it with influences from across the Mediterranean creating a menu that’s designed for sharing, so be a good table mate because, sharing is caring. We were lucky enough to get a first taste of Chef CJ’s menu, so here’s how we’d do it:
Start with –> mezze dishes like Muhammara with roasted pepper, walnut and pomegranate molasses, Artichoke Hummus with sunflower seed tahini, cherry tomatoes and sunflower sprouts and the Everything Jerusalem Bagel with whipped honey labneh, za’atar and lemon zest.
Next, head to the Mediterranean Butcher section –> Enjoy humble cuts like Roasted Bone Marrow with grilled scallions, anchovy salsa, rosemary and balsamic and prime cuts including Skirt Steak Shawarma with za’atar, chili, lime and frites and Char-Grilled Lamb Chops with garlic, burnt oregano and freekah.
Try seafood and raw, you’ll understand why it’s our signature –> It’s almost too pretty to eat, but we recommend doing it anyway. Enjoy raw favorites including Charred Lamb Tartare, Tuna ‘Tagliata’ and Yellowtail Dolmas and seafood specialties like Toasted Sesame Shrimp and Sea Scallops with roasted Romanesco and fig chermoula.
Now onto the hand-crafted cocktails from Lead Mixologist Liz Pearce who created a cocktail program that spotlights ingredients from the Aba kitchen, like the El Gallo Margarita with Lebanese Arak, reposado, licor 43, Aperol and lime and the Blueberry Spritz with blueberry cordial, Beefeater gin, Chareau, lime and bubbles. A list of reserve cocktails feature higher-end spirits, like a Pina Colada with a 15-year rum, while large-format “Groupies” are served in copper watering cans for six to eight people. Read: these are PERFECT for patio drinkin’.
LEYE Wine Director Ryan Arnold curates a list of Ancient Civilization Wines from Morocco, Israel, Greece and The Canary Islands that include rare and highly-sought-after wines like 1990s vintages of Lebanon’s coveted Chateau Musar.