I have been DYING to try out Naha for a long time. The restaurant is known for doing upscale versions of Mediterranean/Armenian specialties, and when one of my husband’s vendors wanted to take us out to eat, I knew we had to try it out. Mainly because I am a writer. And writers are what folks? Say it with me now…”POOR!” For apps, we started with the Hawaiian tartare of tuna ($21 USD). This was awesome–fresh, light, and a really great starter. Adam went with the soup, which was a yellow corn soup and cracked blue crab with a flan of sweet garlic, white corn, cilantro & crisp squash blossom ($11 USD).
He was really happy with the soup, saying the sweet corn flavor really played off of the crab nicely. I have to go by what he said, because I was too busy enjoy the best damn piece of mozzarella I had ever eaten in my life. It was just a basic caprese salad, but the cheese was flown in from Puglia, Italy, and has this amazingly fresh flavor. It almost is like it has a shell on the outside, and inside is a pile of the softest, fluffiest mozzarella you have ever had in your life. Ugh. SO good.
The last app was the foie, for which a really terrible photo was taken. My apologies, because you really can’t tell what is on that damn plate.
It was delicious, a great balance of savory, tart and sweet, but the photo is crap. For mains, Adam and one of our dining mates went with the duck, which was delicious. I wish I could be more specific than that, so you duck lovers could truly understand how amazing this dish was, but sadly, delicious is all I got. If you like duck breasts paired with slightly sweet and savory condiments, this is the dish for you.
Our other dining companion and I ordered the steak, which I much say, was no ordinary steak. It was a wood-grilled 18 oz. prime ribeye of beef with a saute of roasted tropea onions, “Rose Finn” potatoes, tender spinach, bacon “shards” and flowering thyme, rich oxtail sauce and Murray River “apricot” sea salt ($46 USD). Whew. So I basically ordered myself more than a pound of beef, topped off with bacon shards (my real reason for wanting this dish) and sea salt from the Murray River, which just so happens to be in Australia!
Wow. I could hardly finish this bad boy, let alone make a sizable dent in it! It was super delicious, utterly rich, and I don’t regret it for a second! Just wished I would have split it with someone… We started dessert off with a cheese plate ($28 USD, changes weekly) and of course, I had a glass of tasty 20 year tawny Noval port. Hot damn if I don’t love me some tawny! It was sweet, but not overly so, with hints of caramel and dates. Mmmm.
As you can see, this plate was MASSIVE, and I hardly remember what was it on, just that there was so much variety. Someone ordered a lemon dessert that was so complicated, you have to look at the photo to know what was all in it. It was light and refreshing!
The third dessert was a summer cherry cheesecake with poached Michigan dark cherries, “Bubble” pearl tapioca and pistachio ice cream ($12 USD).
I went with Oeufs a la neige “Oeufs a la Neige” and locally grown blueberries with olive oil Ice Cream, polenta custard and balsamic caramel ($12 USD).
For those without training in classical French cookery, oeufs a la neige (pronounced ooofs a la nash) are basically fluffy meringues that are poached in a liquid. They turn into balls of marshmallowy fluff, and they are spectacular. A sugary dessert without being overwhelming, especially with the berries. It was all I could do not to lick the plate when I was done! I had to be literally ROLLED out of Naha at the end, I was so full. If I can afford it or want to go out for a special night, I will definitely be back to Naha. ~LTG! ****************************** Naha restaurant 500 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60610 312-321-6242 http://www.naha-chicago.com/