One of the perks of being an editor at UrbanMatter is the opportunities it presents you to try restaurants that might not otherwise be on your radar. Over the weekend we had the pleasure of checking out the brand new omakase experience, Sushi by Bou, at the Hotel Lincoln that will open to the public on January 21st, 2022.
The concept, by Simple Venue, is a timed omakase experience (30 minutes/12 pieces/$50 per person or 60 minutes/17 courses/$100 per person) where the choice of sushi is left entirely to the chef. For some, the sheer idea of leaving their dinner experience to someone other than themselves is frightening. At Sushi By Bou, it’s worth it. And then some.
The intimate sushi omakase speakeasy experience that has become popular in major cities such as New York and Miami now arrives in Chicago. The chic lounge is the sister restaurant of the highly acclaimed Sushi Suite 202 concept, which opened in 2019 in Hotel Lincoln, and Sushi Boutique which opened in October 2021 in the Claridge House Hotel in the Gold Coast.
The Sushi by Bou menu consists of the freshest of fish, both locally sourced and brought in from all over the world. The seasoned sushi chefs serve guests directly, guiding them through the meal, providing a truly exclusive and personalized experience. We enjoyed the company of Chef Navakun Taviwat, a seasoned veteran passionate to his craft. He shared stories of his time in Seattle and New York, and growing up in Vietnam before coming to the United States. If you’re lucky enough he might enjoy a sip of some fine sake with you, as well.
The Sushi by Bou omakase regularly features best quality selections including Hamachi (yellowtail); Botan Ebi (spotted prawn); Ikura (salmon roe); Hotate (scallop); O-Toro (fatty tuna); Unagi (bbq eel); and their signature Wagyuni (‘surf and turf’). Hand rolls can be made upon request from any of the various pieces of sushi and additional a la carte pieces can also be ordered. Meals can be concluded sweetly with a tantalizing bite of mochi ice cream.
Sushi by Bou’s elegantly presented cuisine is greatly complemented by Japanese beers as well as imported sake and a curated selection of whiskeys in their Whiskey Library. Sushi by Bou’s handmade signature cocktails are distinguished by top-shelf, market-fresh ingredients. Among them, guests will savor the Nip it in the Bud (Japanese whiskey, sweet vermouth, ginger liqueur, Cocchi Americano, lemon twist), Summer Campfire (Bourbon whiskey, Islay scotch whiskey, yuzu juice, 4 spice honey syrup, ginger beer, mint spring), Never Too Sweet (Bourbon whiskey, dry curacao, pimento bitters, and sage, rosemary, thyme smoke), First Time (Blanco tequila, Pamplemousse liqueur, grapefruit juice, lime juice), and Shiso Southsider (Suntory haku vodka, shiso leaves, simple syrup, lime juice).In addition to the specialty cocktails, Sushi by Bou will offer about 40 whiskey options, along with whiskey flight and sake flight options.
Sushi by Bou will be open for dinner Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 6pm to 10pm. Hours on Friday and Saturday are 6pm to 11pm. Last seating is 45 minutes prior to closing and reservations can be made at sushibybou.com or Opentable. No takeout or delivery available.
About Simple Venue
SimpleVenue is an NYC-based hospitality group led by restaurateurs Michael Sinensky and Erika London which specializes in micro restaurants and in bringing incredible concepts to underutilized spaces. With over 15 years of experience, Simple Venue brings an elegant and new age touch to a classic take on the old school Sushi Counter. Sushi by
Bou and Sushi Suite currently have locations inside Sanctuary Hotel in Times Square, both in the lobby and inside of a hotel room at Hotel 3232 in Nomad, Hotel Lincoln in Chicago, and at the iconic Versace Mansion in Miami. Simple Venue connects experiential food and beverage concepts with world-class venues to transform under-utilized real estate into revenue generating spaces. For more information, visit their website.
About Hotel Lincoln
Located in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood at 1816 N. Clark St., Hotel Lincoln offers fun, eclectic stays where the energy of urban life meets 1,200 green acres and Lake Michigan. Originally built in the 1920s, the 184-room property reopened in 2012 as a Joie de Vivre Hotel, whose parent company is CoralTree Hospitality. Named one of Chicago’s best boutique hotels by Travel + Leisure, the property offers uniquely appointed guest rooms; meeting space, stunning views of Lake Michigan; a lobby-level European-style coffee bar at Elaine’s Coffee Call; an expansive rooftop lounge with indoor and outdoor seating at J. Parker; immediate access to elevated neighborhood restaurant, The Kennison on its ground floor; and highly acclaimed Sushi Suite 202. The hotel’s prime location is within steps of the neighborhood’s most popular attractions such as the Lincoln Park Zoo, Green City Market, and more, providing a genuine community anchor and connection to city living.
All Photos Courtesy of Alexis Carranza