A chef's best dishes are culled from childhood memories, which is why many spend years refining macaroni recipes and measuring flour with a sippy cup. Taste one chef's culinary heritage with today's Groupon to Takashi in Bucktown. For $50, you get a five-course tasting menu of Japanese-inspired French-American cuisine with wine pairings (a $100 value). Choose from three months, each of which has several Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays available for reservation:
Click here for a list of available dates in each month.
Takashi's menu changes seasonally. The tasting menu may include:
- Crudo of Tasmanian Sea trout with Avinyo Cava Brut
- Ceviche of shrimp, squid, hokkaido scallops, and octopus with Dopff riesling 2007
- Sautéed Maine scallops and soba gnocchi with Champalou vouvray 2009
- Roasted-Indiana-duck breast and seared Quebec foie gras with Vina Magana Dingus 2005
- Milk-chocolate crème brûlée, caramel-custard foam, and a strawberry macaroon with Vigneau-Chevreau vouvray-petillant demi-sec
James Beard–award-winning chef Takashi Yagihashi fuses his Japanese roots with an unconventional French culinary education to forge a menu of contemporary French-American recipes flaunting an Asian edge. The five-course tasting menu marches a parade of carefully seasoned dishes before diners, each with its own wine selection chosen for its complementary flavors and ability to perform scenes from Madame Butterfly on command. An amuse bouche politely introduces itself to newly arrived taste buds with a crudo of Tasmanian Sea trout before a cool seafood ceviche awakens sleepy senses with notes of fennel and red onion. Like Super Mario Brothers, soba gnocchi provide a sizzling marriage between Japanese and Italian cultures, replete with sautéed scallops and a celery-root-parmesan foam. The main course of roasted-duck breast pairs Canadian-sourced foie gras with baby turnips and green-bean salad, and a dessert of crème brûlée, caramel-custard foam, and a strawberry macaroon brings tasting ventures to an ambrosial end.
Chef Takashi suffuses his creations with ingredients sourced from Maine, Japan, Australia, and throughout the globe, while peppering in local seasonal selections and sustainable seafood whenever possible. Flickering candles illuminate an interior of slate-hued brick and gleaming-white upholstery, offset by Japanese bonsai that pay tribute to the restaurant's eclectic menu and house treeforts for Lilliputian children.
With a star-studded résumé that includes stints in such media-acclaimed restaurants as Yoshi's, Ambria, and Tribute—a Detroit-based eatery of his own that earned him a James Beard Award—it shouldn't be surprising that Takashi Yagihashi's latest culinary venture was a success. At his eponymous establishment, the chef crafts gourmet dishes inspired by his French culinary training and accented with the traditional flavors of his native Japan, creating a menu that has earned the restaurant a Michelin star and that Chicago magazine called "the finest Asian fusion cuisine in the city." Beyond acclaimed culinary skills, Yagihashi's vivacious personality earned him the title of Top Chef Masters Fan Favorite.
In a spartan dining room adorned with subtle art and slate-colored brick, diners savor entrees such as chicken in a clay pot simmering with shimeji mushrooms, eggplant, and yuzu juice, or soy-ginger caramel pork belly served with steamed buns. Yagihashi also highlights his versatility in a number of prix-fixe menus, such as the weekly 7- or 11-course Kaiseki dinner and a tasting menu that pairs each morsel with a complementary wine. While mulling over the menu, savvy wait staff offer their recommendations for the best wine, beer, or sake from the restaurant's lengthy drink lists, along with sweet post-meal choices such as Yagihashi's signature brown-egg dessert, which Chicago magazine says "elevates crème brûlée to Zen-like perfection."
1952 N Damen Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60647