Paul Tyskins mentioned Oysy (pronounced O-E-She, ending in the preferred nickname of the Condiment Queen) a week or so ago. Here's another report.
We had not intended to go to Oysy, but we went to a party in the same building, so it was fate. The building is an old commercial building converted into apartments (and nice one's at that). The fastly changing neighborhood, now a mix of commercial and residential old style skyscapers* gives Oysy a very urban, Manhattan, type of feel. The city feel is accentuated by Oysy's modern design, featuring bench like tables and lacquered blonde woods. We did have the problem of our coats constantly falling off the benches.
Oysy offers a large menu of small dishes, grouped by cooking styles. About half the choices are sushi, the remaining various hot and cold dishes. Most of the dishes are around $4-7, with the expectation that you order many.
We picked one of the more expensive items, a sashimi platter because it did sound interesting. Then, skewered chicken, soy beans (edamanae), grilled eel, and octopus in a hot sauce. One dish pretty much sucked, the octopus. The sauce was gloppy and not all the hot and ruined a dish that had otherwise very tender (very) small whole octopus. Everything else was really good, although there is nothing else to really say about soy beans and chicken teriyaki. Let me comment further on the sashimi and the eel.
The sashimi came as three objects on a large plate. Forgive me, I cannot recall the fish components, only the dressings, but for the most part, this a dressing oriented dish, with the fish more of a tableau. So, one fish came on an endive leaf with a sweet-tart plum paste sauce with also very salty bar mitzvah style lumpfish caviar; the second item came in a lemon with a citrus onion medley; the last was tuna I believe under a raw quail egg that just accentuated the richness of the fish.
As good as the sashimi plate was, my favorite dish was the eel. The dish came as a set of roulades, eel and cucumber, doused with that standard sushi eel sauce. But the eel was the most sweet, most soft and tender eel I have ever had. It basically melted into the cucumber which provided a bit of substance in the mouth.
Oysy offers plain ol' martini's for a very reasonable $6, and I have long persisted that a martini is about the perfect accompaniment to sushi.
888 S. Michigan Ave.
*For architecture buffs, just up Wabash from Oysy is the oldest existing skyscraper in Chicago, designed by William Lebaron Jenney, who created the first steel framed, skeleton buildings in Chicago. See link for additional information on this building. Unfortunately, Jenney's Home Insurance building, the "first skyscraper" is long gone.
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