Last night my husband and I had something to celebrate (a clean bill of health after several tests at Northwestern Hospital), and since the parking chit they give you is good for 7 hours, we decided to go somewhere in the area of the hospital. We decided on Roy's (720 N. State) - a seafood restaurant from Hawaii. Because we were there so early (5:30 p.m.), our server (Scott), suggested a special tasting menu - something that we made up from the appetizers that appealed to us, and also gave us a sample of three different fish entrees. This is not on the menu (although they have a 3 course prix fixe dinner for $30) - it was created for us as a way to introduce us to their food. It included 3 or 4 wines, and they quoted us a price of $53.00 per person. We started with appetizers:
Plate #1: Ahi Poke. This was a small dish of chopped raw Ahi, mixed with wasabi, avocado, and other stuff that I can't recall (sorry). Not a ceviche, but sort of a sashimi salad. Also, sliced Tuna with a truffle-sesame oil emulsion, slivered scallions and other stuff. Both of them delicious.
Plate #2: A sushi of unagi - but done Roy's way (the rice had chopped peppers and possibly mango in it) and topped with unagi that had been grilled with something wonderful, and possibly pre-marinated - it was the best peice of unagi I've ever eaten. Then there was a lobster dim sum covered in a rich lobster-based foam. The dimsum was like a gyoza, but in a meltingly soft wrapper - suberb. The third item on the plate was one of their Mongolian spareribs - a falling-off-the-bone, incredibally tasty, generous rib - one of the best Asian-style ribs ever.
Enteee #1: Grilled Ono on a pile of cold noodles. Needles to say, the noodles had stuff mixed in, and they were surrounded by dribbles of some sort of flavored oil with an unidentifiable veggie in it. Very tasty, but possibly the least "wow-y" of the three.
Entree #2: Opakapaka covered with an Asian pesto and served in a curry sauce - fantastic. I'm only sorry I don't remember what was in the pesto.
Entree #3: "Butterfish" Misoyaki ("Butterfish" is a style of cooking, we were told - I forget what the actual fish was). The fish was glazed with a mixture of miso and brown sugar, and finished with a soy-based vinegrette - at first we thought it sounded too sweet for our taste, but it was not overpowringly so, and we loved it.
These plates were all accompanied by half-glasses of various wines (cold sake in the case of the first appetizer plate). The wines were all quite good - nothing spectacular, but all well suited to the food. There was a cabernet for the rib, and a riesling for the other items on appetizer plate #2 - both were private label house wines. The three entree plates came with two whites, but we failed to pace ourselves and ran out by the time the Misoyaki dish came, so we ordered one more glass of our favorite of the two - a white by Chateau Ste. Michelle (don't recall what type).
Altogether, it was a really memorable meal, with excellent, attentive service from Scott. I'm just sorry I can't describe all the ingredients used to create these dishes. We could have had dessert - their signature dessert is a checolate cake with a molten chocolate center - but we were just too stuffed. We had also several of their delicious Mai Tais to start with, so by the end of the meal we had had enough.
We will be going back to Roy's - for sure. Scott explained that the custom-made degustation can't be offered when they're busy - but go early, and ask for it - it was delightful.