Number one son will be turning seventeen later this month, but because he’s going off to camp today for a month plus, we went out last night for an early birthday dinner. Months ago when he was still putting in hours for his driver’s license, we passed this minimalist restaurant front and were set on going here for his birthday this year.
Momotaro is an upscale Japanese restaurant with an izakaya, or informal restaurant bar, in the basement. Since I couldn’t find seating in the main restaurant, we went to the izakaya, which serves both the main menu and the snack one. It turned out that the izakaya was quieter and easier to hold a conversation.
For our first courses, we tried the out-of-this-world momotaro tartare, or heirloom tomato tartare.
Jake ordered miso soup with a tofu puff.
Goma ae, or broccoli raab with peanut and sesame.
My mom and Jake shared wagyu beef tongue skewers. Tom and I passed.
We all had these tender squid skewers with a squid ink aioli.
Hibachi Alaskan king crab.
And a chef’s special of nigiri times two. The fish melted in our mouths and the rice was the traditional amount, not the big globs most Americans put in sushi.
After all that, we were still not quite there, so ordered a whole red snapper with okra, shiitake mushrooms, Japanese gourd, and peapods (which Jake informed us was the most unknown fruit).
Now for dessert! This caramel custard was amazing.
And this citrus mousse.
A tofu, almond, and baby peach dessert. The peaches were so young that they didn’t have pits yet.
Momotaro surprised Jake with giant Pocky for all of us. We brought some home for the little ones who were sleeping and couldn’t join us.
All in all, a fabulous dinner with delicious food and a fun atmosphere. Momotaro is located at 820 W. Lake in Chicago. momotarochicago.com