Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar is the kind of place where unique upscale food is served in a scaled back way. The restaurant is ultra creative with simple presentations of truly one-of-a-kind cuisine. The décor is relaxed but industrial with Japanese touches and graffiti.
Chef Chao does an amazing job with small plates that may be steeped in Japanese tradition but have a wild spin. I like to get the uni alfredo soba and black rice sushi rolls wrapped in collard greens. Both prove to be as tasty as they are unique.
This place is also well known for its unusual protein selections. Guests can choose to chow down on dishes like alligator ribs or kangaroo filet. At Union Sushi these dishes aren’t merely meant as a gimmick, they are done with as much care as everything else on the menu.
The most underrated part of Union is the beverage program that features an extensive sake list and creative cocktails. The same whimsy and bold flavors that inspire the dinner menu also jump off the cocktail list. I always get the Kuro Smash which rifts on the classic bourbon smash with smart ingredients like fresh blackberries and a tarragon tincture.
I like to go to Union on the weekends and sit at the bar. The bartenders offer entertainment and great suggestions for not only cocktails but also food. Union is also a perfect place to bring a date or before a night out in the trendy River North neighborhood.