It’s Chicago summer and romance is in the air. You are on the perfect date and you don’t want it to end. Where should you go?
Trendy Roka Akor in the epicenter of River North’s constellation of cutting-edge restaurants is opening a outdoor patio on May 1 with a newly created collection of aperitifs and appetizers that will keep your night going.
Or, just start there and take advantage of arguably the best place in town for a group with varied palates for steak or sushi, sake or shochu- and even some delicious dishes for the vegans in the crowd.
The new Roka Bar menu featuring 16 small plates will be available daily between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. and again from 9:30 to close. Every corner near Roka Akor has a five-star world famous restaurant, and you can bet that the people-watching of those coming to Roka Akor en route or post-dinner will be fantastic. This is NOT a loud music bar scene. This is a talk and eat place, where great attention is paid to décor and style and keeping the decibels low.
Most impressive are the new “sassy” spring cocktails created as his debut as Roka Akor Mixologist.
Jason Huffman tantalizes with a subtle understanding of how lychee juice and champagne, among other ingredients, combine in the Roka 75.
The subtle flavors of peach, ginger and lime combine in a vermouth aperitif cutely named “Farewell to Arms”.
Why the Roka Mule is so named is unknown—but do take your time letting your tongue tingle with the combination of homemade ginger beer and fresh raspberries.
We have to smile at the cocktail named “A Cynic’s Mind” featuring rum and blueberry lemongrass jam among other ingredients.
The small plates include well-executed maki rolls, softshell crab sliders, dishes of duck, squid, bone marrow and more.
If you venture inside from the patio you will see styling of Japanese wood, creative use of lighting and changing planes of wood, nails and other décor elements to demarcate several spaces within the open spacious feeling hall.
Where your summer romance goes is up to you. But Roka Akor is doing its best to give you a headstart. Even old-marrieds such as myself will absolutely NOT be bored by the food or the crowd.
456 North Clark, Chicago
Lunch---Monday - Friday and Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Dinner-- Sunday - Wednesday 5 - 11 p.m.; Thursday - Saturday 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Roka Bar -- Sunday - Wednesday 5 - 1 a.m. Thursday and Friday 5 p.m to 2 a.m. and Saturdya 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.
PHOTO CREDITS: Brad Smith and Peter Kachergis