Creative cuisine on the Mag Mile
Creativity and simplicity may seem contradictory, but at NoMI Kitchen inside Park Hyatt Chicago, these two tenets reign harmoniously. Executive Chef Satoru Takeuchi has ushered in a new era at the venerable Windy City restaurant. Joined by Executive Pastry Chef Greg Mosko, this duo has recreated the iconic NoMI Kitchen with a focus on approachable American cuisine with top-quality seasonal ingredients prepared in innovative ways.
Sure, the dining room still has a sense of grandeur with a curved wall of windows facing the iconic Water Tower on the Magnificent Mile with Lake Michigan looming in the background. And yes, the Chicago restaurant still feels perfect for a celebrating a special occasion (especially if you snag one of those window-side tables — they are worth the wait). But NoMI Kitchen is much more relaxed these days, with exposed wood tables with leather accents, approachable food and service without an ounce of pretense.
The seasonal menus reflect a dedication to high-grade ingredients sourced from farmers across the country and close to home, whether it’s uni (sea urchin) from Santa Barbara, oysters from Washington, chicken from downstate Illinois or milk-fed pork from Wisconsin. On both the dinner and lunch menus, choose a protein (market fish served over spaghetti squash, flat iron steak, farm chicken with lemon caper vinaigrette) and pair it with a side or two of your choice (roasted brussels sprouts with brown butter, sweet potato mash with bourbon marshmallow). Excellent sushi, sashimi and oysters are available from the ocean bar, a popular holdover from the previous iteration of NoMI. (Our pick: the tiger roll filled with snow crab, shrimp tempura, bigeye spicy tuna and avocado.)
Desserts deserve a special mention, if not a meal made up entirely of the expertly executed treats. Top-notch pastry chef and Chicago local Greg Mosko is the creative mind behind dishes such as the whipped choco-macchiato (coffee-lemon panna cotta with baked chocolate mousse and caramel) and the housemade ice cream and sorbets in flavors like buttermilk lime and citrus-chamomile.
An abbreviated menu is offered in the next-door lounge. It, too, has stunning views of Michigan Avenue and touts an impeccable wine list mostly from France, Spain, Italy and the United States. Cocktails are also seasonal, and NoMI Lounge consults with mixologists across the country to create inventive mixed drinks (often brown-liquor focused) made with house bitters and syrups.
The Hidden Gem
Also on the seventh floor of the hotel and an absolute must-visit is NoMI Garden. When the weather is nice, generally May through October, this secluded rooftop garden opens and Chicagoans and in-the-know visitors head here for refreshing cocktails and lighter bites while taking in pretty city views and the easy, sophisticated vibe that embodies all of NoMI Kitchen.