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Aba cocktails
Photos: Jeff Marini

Aba

Somewhere between Hub 51 and Aba, Lettuce Entertain You grew up — culinarily speaking, at least. Case in point: CJ Jacobson’s sexy third-floor hideaway (and sister spot to Ema in River North). Yes, its greenery-draped dining room and patio have been thronged with trend chasers since day one. And in vintage Lettuce style, Jacobson’s modernized Mediterranean menu has items that will please less adventurous diners — namely, some gently spiced chicken kebabs, made tender by a yogurt marinade — as well as easy-to-down cocktails, in this case from veteran bartender Liz Pearce. But there’s plenty for the discerning restaurant hound, too: the flurry of meze-style bites — whipped feta spiked with hits of lemon, say, or succulent braised lamb rolled in thinly sliced eggplant and nestled in a spicy-sweet tomato sauce — and six hummus plates, enlivened with curlicues of maitake mushroom and truffle butter or pan-crisped nubbins of short ribs with a glaze of beef jus. Maybe the fashionable set was onto something.

Liz Pearce
Liz Pearce
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