Hub 51, Chicago IL

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For the 4th of July, Joel and I made our way to downtown Chicago with his cousin Justin and his wife, Rachel. A night of food, drinks and fireworks was planned starting with the food at Hub 51. Hub 51, a part of the Lettuce Entertain You Restaurant Group, is a new restaurant and club featured a “California Style” menu. The menu items ranged from interesting sushi choices to fish tacos — all of which we tried.

We began with the Crunchy Tuna Roll which was like no other tuna roll: the tuna was soft and spicy and wrapped in tempura rice. Served with a side of the spicy mayo, it was a great was to start the meal.

After the spicy tuna, we were treated by one of the restaurants’ partners, R.J. Melman, to the Shakishaki Tuna — big eye tuna, marinated in a spicy ginger sauce and served over a crispy rice cake. It was just as flavorful and unique as the starter tuna dish.

Next to share, an order of the monstrous pulled chicken nachos. Freshly crisped tortilla chips were heaped into a bowl (!) and topped with chili braised organic chicken, roasted tomato sauce, cheese, guacamole and cheeses. Although it was definitely on the large side, it too was delicious and filling.

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However filling the nachos were, there was somehow still room for tacos! Both Joel and I, as well as Justin and Rachel, split an order of the fish tacos. Mahi Mahi was paired with hot hand tolled corn tortillas, freshly made salsa, amazing and flavorful slow cooked black beans as well as a refreshing and bright cabbage slaw.

Aside from the food, we tried several great beverages and after a trip to Navy Pier to watch (the end of) fireworks, we made our way back for more at the restaurants lower level club, Sub 51.

A welcoming restaurant with a chic atmosphere and delicious food, it’s worth a trip whether you’re in the neighborhood or not.

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