When the team from the two Michelin-starred Oriole announced they were teaming up with cocktail ace Julia Momose for a new bar-driven concept venue, Chicago diners knew there were good things to come. Those things happen nightly at Kumiko, as Momose and chef Noah Sandoval explore fine line between food and drink with meticulously crafted courses and cocktails—all rooted in Japanese flavor and technique. Upstairs, steal glimpses everywhere of “kumiko,” an ancient Japanese woodworking art focused on joinery, where no nails are used. Downstairs, discover Kikko, a subterranean space outfitted with just eight bar seats for an intimate, omakase-style tasting menu. A meal here means libations from Momose thoughtfully paired with seven show-stopping bites from Sandoval, including Ora King salmon sashimi with toasted genmai, kanpachi nigiri with Maine uni, and torched Japanese milk toast with honey ice cream.

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