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Cocktail Hour in Chicago

The team behind two-Michelin-starred Oriole opens Kumiko

First there was acclaimed Oriole, and now the trio behind it have combined forces to open a snazzy new space in the West Loop. “At Kumiko, the team embraces a philosophy similar to Oriole’s, highlighting precision and improvisation, particularly through the customized omakase-style tasting menu that blends the creativity of the bar and kitchen and allows them to play off each other,” says Cara Sandoval. Sandoval, along with her two partners, Julia Momose and Noah Sandoval, wanted to create a thoughtful experience filled with a deep appreciation and understanding for craftsmanship, as seen through the cocktails and dishes curated with purpose by Momose and chef Sandoval. “At the core of the ethos of Kumiko is a respect for the process and the moments that make up a truly memorable dining experience,” she says. “It’s not simply about the final result.”

Kumiko’s Cara Sandoval (left), Noah Sandoval, and Julia Momose.

Expect the rotating drink menu to have anywhere from 11 to 15 specially crafted cocktails, each served in a specially chosen vessel to enhance the experience. Highlights include the Triptych, with purple sweet potato, Armagnac, umeshu, sweet potato shochu, and junmai sake, and the Pepperberry Tonic with Tasmanian pepperberry, sansho, angelica root, verjus rouge, and Fever-Tree elderflower tonic.

The Amakase, made with rice, koji, and hydrangea tea.

Kumiko also features a rotating Japanese whiskey highball, starting with Highball No. 1, comprised of Iwai Japanese whiskey paired with 20-year-old oloroso sherry and Q club soda, served over hand-cut ice diamonds.

Unique glassware for Kumiko’s cocktails.

630 W. Lake Street; barkumiko.com.