Lettuce Entertain You unveils Miru, its Japanese-inspired restaurant at the hottest address in town.
Crispy whole snapper with herb salad and ginger miso is among Miru’s signature dishes.
Few new construction buildings in Chicago have been hyped in the past decade as much as the St. Regis. Designed by Windy City starchitect Jeanne Gang and rising 92 stories above the city, it announced the arrival of another of the world’s great luxury brands to Chicago.
Raw menu options include succulent bluefin tuna and crispy shiso kissed with sesame vinaigrette.
Equally as anticipated have been the property’s two restaurants, Miru (Japanese, now open) and Tre Dita (a Tuscan steakhouse set to arrive later in the year), both by local culinary empire Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. Foodies wondered if Lettuce would deliver something St. Regis-worthy; having recently dined at Miru, I can report that they’ve done just that—and in stunning fashion.
A gorgeous slab of Fantastico Arni marble tops the 12-seat sushi bar.
Perched on the 11th floor of the hotel—high enough for stellar river and Navy Pier views (fitting since Miru means “view” in Japanese), low enough that you can make out individual kayakers paddling by—Miru welcomes diners into a chic jewel box of a space, all soothing neutral tones and walls of windows, with a buzzing bar to the right and dining area to the left. Settle in, and you realize the space keeps going: To the left there’s yet another dining room with a sushi bar and wide terrace, while to the right a series of lounge areas and another expansive cocktail terrace beckon.
Make a date on the Miru terrace for eagle-eye views of Navy Pier and its Wed. and Sat. fireworks.
The A-list crowd matches the chic surroundings—on the night we dined, the room was filled with local power players and society fixtures—but Miru’s contemporary Japanese cuisine is the real star. The menu is a collaboration between three notables in chef/partner Hisanobu Osaka (formerly of Morimoto and Daniel), Naoki Nakashima (formerly of Naoki Sushi) and executive chef Helmy Saadon (formerly of Mila and Zuma), and the team delivers hit after shareable hit: sesame-kissed broccolini gomae; addictively creamy grilled avocado drizzled with spicy soy; bracing hamachi crudo with lemon; meltingly tender charred octopus skewer; crisp lobster spring rolls; and buttery miso black cod, not to mention a selection of exquisitely presented nigiri and maki.
Hamachi and lemon maki with white ponzu is a delectable bite.
Add in desserts by star pastry chef and Netflix School of Chocolate winner Juan Gutierrez (don’t miss the chocolate souffle tart with matcha ice cream) and Lettuce’s always-spot-on service, and the verdict is in: Miru lives up to the hype. 401 E. Wacker Drive, 11th floor
The St. Regis’ storied bloody Mary tradition (each property serves up its own signature version) lives on here with The 1871, which features Evanston-made F.E.W. rye whiskey, house mix, fresh dill and smoke.
Photography by: PHOTOS BY ALLISON GALLESE