Exploring Chef Osaka’s Japanese Trattoria

November 2, 2016

Chef Hisanobu Osaka enters the Intro kitchen as our next visiting chef, launching a Japanese Trattoria. Yes, you heard that right - Chef Osaka is combining his love for Italian food (and noodles) with his culinary skills of cooking with Asian ingredients to create one of the most exciting, new menus in Chicago. Iron_Chef Chef Osaka was born and raised in Kagawa, Japan. He’s honed his knife under world-renowned chefs Mizuno-san, Daniel Boulud, and, most recently, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. It was actually at Morimoto’s Chicago restaurant, Japonais, where Rich Melman first discovered Chef Osaka before bringing him on. chinese_lincoln_park chinese_cuisine_lincoln_park Let’s take a tour of the brand new, Italian-style menu, all made with an Asian spin. If you’re a fan of Italian food, you’ll recognize a lot ot the menu items. His antipasti includes Sushi Rice Arancini, a classic Tuscan dish of deep-fried risotto balls made with sushi rice and served with an aioli-infused with Tobanjan, a spicy Japanese ingredient of fermented beans. Best_tuna_dishes_chicago Next, a Tuna Sashimi Pizza, this isn’t your typical Chicago-style pie. The pizza is made on a crispy rice crust and topped with tuna sashimi, charred onion, tomato and dollops of guacamole. Other starters include a Focaccia which is slightly sweetened with milk powder, a common ingredient in Japanese breads, and topped with satsumaimo (sweet potato), Bao-like steamed buns filled with an oozing four-cheese blend and a classic Caprese Salata of house-made tofu in lieu of mozzarella. best_carbonara_chicago Now onto the pastas. All of the pastas are made using a ramen dough, then hand-cut and shaped into a variety of shapes and sizes. Highlights include: Uni Carbonara, with smoked bacon, and a quail egg all tossed tableside inside an entire wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano and Kabocha Agnolotti with mushroom dashi, most similar to classic butternut squash ravioli. And for a sweet finish, Chef Osaka’s take on dolce. Expect a Japanese twist on classic Italian desserts, like Panna Cotta infused with matcha and white chocolate and Coconut Fritters with yuzu cream. cocktails_lincoln_park Intro’s mixologist Liz Lamzik has created a trio of Italian cocktails made with Japanese whisky. She has reinvented the classic boulevardier with Iwai whiskey, topped another cocktail with Italian red wine and mixed up and after dinner drink with Nikka Coffey whisky, amaro and a sprinkling of espresso bean. Reservations are now available by clicking here or calling 773-868-0002.