LTH Home

Kitsune Restaurant and Pub

Kitsune Restaurant and Pub
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • Kitsune Restaurant and Pub

    Post #1 - February 3rd, 2017, 2:02 pm
    Post #1 - February 3rd, 2017, 2:02 pm Post #1 - February 3rd, 2017, 2:02 pm
    Anyone been yet? Any must try dishes? Any recs for BYOB sake/wine/beer since they have yet to secure the liquor license? I'm heading there tonight. Thanks!

    Kitsune Restaurant and Pub
    4229 N Lincoln Ave
  • Post #2 - February 3rd, 2017, 2:22 pm
    Post #2 - February 3rd, 2017, 2:22 pm Post #2 - February 3rd, 2017, 2:22 pm
    daveandrews3 wrote:Anyone been yet? Any must try dishes? Any recs for BYOB sake/wine/beer since they have yet to secure the liquor license? I'm heading there tonight. Thanks!

    Kitsune Restaurant and Pub
    4229 N Lincoln Ave

    Stopped in last week and ordered the uni, clams in broth and tonkotsu ramen. The butter/citrus broth that the clams were served in was excellent as was the crusty bread that came on the side. Noodles, pork belly and egg in the ramen were perfectly cooked. The broth, while tasty, wasn't the milky white variety like santouka that I prefer.

    Will definitely be back to try more of the menu.
  • Post #3 - March 17th, 2017, 5:31 pm
    Post #3 - March 17th, 2017, 5:31 pm Post #3 - March 17th, 2017, 5:31 pm
    Seeing Sula's review in the Reader reminded me that I forgot to post regarding my meal here the other week. My dining companion and I quite enjoyed our meal.

    Oysters with rice wine mignonette and flowers

    Gomae with katsobushi and fresh ginger

    Wild rice and koji porridge bread, cultured butter with pickles
    I could eat those pickled vegetables any time.

    chicken dumplings with black sauce

    Tonkotsu ramen, egg, pork belly, house chili sauce, green onion
    Friend and I agreed with WhyBeeSea that the broth was a bit...beefier than we prefer, the noodles were among the top in Chicago. I have a big problem with how starchy the noodles tend to be around here, so this was quite nice.

    Okonomiyaki with pickled ginger and katsobushi
    Another favorite. The last okonomiyaki I had in Chicago was essentially a doughnut, so I awaited this course with bated breath. Happy to report it's a bit more traditional and very tasty.

    Mother and Child
    Honestly, we probably shouldn't have ordered this course. Not because it was bad (quite the opposite), but we were tapped food wise by this point and a bit imbibed.

    The space is a bit tight, but the food is definitely worthy of a visit.
    Dearest Chicago on Web
    Dearest Chicago on Twitter
    Dearest Chicago on Instagram
  • Post #4 - April 21st, 2017, 11:17 am
    Post #4 - April 21st, 2017, 11:17 am Post #4 - April 21st, 2017, 11:17 am
    Hit Kitsune last night and really, really enjoyed it. Save for a lack of items to choose from (including a ramen-heaving large plates section) and kind of a steep bill for what we had, I'd do it a couple of times a month. We had:

    -- Bread and Pickles, fantastic as described above. I loved the chewy bread and funky butter and our pickles were amazing if sparse. ramps included, along with the same stuff as up thread though different, smaller mushrooms. This is an essential dish here - among other things, the 4 big hunks of bread really fill you up.

    -- Fried smelts, lightly fried and a kewpie mayo dipping sauce. lightly fried, fresh and lively and smelty and delicious. not a value play at $15 but really good.

    -- Gomae - as pictured up thread this is not your mother's gomae, but fantastic and funky and a nice portion size. I would have preferred the chawanmushi with Jonah crab but this actually filled a need in our order and was much better than I anticipated as it's usually a pretty boring dish.

    -- Sashimi (Hamachi) and Carolina gold rice and miso soup. this was the least interesting/successful dish. I didn't think the Carolina gold rice worked well (though combined with hot pot broth made for a nice porridge) and the fish, while perfectly good, was not a remarkable specimen or cut particularly well. The miso soup was memorable, though we each got about 3 tablespoons full in a mug, kind of a palette cleanser portion. It's really concentrated and delicious though - I could have eaten a pint of it.

    -- Vegetable hot pot. This was remarkable - tiny radish, ramps, nettles (I think), bok choy, carrot, mushrooms, squash, etc... perfect assortment for a Chicago Spring with the above-mentioned cheesy tofu and the most amazing broth - richly acidic and vibrant with almost a brothy pesto (with no parm) feel. Pretty remarkable dish.

    2 drinks each including wines for my wife and a perfectly well-executed manhattan and a sour hitachino for me and we were out for $180. Kind of a rich mid-week treat in a very casual atmosphere, but super enjoyable. In terms of ordering notes/regrets, I wish we had done the chicken instead of the sashimi - a neighboring table had it and it looked awesome. 3 varieties of ramen seemed like too much also, for this place. Also, though I'd typically get it without question, I'll do the okonomiaki next time, as I just had a great rendition (in Dallas!) last week and didn't have the itch.
  • Post #5 - April 21st, 2017, 1:29 pm
    Post #5 - April 21st, 2017, 1:29 pm Post #5 - April 21st, 2017, 1:29 pm
    vegetable hot pot dish sounds very cool
  • Post #6 - April 24th, 2017, 1:25 pm
    Post #6 - April 24th, 2017, 1:25 pm Post #6 - April 24th, 2017, 1:25 pm
    We had a very nice meal here last week. I loved the cozy space and service (provided by Ben) could not have been more friendly or helpful.

    Food-wise, the meal was just about flawless. Oysters and Smelts were excellent. The Chawanmushi with radishes and crab was a decadent flavor-bombing showstopper. Even though we split the Tonkotsu ramen 4 ways, the small portion I tried left me wanting more. I also thought the Okonomiyaki was the best expression I've had in Chicago. Delicious house pickles, a turbo-charged miso soup and a bitter greens salad that came with the dry-aged duck (a pre-ordered special that was offered via email) were also excellent. The only hiccup was the duck itself. Unfortunately, it was cooked a bit longer than we would have liked, with only the slightest dot of pink left in the center of the breast meat. So, even though the skin was well-rendered and crispy, and the breast was still moist, the meat itself tasted pretty livery. We ate most of it, left some behind and intentionally didn't mention it at the time because we didn't anyone to make a fuss over it.

    A trio of desserts, one comped by the house, were well-struck, sweet counterpoints to the rest of the meal. Can wait to go back and have a go at a bunch of other items on the menu that looked great but for which we just didn't have room this time around.

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #7 - July 10th, 2017, 8:34 am
    Post #7 - July 10th, 2017, 8:34 am Post #7 - July 10th, 2017, 8:34 am
    We ate there last Thursday with another couple, and Chef Regan continues to amaze me by finding the depth of flavor in beautiful food. It's a bit on the pricey side, but we knew that going in, and there were one or two items that I probably wouldn't order again -- not that they weren't delicious, just that they weren't so exciting.

    We started with the bread and butter with pickles, the tartare, and the chawanmushi with crab.

    The bread, as has been described elsewhere, is wonderful: dense but a nice crumb, crisp crust, with umami-rich cultured butter. I was less impressed with the pickles, which seemed a little stingy compared to Incite's photo above. The soy-pickled beech mushrooms were the best of the bunch, with cauliflower, asparagus and carrot rounding it out.

    The steak tartare was the best version I have ever had: buttery, soft and rich, it almost had the texture of tuna tartare. And it was on thin slices of the same bread, toasted, which added all the crunch you needed. Definitely order again. (Note: the online menu says "fudge" yolk; I don't remember yolk on the dish, but I could be forgetting).

    The chawanmushi was a delightfully light version: a layer of radish slices, with sweet crab below that, and custard much softer than I've managed the one time I tried it (a carrot broth and shrimp version I'd done for an Iron Chef party). The only problem with this is how to eat it: it's too soft for a fork or chopstick, and the only spoons are thick ceramic ones I've always associated with Chinese cooking, not Japanese. We probably could have gotten teaspoons, but it didn't last long enough on the table for us to think about that.

    For mains, we had the fried rice for two, tonkotsu ramen and sashimi. That day's version of the fried rice had pork belly, with succulent nuggets. Good stuff.

    The tonkotsu ramen was truly wonderful, and very different from what I've had elsewhere: the broth was the brown of gravy, not milky. It almost had a barbecue note to it, a little smoky and spicy (just a touch). Egg, pork belly, noodles all spot-on. Custardy yolks on top of that rich broth is delightful excess.

    The sashimi was for me the only real disappointment: it's just fish on rice, which isn't even really sashimi, it should be chirashi, right? But chirashi usually has some garnishes. I also agree that the carolina rice is a little odd here: too al dente and separate, rather than the stickiness of sushi rice. The saving graces were the very high quality soy it was served with, and the miso soup (we were brought four decent-sized bowls even though we ordered just one sashimi). It was a much darker miso than usually used, with whole beans in the bottom. I didn't ask, but I'd guess it's house-fermented. Really, really good.

    We wrapped up by splitting two donuts and one order of the bread pudding. The whiskey-glazed donuts are great (but part of me still rankles at $4/donut -- not getting into that discussion here). The bread pudding, with matcha ice cream and umeboshi sauce, was only OK -- too dense, not very eggy, but the ice cream and sauce worked very well.

    With one drink apiece, the four of us got out of there for about $220 with tip (mine was a highball with Japanese whiskey and yuzu, SueF had a red wine I didn't taste). Not outrageous, but not usual weeknight "let's go out tonight" food either. Service was friendly and attentive (the place was pretty full on a Thursday, but as we got there at 8, it did empty out as we ate).
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #8 - September 19th, 2017, 4:12 pm
    Post #8 - September 19th, 2017, 4:12 pm Post #8 - September 19th, 2017, 4:12 pm
    I can't find a thread on Kitsune. If there's already one, please merge this one.

    Anyways, I finally went to Kitsune over the weekend with another couple. I'm not that familiar with Regan's other restaurants, but this one was good. The place is pretty small. It was not too crowded, I'm not sure if that's because of the outdoor seating or weird back to school lull. We did not try the ramen; I guess next time.

    We had six of the small plates. They were all excellent.
    The Gomae and Shusito Peppers were excellent. Nice light vegetable dishes. The pork belly bao was OK. I don't love my Bao to be open, but maybe they do it differently in Japan. The bread and pickles were good, but the stand outs were the Scallops and the Chawanmushi. Chawanmushi is a custard with some dried fish. It's a tiny dish, but beautiful, and tasty. Scallops were nice slices of scallop in a delicious sauce. I'm sure it's some fancy preparation, but it had some Japanese mayo influences.

    The large plates were less impressive.
    Okonomiyaki (veggie pancake) was disappointing. Not enough definition in the fillings and just kind of meh. Then again I'm no expert in these tastes.
    The Shoyu chicken was more successful; tender meat with a delicious skin. It was about 1/2 a small chicken.

    Dessert was good.
    Sorbet, Donut and Bread Pudding (Mrs. says too salty) were good solid versions (modest in size, but rich).
    The standout was the granita, yogurt thing. I don't know the name of it, but it was delicious. It tasted like something I've never had before. tart, sour, balanced. I'd tell the name, but I can't find it on the online menu.

    Overall really good. We liked the small dishes better than the big ones.

    Kitsune Restaurant and Pub
    4229 N Lincoln Ave
    Chicago IL 60618