Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Kurah Mediterranean Tapas Officially Opens Tomorrow

The retail space at the northeast corner of 14th and Michigan hasn't been kind to business owners - but something tells us that's about to change.

Kurah Mediterranean Tapas (1355 S. Michigan) will officially open its doors tomorrow, Wednesday July 31st.  For those who are keeping track, Kurah was preceded by Entourage Man (which moved to the West Loop and has closed that location) and Alains (the promising upscale restaurant that flamed out like defective stove).

Last Friday, we had the honor of attending a grand opening preview dinner at the restaurant.  While we can't comment on service (it was a special event, so everything was spot on) or price, we can give you our thoughts on the food and the space.

For a restaurant to succeed, one thing MUST be right - the food.  We haven't seen the full menu, but in our opinion the neighborhood is ready for some high quality Mediterranean food.  At the event, we had a variety of dishes to taste:
Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese
  • Appetizer:  Bacon wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese
  • Appetizer:  Hummus and fresh pita
  • Appetizer:  Fattoush salad
  • Appetizer:  Oysters
  • Appetizer:  Shrimp ceviche
  • Main course option:  Salmon
  • Main course option:  Lamb shank
  • Dessert:  Baklava, Fig dipped in chocolate encrusted with pistachios, flan

All of it was beautifully presented and extremely delicious.  Our favorite thing was the bacon wrapped dates - absolutely amazing!  The salmon and lamb shank were huge and seasoned deliciously.

This obviously isn't the full menu, but it still gave us a good sense for the quality of the food and direction they're headed.  And we like were they're headed.

The second thing that stood out in our mind was the buildout of the space.  Entourage man was a minimalistic boutique.  Alain's was a small and simple restaurant.  But Kurah has transformed the space into an intimate environment with a unique setup that maximizes their space and the high ceilings.  The second floor loft area is an ingenious use of space.

Last Friday was a good first experience for us.  But we can't wait for the second!  Congrats to Kurah and welcome to the neighborhood!

For more details on the restaurant, Chicago Magazine weighs in:
Kurah Mediterranean Tapas (1355 S. Michigan Ave., 312-624-8611) will serve Middle Eastern-inspired dinners and tapas and a full bar with a craft-beer focus. Though they already own South Loop Market, this is Moe Hammad and Jamil Kanan’s first foray into the restaurant world. Dan Sarkiss has left Bridgeport’s Zaytune to lead Kurah’s kitchen and plans to bring locally sourced, organic Mediterranean to Sloopers.

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