The Rooftop at Nobu Hotel — Bar Review | Condé Nast Traveler

First impression? This tony hotel and rooftop is the latest to join Chicago’s beloved “Restaurant Row,” a notable stretch of some of the city’s most prized eating and drinking establishments. Commanding skyline views, lush greenery, and low, wooden furniture point toward Japanese-inspired philosophies—ones further explored throughout the menu from superstar sushi chef Nobu Matsuhisa.
How’s the crowd? An A-lister team—including actor Robert De Niro, film producer Meir Teper, and, of course, chef Nobu Matsuhisa—are behind this project, and an equally in-demand clientele are on the scene. Expect to see couples splitting rounds of gyoza, or small gatherings of friends balancing martinis and chopsticks.
How are the drinks? The drinks list takes the classics and elevates them—with several undergoing an Asian twist. Take, for example, the Japanese Old Fashioned, with Kikori Whiskey and Angostura bitters over hand-carved ice, or the Lychee Martini, a floral, just-fruity-enough tipple with Spring44 Vodka, lychee, and St-Germain elderflower liqueur. Sake enthusiasts will appreciate this venue’s selection, imported exclusively for Nobu restaurants worldwide.
If there’s food, is it worth ordering something to eat? The menu progresses from cold to hot plates, starting with musts like spicy tuna crispy rice or wagyu sliders and making way for rounds of nigiri and maki rolls (e.g. shrimp tempura, lobster, salmon avocado). In between, try the tacos—mini, more decadent versions of the classic with fillings like king crab or wagyu.
Did the staff do you right? The service team here takes their tasks seriously, upholding the name in hospitality that Nobu has garnered via its 47 restaurants worldwide—and ever since its first New York City opening, nearly 30 years ago.
Wrap it up: what are we coming here for? Round up your squad for a high-class happy hour, or party it up (in style) with your plus one—this upscale scene caters to either scenario. The fact that it’s in the heart of the West Loop makes it all the more worthy of the weekday work lunch, too.