Aba opens for dinner Thursday night in Chicago’s Fulton Market (302 N. Green Street). Bringing vibes of a Mediterranean summer to Chicago year-round, Chef CJ Jacobson is serving a Mediterranean menu with an emphasis on raw and cooked protein. Aba, translating to ‘father’ in Hebrew, is an extension of Chef CJ’s first restaurant, Ema, which means ‘mother’ in Hebrew. A Middle Eastern-inspired beverage program is curated by Wine Director Ryan Arnold and Mixologist Liz Pearce.
At the heart of Aba’s menu are a selection of prime and humble cuts, raw and cooked seafood, hummus and spread and hot and cold mezze. Standouts include the Avocado and Fava Bean Hummus, the Everything Jerusalem Bagel, Muhammara, Tuna Tagliata, Charred Lamb Tartare, Roasted Bone Marrow, Char-Grilled Lamb Cops, Harissa-Crusted Halibut and Crème Brulee Pie with Burnt Honey.
Aba’s bar program is led by Mixologist Liz Pearce (The Drifter). The menu showcases cocktails using Middle Eastern ingredients including arak, turmeric and pistachio. A list of reserve cocktails, classic cocktails featuring high-end spirits, include The Lost Piña Colada and a 5th Generation Margarita. The menu also features large-format cocktails, “Groupies,” designed for six to eight people.
The wine list is curated by Wine Director Ryan Arnold and includes highly sought after wines included rare vintages of Lebanon’s Chateau Musar, scarce finds from Morocco, Israel, Greece and The Canary Islands, and traditional old and new world selections from California, Italy and Spain. Ancient Civilization Wine is a featured category, which spotlights regions located along the historic Phoenician trade routes across the Middle East.
Aba’s dining room is full of lush greenery, climbing ivy, potted plants and trees and is anchored by an expansive skylight. For a more intimate experience, reserve the Chef’s Table, which accommodates up to 10 guests. The spacious 220-seat rooftop patio incorporates lounge-style and dining seating, fire pits, an indoor-outdoor bar and may be reserved for semi-private and private dining.