Chef Toyoji Hemmi does. The only licensed specialist preparing the delicately flavored but potentially poisonous Japanese blowfish between New York and Colorado, Hemmi is currently preparing a variety of seasonal fugu dishes at Ai Japanese Restaurant and Lounge in River North.
A six-course whole fugu feast for two, $338, offers hirezake, fugu fin in hot sake; fugu mikawa sunomono, steamed fugu skin with daikon, wakame and cucumber in tosa-su vinaigrette; fugu usuzukuri, sashimi-style fugu; nikogori, fugu in savory gelatin; fugu nigiri zushi; fugu and monkfish nabe, a Japanese hot pot cooked tableside, and a finish of fugu-free yuzu sorbet.
If you’re not ready for an all-fugu feed, you can still get a sample with a number of a la carte preparations ranging from $7 to $40.
The fugu dishes require paid reservations at least 48 hours in advance.