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David Lissner
for restaurants

Ambria fans: your fave is back — for one night only

Takashi Yagihashi

Takashi Yagihashi

Six years ago, fans were surprised and disappointed when Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises shut down its Lincoln Park fine-dining restaurant Ambria after 27 years. During Ambria’s tenure, its chef, Gabino Sotelino won the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef of the Midwest award in 1997, and his native Spain awarded him its Medalla al Merito Nacional, the country’s highest honor for a citizen living aboard. Among other accolades, Gourmet Magazine called Ambria “one of the top tables in the Midwest,” and Zagat surveyors termed it Chicago’s “Favorite Restaurant.” It’s replacement, L2O, has never captured Chicago’s affection in the same way.

SEE Takashi and Gabino video:

Along the way, Sotelino said at the closing, “I probably trained close to a thousand guys.” Among them was Chef Takashi Yagihashi, who has since gone on to run a Michelin-starred restaurant of his own.

“Working with Chef Gabino Sotelino at Ambria for seven years at the start of my career back in 1988 has had a big influence on my path as a chef,” says Yagihashi, who will create a special, one-night-only tribute menu dedicated to the acclaimed Chicago restaurant where his culinary journey began on Tuesday, June 11, at Takashi in Bucktown.

The multi-course tasting dinner will feature some of Ambria’s most popular dishes. On the bill of fare: Delice of seafood with peekytoe crab, smoked sturgeon and Alaskan spot prawns; braised Dover sole with lobster mousseline and sauce Americaine; galette of squab and foie gras; roasted herb-rusted rack of lamb and more.

The dinner is $98 (add $60 for optional wine pairings) and reservations are required. Seatings are available from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.