Spring is here and with the season comes the inevitable patio dining. Chef Gene Kato and his new restaurant, Sumi Robata Bar (702 North Wells), have announced their new outdoor patio. They actually call this multi-level alfresco space an outdoor zen patio, can’t for the zen. The restaurant, which opened in January of this year, has been getting great reviews and is characterized by the culinary technique of cooking over Japanese charcoal. And now this Spring, guests of Sumi will be able to enjoy this traditional robatayaki experience on a patio.
They are deeming this outdoor space an urban oasis. As you enter from the city streets, you will be flanked by Japanese siding meant to resemble a “kura” on one side, and the other by lush native evergreens that encase the space. Chef Kato is really wants this to be a tranquil space, he even personally tends to the Japanese zen garden that occupies a portion of the patio. The patio will feature a variety of seating arrangements, from traditional two tops to a cozy cabana-style lounge adorned with drapes. I wish I could convince Chef Kato to put a hammock on the patio just for me, that would be truly zen. Because it’s meant to inspire tranquility, Chef Kato has limited seating, limited as in only 20 seats. The smaller number of dining patrons around you will give it a more intimate feeling, which is conducive to a tranquil experience. No exact date on when the patio will officially open because, as we all know, Chicago weather can be pretty unpredictable, but it will be opening soon. For any questions about Sumi Robata Bar or to make reservations, call 312-988-7864. But just so you know, the zen patio will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.