Chicago City Picks: Roka Akor

River North’s Roka Akor takes Japanese cuisine far beyond the bounds of standard sushi fare, now complimenting its self-proclaimed “open charcoal” cuisine with a new bar menu of worth-the-trip spring cocktails and small plates, created by Executive Chef Ce Bian and newly appointed mixologist Jason Huffman.

If you’re the sushi go-er who craves more than your roll’s worth of pickled ginger, freshen your palate with a copper mug of the Roka Mule, a homemade ginger beer spiced up with fresh raspberries and Sobieski vodka. Huffman’s personal recommendation, “A Farewell to Arms,” is a patio-perfect spring cocktail of Imbue Bittersweet Vermouth, Cocchi Torino, Mathilde Peche, ginger syrup, and fresh lime juice. My accompanying app recommendation? The Robata Grilled Bone Marrow on Sesame Nori Toast. Executive Chef Ce Bian’s small plates more-than-satisfy a full spectrum of after-work appetites, from three-bite Shrimp and Lobster Tacos with Scallop Ceviche to a Prime Filet with Chili Ginger sauce.

Available daily from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. and again from 9:30 p.m. to close, enjoy the zesty spring bar menu of one of Bon Appetit’s Top 10 U.S. Sushi Spots.

Roka Akor is located at 456 N. Clark Street in Chicago. For more information, visit rokaakor.com –Abigail Mitchell