Why You Should Eat At Union

Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar is clever. Their website is eatatunion.com; their Twitter handle is @eatatunion and Facebook page, facebook.com/eatatunion. Basically, they want you to Eat At Union.

You should.

They hosted our Chef’s Table event on Leap Day, and it was worth leaping about. Our group took over the upstairs bar (named Up, of course), and proprietor Mike greeted our guests and delivered each course that his partner Chef Chao prepared in the kitchen below us.

Upon arrival everyone was offered their choice of Male Mountain chilled sake or a Skinny Geisha cocktail. I’m not a sake expert, except I do know that the kind they serve warm is of lesser quality. I confess that I still like it, but I also enjoy a really good chilled sake, and Male Mountain was really good. Good enough to make me turn my nose up at that heated stuff.

The Skinny Geisha cocktail was a delightful surprise, not just because of how the drink tasted but also because of the care that went into it. Peter, who’s in charge of their bar program, explained that it’s yuzu-infused vodka and Hum botanical spirit, topped with Fresca, smashed basil, and a thinly sliced cucumber. Yuzu, he explained, is a Japanese citrus that tastes like a mix of clementine, orange, and lemon and they infuse the vodka with the fruit for over a week. Hum is rum that’s been infused with hibiscus, ginger root, cardamom and lime. Combined with the Fresca it’s a refreshing drink that’s less than 100 calories.

Peter was truly impressive. He’s as impassioned about his craft as any artist, and seemed to relish welcoming us to his world. We learned that one of the sakes they offer has been in the same family for 340 generations and that cocktails originated with pharmacists trying to make their tinctures more palatable. 

The food was fantastic. We started with crab cake sliders and mushroom dumplings. The chicken thigh skewers were basted with Japanese curry sauce and the pork skewers were tender with just the right amound of char.

Pork Shoulder Skewers

The sushi introduced us to black rice (pictured above). This grain has lower calories and carbohydrates than white rice, and more protein than brown rice. It’s sticky and a little sweet, which makes it perfect for maki. We had a couple from their black rice sushi sampler, and for good measure they threw in the Bay Street California, which had crab cake rolled up inside.

Bay Street California Roll at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar

We finished with Yuzu pie, which is like a key lime pie made with yuzu. The recipe was Mike’s mom’s, modified. Every one of us had the same expression when we took our first bites: WOW!

Yuzu Pie at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar

For those of you who missed this event, Chef Chao has his own Chef’s Table every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Just grab up to three of your favorite foodie freinds and reserve this spot in the center of the sushi bar. You can choose five to seven courses for $60/person, or eight to ten for $80. There are also optional sake pairings. If you’re an oyster fan, stop in on weekdays between 5pm and 6:30pm for $1 oysters.

So go. Eat at Union. You’ll be glad you did.






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