Even the most fiscally responsible brown-bag gal gets the urge every once in a while to ditch desk dining for lunch outside of the office environs. But if you're sick of the same old spots, we've got a new one to add to your list that is guaranteed to break the repetitive-restaurant routine.
Sumi Robata Grill just launched its new lunch service, available Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. As the name would suggest, the Japanese-style eatery specializes in a variety of meat and veggie dishes from its robata grill, as well as small plates, like smoked kamo (a tea-smoked duck breast served with Japanese mustard and scallion) and chilled tofu with caviar and crispy ginger. But the real deal is to go with the traditional bento box option.
For just $15, you can customize your own "box" with a choice of robata grill-prepared veggies, seafood, or protein (served with rice); miso or chicken soup; green salad with citrus dressing; and a seafood croquette. To wash it all down, there's a delicious six-hour cold brewed sencha fukamushi tea — or a variety of cocktails and Japanese beers, should happy hour come a little early. Just don't forget to stock your purse with breath mints.
Sumi Robata Bar, 702 North Wells Street (between Huron and Superior streets); 312-988-7864.
Photo: Courtesy of Galdones Photography