Ema in River North, Chicago
Ema is a bright, pretty restaurant with light, Mediterranean-inspired food. There are hot and cold mezze, spreads, salads, kebabs and seafood. Everything on the menu looked really interesting. We started with a refreshing pineapple soda. It was about 90 degrees outside and 100% humidity, so this was a perfect alcohol-free starter. (There are cocktails, wine and beer, also).
We started with the house-made labneh, which is a thick yogurt with fresh figs, honey and pine nuts. We also had the charred eggplant spread. Both were delicious and a good complement. The eggplant was smoky and savory; the labneh was creamy and sweet.
We split a Greek salad to serve room for dessert. With the salad and two spreads, we were full, but not stuffed.
Dessert was a honey cake. It had a texture between a cheese cake and a pound cake. It was sweet, but not overly sweet.
It was a perfect meal for a hot evening. The interior is very spacious and there is sidewalk space, as well. There was a pleasant buzz of nicely dressed people enjoying an evening out. Excellent place!