Ema

Modern Mediterranean

  • 91
Overview

Top-Chef winner chef CJ Jacobson showcases California-inspired Mediterranean fare at Ēma, a rustic-chic restaurant and bar marked by reclaimed wood accents and a living garden ceiling overhead. The seasonally-influenced, veggie-centric menu includes spreads like hummus, tzatziki and charred eggplant as well as grilled kebabs, braised lamb shoulder or mezze (small plates) like sweet corn-bulgur risotto or grilled octopus. Drinks include global craft beers and a Mediterranean-heavy wine list (think wines from Israel, Lebanon, Croatia, Morocco) and house cocktails like the Solid as Arrack (rum, arrack, lemon, cherry cordial).

Ema Ema Ema

Menu for Ema

Dinner

Spreads

  • Hummus za'atar, vegetable crudite
    $7.95
  • Spicy Hummus marinated fresno & sweet roasted chilies
    $8.95
  • Charred Eggplant house yogurt, lemon, california arbequina olive oil
    $7.95
  • House-Made Labneh marcona almonds, roasted grapes, burnt honey
    $7.95
  • Avocado & Sweet Pea jalapeno, lime, cilantro, mint
    $8.95
  • Toasted Almond & Garlic castelvetrano olives, fresh herbs
    $8.95
  • Whipped Feta with Crispy Socca marinated olives, salsa fresca
    $10.95

Hummus with Lamb Ragu

  • Hummus with Lamb Ragu braised lamb, spicy harissa
    $13.95

Cold Mezze

  • Local Feta & Olives almonds, lemon zest, middle east spices
    $8.95
  • Lemon Kosho Green Beans mushroom aioli, marcona almonds
    $8.95
  • Ramp & Tomato Panzanella marinated cherry tomatoes, ramp dash, pecorino romano
    $13.95
  • Grilled Asparagus citrus olive tapenade, za'atar sabayon
    $10.95

House - Made Stracciatella

  • House - Made Stracciatella mighty vine tomatoes, herb salad, california arbequina olive oil
    $13.95

Greens & Ancient Grains

  • Basmati & Beluga Lentil Salad crispy shallot, yellow tomatoes, orange, cucumber, pistachio
    $9.95
  • Shaved Romaine & Farro cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta, lemon-yogurt dressing
    $9.95
  • Asparagus Risotto green garlic brown butter, tomato water, pecorino romano
    $15.95

Hot Mezze

  • Crispy Potatoes mizithra, rosemary, scallion crema
    $7.95
  • Pan-Roasted Romanesque Cauliflower house yogurt, local honey
    $8.95
  • Green Falafel parsley, tzaziki, lemon
    $8.95
  • Brussels Sprouts pumpkin seeds, shallots, sherry glaze
    $8.95
  • Crispy Halloumi & Dates marinated chilies, frisee
    $9.95

Seafood

  • Salmon Tartare English peas, rhubarb, lemon, pickled fresno chili
    $14.95
  • Grilled Octopus fried kale, fingerlings, preserved lemon vinaigrette
    $14.95
  • Mussels saffron, ginger & chili broth, cilantro, california fennel pollen
    $12.95
  • Fish of the Day a selection of fish from the market

Kebabs

  • Chicken Kefta lemon, olive oil, tzatziki
    $12.95
  • Grilled Chicken yogurt marinade, sweet peppers, zhoug
    $12.95
  • Lamb & Beef Kefta lemon, olive oil, tzatziki
    $13.95
  • Ora King Salmon sweet peppers, red onions, lemon, olive oil, zhoug
    $16.95
  • Beef Tenderloin red onions, lemon, olive oil, zhoug
    $16.95

Meat & Poultry

  • Spicy Toothpick Lamb house yogurt, cumin, chilies
    $14.95
  • Roast Pork Shoulder yukon gold potatoes, roasted apples, radishes, carrot jus
    $17.95

Rotisserie Chicken

  • Rotisserie Chicken turmeric, paprika, roasted vegetables, orange-fennel jus
    $14.95

Dessert

Dessert

  • Frozen Greek Yogurt california olive oil, sea salt
    $6.95
  • Honey Pie grilled grapes
    $8.95
  • Almond Cake roasted peach, sweetened yogurt
    $8.95
  • Dark Chocolate Torte kataifi, chocolate turkish coffee cremu, pistachio
    $9.95
  • Halva chia and chocolate chili, summer cherries, candied pistachios
    $9.95

Drinks

Coastlines

Cocktails

  • The Algonquin rittenhouse rye, pineapple agro dolce, dry vermouth
    $13.00
  • Rose & Rosé red berry infused imbue petal & thorn vermouth, rose water
    $12.00
  • Riverside beefeater gin or hank's vodka, mint, lemon oleo saccharum
    $12.00
  • Jade Nightshade buffalo trace bourbon, mint tea, sumac, pomegranate
    $14.00
  • Ecto Cool vida mezcal, lemon kosho, fennel
    $13.00
  • The Last Don tromba tequila, leatherbee besk, grapefruit
    $12.00
  • Pistachio Milk Punch el dorado 12 yr, amaro montenegro, egg white
    $13.00
  • Balm.Com hank's vodka, cachaça, blueberry, coconut, yogurt, lemon balm
    $12.00

Gluten Free

Gluten Free Lunch

Spreads

  • Hummus za'atar, vegetable crudite
    $7.95
  • Spicy Hummus marinated fresno & sweet roasted chilies
    $8.95
  • Charred Eggplant house yogurt, lemon, california arbequina olive oil
    $7.95
  • House-Made Labneh marcona almonds, roasted grapes, burnt honey
    $7.95
  • Avocado & Sweet Pea jalapeno, lime, cilantro, mint
    $8.95
  • Toasted Almond & Garlic castelvetrano olives, fresh herbs
    $8.95

Spread Sampler

  • Spread Sampler your choice of three spreads, served with our house bread
    $12.95

Salad

  • Basmati & Beluga Lentil Salad crispy shallot, yellow tomatoes, orange, cucumber, pistachio
    $9.95
  • Kale & Tomato marinated cucumbers, red onion, parmesan dressing, pita crouton
    $11.95
  • Mediterranean Chopped arugula, romaine, shaved cauliflower, capers, dates, parmesan, olives, red peppers, market vinaigrette
    $13.95
  • Crispy Halloumi romaine, baby arugula, avocado, mizithra, black lime vinaigrette
    $14.95

Sandwiches

  • Green Falafel hummus, tzatziki, tomatoes, red onions, house dressing
    $12.95
  • Grilled Chicken Pita hummus, tzatziki, tomatoes, red onions, greek vinaigrette
    $12.95
  • Tuna Tartine ahi tuna, tzatziki, yellow grape tomato, english peas, preserved lemon vinaigrette
    $13.95

Mezze

  • Lemon Kosho Green Beans mushroom aioli, marcona almonds
    $8.95
  • Local Feta & Olives almonds, lemon zest, middle east spices
    $8.95
  • Crispy Potatoes mizithra, rosemary, scallion crema
    $7.95
  • Pan-Roasted Romanesque Cauliflower house yogurt, local honey
    $8.95
  • Crispy Halloumi & Dates marinated chilies, frisee
    $9.95

Seafood

  • Salmon Tartare English peas, rhubarb, lemon, pickled fresno chili
    $14.95
  • Grilled Octopus fried kale, fingerlings, preserve lemon vinaigrette
    $14.95
  • Ora King Salmon braised green lentils, chermoula, mint greek yogurt
    $18.95

Kebabs

  • Chicken Kefta lemon, olive oil, tzatziki
    $13.95
  • Grilled Chicken yogurt marinade, sweet peppers, zhoug
    $13.95
  • Lamb & Beef Kefta lemon, olive oil, tzatziki
    $14.95
  • King Salmon sweet peppers, red onions, lemon, olive oil, zhoug
    $16.95
  • Beef Tenderloin red onions, lemon, olive oil, zhoug
    $17.95

Lunch Plates

  • Spanish Tortilla fingerling potatoes, asparagus, tomato, english peas, parmesan, market greens
    $12.95
  • Spicy Lamb Bucatini lamb ragu, harissa, mizithra
    $13.95

Asparagus Risotto

  • Asparagus Risotto green garlic brown butter, tomato water, pecorino romano
    $15.95

Gluten Free Dinner

Spreads

  • Hummus za'atar, vegetable crudite
    $7.95
  • Spicy Hummus marinated fresno & sweet roasted chilies
    $8.95
  • Charred Eggplant house yogurt, lemon, california arbequina olive oil
    $7.95
  • House-Made Labneh marcona almonds, roasted grapes, burnt honey
    $7.95
  • Avocado & Sweet Pea jalapeno, lime, cilantro, mint
    $8.95
  • Toasted Almond & Garlic castelvetrano olives, fresh herbs
    $8.95

Hummus with Lamb Ragu

  • Hummus with Lamb Ragu braised lamb, spicy harissa
    $13.95

Cold Mezze

  • Local Feta & Olives almonds, lemon zest, middle east spices
    $8.95
  • Lemon Kosho Green Beans mushroom aioli, marcona almonds
    $8.95
  • Ramp & Tomato Panzanella marinated cherry tomatoes, ramp dashi, pecorino romano
    $13.95
  • Grilled Asparagus citrus olive tapenade, za'atar sabayon
    $10.95

House - Made Stracciatella

  • House - Made Stracciatella mighty vine tomatoes, herb salad, california arbequina olive oil
    $13.95

Ancient Grains & Greens

  • Basmati & Beluga Lentil Salad crispy shallot, yellow tomatoes, orange, cucumber, pistachio
    $9.95
  • Asparagus Risotto green garlic brown butter, tomato water, pecorino romano
    $15.95

Hot Mezze

  • Crispy Potatoes mizithra, rosemary, scallion crema
    $7.95
  • Pan-Roasted Romanesque Cauliflower house yogurt, local honey
    $8.95
  • Green Falafel Parsley, tzaziki, lemon
    $8.95
  • Brussels Sprouts pumpkin seeds, shallots, sherry glaze
    $8.95
  • Crispy Halloumi & Dates marinated chilies, frisee
    $9.95

Seafood

  • Salmon Tartare English peas, rhubarb, lemon, pickled fresno chili
    $14.95
  • Mussels saffron, ginger & chili broth, cilantro, california fennel pollen
    $12.95
  • Grilled Octopus fried kale, fingerlings, preserved lemon vinaigrette
    $14.95
  • Fish of the Day a selection of fish from the market

Kebabs

  • Chicken Kefta lemon, olive oil, tzatziki
    $12.95
  • Grilled Chicken yogurt marinade, sweet peppers, zhoug
    $12.95
  • Lamb & Beef Kefta lemon, olive oil, tzatziki
    $13.95
  • Ora King Salmon sweet peppers, red onions, lemon, olive oil, zhoug
    $16.95
  • Beef Tenderloin red onions, lemon, olive oil, zhoug
    $16.95

Meat & Poultry

  • Spicy Toothpick Lamb house yogurt, cumin, chilies
    $14.95
  • Roast Pork Shoulder yukon gold potatoes, roasted apples, radishes, carrot jus
    $17.95

Rotisserie Chicken

  • Rotisserie Chicken turmeric, paprika, roasted vegetables, orange-fennel jus
    $14.95

Kids Menu

Main

  • Hummus & Vegetables served with our house bread
  • Greek Spaghetti mizithra, parmesan, butter
  • Grilled Chicken Kebab yogurt marinade
  • Kefta Kebab choice of chicken or lamb & beef

Lunch

Spreads

  • Hummus za'atar, vegetable crudite
    $7.95
  • Spicy Hummus marinated fresno & sweet roasted chilies
    $8.95
  • Charred Eggplant house yogurt, lemon, california arbequina olive oil
    $7.95
  • House-Made Labneh marcona almonds, roasted grapes, brunt honey
    $7.95
  • Avocado & Sweet Pea jalapeno, lime, cilantro, mint
    $8.95
  • Toasted Almond & Garlic castelvetrano olives, fresh herbs
    $8.95

Spread Sampler

  • Spread Sampler your choice of three spreads, served with our house bread
    $12.95

Salads

  • Basmati & Beluga Lentil Salad crispy shallot, yellow tomatoes, orange, cucumber, pistachio
    $10.95
  • Kale & Tomato marinated cucumbers, red onion, parmesan dressing, pita crouton
    $11.95
  • Shaved Romaine & Farro cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta, lemon-yogurt dressing
    $11.95
  • Mediterranean Chopped arugula, romaine, shaved cauliflower, capers, dates, parmesan, olives, red peppers, market vinaigrette
    $13.95
  • Crispy Halloumi romaine, baby arugula, avocado, mizithra, black lime vinaigrette
    $14.95

Sandwiches

  • Green Falafel hummus, tzatziki, tomatoes, red onions, house dressing
    $12.95
  • Grilled Chicken Pita hummus, tzatziki, tomatoes, red onions, greek vinaigrette
    $12.95
  • Tuna Tartine ahi tuna, tzatziki, yellow grape tomato, english peas, preserved lemon vinaigrette
    $13.95

Mezze

  • Lemon Kosho Green Beans mushroom aioli, marcona almonds
    $8.95
  • Local Feta & Olives almonds, lemon zest, middle east spices
    $8.95
  • Crispy Potatoes mizithra, rosemary, scallion crema
    $7.95
  • Pan-Roasted Romanesque Cauliflower house yogurt, local honey
    $8.95
  • Crispy Halloumi & Dates marinated chilies, frisee
    $9.95

Seafood

  • Salmon Tartare english peas, rhubarb, lemon, pickled fresno chili
    $14.95
  • Grilled Octopus fried kale, fingerlings, preserved lemon vinaigrette
    $14.95
  • Ora King Salmon braised green lentils, chermoula, mint greek yogurt
    $18.95

Kebabs

  • Chicken Kefta lemon, olive oil, tzatziki
    $13.95
  • Grilled Chicken yogurt marinade, sweet peppers, zhoug
    $13.95
  • Lamb & Beef Kefta lemon, olive oil, tzatziki
    $14.95
  • King Salmon sweet peppers, red onions, lemon, olive oil, zhoug
    $16.95
  • Beef Tenderloin red onions, lemon, olive oil, zhoug
    $17.95

Lunch Plates

  • Spanish Tortilla fingerling potato, asparagus, tomato, english peas, parmesan, market greens
    $12.95
  • Spicy Lamb Bucatini lamb ragu, harissa, mizithra
    $13.95

Asparagus Risotto

  • Asparagus Risotto green garlic brown butter, tomato water, pecorino romano
    $15.95

Carry Out

Dinner

Spreads

  • Hummus za'atar, vegetable crudite
    $7.95
  • Spicy Hummus marinated fresno & sweet-roasted chilies
    $8.95
  • Charred Eggplant house yogurt, lemon, california arbequina olive oil
    $7.95
  • House-Made Labneh marcona almonds, roasted grapes, burnt honey
    $7.95
  • Avocado & Sweet Pea jalapeno, lime, cilantro, mint
    $8.95
  • Toasted Almond & Garlic castelvetrano olives, fresh herbs
    $8.95
  • Whipped Feta With Crispy Socca marinated olives, salsa fresca
    $10.95

Hummus With Lamb Ragu

  • Hummus With Lamb Ragu braised lamb, spicy harissa
    $13.95

Cold Mezze

  • Local Feta & Olives almonds, lemon zest, middle east spices
    $8.95
  • Lemon Kosho Green Beans mushrooms aioli, marcona almonda
    $8.95
  • Spiced Carrots black pepper walnuts, rosemary, house labneh, zhoug
    $9.95
  • Grilled Asparagus citrus olives tapenade, za'atar sabayon
    $10.95

House-Made Stracciatella

  • House-Made Stracciatella mighty vine tomatoes, herb salad, california arbequina olive oil
    $13.95

Greens & Ancient Grains

  • Little Gem Salad fingerling potatoes, parmesan, warm bacon & date vinaigrette
    $10.95
  • Shaved Romaine & Freekeh cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta, lemon-yogurt dressing
    $9.95
  • Farro Risotto baby artichokes, spinach, spring onions, mozzarella
    $13.95

Hot Mezze

  • Crispy Potatoes mizithra, rosemary, scallion crema
    $7.95
  • Pan-Roasted Romanesque Cauliflower house yogurt, local honey
    $8.95
  • Green Falafel parsley, tzaziki, lemon
    $8.95
  • Brussels Sprouts pumpkin seeds, shallots, sherry glaze
    $8.95
  • Crispy Halloumi & Dates marinated chilies, frisee
    $9.95

Seafood

  • Mussels saffron, ginger & chili broth, cilantro, california fennel pollen
    $12.95
  • Grilled Octopus fried kale, fingerlings, preserved lemon vinaigrette
    $14.95
  • Fish of the Day a selection of fish from the market

Kebabs

  • Chicken Kefta lemon, olive oil, tzatziki
    $12.95
  • Grilled Chicken yogurt marinade, sweet peppers, zhoug
    $12.95
  • Lamb & Beef Kefta lemon, olive oil, tzatziki
    $13.95
  • Ora King Salmon sweet peppers, red onions, lemon, olive oil, zhoug
    $16.95
  • Beef Tenderloin red onions, lemon, olive oil, zhoug
    $16.95

Meat & Poultry

  • Spicy Toothpick Lamb house yogurt, cumin, chilies
    $14.95
  • Roast Pork Shoulder yukon gold potatoes, roasted apples, radishes, carrot jus
    $17.95

Rotisserie Chicken

  • Rotisserie Chicken turmeric, paprika, roasted vegetables, orange-fennel jus
    $14.95

Lunch

Spreads

  • Hummus za'atar, vegetable crudite
    $7.95
  • Spicy Hummus marinated fresno & sweet-roasted chilies
    $8.95
  • Charred Eggplant house yogurt, lemon, california arbequina olive oil
    $7.95
  • House-Made Labneh marcona almonds, roasted grapes, burnt honey
    $7.95
  • Avocado & Sweet Pea jalapeno, lime, cilantro, mint
    $8.95
  • Toasted Almond & Garlic castelvetrano olives, fresh herbs
    $8.95

Spread Sampler

  • Spread Sampler your choice of three spread, served with our house bread
    $12.95

Salads

  • Little Gem fingerling potatoes, parmesan, warm bacon & date vinaigrette
    $12.95
  • Kale & Tomato marinated cucumbers, red onion, parmesan dressing, pita crouton
    $11.95
  • Shaved Romaine & Freekeh cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta, lemon-yogurt dressing
    $11.95
  • Mediterranean Chopped arugula, romaine, shaved cauliflower, capers, dates, parmesan, olives, red peppers, market vinaigrette
    $13.95
  • Crispy Halloumi romaine, baby arugula, avocado, mizithra, black lime vinaigrette
    $14.95

Sandwiches

  • Green Falafel hummus, tzatziki, tomatoes, red onions, house dressing
    $12.95
  • Grilled Chicken Pita hummus, tzatziki, tomatoes, red onions, greek vinaigrette
    $12.95
  • Tuna Tartine ahi tuna, tzatziki, yellow grape tomato, english peas, preserved lemon vinaigrette
    $13.95

Mezze

  • Lemon Kosho Green Beans mushroom aioli, marcona almonds
    $8.95
  • Local Feta & Olives almonds, lemon zest, middle east spices
    $8.95
  • Crispy Potatoes mizithra, rosemary, scallion crema
    $7.95
  • Pan-Roasted Romanesque Cauliflower house yogurt, local honey
    $8.95
  • Crispy Halloumi & Dates marinated chilies, frisee
    $9.95

Seafood

  • Grilled Octopus fried kale, fingerlings, preserved lemon vinaigrette
    $14.95
  • Ora King Salmon braised green lentils, chermoula, mint greek yogurt
    $18.95

Kebabs

  • Chicken Kefta lemon, olive oil, tzatziki
    $13.95
  • Grilled Chicken yogurt marinade, sweet peppers, zhoug
    $13.95
  • Lamb & Beef Kefta lemon, olive oil, tzatziki
    $14.95
  • King Salmon sweet peppers, red onions, lemon, olive oil, zhoug
    $16.95
  • Beef Tenderloin red onions, lemon, olive oil, zhoug
    $17.95

Lunch Plates

  • Spanish Tortilla fingerling potatoes, asparagus, tomato, english peans, parmesan, market greens
    $12.95
  • Spicy Lamb Bucatini Lamb ragu, harissa, mizithra
    $13.95

Farro Risotto

  • Farro Risotto baby artichokes, spinach, spring onions, mozzarella
    $14.95

Brunch

Main

  • Hearth Baked Sourdough Toast halva butter, red grape jelly
    $5.95
  • Strawberry Drop Biscuit strawberry sumac jam, sweet cream
    $6.95
  • Sesame Crepe calabro ricotta, italian saba, berries
    $11.95
  • Spanish Tortilla asparagus, tomatoes, parmesan, english peas, crispy potatoes
    $12.95
  • Lamb Ragu & Baked Egg harissa, tomato, grilled bread
    $13.95
  • House-Cured King Salmon dill, fennel, arak, labneh, caper leaves, house "everything" bread
    $15.95
  • Kefta & Eggs fried eggs, tzatziki, israeli salad, lemon dill rice; choice of: chicken kefta or lamb & beef kefta
    $14.95

Brunch Cocktails

  • Bloody Mary hank's vodka, house harissa, black pepper, haloumi
    $12.00
  • Zip Line aperol, sparkling wine, passionfruit, lemon
    $12.00

Fresh Juices & Teas

  • Rose & Pink Peppercorn Lemonade
    $5.00
  • Mango Agua Fresca
    $5.00
  • Ginger Mint Iced Tea
    $5.00
  • Chai Iced Tea
    $5.00

Coffee

  • Dark Matter Ema Blend
    $4.00
  • Cappuccino
    $5.00
  • Latte
    $5.00
  • Cortado
    $4.00
  • Levant Latte chocolate, demerara, aleppo
    $6.00
  • Spiced Latte honey, cinnamon, agave
    $6.00
  • Iced Coffee dark matter chocolate city
    $6.00

Loose Leaf Tea

  • Regal Earl Grey
    $3.95
  • Emperor's Golden Assam
    $3.95
  • Magnolia Blossom Oolong
    $3.95
  • Emperor's Dragonwell
    $3.95
  • Gingerbread Dream Rooibos
    $3.95
  • Emperor's Chamomile
    $3.95

74 West Illinois Street
Chicago, IL 60654

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Details
  • Price Range: $$$
    Atmosphere: Casual, Modern, Trendy/Scene
  • Dress Code: Casual
    Good For: Groups, Hot Spot, Outdoor Dining
  • Noise Level: Average
  • Wine Spirits: Full Bar
    Phone: (312) 527-5586
  • Private Dining Room: Yes