Sunugals menu sparks a double take with selections like fettuccine Alfredo and paella listed side by side with Jamaican ackee and salt fish. Best to put your dining fate in the hands of Senegalese owner Tidiane "TJohn" Soumare; just say, "Please bring me whatever is lookin good." With that request, TJohn quickly laid out some crusty-charred chunks of lamb on a mound of white rice and shrimp in a light tomato-based sauceflavorful and well priced though not terrifically distinctive. We had better luck with jerk chicken: apparently butchered at random, these savory morsels delivered good chile burn with bursts of sweetness from golden bits of caramelized onion. Our grilled tilapia, moist and gently smoky, was complemented by cassava couscous (typical of southwestern Africa), and there were a number of traditional Senegalese platters coming out of the kitchen, including chicken Yassa (the bird simply marinated in lemon and onion) and jollof rice. Though TJohn was cool with the beers we brought, youd do well to order his homemade drinks of ginger and sorrel, or perhaps milky bissap jus de bouye, derived from baobab. This friendly restaurant is an excellent place to practice your French (and how many places in Chicago offer that opportunity?).
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