Juno opened in Lincoln Park in 2013 to a lot of fanfare, and then less than a year later it was gone. Poof. Vanished. Nowhere to be seen. OK, not really. There was an unfortunate fire in the apartment above that put it out of commission for 2/3 of a year. Luckily, nobody was hurt, but the question was could Juno pick back up where it left off after so long? Answer: Yes.
Juno is a fan favorite for artistic sushi displays and slight twists on all things aquatic. There are cooked dishes on the menu but for the most part, you should order sushi, and a lot of it. The reasons for which are twofold - it tastes great but the servings are small.
The sushi itself is fantastic. The simple stuff like basic maki rolls, sashimi, and nigiri are high quality. But there are also great specials, like the Juno King with spicy king crab wrapped in tuna, or a signature maki roll called the crisp saki filled with spicy salmon, unagi egg roll, and jalapeño soy. Of course, don’t miss out on the smoked specialties, which are quite the spectacle - two spoonfuls of fresh fish and other ingredients are briefly smoked, and come out to your table in a smoking glass encasement.
On the flip side, while we like all the sushi, the portions are small and expensive. We’ve found ourselves ordering and consuming substantially more sushi here than we would anywhere else, and it adds up quickly to an expensive meal. It’s our biggest complaint about Juno and what keeps us from making this a regular rotation sushi spot.
At the end of the day, you can’t argue with the quality fish and attention to detail from both the sushi chef and the service. You might burn a hole through your wallet if you eat here on the regular, but don’t blame us, we didn’t start the fire.
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Confit Chicken Wings
These are good, although it’s a little deceiving if you’re expecting a couple of normal wings. These are more like bite-sized bits of chicken with pepper marmalade, kohlrabi, and togarashi. Tasty but tiny.
Juno King/Juno Queen Special Nigiri
Two pieces of spicy king crab wrapped in tuna with bits of crispy potato styx on top. Good stuff.
Juno Queen Special Nigiri
Same concept as the Juno King but with spicy scallop and salmon.
Special Smoked Hamachi
The two special smoked nigiris are not something we’ve ever seen before. They’re literally smoked in the glass right in front of you. The hamachi comes with a bit of shiitake and sweet corn, plus there’s also a salmon version with salmon roe and yuzu. Also tiny bites but you should get one one, at least for the spectacle.
If you want simple, get the with tuna, white fish, and shrimp. The is slightly more interesting with spicy octopus, spicy tuna, and pineapple, which surprisingly isn’t too sweet. And the most interesting is the that has fried unagi and spicy salmon. All of them come with jalapeño soy - make sure to sprinkle a tiny spoonful over the top of each bite.
Go nuts. A strong portion of your meal should be sashimi and nigiri. We suggest the uni, ikura, chutoro, sake, and kampachi.
A relaxing omakase experience if you’re looking to get a little loose with your wallet and sit at the bar. The sushi chef and owner puts on a quality performance, and it’s fun to watch him work. Make a reservation and let them know you want the omakase in advance.