Our cooking philosophy is that of subtle sophistication that matches perfectly with the ambiance of the restaurant and the staff. Nia firmly believes that great food should be enjoyed without pretentiousness, which s truly the spirit of Mediterranean cooking. The finest fresh and seasonal ingredients, presented honestly and artfully, are paramount in our approach. “Nothing makes me happier than being a part of someone’s great evening. Wonderful food, great wine, and the best of friends… what could be better?”
With a focus on the freshest local ingredients available Nia incorporates key elements from the Mediterranean diet which was recently added to UNESCO’S list of intangible cultural world contributions. Traditionally associated with a lot of wine, fruits, vegetables, legumes, olive oil, fish and lean red meat Nia blends recipes from around the Mediterranean into a diverse and exciting menu.
With her father, Nickolaus Asimis, in Chicago’s food industry, Nia Asimis grew up with an appreciation for Mediterranean cuisine. As a child, her father exposed her to traditional gourmet foods from the Mediterranean region as well as Chicago’s haute cuisine.
Drawing from her Greek heritage along with all she learned from her father, Nia brings together the traditions and the finest ingredients from around the world to create her innovative vision of Mediterranean cuisine. Taking that idea one step further Nia presents the menu as small plates or “tapas” cuisine. The importance of consistent, high quality sustainable ingredients make Nia’s Mediterranean small plates a unique oasis in Chicago’s culinary landscape.
The ingredients to make the Mediterranean “tapas” are only half the battle in creating her vision. Nia utilizes a talented culinary team and customer driven service staff to bring her vision to fruition. Nia and her team have constructed a delectable small plate menu, ornate with an assortment of dishes from Spanish patatas bravas, Italian eggplant involtini, to Greek lamb and feta meatballs, onto Arabian baba ghanoush The menu is truly an extensive food map of the Mediterranean.
In Greece, food is often served as small dishes, known as meze. A meze is not a meal course like an appetizer (but can very well be served as such) but rather a dish that is served alone or with other mezedes to enhance a separate eating experience. Mezedes are very much the equivalent to Spanish tapas. But whether it is tapas or mezedes it is key to to accompany the plate with wine or classic Mediterranean liqueur. Nia Restaurant has an extensive, award winning wine list from around the world including selections from Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and France. Take a look along the bar for such specialty liqueurs as Mastika Spirit,Commandaria, Pedro Ximenez, and Absinthe.
The ambiance of Nia Restaurant is an intimate and cozy one. One can find themselves at a candle-lit dinner with world lounge music softly setting a romantic mood or under a widespread awning outside on the front patio of the Randolph Street sidewalk, while being tended to by polite and eager waitstaff. With the elements of brilliant-tasting food combined with the enchanting atmosphere of Nia Restaurant, the vision becomes real and mind fabricates the aura of dining at a quaint café in Thessaloniki.