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Welcome to Ēma

Ēma is a Mediterranean restaurant in Chicago’s River North area showcasing Chef CJ Jacobson’s lighter California style of cooking. At the core of the menu are spreads, dips and mezze, Mediterranean small plates meant for sharing.

Signature dishes include Hummus w/ Lamb Ragu, Pan-Roasted Romanesque Cauliflower, House-made Stracciatella, Green Falafel with Tzatziki, Grilled Octopus with Fingerlings and Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette, and Lamb & Beef Kefta Kebabs.

CJ Jacobson

Orange County-born, Chef CJ Jacobson's craft revolves around hyper-seasonal, local California ingredients, where foraging plays a main part in the flavor profiles he creates in the kitchen.

After traveling the world and discovering his true passion for food while playing professional volleyball, he attended Le Cordon Bleu-affiliated College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena to hone his organic skills.

Since his culinary career launch in 2004, he has starred in two seasons of Bravo’s Top Chef, won 2014 Top Chef Duels and spent ample time cooking with acclaimed chefs in many notable kitchens across California and Chicago.

Jacobson is now the Chef Partner at Ema and Aba, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises restaurant concepts focused on light, Mediterranean-style cooking.

Ema Glenview - Opening Summer 2024

Ēma, the Mediterranean and California-inspired restaurant, will open in Glenview, located on Patriot Blvd and East Lake Ave., in Summer 2024! This marks the second location for Ēma, with the first originating in Chicago’s River North neighborhood in June 2016. Follow along for more opening updates and to stay in the know!

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