Ace Hotel Chicago has really been stirring things up in the West Loop since opening in August, including its cocktail program. The Bird’s Eye is a prime example presenting a bourbon lemonade mixed with raspberry and bitters. It was created by Caitlin Laman, food and beverage director of Waydown, Ace Hotel’s rooftop venue. Waydown was named after the song by Chicago’s John Prine and takes inspiration from Midwestern watering holes. At Waydown, guests can enjoy impeccable skyline views, cozy seating areas, table games and nightly entertainment.
Located in the heart of Chicago’s River North neighborhood, il Porcellino is one of the latest ventures from the Lettuce Entertain You group, offering a cozy restaurant honing in on classic Italian-American comfort food. Seasonal menus feature homemade pastas that use locally sourced ingredients, plus a wide-ranging cocktail program. The Jimmy Two Times was inspired by the movie “Goodfellas” and boasts the flavors of rye whiskey, ginger and grapefruit.
These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susie Scott was recently hired to be the restaurant manager of the Carillon in Austin, Texas.
1. What are you looking forward to in your new role as the restaurant manager of The Carillon?
After a two-year hiatus from the restaurant world, chef Jason Vincent is back with Giant. The 40-seat spot in Logan Square offers classic Midwestern dishes from the culinary genius named Food & Wine’s “Best New Chef” and a winner of the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand award. General Manager and Partner Josh Perlman will oversee Giant’s beverage program, which includes a boutique wine and beer list and classic cocktails like this one—named after A Tribe Called Quest song.
It’s a kegger at Wicker Park’s new gastropub Barley & Brass—and that means no waiting for your cocktail. Drinks like the refreshing Bitter Fizz are premade and served from a keg that keeps them fresh. It’s the vision of Mixologist Jan Henrichsen, who joins B&B after stints at Fat Rice and Evanston’s Found Kitchen + Social House. Of this citrus specialty, she says, “If this drink was a band, every note would be in perfect harmony.” Of course you can make it to order, too.
Get ready for a duel—this drink is meant to be reminiscent of walking into a saloon in the mid 1800s. “The flavors are very classic. The charred wood of the bourbon and the stone fruit of the apricot are deep and rich,” says Robert LaPata, co-owner of Evanston’s newest hot spot. The recipe is even further significant, reflecting on the history of the original Ten Mile House, the town’s “first gathering point,” which opened in 1836.
CH Distillery is proud to say they are “made in Illinois, distilled in Chicago” with local grains that are processed to make small batch vodka, gin and other spirits. At the West Loop location, guests can sit down and enjoy a housemade drink at the cocktail bar and order small plates; group tours are provided as well. This recipe was developed by Food and Beverage Director Krissy Schutte.