Restaurateur Amy Morton recently opened her latest Evanston dining space, The Barn, housed in a former 19th-century brick farmhouse. The “meatcentric hideaway” is a far cry from her veggie hot spot Found, and is an homage to her family lineage (her dad founded the Morton Steakhouse chain). In addition to hearty plates sourced by local farms, Beverage Director Michelle Sallemi whips up a classic cocktail menu with a number of twists, as seen in this spicy tequila drink.
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.
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.
There’s a world of flavors out there and Arbella aims to try them all. The new River North cocktail lounge, from the VBD Hospitality team behind Peruvian restaurant Tanta, describes itself as “an energetic, sophisticated social gathering place celebrating the art of mixology with a sense of travel and exploration.” The spirit shows in this drink inspired by a summertime refresher of lime sorbet topped off with red wine often sold in Mexican street markets.
Instead of serving Manhattan after Manhattan, Staytion Market & Bar decided to go a little more local with a menu of Chicago-centric cocktails after recently opening in the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel. O’Leary’s Cow, of course, recalls the poor scapegoat of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and is one of the new signature drinks that go well with a selection of small plates.
Located across from Millennium Park, new steakhouse Remington’s is serving up classic American cuisine. Everything from seafood to rotisserie is offered, as is the perfect cocktail for every meal. The Bean is a mix between the elegance and punch from the Manhattan and the fruity taste of an Old Fashioned, with the name inspired by the iconic sculpture just outside the restaurant's windows.
Chicago’s Barrelhouse Flat, part tavern/part speakeasy, focuses on a casual atmosphere and massive drink menu. Along with more than 60 classic cocktails, the bar prides itself on a rotating menu of seasonal and experimental drinks, like The Silent Partner, a fall-inspired twist on a Manhattan. The recipe was developed by Bar Manager Mark Brinker.
—1 oz. Laird’s Apple Brandy
—1 oz. Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey
—1 oz. Cocchi Di Torino Sweet Vermouth
—dash of Angostura bitters
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.