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Tony
08-20-2012, 07:01
Howdy All:

I trust you are doing well.

Any thoughts on must stop places for Chicago for great cocktails? I have found a few places-

The Violet Hour - http://theviolethour.com/

Barrelhouse Flat- http://barrelhouseflat.com/drinks

The Aviary- http://theaviary.com/

Appreciate any thoughts.

Best regards, Tony

luther.r
08-20-2012, 07:38
The Whistler
Longman & Eagle
Maria's in Bridgeport

Tony
08-20-2012, 10:52
The Whistler
Longman & Eagle
Maria's in Bridgeport

Thank you- all three look good. Should be a great long weekend.

Best regards, Tony

luther.r
08-20-2012, 13:13
Also look at Scofflaw for a more gin-centric menu.

cowdery
08-20-2012, 13:30
Like all of those and will add:

Sable
The Fountainhead
The Drawing Room
Blackbird

passthebourbon
08-20-2012, 13:56
Try and hit the Publican

http://thepublicanrestaurant.com/

Dolph Lundgren
08-20-2012, 19:33
Longman has great food and delicious cocktails, but your wallet will feel a lot lighter afterwards...
For arguably the best bourbon selection in the world, try Delilah's (my favorite bar): http://www.delilahschicago.com/.

T Comp
08-20-2012, 20:59
Longman has great food and delicious cocktails, but your wallet will feel a lot lighter afterwards...
For arguably the best bourbon selection in the world, try Delilah's (my favorite bar): http://www.delilahschicago.com/.

Tony, As a SB visitor to Chicago you are only allowed at the above establishments with AaronWF as your tour guide and must be accompanied by the current Bourbonian of the Year, her better half :grin: and smokinjoe (the one who existed before he started posting in PR &C). Oh and wait, this all needs to be preceded by 4 hours of whiskey/whisky sampling at the South Loop Binny's too.

passthebourbon
08-21-2012, 06:12
Just reread this and figured I post to say that the Publican is just a really good restaurant, not so much for cocktails (although they have a great beer selection). If you plan on going to the Aviary, remember that you have to email them that day and await a response to see if you will be "accepted" via lottery. You can just show up, but they say emailing them is the only way to ensure a table. Also, the Twisted Spoke is a cool place to go. Vast beer and bourbon selection, and good bloody mary's as well.

TradingBoiler
08-21-2012, 09:06
Delilah's and Barrelhouse Flat are literally two blocks from each other on Lincoln Ave. You can definitely kill two birds with one stone and get two very different ambiances as well. The Violet Hour and Sable are great spots as well. I'd stear clear from Aviary and the Publican if you're just passing through. Save those for a special occassion just based on cost and time. Have a great time!

AaronWF
08-21-2012, 18:13
Tony, As a SB visitor to Chicago you are only allowed at the above establishments with AaronWF as your tour guide and must be accompanied by the current Bourbonian of the Year, her better half :grin: and smokinjoe (the one who existed before he started posting in PR &C). Oh and wait, this all needs to be preceded by 4 hours of whiskey/whisky sampling at the South Loop Binny's too.

This is the preferred method of Chicagoing, but it is not required. That said, Thad, and this may be an issue with the Binny's folks, but as far as I'm concerned, twice a year isn't enough! Then again, the rarity of the gatherings may ultimately be the key to the mystical Mary Poppins purse attributes of the magic cart(s)!

Tony, have a great time. Everything I could recommend for cocktails has already been covered, though I'll admit I don't get out much these days, and when I do it's usually beer that's on the menu.

dbk
08-22-2012, 10:39
I can't say enough good things about the Violet Hour or the Publican. Both made for spectacular nights in Chicago. You should also comb this thread (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?17826-Binny-s-amp-Beer-Chicago-Visit) for other great suggestions by fellow SBers.

passthebourbon
08-22-2012, 17:33
This article covers the city's best spots.

The #1 is a frozen orb filled with an old fashioned. Crazy stuff at the Aviary.

http://chicago.eater.com/archives/2012/08/21/20-of-the-most-iconic-drinks-in-chicago-1.php?no_mobile=true#pointmap

Tony
08-23-2012, 15:05
Thanks everyone for all the great ideas.

I have a reservation for The Girl and The Goat and am looking forward to trying their barrel aged Manhattan - http://chicago.seriouseats.com/2011/04/barrel-aged-cocktails-girl-and-goat-stephanie-izard-how-to-barrel-age-cocktails.html

Everything else is up in the air so I will try and get to at least three nice bars and maybe The Publican for our other dinner. Although the couple we are going with really want to do the deep dish pizza thing.

Will report back, this probably will not be until October though. I just cannot bring myself to leave Michigan in the summer and am crossing my fingers for a room down in Bardstown in September.

Best regards, Tony

HP12
08-23-2012, 15:26
Don't pass up a chance to visit the Twisted Spoke. Great food, wonderful beer and whiskey selection! Worth the trip.

trumpstylz
08-29-2012, 23:40
Yeah, I've heard publican, fountainhead, and delilahs are all good. But don't forget Twisted spoke. They have a TON of stuff- including AH Hirsch and WT Tribute (but it will cost you). Whiskey is also supposedly half priced on "whiskey wednesday".

michaelturtle1
08-30-2012, 08:03
Not a whiskey stop but try and get to Hot Doug's for duck fat fries and a really good selection of sausages

Happyhour24x7
08-30-2012, 18:17
This is timely as I will also be in Chicago soon, albeit a fair amount of my time is occupied by a music festival. The shows stop at 10:00 though, so cocktails will be explored. Thanks all, even though I wasn't the requestor.

Tony
10-15-2012, 12:42
Ok, travel time is this weekend.

Looks like this so far-

Kuma's Corner for lunch on Friday- http://www.kumascorner.com/

Then off to shopping along the Magnificent Mile.

Drinks at Aviary- http://theaviary.com/

then dinner at The Publican- http://thepublicanrestaurant.com/

Saturday we will try Lou Malnati's for lunch - http://www.loumalnatis.com/

then off to the Field Museum and then I think either Delilah's or Twisted Spoke- http://www.delilahschicago.com/ or http://twistedspoke.com/

and then dinner at The Girl and The Goat- http://www.girlandthegoat.com/

Still need to figure out lunch or a brunch on Sunday and we may have our luggage.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Seems like a good plan, would like to get to Binny's but not sure if it will happen.

BTW we are staying in the Old Town area if that helps with other suggestions. Also I am guessing since there are four of us we are better off using cabs then the trains?

Best regards, Tony

fishnbowljoe
10-15-2012, 14:55
Chicago without a Binny's stop? :skep: C'mon Tony, you have to stop by at least one store. :grin:

AaronWF
10-15-2012, 19:48
Tony, that sounds like a great itinerary. Yeah, with four, might as well cab it - much easier. I definitely recommend getting to Kuma's as close to their opening hour as possible; by mid-afternoon, an hour+ wait time is standard.

As for brunch, check out the House of Blues to see if they still do their Gospel Brunch. Another place I like for less traditional fare is Takashi: it's a Japanese restaurant that serves some of the best fried chicken I've had.

cowdery
10-16-2012, 10:22
You should work in Longman & Eagle. That place is awesome.

AaronWF
10-16-2012, 13:06
You should work in Longman & Eagle. That place is awesome.

I meant to add that to my suggestions for brunch. The only problem with going there in the early hours oft he day is taking advantage of their whiskey. I can't condone AM drinking, but neither can I condone a visit to L&E without a [thorough] tour of their shelves.

Tony
10-20-2012, 08:21
Still here, but so far going well. The Aviary last night, Fun, then The Publican and finished up at Barrelhouse Flat. Looking forward to see how today goes.

Best regards, Tony

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

T Comp
10-20-2012, 09:43
Still here, but so far going well. The Aviary last night, Fun, then The Publican and finished up at Barrelhouse Flat. Looking forward to see how today goes.

Best regards, Tony

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

And I hope you know Tony...living here...I'm jealous. Just don't get out to all the happening places much anymore...but you know I have a lot of whiskey bottles in boxes around the house...whose cost has a litte something to do with that :bigeyes: :grin:.

Tony
10-22-2012, 13:05
And I hope you know Tony...living here...I'm jealous. Just don't get out to all the happening places much anymore...but you know I have a lot of whiskey bottles in boxes around the house...whose cost has a litte something to do with that :bigeyes: :grin:.

Thad I understand what you are saying. But WOW what a great town for having nice drinks and food. I will write up something more this week but I have to think that drinkwise I would give the edge to the Aviary and the Violet Hour. For food going to have to say The Girl and The Goat(Incredible Place) and Longman & Eagle.

Best regards, Tony

Tony
10-28-2012, 15:27
Ok, I have finally written up about Friday at least-

Good Day All-
I trust you are doing fine.

Figured I would do a write up on my trip to Chicago, I will focus on the food and drink since that is really what I was focusing on.
Let us start with lunch on Friday- Lou Malnati’s - http://www.loumalnatis.com/Locations/Details.aspx?ID=34

The pizza was just wonderful and their butter crust was to die for, just wonder how much butter is in this. For beverage I went with their take on the Old Fashioned with their Gold Coast Old Fashioned, it was enjoyable and a good start to the weekend.

That evening we made it to The Aviary at 6:00 for our reservation. We were a bit early and a few other people were there as well. A gentleman was out front with one of those things in his ear and a little microphone he was speaking into. He let me know it was time for us to go in and we were guided to our table which had a half booth that two of our party sat at and two chairs for the other two of us. My friend and I both had the “In The Rocks” which was described as bitters and water that was flash frozen to make the egg shape and then filled with the other ingredients-
http://www.whitehounds.com/pix/chi/aviary1.png
To break the egg we were given a circular ring that had a rubber on it with a piece of metal in the middle. You put this on the glass and pulled it up about 2 ½ inches and let it go. Very fun.
http://www.whitehounds.com/pix/chi/aviary2.png
My wife had the Chai drink-
http://www.whitehounds.com/pix/chi/aviary3.png
That description really cannot do it justice though. They had custom containers made where they put this drink with various items like basil, lemon, and other tasty things and you pour the drink into a small glass almost like a clear sake glass. The flavor of the drink changes over time. Very Very cool
http://www.whitehounds.com/pix/chi/aviary4.png
My wife and I went over and talked with the “Bar” manager, it really is more like a kitchen. An engaging gentleman who talked about some of the drinks and we chatted about some of the bourbons he has as they stay up to date as you can see with the PHC flight that includes this year’s release-
http://www.whitehounds.com/pix/chi/aviary5.png
We went and had a great dinner at The Publican but it is not really a cocktail place more of a focus on beer so I had one beer.
After dinner we headed to Barrelhouse Flats which I was kind of excited about- http://www.barrelhouseflat.com/ I did end up being very disappointed though. We found a booth on the lower level and put our names in for a place upstairs. I ordered their “Remember the Maine”
http://www.whitehounds.com/pix/chi/barrel1.png
My buddy wanted a Four Roses, I think because I was wearing the hat and shirt (I know, geeky). So I went over to see what they had but did not see it. I asked the bartender and she said they had Yellow Label and either Small Batch or Single Barrel, it was kind of loud so I was not sure. I asked our waiter to confirm and he comes back and tells me they had the 8 year old and the single malt. Color me confused I asked him again and he said the same thing, I said just bring him a Buffalo Trace as I know my buddy likes that. Then we got our chance to get upstairs and were seated in a comfortable corner spot. But the table next to us was filled with a bunch of teenagers, yes I know they were not teenagers but they were loud and annoying and seemed like children. I went ahead an ordered another drink that was recommended. Twenty minutes later we had not seen our waiter again or the drink. I saw him and flagged him over and he apologized saying they were very busy and only had one bartender. This was a Friday night and the upstairs did not seem that busy to us and they should plan accordingly any way. I said sorry but we did not have time to wait and in the future it would be good to notify patrons if there was going to be a long wait. I left a tip on the table for his trouble and we headed home. Ended the night splitting some wine with my compatriot while having a fantastic cigar on our deck.

Best regards, Tony

More to come....

WAINWRIGHT
10-28-2012, 15:53
Sounds like you had a great time and the dinning experiences in Chicago are always memorable ones, thanks for sharing.Have you given any thought to making the S.Loop get together the 10th?

trumpstylz
10-30-2012, 04:29
Also- Big star in wicker park is a great place. I took a date there once and she asked for a vodka drink and they informed her that the only liquors they carry are whiskey and tequila (and they have a ton of whiskey). They have their own barrels and supposedly they are pretty darn good. I also hear that they have awesome tacos. This is a list of their hand picked barrels. Be warned though- a spot at the bar is not hard to come by, but a table can be very difficult at this place, and it is cash only.

http://bigstarchicago.com/#
(click menu-then select "house barrels")

They also have solid coctails.

cowdery
10-31-2012, 15:02
Also- Big star in wicker park is a great place. I took a date there once and she asked for a vodka drink and they informed her that the only liquors they carry are whiskey and tequila (and they have a ton of whiskey). They have their own barrels and supposedly they are pretty darn good. I also hear that they have awesome tacos. This is a list of their hand picked barrels. Be warned though- a spot at the bar is not hard to come by, but a table can be very difficult at this place, and it is cash only.

http://bigstarchicago.com/#
(click menu-then select "house barrels")

They also have solid coctails.

In warm weather they have a huge amount of outdoor seating.

Tony
11-05-2012, 07:48
Ok, finally got Saturday done-

Saturday.

Started this day with a great breakfast that included a bacon flight and bacon waffles, unfortunately they had no booze so that would have to wait until later.

Got done with breakfast and did some great husband shopping with Karry. I was the perfect shopper suggesting things, commenting when needed regarding fit of things, quiet at the right times as well. This of course was all in plan because the next shopping stop was Binny’s Lakeview location. WOW what a great place, it is like a Walmart for alcohol, I went in and got myself a cart and headed over to the bourbon section where I quickly found a handle of Larceny with a rebate tag. I also snagged the Jefferson’s Reserve that was distilled in the year my eldest son was born to share with him on some later special occasion. Now I was on the lookout for some of the special Four Roses bottlings that I was not seeing. I asked a gentleman where I might find them and he said they were out but expecting some in the next week or so, maybe next time. I asked him if he had anything special in back. He went and looked and came back with an Eagle Rare 18 from this year and the PHC from this year, I was pleased. I did check out their selection of bitters which was great but since I already had four bottles I let it stop there and we checked out, found a cab and went back to the place we were staying.

Next up was some lunch we decided to try DMK Burger Bar - http://dmkburgerbar.com/ it was walking distance from where we were staying and was known to have some good cocktails. I went with their Death & Company’s Whirling Tiger as it had a cool name and great ingredients, very enjoyable.

http://www.whitehounds.com/pix/chi/sat1.png
From here we hopped on the train and went to the Field Museum and did not drink there. After this we headed to the Wicker Park area to check out the Violet Hour - http://theviolethour.com/ . Now I must say that I guess if you are early enough you need to know where this place is. I walked by it once and did not see it, walked by it again and was looking in the strip mall and did not find it. I asked a couple of people and they said it was right around the way I had just come. I walked back that way just past a graffiti wall and was getting frustrated and about ready to call them when my wife saw two people magically reach towards the graffiti wall and open a secret door, cute.
http://www.whitehounds.com/pix/chi/sat2.png
So we walked in and were met by a gentleman in front of a velvet curtain. He asked if we wanted a table or the bar and I opted for the table so Karry could be more comfortable after a bunch of walking, next time I think it would be fun to try the bar.
I went with their 5 Points and Six Corners and then with their Socail Wasp, Karry opted for a very tasty vodka drink.

http://www.whitehounds.com/pix/chi/sat3.png
When we left it was a different story there was a long line outside of folks waiting to get in and it would have been easy to find then but of course we would have had to wait in line.
From here we headed off to dinner, this was a highlight for me and one I was ready for, The Girl and The Goat- http://www.girlandthegoat.com/ What an awesome meal, but since this is focusing on drinks let me get to that. I had heard that they had a barrel aged Manhattan and was looking forward to that but was told that they had run out and not made another batch. Decided to go with the Double Barrrel and it was an enjoyable cocktail.
http://www.whitehounds.com/pix/chi/sat4.png
After this we headed back to our place and I sat out back with Karry enjoying a cigar and a Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, a great way to end the evening.

Will try to get Sunday sooner as it was only one place for cocktails.

Best regards, Tony

Tony
11-08-2012, 06:33
Sunday-

Ok, we have finally made it to Sunday. Was not sure we could make it after Friday and Saturday. I figured for a good ending of food and drink we should try the brunch and Longman & Eagle - http://www.longmanandeagle.com/. We left our place and walked about three blocks and hopped on the bus that dropped us right in front of the place, gotta love mass transit. We put our names in and asked where the local farmer’s market was. We then wandered over and found some great breads and other tasty treats but as I am focusing on drinks will mention that Chicago’s first legal distillery since prohibition was there and we bought a couple of their small expensive bottles to try at a later date. Then we headed back to L&E and they were just about ready for us. Karry went for their very tasty Bloody Mary I went with Galen’s Edict for my first drink which was a refreshingly tasty drink
http://www.whitehounds.com/pix/chi/sun1.png

After that I went with their version of the Old Fashioned which did not disappoint as well.
http://www.whitehounds.com/pix/chi/sun2.png

Oh and if you want to know about the food, it was Fantastic. This place along with The Girl and The Goat were our two food highlights. Plus they have rooms they rent out, I think this is where we will stay next time we are in Chicago. From here it went downhill with a train cancellation and scrambling to find a way home. The biggest disappointment was that I did not get to stop at Nuts On Clark at the train station to load up on cashews, there is something about the way they do them that makes them awesome.

Best regards, Tony

Alphanumeric
12-10-2012, 20:42
I just went to Sable's and Delilah's last night to get my first taste of my hometown's liquor stops and I was very pleased. Sable's has some outstanding food and while I only had one cocktail, it was a great one (one employing the challenging Blackstrap, no less).

After dinner, we headed to Delilah's. We got some regular Buffalo Trace and Rock Hill Farms because I had never had any BT bourbon before (not including OWA) and I'm on a mission to familiarize myself with all the major distilleries. I enjoyed them more than I have HH bourbon. Although my bourbon experience is still in its infancy, I felt I couldn't go to Delilah's and only order easy-to-find classics, so I decided on WLW (2011) and Lot B next, figuring I'm not likely to chance upon a bottle of either any time soon. Good, but in the "I'm too distracted and new to this to conjure up more than a few adjectives" sense. oh well. The bartender was just happy to pour for someone who cared about more than football that night and rewarded us with some Delilah's 15 year rye and Jefferson's 17.

In conclusion, good stuff. Thanks to everyone for the great advice. Hopefully next time I find myself at Delilah's, it'll be armed with a least several dozen other whiskeys under my belt.

unclebunk
12-11-2012, 06:01
I just went to Sable's and Delilah's last night to get my first taste of my hometown's liquor stops and I was very pleased. Sable's has some outstanding food and while I only had one cocktail, it was a great one (one employing the challenging Blackstrap, no less).

After dinner, we headed to Delilah's. We got some regular Buffalo Trace and Rock Hill Farms because I had never had any BT bourbon before (not including OWA) and I'm on a mission to familiarize myself with all the major distilleries. I enjoyed them more than I have HH bourbon. Although my bourbon experience is still in its infancy, I felt I couldn't go to Delilah's and only order easy-to-find classics, so I decided on WLW (2011) and Lot B next, figuring I'm not likely to chance upon a bottle of either any time soon. Good, but in the "I'm too distracted and new to this to conjure up more than a few adjectives" sense. oh well. The bartender was just happy to pour for someone who cared about more than football that night and rewarded us with some Delilah's 15 year rye and Jefferson's 17.

In conclusion, good stuff. Thanks to everyone for the great advice. Hopefully next time I find myself at Delilah's, it'll be armed with a least several dozen other whiskeys under my belt.

You chose well and were rewarded too for it. Not bad!

lrochau
06-17-2013, 07:09
Had quick four day trip into Chicago this weekend. Spent a ton of time at Sable and had a great trip to Delilah's. Hard to beat Sable eggs and EC cask for breakfast. Finally made it to Delilah's and it beat expectations. Bartender was happy to have a couple bourbon snobs to hang with and he gave us great suggestions. Back in a month, can't wait.

brettckeen
06-17-2013, 14:22
Had quick four day trip into Chicago this weekend. Spent a ton of time at Sable and had a great trip to Delilah's. Hard to beat Sable eggs and EC cask for breakfast. Finally made it to Delilah's and it beat expectations. Bartender was happy to have a couple bourbon snobs to hang with and he gave us great suggestions. Back in a month, can't wait.

Thanks for coming in! Hit me up next time you are planning a trip to Delilah's. I try to be on hand to give special attention to all SB members, glad I was there when you gents (and lady) came in. Cheers!

My recommendations for Chicago Cocktails:
Sable - of course, the food, the cocktails it's all amazing, If you show a little whiskey knowledge they may show you something not on the menu.
Barrelhouse Flat - All the staff members are excited about whiskey, but the drinks are amazing and the upstairs room is the coolest room in Chicago to drink.
Tiny Lounge - All the quality craft cocktails of Violet hour for half the price and in a less pretentious setting.
Fountainhead - The upstairs patio rooftop is great, they do their own barrel selections, great Manhattans.
* forgot to add BoCa - Amazing meals really spendy, amazing cocktails paired with the food, get a bourbon dealers choice based on flavors you like... it will not disappoint.

I don't recommend where I work for Cocktails, I'm always happy to make a Manhatten, Old Fashion, Sazarac or a Boulevardier but Delilah's isn't about cocktails, we think whiskey only requires a glass.