Dining Chicago

Latest Blog Posts
Artango’s Thanksgiving Dinner Will Please the Norbert in Your Life

Artango is making life easier for us by serving food that is going to make all of us happy. Add to that the bonus that we don’t have to cook, or clean up, and we’re all going to split the bill, so it’s actually a very economical way to enjoy each other’s company. On Thanksgiving Day, […]

The post Artango’s Thanksgiving Dinner Will Please the Norbert in Your Life appeared first on Dining Chicago.

Nov 09, 2018 09:37 PM
Sneak Peek: The Darling Also Has a Little of the, Um, Daring

Lindsey Marks – who performs burlesque as Lady Jack – is chatting in front of a large Alice in Wonderland painting in the downstairs dining room at The Darling, on W. Randolph St.. This new space, owned by Sophie Huterstein, who also owns L.A.’s The Wellesbourne, is next door to J.P. Graziano, purveyor of exceptional Italian […]

The post Sneak Peek: The Darling Also Has a Little of the, Um, Daring appeared first on Dining Chicago.

Nov 07, 2018 09:50 PM
What Food Pairs with Scotch Whisky? At Chicago’s SideDoor, Lots!

It doesn’t seem that Scotch whisky would be a great pairing with food: the spirit is big, sometimes smoky and seems like it could steamroll all but the most powerful flavors. But you might be surprised how well Scotch can pair with foods. We were eager to try pairing Scotch whisky with Scottish-type food It […]

The post What Food Pairs with Scotch Whisky? At Chicago’s SideDoor, Lots! appeared first on Dining Chicago.

Nov 01, 2018 09:15 PM

New Bars Raise the Bar on Rum

Ever since the tiki resurgence took shape a couple years ago, spawning cocktail juggernauts like Three Dots and a Dash and Lost Lake, rum has been enjoying quite the renaissance of its own. Whereas whiskey bars once reigned supreme as the hip cocktail anchor of choice for Chicago's buzziest new drinking dens, now rum has usurped a bit of that glory. Case in point, two of the hottest and most eagerly awaited new cocktail bars in Chicago reserve a good portion of their beverage programs for rum. Both open within a week of one another, Queen Mary Tavern and Sparrow serve to display rum's versatility beyond the tiki spectrum. Take a sip: 

 

Sparrow
Sparrow



The first new rum spot to make a splash was Queen Mary Tavern, the latest entry from the tireless bar team that is Heisler Hospitality (Revel Room, Sportsman's Club, Pub Royale, Lone Wolf, others). Located a mere block away from sister spot Pub Royale, the Indian-leaning bar that rapidly became one of Chicago's hottest drinking and dining destinations this summer, Queen Mary Tavern borrows inspiration from the British Royal Navy for its arsenal of boozy potables. Naturally, rum plays a pivotal role. The space itself is a historic bastion along the stretch of Division Street between Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village. Queen Mary is named for local resident Mary Kafka, who once owned and operated a bar in the same space with her husband, who was shot during an armed robbery. Upon his death, Mary closed up shop and kept the doors shut for decades. Until she forged a friendship with new proprietors Kevin Heisner and Matt Eisler, who named the bar in her honor. The new nautically inspired bar harkens to maritime drinking traditions through its decor and its drink list heavily hinged on Scotch, gin, and of course, rum. Tea punches and rum-based grog are regular players on the cocktail menu, along with eight seasonally inspired rotating cocktails, a Navy Strength Old Fashioned, and a martini. 

In a completely different part of town, in a space that borrows inspiration from another time and place entirely, rum is bulking up the beverage list at Sparrow. The bar is the latest from Footman Hospitality, another burgeoning bar empire behind spots like The Betty and Bangers & Lace. For Sparrow, the inspiration hails from Prohibition-era Americana, a time when rum was often smuggled into the U.S. from the Caribbean. Appropriately, the bar is housed in an Art Deco apartment building built in 1927, and the bar sports a striking resemblance to olden, grandiose hotels of yore. With fern plants, a working phone booth, and room keys decorating the walls, Sparrow actually feels quite a bit like the hotel from Tower of Terror. Good thing this bar is on the ground floor. Courtesy of beverage director, the cocktails menu includes the Floridita #3, made with Cana Brava Rum, lime juice, grapefruit juice, Maraschino, and sugar; the Hotel Nacional with Plantation Pineapple Rum, pineapple cordial, lime juice, and Marie Brizard Apry Apricot Liqueur; and El Presidente, featuring Gold Rum, Bianco Vermouth, Curacao, and grenadine. 

- Matt Kirouac

Neighborhoods: Rush & Division

Rediscovered and reclaimed from the urban dust, which has covered and crowded the Gold Coast over the last few decades, Sparrow returns as a classic neighborhood bar. Inspired by the...

14556735_353378781664930_2208137092770750030_o 14479682_355837511419057_1059877948474349338_n 14707884_346861568983318_387862861071521649_o 14102287_327122350957240_2362067675412319390_n



Copyright © 2019 Chicago's Restaurant Guide. All Rights Reserved.