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Dining Chicago Christmas Drinking Guide 2017

Where to eat, drink, dance and be merry this Christmas. Petterino’s: Santa’s coming to town a little early this year, and he’s hungry for brunch. Pay a visit to Mr. Claus at Petterino’s, where he’ll be stationed December 16 and 17 from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. both days. The perfect stopover before an afternoon […]

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Dec 09, 2017 07:40 PM
Chicago’s Weekly Planner: TWO’s Restaurant Royale

 TWO is gearing up to host its first annual Restaurant Royale Get ready for a culinary smackdown for the ages, because TWO is gearing up to host its first annual Restaurant Royale on December 13 at The Ivy Room (12 E. Ohio St., #100). In conjunction with Terlato Distell Artisan Spirits, the competition is a bit of restaurant […]

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Dec 08, 2017 05:44 AM
Weekly Planner: Sip & Paint Party, White Truffle Season, Half Acre Tap

White Truffle Season at Spiaggia In addition to booze and merriment, this is also the season for white truffles, one of the most coveted and opulent ingredients of the year. No better place to celebrate the mighty truffle than at Spiaggia, where chef/partner Tony Mantuano and executive chef Joe Flamm have upped the ante on […]

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Nov 30, 2017 06:09 AM

Warm Up With Chicago's Finest Fireplace Destinations

As I write this, it's about zero degrees outside in Chicago, and that's not even factoring in the wind chill. Chicago winters are a brutal phase, and such frigid days necessitate the nourishing solace of fireside dining and drinking. Embrace the hearty vibes and fireside delights at one of these cozy Chicago spots.
 

The Freehand Hotel
Get cozy at the Freehand Hotel



Broken Shaker and Cafe Integral: At the risk of spoiling my cozy little secret, my favorite place to work remotely on my laptop is the fireplace nook in the lobby of the Freehand Hotel. It's a secretive little area tucked alongside a small set of stairs in the back of Cafe Integral, and most people don't seem to know it's there. Along with a fireplace, the little corner also boasts comfy chairs, a small table, and knick knacks indicative of a Latin American cafe. In general, the whole lobby space between Cafe Integral and Broken Shaker is a dark, comfortable cottage-like motif perfect for relaxing with coffee or cocktails.

Hopleaf: When it comes to toasty bar comforts, it doesn't get any better than Hopleaf. Chicago's preeminent Belgian beer bar is an absolute winter essential. Because beer-steamed mussels, crispy aioli-dipped frites, and a fireplace situated in a dining room that looks like a ski lodge is the ideal definition of winter respite.  

Allium: Tucked within the luxurious confines of the Four Seasons hotel, Allium is a lush, sprawling respite from the downtown bluster. And let's not forget the fact that the restaurant is adorned with exceedingly comfortable couches, sofas, and other lounge ware befitting royalty. Allium also sports a fireplace to warm your soul while you tear into Burrata, Brussels sprouts, and Allium's crowd-pleasing housemade Chicago-style hot dog. 

Scofflaw: A gin-centric bar may not be the first place that comes to mind when craving cozy bars, but Scofflaw merits a visit this season thanks largely to its second room located around the corner from the main bar. Here you'll find a parlor reminiscent of an Alice in Wonderland tea party, complete with lavish, snug couches, chairs, and a roaring fireplace. It's the perfect setting in which to enjoy hot buttered rum, exceptional bar food, and enough gin to make you forget about the temperature outside.

Cindy's: Probably not a viable idea of the temperature is hovering around zero, but one chic spot for outdoor fire pits is Cindy's. Beloved during the warmer months for its impressive vista of Millennium Park from the roof of the Chicago Athletic Association hotel, Cindy's proves its worth as a year-round al fresco destination with outdoor fireplaces and blankets for keeping toasty. It's especially nice when enjoyed with a cocktail or two. 

Drumbar: Another stellar rooftop cocktail bar is this Streeterville stunner. The best part about this space is its ambience reminiscent of a Clue-like mansion, complete with an indoor fireplace and outdoor fire pits. Along with some of the most intricate and special craft cocktails in town, it makes for a wholly immersive drinking impressive to help you endure the winter months. 

Old Town Social: Housemade charcuterie is especially tasty when eaten in close proximity to a bustling fire. Old Town Social is as close as you can get to fireside cured meats without actually immersing yourself in flames, so be sure to take advantage this season The Old Town stalwart is a go-to year-round for their impressive and unique in-house charcuterie program, complete with housemade hot dogs, but the space is especially alluring now that it's fireplace area is full steam.

Sable Kitchen & Bar: The fireplace at Sable Kitchen & Bar is electric, sure, but it's just as comforting as the real deal. Plus it's nice to have zero chance of accidentally burning alive. The makeshift fireplace provides a comforting backdrop for Sable's bites and sips. Get cozy with one of Sable's impeccable hot cocktails, and pair it with some steak tartare, some lobster rangoon, and some falafel sliders. 

- Matt Kirouac


The comfortable Andersonville beer lounge draws the suds enthusiast for its more than 200 selections. Also, all menu items complement the beer.

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Old Town Social describes its food menu as "iconic neighborhood bar food with a handcrafted return to the basics." Translated, that means burgers made from freshly ground, grass-fed beef and...

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This New American gastro-lounge is located on the first floor of the Palomar Hotel and the kitchen is overseen by Executive Chef Lawrence Letrero. His menu offers sustainable selections from...

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Seasons Bar and Lounge has been transformed into Allium, a modern American restaurant tucked inside the Four Seasons hotel. The concept focuses on regional, farm-to-table modern American cuisine.

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Expect seasonal cocktails as well as lively music spun by some of the area's hottest deejays. The small-plates menu is ideal for those looking for a quick bite on the...

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Miami's wildly popular craft cocktail bar heads to Chicago with a location in River North's former Tokyo Hotel. Now an outpost of Miami's Freehand Hotel, Broken Shaker features culinary inspired...

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NYC-based importer and roaster of fine Nicaraguan micro lots. Locally roasted, personally sourced coffees from some of the hardest working growers in the world. The shop, located inside the Freehand...




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