Celebrate National Martini Day at Chicago's Best Restaurants
National Martini Day is June 19, and because you probably shouldn’t drink on an empty stomach, why don’t you have your National Martini Day martinis at one of Chicago’s best restaurants. The martini is a rather versatile drink, and although it pairs particularly well with fish, it’s also friendly with red meat and pasta.
Here are six of Chicago’s best restaurants that serve some stupendous food…and well-made martinis.
Marchesa. Marchesa in River North opens up its lovely dining room/bar for you to enjoy old-time luxury while sipping a crafted martini and having a bite to eat. A martini is typically made with gin, but you might actually want one made with vodka to pair with a helping of Petrossian Royal Ossetra from the caviar service. For a light afternoon sip, some might go for tea and biscuits, but you may very well be happier with a frosty martini and caviar.
Blackbird. A martini is a simple drink of ultimate elegance, and the popular cocktail pairs well with the vibe at Blackbird, all white and black and clean lines. After you order your martini, consider a pairing with their king crab with tobiko, charred lime and cucumber, or the smoked eggplant with burrata, one of the few veg-forward dishes that works quite well with a gin-based cocktail.
Nomi's Kitchen. Martinis are elegant, and they go well with fish. What better place to enjoy a martini than Nomi's Kitchen, an elegant space that serves a raft of pristine fish? To pair with your martini, there are a number of sashimi and sushi roll options, and if you’re going to make a dinner of it, we’d recommend the diver scallop with sour cream spaetzle or the king salmon, a fatty fish and just what you want with a carefully crafted gin-based cocktail.
Carmine’s. In the past few decades, vodka sauce has become a staple at Italian restaurants and that’s because the clear spirit goes will with pasta and tomatoes. Whether you’re having a vodka- or a gin-based martini, Carmine’s is a place where you can get a fine martini and some fantastic Italian dishes, including chicken Vesuvio, linguini with clams and, of course, rigatoni alla vodka.
Cindy’s Rooftop. It would be hard to find a more beautiful Chicago vista than what you will enjoy on the balcony at Cindy’s. You’ll find yourself mesmerized by your high-vantage-point view of Millennium Park, Lake Michigan, the skyline, everything. For this moment of contemplation, and especially on National Martini Day, we can’t think of a better drink than the martini. The highly accomplished bar people at Cindy’s come up with some extremely creative drinks, and we’ve enjoyed many of them, but like all experienced hands, they also know how to make a superb martini.
Oceanique. Chilled Prince Edward Island Pink Moon Oysters are a perfect pairing for a martini, whether you’re sitting at the bar waiting for a table or moving into your first course. As the name suggests, there are many gifts from the sea served at Oceanique, and we’re especially fond of the Organic Norwegian Fjord Ocean Trout with a gin martini; the intensity of the spirit slices through the fat of the fish, enabling the deep oceanic tang to ride the waves of delicious spirit.