Where to Dine With a Killer Winter View
Winter-driven cabin fever got you anxious and blue? Before ceding to the winter woes, here's a surefire way to make you actually appreciate the chilly landscape: hike up an elevator to bars and restaurants with killer views, to drink in the scenery in a stunning new way. Head to some of Chicago's best rooftop spots for bites and sips with a pleasant wintry vista:
Nothing takes the stir-crazy sting out of cabin fever quite like magnificent views of the Magnificent Mile. Snag a seat at the cozy environs of C-View, located 29 stories up in the MileNorth hotel. The rooftop space not only provides stellar views of the downtown shopping Mecca, but it satiates with small plates, craft cocktails, wines, flatbreads, sliders, oysters, truffle fries, and more. The indoor space is lined with windows all around, giving diners front-row panoramic views while savoring sophisticated comfort food.
Arguably the best views in the city can be had at The Signature Room at the 95th. Located near the top of the Hancock Tower, the American fine dining spot has long been a draw for locals and tourists alike, looking for a spot where they can enjoy an exquisite meal with equally exquisite views. This is really high up, so not great for those with a phobia of heights, but it's perfect for people not afraid of falling to their death, or the thought of it anyway. And really, with food as delicious The Signature Room's revised American classics (slow-roasted short ribs, twin lobster tails, seafood linguine, pork chops, eggplant bolognese), plummeting 95 stories would pretty much be worth it.
One of the most bustling rooftops with Chicago views is ROOF on theWit. Seasonally inspired small plates, Champagne, punch bowls, and cocktails lay the foundation for what is likely the best seat in the Loop, with killer views of State Street and its surrounding buildings. Food-wise, expect a bevy of seafood items such as cured salmon rolls, lobster rolls, oysters, and seared tuna, along with pretzels, bruschetta, surf & turf tacos, seasonal pizzas, and whimsical desserts in the vein of blood orange creamsicle push-pops and chocolate banana splits. For drinks, bottle service is a big deal up on ROOF, as are the salacious punch bowls.
Nestled atop the Hotel Lincoln, the J. Parker is a rooftop restaurant with ravishing Chicago views of Lincoln Park and the lake. With a chef like Paul Virant curating the small plates, you know this isn't your average bar. Snacks include pinto bean hummus, beef shank chili, mushroom toast, and the J. Parker burger made with dry-aged beef, butterkase cheese, horseradish-mustard mayo, lettuce, charred onion, and pickles. The drinks are just as divine, with cocktails divvied into J. Parker Classics and Seasonal Specialties.
Some of the finest food with a view can be had at NoMI Kitchen, located inside the Park Hyatt with impeccable views of the Chicago Water Tower and the apex of the Magnificent Mile. This destination-worthy, seasonally driven restaurant offers an incredible experience from beginning to end. Things get nautical with oysters and sashimi off the "ocean platter," continuing with maki before progressing to beef tartare, butter basted scallops, and artichoke soup. Entrees include pan-seared turbot, Colorado rack of lamb, and Wagyu beef rib-eye. Desserts are not to be missed either.
- Matt Kirouac