Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Photo via Uptown Magazine
All my favorite winos should be very happy with this news.
May 25 falls on a Saturday this year and that also happens to be National Wine Day. And because this weekend's all about celebrating Memorial Day, there will certainly be a lot of wine pouring going down.
If you're out and about, these spots rule, in my book:
Bar Pastoral. An extension of Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, Bar Pastoral is a great choice for those seeking smaller, boutique wines. Diners may choose their selections from the retail shop and consume in the restaurant.
Scott Harris photo via Schumannco.com
Centro. J. Rocco Italian Table & Bar. Osteria Via Stato. RPM Italian. Siena Tavern.
And now that Davanti Enoteca enters the fray in River North it's like the area's suddenly Little Italy 2.0!
Monday, May 20, 2013
Charles Joly of the Aviary (Photo: Charles Joly)
Chicago strikes it big at Tales of the Cocktail, which announced Friday finalists for the seventh-annual Spirited Awards. It recognizes the year's best bars, bartenders, writers, experts and more at what's considered the largest gathering of bartenders in the world.
Tales takes place July 17-21 and we couldn't be prouder of the Windy City representation! Making the finals are the Aviary's Charles Joly ("American Bartender of the Year"), Barrelhouse Flat ("Best American Cocktail Bar"), Bridget Albert ("Best Bar Mentor") and Sable Kitchen and Bar ("Best High Volume Cocktail Bar" and "World’s Best Hotel Bar").
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Embeya's boozy new snow cone (Photo: Danielle Pizzutillo/Embeya)
Since the next several days are certain to be scorchers, I'm tripling up on the boozy coverage for the weekend. All the patios will be open and there's plenty of fun to be had.
I'm especially excited about Embeya's latest offering: hand-crafted, boozy snow cones. Created by beverage director Danielle Pizzutillo, flavors include bourbon with falernum and citrus; gin with ginger and lime; and rum with cherry.
Charlie McKenna's succulent baby back ribs. (Photo: Lillie's Q)
What a sigh of relief!
I just got word that Lillie's Q, which shuttered in March due to a fire, is reopening in its original Bucktown location in mid-June.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Andrew Brochu (Photo via StarChefs.com)
Put on those sexy sunglasses.
• No big shocker here. Andrew Brochu has left the sports-oriented Monarch to return to his fine-dining roots with the Alinea restaurant group. He's joined Aviary's culinary team, as noted on its facebook page Wednesday afternoon.
• More great news, but this time from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE). Paul McGee's long-awaited tiki lounge, Three Dots and a Dash, is set to open in early June, according to partner R.J. Melman.
BBQ at Smoke Daddy (Photo: Smoke Daddy)
When popular Bucktown BBQ restaurant Lillie’s Q suddenly shuttered indefinitely in early 2013 due to a fire, we poured out a little BBQ sauce in its honor.
Though it attracted a trendy crowd, the spot took the art of barbecuing quite serious and also developed a loyal following for its extensive bourbon selection. Thankfully owner Charlie McKenna continues to operate a satellite store for Lillie’s Q in the Chicago French Market, but it’s just not the same energy.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
A number of popular watering holes have gotten together to host the city's first-ever Chicago's Bourbon Trail.
During each trolley stop, guests will indulge in a bourbon and barrel-aged beer. Fountainhead is one of the eager participants, and expect 10 bourbon flights, including Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project and a special bourbon barrel-aged beer tapping.