Monday, May 6, 2013

West Loopers Win Big At James Beard Awards

The Aviary team includes owner Grant Achatz (center) and beverage director Charles Joly (second to left). (Photos: Kent Miller/James Beard Foundation)

Monday night at the James Beard Foundation Awards solidified that the West Loop is Chicago's hottest dining and drinking neighborhood.

Grant Achatz and his team at Aviary beat Chicago's venerable Violet Hour as well as two prominent New York cocktail lounges to win Outstanding Bar Program.

Here's Your Exclusive, First Look At The City's Hottest New Outdoor Lounge: The Dec

(Photos: Ritz-Carlton Chicago)

Let's just get this out of the way: dec Rooftop Lounge + Bar has nothing to do with local restaurateur Billy Dec (Rockit Bar & Grill, Sunda).

It's instead the sleek new outdoor component to deca Restaurant + Bar in the Ritz-Carlton Chicago. The lounge is located on the 12th floor, seats 57, and accommodates 100 guests for light bites, craft cocktails and draught beers from a number of craft breweries.

Here are a few more highlights you'll need to know before dec opens in mid-May: