Bar Hopping in Chicago
After a long dinner at the Drawing Room, we wanted something low-key on our first night in Chicago. We spotted Dublin Bar & Grill and decided that would be perfect. I found I had the best time at dive bars and Irish bars on this trip rather than my beloved craft cocktail bars.
We got a basket of waffle weave fries and were happily munching away when a couple of guys elbowed their way in. They bought us Irish Car Bombs (my first, actually) and wandered away. In the meantime, I had gotten to know our bartender who gave us a list of places to go. In exchange, I taught him how to make a Boulevardier after this brief exchange:
“Do you have Malort?”
“How about Fernet?”
“Nope! But I have Campari.”
They didn’t have rye but we made the Boulevardier with bourbon. It was damn fine.
Dublin Bar & Grill1050 N State St., Chicago, IL 60610 — (312) 266-6340
One night before we headed off to dinner, we decided to check out the hotel bar, Coq d’Or at the Drake.
If you spot a menu that goes page by page with careful notes on classic cocktails, you might be inclined to believe they don’t shake Manhattans. They said so on the menu.
Sadly, they lied.
Stop shaking Manhattans, please!
Coq d’Or at The Drake Hotel140 E Walton St., Chicago, IL 60611 — (312) 787-2200
My friends had a bottle of bubbly while I sipped on Templeton rye on the rocks. Although everyone else seemed to be having a good time and we made some friends from the bar, we weren’t getting the best vibe from our haughty server. We had originally wanted to go to the beer bar downstairs but they’re closed on Sundays. It’s just as well because we decided to get our beer and mussels on at Hopleaf.
After a horrible lunch, we set off to check out Millennium Park and the Bean. We got an eyeful but the cold quickly drove us indoors. We spotted the Gage and I knew I wanted a hot drink ASAP. I really wish we hadn’t eaten because once I saw the menu at the Gage, I was sad we couldn’t fit in a bite or two from the delicious sounding gastropub menu. I really wanted all the fattening, fried and not-good-for-me foods.
But there’s always room for booze.
And hot toddies were in order.
The Gage also had a couple of specialty hot cocktails including the Whiskey Cider made with Jameson. These two hot boozy drinks warmed us up sufficiently to tackle shopping along Michigan Avenue.
I’ll have to get some food at the Gage the next time I’m in Chicago.