Chicago: Dinner & Drinks at the Drawing Room
On our first night in Chicago, we checked out The Drawing Room. I had heard they had fabulous food. And for some reason, a reservation was worth a 1000 points versus the usual 100 on Open Table. It wasn’t too far from our hotel so away we went.
One of the things I’ve noticed about cocktails in Chicago were the dreamy fairy-tale like naming conventions. I opted for The Old Man, The Monk and The Sea (Old Weller 107, Benedictine, Lustau Dry Olorosso sherry, Angostura bitters) as my opening cocktail. Sergio Serna was working the bar that night. I’ve met him through my various booze travels and was glad to see a familiar face.
I hadn’t eaten much that day so we were ready to rock this menu. We started off with the steak tartare. The flavors were good though I was confused by the use of potato chips to scoop up the meat. I would have also preferred a finer chop on the tartare.
We also got the pork belly as an appetizer. This was a bit dry but again, the flavors were good.
My friend had the Kessinger’s Kiss (Laird’s bonded apple jack, Firelit liqueur, hard cider, fresh lemon sour). This isn’t the sort of thing I’d order since I don’t really care for chocolate/coffee flavors with citrus but my friend seemed to like it well enough. She’s on an apple kick and the apple jack and cider also appealed to her.
She got the breast breast as her dinner. While we liked the veggies, the duck was overcooked.
My pork chop was also overdone. Again, the flavors were all there but all the food had something slightly off with it. Nothing so serious to send back. We were tired from traveling and hungry, after all.
For our side dish, we chose the Beluga lentils. After over cooked meat, we expected the lentils to be mush but these were under done.
I was really bummed out about the meal. Now that 1000 dining points on Opentable sort of made sense to us. I do have to note this was the week in between Christmas and New Year’s. There weren’t too many people eating and it seems the few who were just had some nibbles. We may have been too ambitious ordering multiple things. Service was very nice and we would probably go again if we lived in the area.
For my next drink, I had the Lost City (Encanto pisco, Fernet-Branca, Benedictine, Angostura bitters). I originally was going to order the Ode to Aud, a drink from The Spare Room’s Naomi Schimek. I’ve had it before in LA and wanted to see how Chicago would interpret her cocktail which is an ode to cocktail maven Audrey Saunders. Unfortunately, they were out of the jasmine infused gin that’s crucial to the drink. Good thing I love pisco, Fernet and Benedictine. The Lost City was a fine substitute.
It was just a social media extravaganza. When we checked in on Foursquare, we were able to redeem a free dessert. I hadn’t redeemed an offer before so that was fun.
After dinner, we went to the adjoining Back Room for some live music. The list is compromised of classics put together by The Drawing Room. We had a great time but didn’t care for the drinks much (you’re better off sitting at the bar at the Drawing Room) and went in search of other entertainment. It was our first night in Chi-town, after all.
© The Minty 2013