For Chicago, The Aviary in the West Loop is the special occasion cocktail bar. It’s from the same owners as Alinea, and you’ll find elaborate, Alinea-esque drinks on the menu here. Cocktails start around $28, and vary in the amount they look like science experiments. For example, The Jungle Bird has little clear tapioca-like balls filled with rum that pop in your mouth, and the Old Fashioned goes even further - it comes in a ball of ice you need to snap with a rubber band. You can make reservations, but you can also walk in (there might be a wait, but that will give you some time to quickly reread your eighth grade science textbook).
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Elske is a tasting menu spot in West Loop that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and we’re big fans.
Maude’s Liquor Bar
Hogsalt Hospitality does French food. Patrick Kane once went on a date here and you should too.
High Five Ramen
High Five is a cool and hip ramen bar in a tiny basement setting. Prepare to get spicy.
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Monteverde is an Italian restaurant in the West Loop. It sounds boring on paper, but there’s so much more to it than that. Excellent food all around.
Somerset is a restaurant in the Gold Coast serving excellent American food that you should be eating immediately.
Beatnik is a restaurant and cocktail lounge in West Town serving average food in a beautiful environment.
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