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Aug 1, 2007 11:15 AM

Recommendations for well-made cocktails??

Sorry if this has been covered--using 'cocktails' to search the board wasn't working for me.

I plan to visit Chicago in September, and I'm looking to visit some places that care about their cocktails, either in the classic sense or innovative-but-not-offensively-experimental sense. I'm not picky about whether it's a restaurant or bar, but I am picky about bartenders who know what they're doing.

To give some references (in case anyone is familiar with NYC, where I'm coming from), I'm partial to places like Pegu, Little Branch, and Death & Co.

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  1. Haven't been to those but I would go to the Coq D'or at the Drake Hotel. It is classic, old-school, with career bartenders who care about the drinks. Live piano often.

    1. New place called the Violet Hour. The guys had some involvement in NY places like Pegu and Milk & Honey

      The Violet Hour
      1520 N. Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622

      3 Replies
      1. re: leek

        There's lots of good buzz about this place. E-Gullet has an intresting conversation regarding it. They even have different types of ice tailor made for the drinks. I haven't been... have only read about it.

        But I have been to The Matchbox 770 N. Milwaukee Ave. I highly recommend it. Excellent drinks, really great bartenders. Very crowded on the weekends and late night.

        1. re: bryan

          Violet Hour = Matchbox but better cocktails and more space to move around.

          1. re: jpschust

            To those who complain about the cramped confines at The Matchbox I will simply restate what's been said here (and elsewhere) so many times before -- GO *RIGHT* NEXT DOOR.

            The Silver Palm is owned by the same folks, pours the same booze/drinks, and has a helluva lot more "space to move around."

            The Silver Palm
            768 N. Milwaukee


      2. There was an article in the New City last year about the bartender from Nacional 27. Apparently he does a lot of infusions and such.

        1. The Matchbox is well known for serving topnotch drinks and of course for its peanut sized space.

          Salpicon on Wells in Old Town serves up some of the best margaritas in town.

          1. Nacional 27 does make pretty good drinks. I find that Coobah also has very good drinks, though not quite so innovative. Coq d'Or, Signature Room and those other old-school spots are not what they used to be.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JungMann

              I agree, Coobah serves great drinks. Pretty cool intimate space too.