Craft cocktails in a cozy environment?
Hi! New poster to Chowhound, but old lurker. I was wondering if any of you had recs for a craft cocktail place with a "cozy" environment... a low-key, not hipster type of place where you can address the bartender by name and say, "I'm feeling like bourbon and something herbal; can you make me something?"
(I came from Boston so if you're from Boston, I'm thinking more Bergamot and less Drink)
I know there are lots of posts on cocktail places, so here's to hoping this isn't redundant. Thanks.
The first place that comes to mind is Bar Deville, in the Ukranian Village: http://bardeville.com/ . Very talented bartenders, comfortable bar (which will get crowded and perhaps less comfortable as the night wears on), close to plenty of other dining/drinking options (Bar Deville does not have a kitchen).
Scofflaw, just to the west of Logan Square, might work, as well. The location is a little more out of the way but they can still fill up quickly on weekends. Until then, though, great staff, great drinks, great atmosphere. http://scofflawchicago.com/
Are you looking for bars in a specific part of town? That might make it easier to offer up other suggestions. I suspect the bigger challenge is finding a place that is cozy and low-key. Most of the other bars with a great cocktail program that come to mind skew towards more crowded/hipster-ish.
It's pricey and it's tiny, but it sounds like you basically want... The Office. Low key, not full of hipsters, and both Jason and Charles (the head bartender) are great at going off-menu. Not cheap. At all. Make a reservation/go as early as possible, as they have only 16 seats.
Sable is great for going off menu as well but it's a hotel bar (so you get a totally different crowd and people asking for shots) and it's not cozy.
Two other thoughts. If you happen to be further north, I also like Tiny Lounge at Lincoln and Montrose. I have never ordered off-menu and I wouldn't suggest traveling to it if you're not already in the area, but it's my go-to for cocktails in the Lincoln Square area. I recently went to City Tavern in the South Loop and they also had craft cocktails in a stylish (but not quite hipster) setting. Mine was a little too medicinal for my taste but others seemed to like theirs.
The Office is amazing, but not the easiest to get into, and pricey.
I would also suggest the upstairs at The Barrel House Flat, the downstairs can be a bit intense, but the upstairs is very cozy.
The Whistler might be too hipster, but early in the evening it is pretty amazing, quiet, and you can certainly go off menu.