With Labor Day fast approaching, it means the unfortunate end of summer is also on it’s way. But there are still a few weeks of good weather left, and we can always hope for an Indian Summer to give us Chicagoans more time for summer drinks and dining! With new and seasonal menus, as well some seriously delicious drinks, now is the time to make your Windy City reservations people!
Bull & Bear, River North
While this spot has always been a brunchtime hub, they took it up a notch this summer with the best idea ever: the DIY Mimosa Bucket! Served on a cute wooden tray complete with a full bottle of champagne, plus three seasonal juices (orange, pineapple and cranberry) and candy-cane striped straws to top it off, this is perfect for the champagne lovers who just can’t decide! Also be sure to try their array of benedict options, including the new Short Rib Benedict.
Spritz Burger, Lakeview/Wrigleyville
If you’re looking for something sweeter, try seasonal desserts from Spritz Burger, like their Blueberry Ginger Hand Pies. James Beard Award Winning Pastry Chef, Gale Gand, brings a special touch to the dish, and this one won’t be in season long! Blueberries are in peak season right now, and she uses the berries along with candied ginger in her Blueberry Hand Pies. Just another reason to be sad to see summer go!
The Monarch, Wicker Park
The Monarch is a Chicago favorite and with new Executive Chef/Partner Peter Coenen, (previously from The Gage and Boka) there are even more menu items to love at this gastro pub. Their potted blue crab dip is still amazing, but with added specials like beef tartare and deliciously sticky “XO Wings,” it’s worth another visit! Make sure to stay for the “Chocolate Pot de Creme” dessert as well! Plus it’s fun to watch Chef Coenen in action thanks to the open kitchen.
Cafe Creme, Wicker Park
Another Wicker Park gem is Cafe Creme, which is known in the neighborhood for its brunch fare, but is now also open for dinner. And thank goodness it is! The house-made fettuccine is done perfectly and topped with bacon, parmesan and egg yolk for a fresh but filling dinner option. But even if you can’t sit and stay, there are a wide variety of traditional French pastries and baked goods like croissants and fruit tarts for purchase as well as a selection of amazing French macaroons for dessert. Take advantage of the patio while you can because this little bistro is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a great meal.
Drumbar, Gold Coast
For a perfect summer cocktail, try Drumbar’s newest addition, Hello Neighbor! The name is a wink at the fact that the brandy used is distilled in our very own city of Chicago, and it is a delicious taste of home. It has Rhine Hall Apple Brandy with Carpano Bianco, lemon, house orange bitters, served up. Perfect for a late summer evening happy hour!