The Drawing Room: Culinary Cocktails
Adjoined to the well-lauded Chicago nightclub Le Passage is The Drawing Room, an exclusive dining and cocktail lounge and nominee for a Readers' Choice Award for Best Cocktail Lounge.
Pull up a chair to a rustic wooden table in the exquisite venue inspired by designer Hugh N'Cho-Allepot and order a small plate of contemporary, seasonal cuisine -- you'll need food in your stomach as you embark on a journey through the handcrafted liqueurs and innovative imbibables of The Drawing Room.
Gallery: The Drawing Room in Chicago
Tales of the Cocktail winner Charles Joly is the Chief Mixologist presiding over the impressive team of Master Bartenders at The Drawing Room, and together they hone delicious recipes and hand-make ingredients for both pre-Prohibition cocktails and cocktails of the future. Ask for table-side service, and someone will wheel a cart to your table with all the in-house brandied cherries, hand-squeezed fruit juices and bitters from scratch they need to create your consummate cocktail. Your mixologist will walk you through the process and let you smell and/or taste each delectable ingredient. Even the ice is special: The Drawing Room uses a one-of-a-kind, upside-down, horizontal evaporating ice machine to make each cube clear and perfect.
Drinks at The Drawing Room are constantly changing, but they've been known to make their "culinary cocktails" with ingredients like rose water, honey water, lemon oil, egg white, Canton ginger liqueur, torched bitters and Malort, among other unusual elixirs. Metromix recommends the "Secret Cocktail (Plymouth gin, Laird's AppleJack, pomegranate grenadine and fresh lemon-sour, $16), and A Perfect Poire (Bacardi Apple, Marie Brizard Poire liqueur, pear puree, cinnamon-pear maple syrup and a caramelized pear slice garnish, $16)."
Some readers seem perfectly willing to lay down in the street to get their hands on a table, describing the cocktails as "unbelievably well-balanced" and "the best drink I've ever had." Similar comments surround the food -- we highly recommend going there and checking out whatever they're doing with bacon this week.
Vote for the cocktail lounge that you believe is the best of breed. The voting period runs through April 30 and winners will be announced on May 1.