Why Here: Michelin-starred chef Kevin Hickey opened a comfortable neighborhood spot in Chicago’s Bridgeport area where he grew up, with refined tavern food like Chicago-style duck fat hot dog and rice cake fingers with kimchi sauce alongside composed plates like the best rotisserie duck you’ll ever have. It’s a bonus he brought in the super talented Brandon Phillips to man the bar.
Why Now: Phillips colors outside the lines and strives to make you ponder your cocktail while sipping it over your food. With fresh produce, sherries, cognacs, oils and even Mexican Pepsi, these cocktails definitely push boundaries yet make so much sense. Look for the Bacchus & Amethyst, made with Aviation American gin, Toro Albalá Fino Eléctrico del Lagar sherry-like wine, freeze-dried blueberry, vanilla, egg white and amethyst.