Between Peruvian's executive chef Jose Victorio captures the essence of his Peruvian homeland with traditional dishes that deliver authentic flavors. A choice of quinoa-breaded chicken salad or anticuchos de corazon, grilled skewers of succulent veal heart, kick off the culinary journey, followed by the much-touted ceviche classico or the pulpo causa's grilled baby octopus and crushed peruvian potatoes. Revel in the savory flavors of the arroz con pato's duck-leg confit and North Peruvian rice or the corderito de los andes, four micro lamb chops alongside bacon potatoes and huacatay-ocopa sauce. A final choice between algarrobina flan with organic quinoa and french toast topped in vanilla ice cream and picarones honey proves more difficult than acing an advanced calculus exam as a first-grader.
Its name meaning “bar in the city” in French, Bar DeVille may not catch the eye of passersby with its rough exterior, but definitely charms with an interior that gives off a European parlor vibe. Head mixologist Brad Bolt crafts cocktails that range from classic to specialty as visitors dance it out in the rear lounge or shoot pool in an antler-ornamented room.
The Savoy may be landlocked, but it doesn't let that stop it from excelling at seafood. "There are a lot of nice things about The Savoy, not the least of which is the fact that the seafood it sources is lovely," says one Time Out Chicago review. The restaurant's crown jewel is its raw bar, which features tuna tartar, ceviche, and oysters on the half-shell. Crab cake appetizers with mascarpone vinaigrette make for another highlight, while the pork belly confit with seared scallops stands out among the menu's more landward entrees.
A classic wooden bar lines one of the restaurant's walls, but the cocktails are anything but traditional. The gal behind the bar, Deidre Darling, has dedicated a portion of the lengthy wine and drink list to cocktails made with absinthe—the famous "green fairy" that fueled the Parisian creative scene during the Belle Époque. Some have long rosters of ingredients with just a tiny hint of the licorice-flavored liquor, while others are simpler: one part absinthe to four parts water, dripped from a vintage absinthe fountain and served with an optional sugar cube and a note reminding you to keep sharp things away from your ear.
Its name lifted from a passage in T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, The Violet Hour offers a charming vintage drinking experience. After stepping through the “secret” front door, visitors find a gorgeously decorated speakeasy that can make them feel as if they’ve traveled back in time. Standing around or using cell phones is not allowed, and conversations flow freely over the hushed music.
The Green Music Fest answers hankerings for eco-friendly outdoor entertainment with a two-day extravaganza of music, green product vendors, and craft beers. Bands lined up by Subterranean, including Les Savy Fav, Yo La Tengo, and The Thermals, drown out summer doldrums and the ice-cream truck’s endless renditions of “Turkey in the Straw” with ear-pleasing aural waves. Tech buffs and tree-lovers can join forces to ooh and aah their way through the green vendor village’s surfeit of solar-powered devices, recycled products, and locally manufactured goods; young sprouts will be transfixed by arts and crafts stations and puppet shows. Trade in drink tickets at the craft beer station for brews from New Belgium and Sierra Nevada to wet palates parched from working on a tongue-tan all weekend.
Boaters who dock at Estate Ultra Bar can climb to the stardeck to celebrate successful voyages with cake pops, which the bar serves with a miniature bottle of champagne and a sparkler. The deck's lounge-style layout and sprawling couches are more amenable to sipping cocktails than to dining on grilled octopus and soy-glazed pork belly, so head inside for dinner.