Tommy Nevin's Pub was founded by Steven Prescott and christened for his grandfather Thomas Nevin, a WWI veteran. The flagship location in Evanston touts a bright red façade that pays homage to the renowned Temple Bar in Dublin, and the menus at all three locations likewise salute the culture of the Emerald Isle. Though it inhabits a decidedly Celtic corner of the pub world, Chicago Bar Project deemed the Evanston outpost “the best bar in the suburbs” for its “intriguing combination of country Irish pub, modern Chicago bar and cutting-edge alternative music venue.” Chefs whip up corned beef and shepherd's pie as bartenders handle taps and spirits. Friends can cheer on local sports teams on TV or wrack their brains to remember the name of Azerbaijan's currency and most popular potato-chip flavor at weekly trivia nights.
The chefs at Zapatista cull tantalizing dishes from across the culinary regions of Mexico and spice them with piquant sauces and marinades. Diners nosh on fresh meats and veggies inside the vibrant yellow-, green-, and red-walled dining rooms, which teem with wooden tables reposing under hanging star lanterns and candelabra chandeliers. The spacious interior's rounded archways separate the dining areas, and rough-hewn-stone arches stand guard over myriad liqueurs at the bar like Rumpelstiltskin stands guard over firstborns.
WineStyles’ inspiration for its wine-tasting parties began, of all places, at a backyard barbecue. Some friends at the barbecue found themselves with too many bottles of wine. As an experiment, they decided to taste the wines blindly, so as not to be influenced by price or packaging. This impromptu tasting became the template for WineStyles, a boutique designed to help you choose a wine simply by taste. That is, wines here aren’t categorized by varietal or region, but instead by one of eight taste profiles: crisp, silky, rich, and bubbly for whites; fruity, mellow, bold, and nectar for reds. However, patrons interested in knowing more about their selected bottle can still do so—each bottle comes with a description of its characteristics and suggested food pairings.
Those looking to learn even more about wines can attend one of WineStyles’ weekly tastings or discovery classes. During these events, certified specialists explore everything from the history of different varietals to current trends in wine drinking, such as which wine goes best with texting. Different levels of wine-club membership give participants two to three bottles a month (each selected by a Masters Wine Panel), invitations to private tastings, and discounts toward additional purchases.
For centuries, there weren’t many lively, TV-enhanced pubs with gourmet food coming out of the kitchen. Luckily for those in Naperville, Tap In Pub & Carvery balances good times with a few good eats. As patrons cheer on the home team or diss a rival town’s Jeopardy contestant, chefs carve sandwiches to order, such as Thanksgiving sliders with sage stuffing and cranberry jam, or a torta cubano with hand-carved pork, ham, Swiss, and sliced pickles. Succulent meats pair nicely with throwback beers and local craft brew drafts from Solemn Oath, Two Brothers, and Revolution. Guests wanting something a bit sweeter can get a seasonal Arnold Palmer or a signature cocktail such as the Ben Hogan with Buffalo Trace bourbon, cherry Madagascar vanilla molasses, ginger beer, and fresh sprigs of mint. For sports fans, the venue plans to add golf simulators in the near future.