Organic and small-batch wines fill swirling glasses beneath the soaring ceilings of House Red Vinoteca. At a rustic, reclaimed-wood bar, discerning staff members subject new elixirs to tastings and credit checks, and the chef makes changes to a rotating menu of vino-enhancing fare made from scratch. Plates bearing crispy flatbreads and desserts inspired by international culinary traditions glide back and forth between duos chattering beneath exposed-brick walls. The warm sway of live jazz rolls across wine-tasting events and bottle-laden shelves, and patrons sipping through tasting flights from Croatia, Lebanon, Morocco, Serbia, and Slovenia add delicate treble notes with clinking glasses.
Servers at the cozy DeVine Restaurant & Wine Bar pour aged wines as chefs cook up flavorful cuts of meat and seafood dishes sourced from around the world. A roaring fireplace warms hands grasping cutlery upon white-draped tables and spacious, circular booths. Along with whipping up American, Italian, and Mediterranean classics, chefs at DeVine Restaurant & Wine Bar specialize in Serbian recipes imported in the form of paper airplanes hurled across the Atlantic Ocean.
• For $15, you get $30 to use at the wine bar or toward bottles to take home. • For $32, you get an evening of wine and cheese for four, including four flights of wine (up to a $14.50 value each) and two sample platters of gourmet cheeses to share (an $8 value each; up to a $74 total value).
Cooking since the age of 15, Chef Stephen Dunne cultivated his culinary aesthetic in the kitchens of Wolfgang Puck’s Spago and Postrio before bringing it to fruition on Volo Restaurant’s rotating menu of seasonal, New American cuisine. Thoughtfully sourced ingredients anchor each dish, and homemade desserts and truffles from pastry chef Suzi Beu make for a decadent finish to the evening. As many as 30 globetrotting wines are available by the glass, bottle, and mini-carafe, sating sippers who lounge beneath the luminous Japanese lanterns of Volo’s heated outdoor patio, a rustic expanse open year-round and singled out by both Time Out Chicago and Chicago Magazine.
Choose from more than 60 hand-selected wines, a parade of seasonal cocktails, and a hearty assemblage of craft beers that changes from week to week. Chef Marianne Sundquist crafted In Fine Spirits' menu of seasonal American plates to include locally farmed, artisan, and organic products whenever possible. Complement a fiery spirit, in a glass or in a soul-capsule, with a colorful variety of olives ($5), or savor a cold plate of duck confit rillette in brown sugar, five spice, and thyme ($6). Gourmet flatbreads ($9–$10) sate carb cravings, while hot plates ($8–$14) fill substantial appetites. All menus shift seasonally, proving In Fine Spirits is part of the natural order and not an android posing as a dining destination.