Sometimes a restaurant wants to kick it up a notch, and other times they don't want to just ride on Emeril's coattails, in which case they do something akin to what the folks behind bottle shop In Fine Spirits did: tap an ex-Graham Elliot chef to transform their next-door wine bar into Premise, now sporting an amped-up menu and, like Sybil riding an elevator, a different personality on each floor. Check out the...
Downstairs: The dining room's painstakingly drawn-upon chalkboard walls provide the backdrop for inventive butter-poached spot prawns w/ tapioca pearls & coconut powder, pan-roasted striped bass (powdered guanciale, fregola, rapini), and Greek-style lamb w/ fried chick peas, charred zucchini, green almonds 'n yogurt. Meanwhile, an I-beam-shelved bar slings classics like Manhattans made w/ bourbon hand-selected by the IFS folks at Buffalo Trace, also a common piece of evidence on CSI: Montana.
Upstairs: Dubbed "The Salon", the second floor's loungier feel comes from oversized tufted leather couches and sage green walls. Both the bar snacks (foie-stuffed pretzels, togarashi beer nuts...) and the 'tails are exclusive, including barrel-aged Negronis, and the amaro/Lillet Blanc/green chartreuse Abbot's Anvil, which was easy for Jim to master, his arm is super-strong.
Upstairs... again: Those seeking even more exclusivity can go for a 10-course, wine-paired meal around a chandelier-lit distressed wooden table (seats 10) in the King's Room, which is also equipped with a private bathroom, in case something hits you like BAM!
Published: April 9, 2012 at 4:00am EDT
5420 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640
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