Chicago

Cocktails and small plates in River North

Hybrids are all they rage these days, which is why everyone is buying Labradoodles, then running them over with out of control Priuses. Fusing the gastropub and cocktail lounge, Sable

Opening tomorrow along with the new Hotel Palomar, Sable's a 153-seat dark-hued, brightly lit, open-kitchened dining room and lounge whose haute cuisine-meets-comfort menu is designed to marry with a cocktail program crafted by a Violet Hour alum, who can in turn help you graduate beyond your usual schnapps and soda. The menu's loaded with bar snacks and shared plates like a corned beef reuben strudel, sweet creamed corn creme brulee, and Parmesan grits alongside sausage made from pistachio/cherry/duck, which's also a special Ben & Jerry's offering during hunting season. Among the more than 30 cocktail creations are unique selections like the Black Friars Pint (Plymouth Gin, cardamom spiced Guinness, East India Sherry, shaken with Angostura Bitters and egg white), Belladona (Flor de Cana rum, housemade blackberry syrup, ginger beer, bitters), and the Famous Grouse/guava nectar/jalapeno Scotch Bonnet, which delivers an even stronger payload than that beer can helmet

For those looking to pass on cocktails, there're 20 beers by the bottle and another seven on draft (Metropolitan Dynamo, Goose Island Sofie), plus a 65-strong wine list available by the bottle, glass, and even half-bottle, for those who are sad about the loss of Mr. Jingles, but not THAT sad.

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