Food & Drink

A dark drinking den below Sumi

Hidden beneath Japanese dining dojo Sumi Robata, Charcoal Bar's the charred subterranean counterpart to the more brightly appointed upstairs, providing a unique Rising Sun-style cocktailing experience for a select 11 guests, which is great seeing as the Bears' offense has plenty it needs to forget. Apart from the bar seating, a floating two-top sits across the room, flanking the lounge, which consists simply of two Enzo-style chairs and a loveseat.The Japanese-style bartending comes courtesy of Matthew Lipsky, Charcoal Bar’s Cocktail Shokunin (loose translation: elite drink ninja), who goes so far as hand-chipping the ice for each offering.Lipsky starts with 300lb blocks that have been frozen with no air bubbles. He saws down bricks into manageable ice chunks, then whittles the chunks into a sphere, far more drink-friendly than two swans with a heart in between them.Said sphere will keep your drink colder longer, like this Old Fashioned, garnished with a Luxardo cherry and orange peel, one of CB's many readily prepared off-menu offerings.Of course, you shouldn't necessarily skip the menu, lest you miss the Frozen Pond, mixing Buddha's Hand infused vodka (wonder who had the Buddha's Hand job?), sake, grappa & grapefruit bitters, beneath an icy surface topped with a white rose petal.Keeping things horticultural, this rum drink's named after the Narcissus, a spring flower that won’t stop looking at itself in puddles. An egg is cracked into a cocktail of rum, sweet syrup, and bitters, dry shaken, then sprinkled with nutmeg.