Chicago’s The Violet Hour consistently raises the bar on refined handcrafted cocktails. The Illinois bar’s façade features an ever-changing mural without major signage. Its three salons sport high-backed blue leather chairs clustered around small white tables illuminated by candlelight. A marble bar spans the length of the room, which features cornflower blue walls, white crown molding, crystal chandeliers, and hardwood floors, giving the space an elegant feel. Tipples include 25 seasonally changing cocktails made with an array of house-made syrups, bitters, and fresh juices as well as a small but continually rotating list of wines by the glass and beer.
Drinks to try include the Juliet and Romeo (London dry gin, muddled cucumber, mint, and rose water); Hillbilly Reviver (Apologue Paw Paw, lime, St. George pear brandy, absinthe, and TVH+); and Final Acts and Fatal Facts (Arrette Reposado tequila, Batavia Arrack, Amaro Pasubio, Bénédictine, Thai chile, and Chinese 7 Spice bitters). Chef de cuisine Jeremy Nelson has created a fantastic selection of shareable small plates, like Shishito tempura with shiitake mushrooms, whipped goat cheese espuma and a pomegranate salad as well as duck confit spring rolls (butternut squash, Swiss chard radicchio, and cilantro served with a cranberry Thai chile sauce). (David C./Yelp)