What's your guilty pleasure drink?
"Bud Light Lime. Hands down." — Sarah Mengoni (South Water Kitchen)
What liquor should more people know?
"Redbreast Irish whiskey. The 12 year is awesome and the price is within reach of the average consumer." — Sarah Mengoni (South Water Kitchen)
Chicken salad might be more often spotted at delis or picnics, but South Water Kitchen serves it up in slider form. They come with dried cranberries, sage and walnuts.
Baconskin krispie treats (The Bristol), bacon s'mores (South Water Kitchen) and bacon and egg ice cream cones (ZED451) were just a few of the standouts.
What three bottles can't you part with?
"Journeyman Bilberry Black Hearts gin, Campari, Dolin sweet vermouth. Ask me again tomorrow, I'm sure my answer will change." — Sarah Mengoni (South Water Kitchen)
"Loop professionals have a fresh option for after-work cocktails or casual client meetings at South Water Kitchen in the Hotel Monaco Chicago. The restaurant's 26-seat front-room bar and lounge—called “the tavern”—reopened in January after a few weeks of renovation"
Finally, a host introduces the featured act, Roger Waysok, who strides forward and, after a burst of applause, begins his performance... creating a barley, feta, and tomato salad with fresh mint. "All the fresh ingredients in here, I am passionate about," says Mr. Waysok, the executive chef of Chicago's South Water Kitchen restaurant, his knife poised over a red onion. The chef series that runs from May to October at the botanical garden here draws hundreds of people each week. But it could be a demonstration held in almost any venue in America. In a land of fads and social movements, from fitness to feminism, now comes a new one-food.
Who eats: Mix of business people, tourists and hotel guests (restaurant is connected to Hotel Monaco), giving South Water Kitchen a democratic feel. Why eat: Modern, casual atmosphere makes it appropriate for a working lunch with colleagues or business partners; diverse menu, including oversize sandwiches, means there's something for all, with few dishes more than $20. Ambience: Unobtrusively stylish; wood tones keep the dining room from feeling too sleek. Bar area with pizza oven is an appropriate after-work gathering spot. Sidewalk dining on Wabash is an option.
What can we say? Chicagoans love their al fresco dining. When the weather warms up, restaurants swing open their doors and diners demand an outdoor seat. From Wicker Park to downtown, our concierge contributor Robert Brooks scouted out some of the best outdoor dining spots to check out� South Water Kitchen: This hip American restaurant adjacent to the Hotel Monaco provides an opportunity to dine on comfort food with stunning views of Marina Towers and the Chicago River. It's also one of my favorite spots for brunch.