Escape the Winter Doldrums at These 5 Spots
Winter can be a real drag, especially when your eyebrows freeze from the negative windchill and your mittens make using your cellphone impossible. While it’s easy to be miserable when the sun sets at 4:00 PM, know that we’re in the business of making you happy.
So if you didn’t already have plans to snowbird away this winter, join us at these locations that’ll whisk you away to a tropical vacation without ever leaving home.
Hidden beneath the bustling streets of the River North in Chicago lies cold weather retreats Three Dots and a Dash and its cozy, hidden gem The Bamboo Room. Adorned from top to bottom with island and tiki design, there’s no better place in the city to sip on some of Chicago’s most refreshing tiki cocktails. The expansive rum-forward menu, cornucopia of cold-pressed juices, fine island spirits, and exotic spices served in a variety of mugs invoke a feeling of relaxing on the beach.
If you’re seeking a more intimate setting, The Bamboo Room is perfect for rum aficionados of all levels. This reservation-only room offers different tiki cocktails than Three Dots – as well as interactive guided rum tastings, so sip, savor, and learn from some of the city’s savviest spirit connoisseurs.
Summer is more than just a season; it’s a mindset! That’s what you’ll find when you dine at the California-inspired Summer House Santa Monica, located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood and North Bethesda in Maryland. Brimming with natural light, the interior of Summer House feels like a beach house. Enjoy a variety of dishes from Chef Ben Goodnick chock full of fresh, seasonal ingredients. Whether you’re enjoying something hot off the wood-fired grill or a cookie from the bakery, Summer House brings the pace (and warm weather vibes) of the West Coast right to you.
Aba – Chicago
Aba is a restaurant and rooftop patio designed to evoke summer in the Mediterranean. Here, greenery takes center stage and the sun-soaked dining room makes for an ideal setting to indulge in Chef CJ Jacobson’s Instagram-worthy plates incorporating influences from the Mediterranean.
Pizzeria Portofino – Chicago
Pizzeria Portofino brings the feeling of the Italian Riviera to the banks of the Chicago River. Even when the weather drops below freezing, the restaurant’s bright colors, copious amount of natural light, and light Italian fare will warm you right up. The menu features signature hand-stretched pizzas, charcoal-grilled seafood and Focaccia di Stefano – thin, crispy sheets of Ligurian focaccia stuffed with stracchino cheese. By the time your meal ends, you may just be ready to invest in a boat and start planning your next summer on the water.
Most of us would like to take an elaborate French vacation this winter, but sometimes the hassle of travel just isn’t worth the effort. Enter Mon Ami Gabi, a classic French bistro that oozes the romance and “ooo-la-la” of Paris. Mon Ami’s intimately lit dining room makes you feel right at home while the garlicky, buttery aromas are indescribable. Start off your meal with a fresh, crusty baguette and let your worries float away like steam off of the Onion Soup Au Gratin. Wash it down with a beautiful St. Emilion Grand Cru from the signature wine cart, and boom, European vacation-mode achieved!
So don’t let the winter get you down this year. We strive to put you in that vacation mindset whenever you dine out at one of these five places!