Sable Kitchen & Bar
It’s tempting to go with Aviary, the liquid outpost from the Alinea team, but with the changing of guard to Charles Joly from Craig Schoettler, it’s still too early to tell what change will bring. At Sable though, head bartender Mike Ryan (Violet Hour, Otom vet) has been steadfast. He trained as a chef and handcrafts bitters, tinctures and infusions with balance and nuance. While he can improvise anything behind the stick, the long and well-curated cocktail list ensures you’ll never be stumped or left wanting when you’re thirsty.
505 North State, (312)755-9704, sablechicago.com
Audience choice: Violet Hour, 1520 North Damen, (773)252-1500, theviolethour.com
Best of Chicago 2012