Chicago-Near North Side
May 11, 2018
Gilt is a gift of a neighbourhood bar. Divided into separate dining and drinking areas, there’s a plush lounge up front and an attractive dining room at the back. In the latter they serve excellent house-made pastas (their brown butter and sage gnocci are pretty special), and a enticing selection of things on toast roasted bone marrow, steak tartare – while out in front there’s a traditional brass-railed bar where you can enjoy a stiff after-work Martinez. The space has an attractive belle-epoque shimmer, all dark wood and impressive chandeliers, with large mirrors that amplify the space. The cosy downstairs Library Bar meanwhile is handsomely fitted out with red velvet banquettes, wood panelled walls and an abundance of heavy-weight tomes. Music plays softly in the background (no need to keep your voices down here) and the cocktails come from the same menu as upstairs, so think traditional tipples like the classic Pimm’s Cup, the Bee’s Knees a soothing mixture of gin, honey and lemon and the refreshingly sharp Paloma, a mix of tequila and grapefruit. They also do a range of Manhattans and Old Fashioneds where you get to pick your base spirit and tailor it to your taste. They stock a good range of premium spirits and there’s an impressively extensive wine list too. Be sure to save space for dessert if you can.