Three Dots and a Dash
May 11, 2018
This Polynesian-inspired bar serves some serious tiki style cocktails in a visually dazzling setting. You enter the space via a back alley, and head down a creepy dark staircase lined with skulls before entering a tropical basement space. Some of the fixtures were bought at auction from the original Trader Vic’s so it’s like entering a small part of liquid history. There’s a thatched roof and there are edible flowers are everywhere and the whole place has a gloriously theatrical vibe. Hawaiian-shirted bartenders mix drinks to a backdrop of hip-hop tunes. Said drinks are served in funky-kitsch vessels like shrunken heads, carved-out coconut shells or miniature treasure chests. If you want to go crazy then order one of the sharing concoctions, like the epic $385 Treasure Chest No. 1 punch, which comes with a bottle of excellent champagne. Otherwise drinks are more reasonable in price and in the classic tiki tradition with an emphasis placed on the drinks’ history and provenance, like the Jet Pilot which was originally invented by Steven Crane in 1958, a mix of ark Jamaican rum, gold Dominican rum, overproof rum, lime, cinnamon, grapefruit, John Taylor’s Velvet Falernum, Letherbee Ansinthe Brun, and Angostura bitters served in a custom-made mug.
What their peers say
“Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago absolutely blew my mind. It’s a FULLY committed tiki bar that spared no expense with decor. From the furniture, to the lighting, to the throwback Polynesian restaurant menus to the custom tiki mugs, everything about this place reminded me of the myriad Polynesian restaurants of the 80s, except with super high quality. The drinks and food are outstanding. Presentation is unbeatable. Three dots and a Dash is the tiki dream of a brilliant restauranteur fully realized.” – Peter Vasconcellos of The Penrose, New York City