Reservation-only cocktail lounge with fine drinks and caviar debuts downtown
The Four Seasons Hotel Chicago on Michigan Avenue underwent a multi-million dollar renovation in 2020, but the public only gets a glimpse of some of these changes due to the pandemic. Adorn, the restaurant of Cleveland chef, James Beard Award winner Jonathon Sawyer – who replaced Allium, seven – briefly opened in October 2020 before closing due to the ban on eating inside, then restart in April. His companion concept Social Lounge finally debuted this weekend, just in time for Thanksgiving.
âIt will be a complement to Adorn as opposed to the competition,â said Justin Yu, director of food and beverage at Four Seasons. “It will be a place where people can come and have cocktails, canapes and a glass of champagne before the theater or dinner, as opposed to a full meal.”
The living room has gray sofas studded with pillows with low and long marble tables for relaxed meetings, as well as armchairs and small tables for having a drink. The walls are lined with photos of long corridors that give the illusion of more space. Musicians and DJs offer a varied soundtrack ranging from jazz to house, intended to celebrate the musical history of the city.
âSometimes when you think of luxury hotels you think they are more stuffy or more formal,â Yu explains. âWe wanted to break down that barrier, so we have this very comfortable lounge seat for people. “
The small silver bar serves prosecco, cava, and champagne, as well as two cocktails from mixologist Slava Borisov. ‘The Don’t Waste My Thyme’ is a warm blend of homemade thyme and blueberry syrup, gin, thyme and rosehip bitter, while the ‘Pop’ Star Martini ‘features a blend of vodka , elderflower liqueur, vanilla and passion fruit syrup accompanied by a shot of champagne and a plate of passion fruit pearls to pair with the caviar menu.
The booking social lounge also offers a tiered caviar service where the eggs are placed in ice cream with a mother-of-pearl serving spoon at the bottom and the other layers feature a mix of sides including vacuum-packed crumbled eggs, tiny brioche buns, potatoes with champagne chips and jamon. Diners who just want to taste some caviar can opt for a buckwheat cone filled with burrata and golden Kaluga served on a bed of rosehip leaves or a potato crisps topped with crÃ¨me fraÃ®che, Iberian jamon and Golden Kaluga.
âWe want to be sure it’s an accessible way to introduce people who may not have had the chance to appreciate caviar, but for traditionalists we have our caviar service, so it’s a little of both worlds, âYu said.
The menu also offers the Petit Potager, a raw version where broccoli, cucumber and other vegetables are accompanied by a ricotta-based dip that forms a ground garnished with beech mushrooms, crispy kale and soy “caviar” and of shallots. Sawyer celebrates the 15th anniversary of the Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park with a tiny version made of a foie gras tea towel coated with edible silver and served with spicy honey, pearl vinegar and brioche.
âYou take the idea of ââhaving a cocktail party and prepare small bites for your guests when they come into your house,â says Yu. âThat was our concept for the Social Lounge. It is the heart of our house. When you walk in we want you to have just a light bite.
On the sweet side is a box of four dessert lollipops from pastry chef Juan Gutierrez, which will appear on the new Netflix. Chocolate School competition launch on November 26. Bites include a passion fruit cheesecake and a ruby ââstrawberry chocolate swirl.
The Social Lounge also offers tea service, featuring a selection of 25 varieties of Rare Tea Cellars, as well as bites from Gutierrez and Executive Chef Tristan Baker. While caviar service will always remain on the menu, Yu says the rest of the selection will change seasonally, and the show’s opening hours may also expand as the hotel continues to resume business as usual. before the pandemic.
Social lounge, inside the Four Seasons Hotel, 120 E. Delaware Place, open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, reservation required via Tock.