Despite the many recommendations to hit The Violet Hour when I was researching places to go in Chicago, it was only due to serendipity that a visit occurred. However, this elegant space with an old-world flair charmed me the moment I stepped through its heavy velvet curtains.
Underneath the glow from a damask-inspired chandelier, high-backed teal leather chairs are clustered around small square columns – the only out-right stroke of modernity in the room. Another heavy curtain opposite the entryway divided and lent intimacy to both sections of the room. Mind you, we never really discovered what mystery lay beyond, despite the leisurely pace of traffic that passed through the drapes.
But of course, regardless of the decor, we were there for the cocktails. And cocktails are taken very seriously at The Violet Hour. Numerous bitters, syrups, and tinctures lined the back-counter, hand-chipped ice in glass-specific forms were used, and our mixologist was both knowledgeable and comfortable behind the bar.
I order their signature drink – the Juliet and Romeo. Floral, with a hint of citrus, and sweet – it was perfect for my tastes and I quite enjoyed it. The glasses were fairly small, but the rest of the pour rested in a small vessel that accompanies your drink.
We received Eeyore’s Requiem when a surprise selection was requested. It was an herbal-tasting drink made with Cinar – an artichoke liquor. Not really to my taste, but it was still enjoyed nonetheless.
We really enjoyed our time at the bar and had pondered ordering more drinks to extend the evening, but being ridiculously full from our meal at Mado and leaving the next day, we opted to pass and made note to return in the future. A lot of detail and thought went into every aspect of the experience at The Violet Hour, and it culminates beautifully. With its old-world elegance and genteel cocktails, The Violet Hour is certainly worth visiting, be you a resident of Chicago or a traveler from abroad.
- The Violet Hour 1520 North Damen Avenue, Chicago
- Cocktail Menu (on flickr)
More at The Violet Hour
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July 24, 2010 at 11:28 pm
Thanks for posting this! Funny thing, I will be heading to Chicago next month! Can’t wait to check it out! :)