St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Thursday this year, so you have a whole week to celebrate with St. Patrick’s Day specials like green beer, Irish whiskey shots and bar food to soak it all up. These restaurants and pubs are celebrating the Irish holiday with traditional options like Guinness, corned beef, cocktails and more. Here’s where to eat and drink for the week and before and after the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Bull and Bear (River North)
There’s something ironic about a posh stock market-themed bar opening in the midst of an economic crisis. The specialty cocktails and upscale bar food like truffle fries with lemon aioli are well executed if you have the cash to burn, and make sure your credit card is ready for one of the booths with table-side beer taps—you might get carried away if you’re the one doing the pouring.
Farm Bar (Lakeview)
Farmheads, the group that brought you Farmhouse Chicago and Evanston, is bringing Farm Bar, a bar that’s working to have Midwest-only beer, wine, cocktails and food. The team has crafted several variations of their own cider in Mineral Point, Wisconsin that will be available at the bar. The menu is simple with burgers, sandwiches, salads, appetizers and bar snacks and offer a special comfort food weekly and a special of the day.
La Sirena Clandestina (West Loop)
La Sirena Clandestina recalls the sneak-away beachside joints of Rio de Janiero that inspire its name ‘hidden mermaid.’ Chef John Manion serves Latin-local fare with distinctly Brazilian influences that draw on his childhood in Brazil as well as two decades cooking in Chicago.
The wine list is eclectic, focusing on natural and bio-dynamic producers. The cocktail program highlights the spirits of the Americas with ample acidity and brightness with an eye towards innovation. Located at 954 W. Fulton Market, the space offers up an intimate yet lively vibe that easily makes guests forget time and place.
Miss Ricky’s (Loop)
The funky first-floor diner is the best place to eat at the Virgin. The all-day menu includes breakfast, so props for that, especially since it includes Ina Pinkney’s Heavenly Hots pancakes from the shuttered Ina’s, and salty-sweet chicken and waffles with sriracha honey. There’s a diner counter, a back room that can be turned into a private space, a serviceable club sandwich, and a gooey crab and shrimp dip that made a great late-night snack. Skip the watery Bloody Mary and sip the creamy, balanced Main Street, which includes tequila, Campari, cream soda and passionfruit. Miss Ricky’s is open late and screens silent old movies on the wall. It’s not a bad place to end the night, whether you’re staying in the hotel or not.
The Dawson (Noble Square)
The Dawson, the new restaurant from owners Billy Lawless (Henri and the Gage) and Branko Palikuca, opened in October with an all-star line-up: chef Rene De Leon, formerly of Next and Alinea; Clint Rogers, late of Henri, the general manager and leader of the beverage program; and Annemarie Sagoi, formerly of the Charleston, helming the cocktail program.