[Photo: Tim Hiatt]
The wine bar formerly known as In Fine Spirits is ready to make its public debut as Premise, opening tonight for dinner. The team has done a couple of preview dinners and is ready to roll out chef Brian Runge's more refined menu that will take things up a notch in the Far North Side neighborhood.
Runge, formerly of Graham Elliot, will offer a seasonal menu with dishes like fava agnolotti with country ham, morel mushroom, wood sorrel and ramp ragout; Maine cod with jackknife clam, leek fondu, fiddlehead fern and potato confit; and spring lamb with crisp chickpeas, green almond, sesame seed, minors lettuce and greek yogurt. The restaurant also offers a bar snacks menu and will start offering brunch on Sunday, April 22.
And any of you who loved In Fine Spirits and were concerned the laid-back vibe and handcrafted cocktails would disappear with this new iteration needn't worry. The second-level lounge, beautifully made over by Karen Herold at 555 International, should assuage any fears with its comfortable English countryside feel offering deep leather couches, cozy nooks with banquette-like love seats, upholstered stools, numerous wood tables, a gas fireplace and a cocktail program focusing on barrel-aged bourbons and small-batch spirits.
While upstairs, check out the king's table in the back, which can be booked for parties of six to 10 people for 10-course prix-fixe dinners designed by Runge for $125 a head; add $50 for wine pairings. What's pretty special about that table, in addition to the three vintage chandeliers over head, is the private balcony off back that overlooks the restaurant's patio, which should likely open around Memorial Day.
While the website isn't fully built out, you can make a reservation there, and in the meantime, check out the menus below.