After Island Party Hut and its tiki drinks broke the ice on the expanded Chicago riverwalk on May 23, the revamped downtown riverside continues to see more hospitality openings. Flanders Belgian Beer and Fries, from Dick's Last Resort people, opened on Tuesday, and people will get a more chef-driven food and drink concept tomorrow when City Winery joins the party tomorrow at 11 a.m.
City Winery's riverwalk location, on the south shore between State and Dearborn, will offer a mix of the restaurant's most popular menu items in a place where passing boats can dock and grab a drink. There's also a few mobile bars made of wooden wine barrels that keeps with the nautical theme. The "best of" concept gives City Winery a footprint downtown in a unique Chicago location with the hope of drawing customers to the West Loop full restaurant and venue.
To drink, the menu features a rotating selection of wines, including a sparkling rosé cava. A few Goose Island beers will be available, as well as a short list of cocktails.
The food menu's also lighter than the mothership's offerings on Randolph Street. The local and organic theme features a burrata that's handmade in suburban Niles and a selection of sandwiches including the Greek panini (marinated artichoke hearts, olive tapenade, tomatoes and herbed-goat cheese pressed on a French square roll). Cheese and meat platters, salads, gelato and sorbet are also available.
City Winery successfully lobbied the city to use glassware, not plastic, to serve their beverages outdoors near the water. "We really feel that the wine experience is enhanced by the vessel by which you drink," said City Winery's beverage director Rachel Driver Speckan.
They'll be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., beginning tomorrow. Check out some of the views from the spot above.