State and Lake Chicago Tavern

After feeling the jolt of EDM revelry on The Roof at The Wit, Maxime and I packed into an elevator and zoomed down to the hotel’s lobby. I couldn’t help but smirk as the creme de la creme of Chicago’s “blond bottle service scenesters,” stood shoulder to shoulder like zombies with eyes glazed over. The weekly Sunday summer DJ party abruptly ends at 9pm offering a buzz kill which prompts the need for a fancy feast.

The entrance to the hotel’s signature restaurant State and Lake is located just off the lobby. Upon arrival one is greeted by a casual bar which offers a lengthy craft beer list worth sipping through. Guests in the dining room find themselves nibbling amongst a synergy of sports screens that silently blend in with a colourful collection of artistic embellishments. A nod to “the hunt” featuring mirror mosaic deer bust, bright red painted bush, fallen log and mighty moss.

State and Lake is The Wit’s interpretation of a modern Chicago Tavern and the menu reads like a whimsical tour through classic dishes. We start with a sipper, the bartenders recommendation for the Vanilla Maple Manhattan which they serve on tap via petite keg. I whipped my finger through the craft beer list and opted for a local wheat ale duo. The Half Acre Akari Shogun American Pale Wheat Ale and Finch’s Wet Hot American Wheat Pale Ale are two satisfyingly sweet and hazy sippers.

We nibbled through a “box of jars” trilogy, slatherable spreads featuring unique pairings: fig + bacon, pimento + sharp cheddar and rabbit + candied rhubarb. The restaurants signature app is a similarly addictive grease glistened Cheddar Scallion Soft Pretzel accompanied by a roasted corn and jalapeno dip.

Warm English Pea Soup, burrata adorned Bibb Salad and seared Skuna Bay Salmon were our honest attempts to hone in on healthy before waddling through the cities iconic Millennium Park.

The Feast:

Vanilla Maple Manhattan – Kegged On Tap

jim beam black, italian sweet vermouth, vanilla maple syrup, bitterner’s orange citrus bitters

Half Acre Akari Shogun American Pale Wheat Ale, Chicago

Finch’s Wet Hot American Wheat American Pale Ale, Chicago

Box of Jars

fig and pepper bacon (manchego, almond), pimento cheese dip (hooks cheddar), rabbit rillettes (candied rhubarb, horseradish mustard)

Cheddar Scallion Soft Pretzel

roasted corn and jalapeno dip

English Pea Soup

nueske’s ham, coriander seed, cultured cream

Bibb Salad

heirloom tomato, burrata, honey kiss melon, sourdough, basil vinaigrette

Seared Skuna Bay Salmon

pickled green tomato, scarlet turnpis, yogurt honey chia

Organic Buttermilk Grits

asparagus, cedar grove curds

 

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