March 2016 | chicago foodie girl


Chicago Eats: GreenRiver

*Tap, tap, tap* Is this thing on? Ahem. I'm finally poking my head out after an almost two-month blogging hiatus. I really didn't plan to vanish and while I don't want to spend much time blogging about not blogging, I didn't want to completely pretend like it hasn't been forever since you last heard a peep out of me.

Basically, I was feeling a combination of overwhelmed, burned out, and uninspired... I was in a major writing slump, and despite what I recommend to my students, I simply didn't feel like working through it. That is until I crossed the threshold of the fabulous GreenRiver. Yes, it's true - one amazing meal at GreenRiver was all it took to break my (self-imposed and slightly petulant) silence. This lovely spot with sweeping views of the city, chic vibe, and seriously drool-worthy food is, in a nutshell, a hella fantastic spot. Everything from the decor to the atmosphere to the drink menu to the food is just ridiculously on point. No wonder I finally got my inspiration back, right?!

Open since last September, this eighteenth-floor gem in Streeterville pays homage to Chicago's Irish history through a vast drink menu composed of 32 cocktails inspired by the city's most famous (and infamous!) Irish-Americans. Of course, these cocktails aren't just your run-of-the-mill everyday drinks; they're carefully cultivated sips designed by Jack McGarry of The Dead Rabbit and Julia Momose of The Aviary. The drink menu alone is a work of art; separated into sections by the raw materials in the base spirit (e.g. "corn" for bourbon), each cocktail includes a biography for whom the cocktail is named. Not only are the cocktails unique (I guarantee you'll encounter something you've never tried before!), but also, the menu is chock full of fascinating tidbits, making it perfect for those of us who like a little dinnertime reading material.

Along with the spectacular cocktail offerings (and over 200 available whiskeys), GreenRiver also offers an equally impressive spread of interesting, well-prepared dishes (many of which were designed to complement individual cocktails). As much as I loved the cocktails, I have to say it's the elevated Midwestern-inspired fare that ultimately won me over. GreenRiver is truly the quintessential restaurant-meets-cocktail-bar in the best way possible; the food and cocktails are equally pleasurable, and whether you're popping by for a quick lunch or a full dinner with drinks, there's a little something for everyone.

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