The concept behind the sleek new Sable Kitchen & Bar, located next to the Hotel Palomar
in River North
, is a gastro lounge — similar to a gastro pub, but with more emphasis on the comfortable black, white and grey-hued ambiance. The parent company, Kimpton Hotels, aims for an atmosphere that's spirit-focused and cocktail-centric.
Sable brought in chef Heather Terhune from the Atwood Cafe and bar manager Mike Ryan from Wicker Park's Violet Hour. Ryan's cocktail menu reads like a narrative odyssey, which begins with a quote from David A. Embury's The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. "It should stimulate the mind as well as the appetite. The well made cocktail is one of the most gracious of drinks. It pleases the senses. The shared delight of those who partake in common of this refreshing nectar beaks the nice of formal reserve ... "
The chapters of Ryan's journey then lead you from Bubbly into Be Gentle, toward The Spice Trade, and ultimately, Your First Crush and Wines With "Benefits." Naturally the epilogue quotes from Sinatra: "So make it one more for my baby. And one more for the road."
Not to be outdone by the "lounge," Sable's "gastro" offers a simple, user-friendly menu of profound taste, which is broken down into five categories: hors d'oeuvres, fish, farm & garden, meat, and brick oven flatbreads, which are ideal for brunch, lunch or dinner. The simplicity of the menu lets you shape your own dining experience, almost a la cart. That is, anything can be an appetizer or an entree. The idea behind the menu, I'm told, is that you could try nearly everything on it in one or two sittings — and without breaking the bank.
Average cost: $21-$30
Centerstage Reviewer: Jacob Wheeler