photo: courtesy of Stone Lotus
Chicago's first liquor spa replaces manis and pedis with sweeter-tasting "treatments." At Stone Lotus Lounge (introduced by Chicago's nightlife impresarios Chris Dexter, Luke Stoioff, Brandon Zisman and David Rekhson), Bottle Treatments pair top-of-the-line liquor with small plates meant to bring out the spirit's texture and aroma. As such, champagne is accompanied by apricot sirop, licorice sugar and rosewater essence; edible accessories include Walla Walla chevre tarte a l'onion
and bruleed farmer's market berries.
If rum's more your bottle, expect to down it with a dash of hibiscus soda and soak it all up with grilled Jamaican lamb chops and spiced prawns with cilantro; vodka, served frozen, comes with smoked salmon and creme fraiche alongside citrus-braised fennel and baby beets.
NYC-based designers Steve Lewis and Chris Sheffield (the men lent decorative advice to the folks of Home, Butter and Gypsy Tea) outfitted the lounge with a Zen sleight of hand: Water trickles down a flower-studded 50-foot wall, wooden lotus blossoms hang from the ceiling and backlit stones cozy up the downstairs lair. Service is inspired by the no-detail-overlooked mentality of five-star restaurants: Hot towels are offered up with beverages and those left waiting in line enjoy hot chocolate in the winter and bottled water in the summer.
Note: Stone Lotus now has a heated outdoor smoking section, so you can still club it up and comply with the new regulations.
Average cost: $21-$30
Centerstage Reviewer: Jennifer Berg