Monday, October 25, 2010

The Violet Hour

A few weeks ago Neill and I finally decided to try out The Violet Hour - a speakeasy style cocktail lounge with a refined atmosphere. Considering that it is only a few blocks from us,  I'm embarrassed it took us this long to visit. But, I've always been turned off by the constant line of people waiting to get in and the "we're too cool to put a sign up" vibe I thought I was picking up. It didn't seem like a place for me. But, as it turns out, having no sign is part of the speakeasy theme. And while there is a line to get in, its because they only let people in when they have seats for them. So, there is no crowding around the bar waiting to get a drink while scanning the room hoping for a table to open up. Instead, you are shown to a seat and helped by a waiter. It is all very dignified.

So yes, I broke my own rule and waited in line for a chance to see for myself what the buzz is all about. And you know what? It wasn't that bad (the waiting that is, The Violet Hour was much better than "not that bad"). Our group of four kept the conversation lively and the hour nearly flew by. (To avoid the line go early! We got there around 9:30). Once in side, I was struck by the design. Reminiscent of a French Salon, the walls are a beautiful blue and there is white crown molding. We were seated in a private enclave made up of two love-seat style, high wing-backed seats. The music was pleasant, but quiet enough as not to intrude. Everything seemed to be done to create intimacy and leave plenty of space for quiet conversation.


Oh and I haven't even mentioned the cocktails yet! Each special and delicious sounding, our group had a great time discussing the menu. I had two wonderful gin cocktails, each deliciously foamy because of the addition of egg whites. The second wasn't on the menu, but I told our waitress how much I had enjoyed my first drink and she offered to bring back a "surprise". How fun! At the end of the night, our waitress offered us each a free shot of whiskey or chartreuse, a french liquor. While I ended up sipping my chartreuse, I loved the herbal flavor. Plus, we all had a good laugh at the contrast between the elegant atmosphere and free shots. 




Overall, we had a wonderful experience at The Violet Hour and I hope to make it back one day. At 12 dollars per cocktail, this isn't somewhere I would plan to spend all night, but I see it as a perfect spot to go for a few special drinks.



[Photo Credit:Clayton Hauck for Metromix]

2 comments:

Anni a. said...

I freaking love the Violet Hour but can't afford it right now. I feel ridiculous saying that I love it, though, is there anyone who doesn't?

Married In Chicago said...

haha. I don't know! I thought I wasn't going to love it, but it definitely won me over!