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Tiki bar from Lettuce Entertain You, with cocktails developed by Paul McGee, now proprietor of Lost Lake.

Our Review

If you're a River North interloper, you might be shocked to find that Three Dots has only one open table at 6:45 PM—on a Monday. You might be underwhelmed by its menu of one-note (that note being sticky-sweet) bar snacks. You might be overwhelmed by a business-attired party partaking of the $385 "treasure chest," which serves six to eight and includes a neon-lit bottle of Dom poured into the liquor-filled vessel, the contents of which are sucked through cartoonishly long straws. But who cares about any of that. You come here for two things: to sip transcendent drinks and revel in tiki chic. And on those fronts, Three Dots delivers. The drinks menu offers 16 cocktails—eight classics, sourced to various historic tiki bars and/or tiki culture's forefathers, and eight modern cocktails, sourced to mixologist Paul McGee, the former drinks master at the Whistler. It's hard to choose among options such as the Saturn—navy-strength gin, passion fruit, lemon, falernum, and almond, all perfectly calibrated—and the Poipu Beach Boogie Board, an impressive-strength mix of rye, overproof rum, guava, maraschino, grenadine, pineapple, and lemon. But you don't have to—as my budget allows, I plan on drinking my way through all his superlative cocktails in as short an order as possible. Read the full review >>

Mara Shalhoup

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Bar Details

When it was announced that Paul McGee would leave trailblazing Logan Square cocktail bar the Whistler for a gig with restaurant behemoth Lettuce Entertain You, the news was likened to the sound of "a thousand coupes shattering." But don't call him a sellout: the cosmopolitan River North tiki bar he developed is suavity meets Disney—007 with a dash of Pirates of the Caribbean. The drinks menu offers 16 cocktails—eight classics, sourced to various historic tiki bars and/or tiki culture's forefathers, and eight modern cocktails, sourced to McGee himself. There are also three large-format punches, accessibly priced between $45 and $65, and if your budget or expense account allows, a $385 "treasure chest," McGee's answer to bottle service, which serves six to eight and includes a neon-lit bottle of Dom poured into the liquor-filled vessel. You might be underwhelmed by the menu of one-note (that note being sticky-sweet) bar snacks like coconut shrimp and Thai fried chicken, but who cares? You come here for two things: to sip transcendent drinks and revel in tiki chic. And on those fronts, Three Dots delivers. Read the full review >> —Mara Shalhoup

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