694 Wine & Spirits | River West | European, Small Plates, Bar/Lounge, Swanky Bar | Restaurant
694upstairs_andreabauer_teaser.jpg
River West wine bar and event space.

Our Review

Popular for a girls' night out, this two-story wine bar decorated with art from Pop Chicago Gallery has a spacious upstairs with curving banquettes lining exposed-brick walls, a DJ booth and an outdoor deck, but on our Tuesday visit only the cozy room behind the first-floor bar was open. The ballyhooed Benton's bacon BLT is the Tuesday special, along with half-priced bottles of pinot noir. We opted instead for half glasses of reds, such as Duckhorn "Decoy" cabernet blend and Fattoria Capannacce super Tuscan, and were impressed by the generous pours. The BLT also was a letdown, except for the deliciously smoky, crispy bacon we'd order a la carte next time. On the other hand, cured meats from Armandino Batali (Mario's papa) are first-rate, among them fennel-and-black pepper-flavored finocchiona and culatello, spiced pork haunch, billed as the "Kobe beef of pork products" and thinly sliced to show it off to best advantage. European and American cheeses sold by the 1.3-ounce portion range from mild Delice d'Bourgone triple cream to stinky Spanish Valdeon blue and come with an olive-dried-fruit-almond garnish, truffled honey, and mediocre baguette slices. A few panini, a butter-and-salt trio, and "devil's bread" topped with spicy stuff round out the savories. Sweets from Hoosier Mama Pie and Celestial Kitchens include a decadent Creme de la Creme chocolate cake from the latter.

Anne Spiselman

Features: , , , , , , , ,

Price: $$
Payment Type: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Bar Details

A relaxing spot for a midweek date or a sophisticated night out with the girls, this two-story wine bar has a carefully curated wine list and flights of meats and cheeses for a discerning palate. Exposed-brick walls decorated with pop art make the space cool and urban chic, while dim lighting and an intimate size keep it just the right amount of cozy. DJ sets upstairs inspire dance parties, and the rooftop deck offers skyline views as well as an herb garden for the kitchen. —Andrea Bauer

Map

Related Stories

Reviews/comments (2)
3.7 out of 5

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a review

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a review


Roll over stars and click to rate.

Nearby

Friends

Become a Friend