Impeccable cocktails from Benjamin Schiller (formerly of the Boka group), with small plates from Fifty-50 group executive chef Chris Curren.

Our Review

At the Berkshire Room, you can get a splendid Old Money (bourbon, Aperol, walnut liqueur, a nice little hint of allspice), and the room itself seems engineered to hit the moneyed notes, starting with the Buffettesque name and continuing with the location, on the first floor of River North's boutique Acme Hotel. The bar is loungelike, dark and shiny and filled with hearty capitalists relaxing after a day's work, drinking from old-fashioned coupe glasses and nibbling off a short menu of snacks courtesy of chef Chris Curren. There are cucumber sandwiches, bison tartare, tuna carpaccio, oysters, and caviar, but the particularly hungry captain of industry might be wise to go in for the "Ploughman's Lunch," a copacetic selection of bread, cheese, and cold cuts from Publican Quality Meats (these vary; a generous cylinder of andouille, on the night we visited, was spicy and impeccable). Three sections constitute the drink menu: cocktails, barrel-aged cocktails, and mix-your-own—you specify the hooch, the flavor profile, and the glass type, and the bartender does the rest.

Sam Worley

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Bar Details

The Berkshire Room's Old Money (bourbon, Aperol, walnut liqueur, a nice little hint of allspice) is more than fine—it's splendid. And the place itself seems engineered to hit the moneyed notes, starting with the Buffettesque name and continuing with the location, on the first floor of River North's boutique Acme Hotel. But beverage director Ben Schiller (formerly with the Boka group) gives this dark and shiny room filled with hearty capitalists some serious cred. Three sections constitute the drink menu: cocktails, barrel-aged cocktails, and mix-your-own—you specify the hooch, the flavor profile, and the glass type, and the bartender does the rest. Schiller's cocktails are unimpeachable, ranging from the classic (vieux carre, manhattan, and a "continuous negroni," its bitterness further sharpened with age) to the more imaginative, like the Antique, a rum base modified with spikenard, an aromatic Himalayan plant related to valerian, as well as Himalayan salt. If you really want to know what old money tastes like, there's the Weston, a mixture of bourbon, coffee, and pipe tobacco that induces a sensation I imagine to be something like sniffing Hugh Hefner's smoking jacket, and I mean that in a totally complimentary way—it's one of the best drinks I've ever had. —Sam Worley

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