There’s a lovely dichotomy when it comes to Logan Square’s Lonesome Rose and its basement bar, Golden Teardrops. Upstairs, airy Prussian blues, cacti and white ash trimmings transport diners to the sunny Mexican border, and colorful dishes like the Truck Stop nachos accompany bright, fun cocktails. There’s nothing—other than a small sign by the stairs around back—to suggest the sultry Golden Teardrops is below, serving a standalone drink menu at the inky, intimate cocktail bar.
But first, those nachos. A superb option for snacking, they arrive loaded with carne asada, queso and black beans. When it comes to the six taco options, sea bests land; the spicy fish taco is extra crispy and uplifted by salsa verde, while plump chipotle shrimp pair well with charred corn. The food from executive chef Pete Coenen finds a sweet spot between the high-concept Quiote a few blocks north and the beloved taco stands sprinkled throughout the neighborhood. “It may seem like a crowded field, but there’s actually a lot of nuance,” says Peter Toalson, partner in ownership group Land and Sea Dept. (Prime & Provisions, Lost Lake).