Raising the (Wine) Bar

Melanie Rud Chadwick | January 2, 2018 | Feature Features

Two new wine bars offer stylish sips in chic settings.
Guests can move freely between the Red & White retail shop and restaurant space.

The Press Room: Nestled in the heart of the West Loop, this 70-seat wine bar touts an extensive array of offerings sourced from all over Europe and North America. There’s also a special selection of Australian wines, an homage to owner George Saldez’s home country. The cozy lower-level space is rife with antique touches—a nod to the history of the building, and features a unique tasting room available for both private and public tastings. An open kitchen allows guests the opportunity to watch executive chef Jeff Williams in action, preparing refined, globally inspired dishes that pair beautifully with the carefully curated wine list. “The Press Room is a neighborhood place that offers a variety of experiences, so you can drop in over and over again,” says Saldez of his vision for the new restaurant. When you do drop in, don’t miss one of Saldez’s current favorites: the 2013 Oddero Barbaresco, an organic Piedmont nebbiolo. “It’s especially wonderful in the cooler months and pairs beautifully with cheese,” he tells us. Sold. 1134 W. Washington Blvd., 331. 240.1914

Red & White: When Nathan Adams opened Red & White in 2008, he debated whether it should be a store or a restaurant. He went with the former, but fast-forward nearly a decade, and when the space next door to the Bucktown institution became available, it was a nobrainer for Adams and Managing Partner Cubby Dimling to move in. “The philosophy of the wine bar is the same as the store. We want to introduce people to wines that are real, authentic and have a true sense of place,” says Adams. “The bar will let us showcase more of the small producers we love and share their wines with as many people as possible.” This includes many natural wines, including one of Adams’ top picks, Aliceet Olivier de Moor, a small producer in the Chablis region making what he calls a “sublime Chardonnay with racy acidity.” Guests can move freely between the shop and 30-seat wine bar, where a small menu of cheese, charcuterie, crudo and rotating specials focuses on quality products with minimal enhancement—yet another testament to the Red & White mentality. 1861 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773.486.4769


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