Thursday, February 4, 2010

Renaissance Chicago Launches Soft Opening for Swanky Bar Novo

Renaissance Chicago Launches Soft Opening for Swanky Bar Novo

1 W. Wacker Drive [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60601

It looks like theWit's hot Roof bar has some competition. As part of the Renaissance Hotel's rebranding effort, the Renaissance Chicago Hotel had a soft opening for its new upscale Bar Novo on Sept. 17 and the lounge will post an official "open" sign on Oct. 1. And like any good business these days, the Bar even has its own Twitter page.

Formerly a stodgy cigar bar—hello, the Chicago smoking ban made cigar bars so 2007—the new space is warm and inviting with reds and deep wood. But the pièce de résistance of the decor is an open chef's station that's the hub of the bar. The station uses an special induction style cook-top that eliminates the use of open flames and bulky hood systems so that you can watch the chef, who has traded in his tired toque for a sleek fedora.

And while we love a place with a cool vibe, we're more interested in sampling the menu. Among the gourmet bar eats, we will go all carnivore and gobble down the "truffalo" wings served with ranch dip; the smoked prime rib nachos doused with Gloucester cheddar and heirloom tomato salsa; and the grilled Kobe beef sliders with miso onions and wasabi cheddar on a sesame brioche bun. For some variety, we'll end the meal with the housemade s'mores fondue.

If we have to have some fruit and veggies, we'll take them in our cocktails. Okay, that's stretching it, but it gives us an excuse to have three helpings in drink form: the cucumber pepper margarita with Milagro tequila, cucumber, bell pepper, lime, agave and jalapeño; the watermelon caiparoska with Finlandia grapefruit, watermelon, lime and sugar; and the basil tangerine gimlet with Finlandia tangerine, basil and lime. With that much alcohol, we might not be able to stumble our way to Roof for the after-party.

Bar Novo is open Monday through Friday from 4pm to 2am and Saturdays from 11am to 3am. Sundays are open from 11am to midnight. by Jennifer Kester - HotelChatter

[Photo: Urban Daddy]

Related Links: Hotel Deals in Chicago, Top Restaurants & Attractions - Jet Set to Chicago!

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