Tasting Table: Bottlefork Raises the Bar with Ambitious Bar Program

All the Whiskeys

At Bottlefork, the ambitious bar program is the standout

Monday, March 17, 2014, by Anthony Todd

Do you know Bill Brasky?

At Bottlefork, newly open in River North, they’ve got a drink named for that supreme paragon of masculinity. And it’s a doozy.

“In keeping with the ridiculousness and way overboard approach that is the old Bill Brasky sketches on Saturday Night Live, I decided I would do a drink with all the whiskeys,” explains bar manager Brandon Phillips.

So he did. The gigantic drink ($35, limit one per customer) includes scotch, bourbon, rye and moonshine, and is dangerously easy to drink–though you might find it hard to wrap your hands around your vase-sized cup. Plus, it’s got a drop of “the aftershave Brasky used to woo your wife.” (Actually, it’s rosewater.)

Chef Kevin Hickey’s ambitious menu is a good match for the over-the-top drinks, especially because the bar snacks are the best things on it.

We could snack on piggy jerky ($5)–salty and sweet with hints of cola and soy–all night, while “popcorn” sweetbreads ($7) with a spicy pickled pepper aioli had us wondering why anyone bothers with shrimp anymore. Skip shrimp head soup (on the bland side), but don’t miss the scotch quail eggs ($4). In fact, just order the whole “snacks” section of the menu and call it a night.

The Bill Brasky isn’t the only super-expensive cocktail on Bottlefork’s menu. The Chi-Sconsin Old Fashioned ($28) tasted mostly of Luxardo and wasn’t worth the money, but the Brandy and Cigars ($30) really was. In the latter, Germain-Robin craft brandy from California is “smoked” (using a smoking gun) with Honduran Robusto cigars.

Even though it’s not his namesake, it would probably be Brasky’s second drink.

Check out the Menu at Bottlefork here.