Sunday, February 15, 2009

Return to the Elusive Violet Hour...or Not

Last night, an hour before our 9 p.m. reservations around the corner at Spring, we tried our luck again at getting into the Violet Hour. As our cab arrived, I felt sure we would finally breeze right in....until I saw the line. It was even longer than last time, and we were an hour and a half earlier.

The only thing breezing anyplace was the 20 degree chill right up my dress. Even so, we summoned our Chicago grit and joined the other hopefuls waiting to get in. (By the way, jeans and parkas, everyone? On Valentine's? Isn't winter dismal enough?) A conviction that lasted all of ten minutes when we realized the line was moving nowhere. Doesn't Spring have a bar? Sure it does.

Brilliant decision. The maitre d' at Spring welcomed us warmly. When we told him our cocktail hour issue, he grinned. "Well, you're in luck. Because the guy who does their drinks, did our cocktail list." I'm assuming "the guy" in question is Toby Malone, but I didn't really pause to confirm because my husband and I basically galloped full-throttle toward the bar.

And thus began our gorgeously impressive evening at Spring. The drinks? Amazing. We began boldly with their Sazerac, which seems to be the Aaron Eckhart of cocktails lately - all of a sudden everywhere. Theirs skips the cognac. Instead, it blends whiskey, bitters, and absinthe with a twist of orange. I tend to liken the food and drink I love with sex... so drinking this was about like making out with an exceptionally suave gentleman who has a fierce five-o'clock shadow and a formidable arsenal of moves. But you'll have to draw your own conclusions.

After that, we tried the Michel Arnould Brut Rose Champagne...which is like a big beautiful, toasty rose kiss, followed by a knife-edge clean finish.

Here's to Spring.

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