Between Boutique Bar and Lounge
Location – 1324 N. Milwaukee (Milwaukee and Paulina)
In one word – Circus
Food – The executive chef at Between is the former sous chef of Vermillion. As a result, you can sense the influence of her old menu in this new place. The schtick here is large small plates (yes, another small plate restaurant in Chicago). We ordered a plethora of food: vidalia onion rings, beef carpaccio with mint, seasame oil and pepper, sweet and sour shrimp, mahi mahi wrapped in bacon served with corn, chilled carrot soup and coconut crepes with potato stuffing. We found the beef carpaccio to be the best. Everything else was interesting, but nothing to rave about. They do put orchids on every single dish they serve. It makes for beautiful (and probably expensive) presentation. We ended the night with the rose-infused cheesecake. The rose syrup sprinkled over the top was a bit overbearing, and it never actually infused into the cake.
Drink – We shared a bottle of a Verdelho (Portuguese wine). It seemed as though everyone at the table was happy with the selection.
Service – This is where the night got amusing. Our server at the table was really nice, slightly awkward, but nevertheless nice. However, we were more distracted by the hostess who was wearing an ill-fitting, too short dress. Cheeks flew everywhere when she happened to bend down. Not the most appetizing sight. The rest of the staff really tried to embody the urban hipster look (read: the bartender wore a tie without a collared shirt).
Occasion – This also contributed to the circus feel of Between. You will have some AMAZING people watching here. Since it’s a late night spot, I wouldn’t come here in hopes of a scene until at least 9:30. We saw some large groups and dates (oh man, I wish you could have seen this one guy’s game, it made us laugh the whole night). The decor here is over the top (Morocco meets rec room). Yet, I liked it. I felt like we were in a different world when we walked in.
Dress – Based on the decor of the place, you should dress up. However, given it’s Wicker Park, you can wear whatever you want. We netted out somewhere in the middle with cute casual wear (I wore a dress with a hoodie).
Cost – We each paid $34. I didn’t feel ripped off, but I wouldn’t call it a bargain.
If you like, try…Quartino, Cafe Iberico