Think You Know The Best of The Cultural Mile? | A Cocktail With A View

21 December 2017

With its forever views and unrivaled amenities package, 1000M doesn’t hold back when it comes to options for celebrating your favorite beverage. There’s the Wine Tasting Room with private wine storage and Club 1000 with its elegant full-service bar. With this type of luxury, it’s tempting to stay in and enjoy a cocktail at home. But, when the gravitational force of the neighborhood pulls you in, the savvy choice for in-the-know Chicagoans — for brunch or a night out — is Cindy’s Rooftop Restaurant.

Cindy’s at the Chicago Athletic Association. Photo provided by Cindy’s.

Located in the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel (CAA) up the street from 1000M, Cindy’s is perfect for a boozy brunch or a lavish night out. The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, in partnership with Land & Sea, has several rock star drinking and dining options that can fulfill most occasions. Cindy’s niche is the rooftop restaurant and bar that dazzles even the most jaded Chicagoans. Take an elevator up to the 13th floor of the CAA and step into an upscale Lake Michigan beach house fused with a classic rooftop bar. The terrace has panoramic views of Cloud Gate, Crown Fountain, The Art Institute and Lake Michigan. In the warmer months, an outdoor terrace bar means you do not have to stray from your view to re-hydrate.


The cocktail Howl at the Jun. Photo credit: Nick Gerber.

While Chef Christian Ragano’s food menu is nothing to scoff at, cocktails still take center stage at Cindy’s. The drink menu is designed like an old-fashion pharmacy, where drinks are healing and transformative potions and elixirs. Howl at the Jun, a take on a classic French 75 with kombucha fermented from raw honey, is a lighter, pink tangerine-colored drink served on the rocks. As a type of fermented tea lauded for its health benefits, kombucha is an apt fit for cocktails that promise to soothe. The sparkling wine, grapefruit juice and kombucha mask the gin, for a fresh taste with a hint of citrus. For something with a bit more punch, the Pillar of Hercules is predominately citrus, but has a surprising bitterness complemented by a touch of mint.

The cocktail Pillar of Hercules. Photo credit: AJ Trela.

Nandini Khaund, director of the beverage program and the bar’s “spirit guide,” is the steward for Cindy’s as a destination for special events. On any night, crucial social moments — meeting the parents, family reunions, savvy business get-togethers — are happening among casual drinkers. As a destination for large parties, the menu includes options for sharing cocktails, such as the Grey Garden, a refreshing, lavender cocktail that “cures” twenty. If liquor is not your thing, the menu also includes a list of thoughtful mocktails, as well, like the apple cider-based Blaze of Fall.

As part of the Cindy’s experience, the sound level can be boisterous, and you may need to sharpen your elbows to find standing room at busy times. But, for your inner claustrophobic, avoid the press by reserving a table for dining, so you can lounge out with table service instead of vying for the bartender’s attention as you try to secure a two-by-two’ space to view the drink menu.

1000M’s neighborhood is full of exceptional dining and drinking options, but Cindy’s has that special pulse of a must-have Chicago moment.

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Cindy’s Restaurant // 12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL, 60603 // Chicago Athletic Association Hotel