In a swap of the original Southern comfort food dishes, the new menu will feature more
street-food-Mexican meets modern dishes—green chorizo/pumpkin seed tacos, porcini
mushroom/mole tacos and perhaps some enchiladas, a burrito and more—to pair with some
of the popular staples to remain, such as chicken and waffles and gluten-free fried chicken.
Flight Club in Chicago has an all-day menu courtesy of local chef Rick Gresh.
The lunch menu features fun snacks such as yuzu guacamole, Chicago onion dip with
veggies, and fisherman’s fries with shrimp butter, ocean spice and a smoky tomato
dipping sauce. There’s also a selection of sushi and sashimi and an extensive raw bar,
along with large sharable entrees such as whole roasted sea bass, 40-day dry-aged
roasted short rib, stuffed quail and a prime beef burger.
Named after the line where players stand to throw darts, there is also a special
“oche” menu of easy to eat one-handed snacks such as flatbreads, skewers and dips. For
dessert, there’s cotton candy in fun flavors, including key lime pie and toasted coconut,
that can be eaten with one hand while throwing darts with the other.
SPiN takes a similar approach, with handheld snacks and sharable items that
include 24-hour beer-brined Hop Pop Chicken, shrimp bao buns and duck duck goose
sliders (confit duck leg, duck prosciutto, foie gras). They remain the most popular items,
along with starter snacks such as shishito peppers, Thai-roasted peanuts and Mexican
street-style popcorn. Handheld dessert cookies and s’mores balls round out the meal.
“The fact that we are a gaming concept drives our food offerings to be easily consumed
while not detracting from your ability to socialize and play ping-pong,” says Roy.
As such gaming concepts put just as much thought, research and study into their
demographics as any high-end, top-rated bar or restaurant, these relative newcomers to
the bar block are becoming the new go-to.
AMELIA LEVIN IS A CHICAGO-BASED FOOD wRITER, COOKBOOK AU THOR AND CER TIFIED CHEF.
Virtual reality has gone beyond just game
rooms to pair up with cocktails in bars. A
global concept started by liquor brands that
include Patron tequila, Dos Equis beer and,
most recently, Macallan single malt Scotch
whisky, these drink “experiences” might
include headsets or VR goggles as part of the
For $95, patrons at Baptiste & Bottle at the
Conrad Chicago hotel can don goggles for
the Macallan Rare Journey, a liquor-tasting
experience complete with dry ice, vintage
glassware and a tableside cart carpeted in
peaty moss (representing the trees used
to make the barrels). The experience is
enhanced by a short video detailing how the
scotch is aged “from acorn to glass” in a
process that takes six years to complete in
rare sherry/scotch casks.
“We wanted to create an exciting experience
that would touch all the senses while being
educational, fun and interactive,” says Raquel
Raies, Macallan’s national ambassador and
the creator of the experience. “There’s so
much history that isn’t told, because it’s
hard to educate consumers in the usual bar/
restaurant setting. The VR and tableside prep
of the cocktail lets us convey so much visually
and audibly that guests will walk away with so
much more imprinted in their minds."