Located in the heart of Chicago’s River North neighborhood, il Porcellino is one of the latest ventures from the Lettuce Entertain You group, offering a cozy restaurant honing in on classic Italian-American comfort food. Seasonal menus feature homemade pastas that use locally sourced ingredients, plus a wide-ranging cocktail program. The Jimmy Two Times was inspired by the movie “Goodfellas” and boasts the flavors of rye whiskey, ginger and grapefruit. “They’re all light enough ingredients to work well with many dishes on the menu, particularly the antipasti and pastas,” says LEYE Beverage Director Julian Cox. “The ginger also gives a nice, warm kick.” 

INGREDIENTS
—1 oz. fresh lime juice
—1 oz. Amaro Nonino
—1 oz. rye whiskey (Old Overholt is recommended)
—.5 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
—.5 oz. Rhum JM Cane syrup
—2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
—candied ginger, for garnish

DIRECTIONS
1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
2. Combine the ingredients and shake until the outside of the container is cold, about 10 seconds.
3. Strain the cocktail into a coupe glass. Garnish with skewered candied ginger. 

Provided by il Porcellino

It may be part of a larger collection, but Davio’s King of Prussia certainly stands on its own two feet. This 10,000-square-foot restaurant bills itself as a Northern Italian steakhouse and with seasonally inspired Italian cuisine spotlighting homemade pastas and prime Brandt beef, it does just that. 

INGREDIENTS
—1.5 oz. Malfy Gin
—.75 oz. lavender syrup
—.75 oz. lemon juice
—.5 oz. Crème de Violette

Courtesy of Davio’s, King of Prussia 

 

The Spiced Maple Manhattan hails from Traverse City’s new Hotel Indigo. Make it at home yourself or sample it this spring at the Indigo rooftop gathering following our 12th annual Best of Michigan readers’ choice awards.

INGREDIENTS:
—2 dashes orange bitters
—1 cherry
—1 orange slice
—1.5 T Vanilla Cinnamon Maple Simple Syrup (see below)
—2 oz. Traverse City Cherry Whiskey
—1 T sweet vermouth
—1 cinnamon stick for garnish

 

The Orange Squirrel takes chef Francesco Palmieri’s philosophy of serving simple, but not simplistic global comfort food using approachable, wholesome ingredients. The accessible menu features quirky, creative takes on comfort classics.

The Orange Squirrel accommodates groups with special menus customized specifically to their needs. Seated dinners are for 35-40 people, while cocktails/buffet-style events can be up to 50.