'Sepia' on Serious Eats

Where To Drink Rye Cocktails in Chicago

With the proliferation of cocktail bars and cocktail-conscious restaurants in Chicago, there are dozens of rye cocktails to be had here, especially during this time of year, when meager temperatures demand that restorative sensation of heat rye drinks so generously provide. But around town, many rye drinks are darn good, while others are just ok. As a service to ourselves, I say, let's not waste a drop of precious rye on anything short of great. More

5 Festive Sparkling Wine Cocktail Recipes from Chicago Bars

It's that time of year again, when we all develop that natural inclination to reach for something bubbly. Here are five sparkling cocktail recipes from two of our favorite places to toast in Chicago: Sepia, where Josh Pearson presides over the handsome marble bar, and Pops for Champagne, a longtime fixture of the city's bubbly scene. We promise you'll have no trouble replicating these drinks in all their fizzy finery. More

Scenes from the Green City Market's Chefs' BBQ Benefit

Last night, some of the best chefs in Chicago set up shop in Lincoln Park for the Green City Market's Chefs' BBQ Benefit, which helps raise money for educational initiatives at the market. The original plan was to try and eat every single dish, but considering there were over 80 restaurants at the event, I had to make do with sampling as much as I could. I did pretty well. More

8 Octopus Dishes We Love in Chicago

A splendid plate of octopus takes some doing. Cook it too long, and it dries out; don't cook it long enough, and octopus can be as forgiving as the sole of a dress shoe. But restaurants are taking an array of thoughtful approaches right now to serving up the cephalopod. Some opt to cook it sous vide, then finish it on the grill to order, leaving the texture pleasantly pliant and the flavor slightly flamed-kissed; others grill it and chill it, allowing octopus's natural chewiness to come through on the plate. Check out the slideshow of eight octopus dishes we love in Chicago. More

Sepia's Death & Taxes

The base spirit of this cocktail, Sheep Dip blended Scotch whisky, gets its name from an old term Scottish farmers used to disguise casks of homemade hooch. To avoid taxes (and the disapproval of their wives) they labeled barrels of bootleg Scotch as Sheep Dip, an insecticide used to delouse sheep. More

Sepia's Hello, Holy Rollers!

This cocktail features a pair of wine-based ingredients, dry white port and barolo chinato. The latter is an Italian digestif made with a base of Italian barolo wine. Thanks to an infusion of cinchona bark, gentian and rhubarb roots, and other aromatics, it makes for a warming, full-bodied drink. More

Sepia: Seasons Sippings

Sometimes you just want to give the clueless a beat down. Monday night, I'm sitting at the Sepia restaurant bar, sipping one of bartender Peter Vestinos's Fig and Almond Old Fashioneds (fig- and almond-infused Woodford Reserve bourbon, fig and cranberry bitters, muddled cherries, and oranges). Vestinos infuses the bourbon with figs for four days and adds the almonds in the last 24 hours to capture their essence without transforming the liquor into Amaretto. The cranberry bitters are homemade, too. As I sipped and perused a long list of amazing cocktails made with fresh ingredients and homemade concoctions, wave after wave of people order vodka. It might as well be a bathhouse in Moscow. You got guys trying to flash their... More

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