Read our lips:
Book it to The Library, Gilt Bar’s newly renovated lower-level lair.
Request a table at the host stand upstairs. Lucky (early) patrons are ushered through a wood-paneled maze and into a room that would make Gertrude Stein weep.
Semicircular red velvet booths help you scope the scene: a wall of carefully curated vintage classics (Dickens, Aesop’s Fables), crystal decanters (feel free to partake), and sepia photographs, all exquisitely lit in what has become Brendan Sodikoff’s (Au Cheval, Bavette’s) trademark golden glow.
Classic cocktails (whiskey sour, Sazerac) come in delicate stemware; the menu is Gilt Bar’s, but smoked salmon Caesar, spaghetti laced with truffle, and pork meatballs taste even better with The Fugees gently reverberating in the background.
We can’t decide what’s sweeter — the service or the pistachio gelato with homemade fudge.
The Library, 230 West Kinzie Street, at Franklin Street, lower level (312-464-9544 or giltbarchicago.com).
Photos: Kari Skaflen / Courtesy of The Library