RESTAURANTEUR AND IMPRESARIO Daniel Alonso makes no small plans. His Fulton Market Kitchen, to cite but one example—approaching its fourth birthday, believe it or not—remains a bustling and near-uncategorizable mashup of art, food and cocktails. He has another big hit with Beatnik, a so-called “bohemian cocktail bar” on a lively stretch of Chicago Avenue in West Town. The drinks are terrific; the eclectic menu charms; and, above all, the place is a marvel to look at.
Multiple rooms are divided by lush plantings. There’s carved teak from Bali, wood doors from Egypt, a patisserie counter from France, numerous chandeliers—and a soundtrack and menu to match those diverse, maximalist influences. Cocktails ($13) like the Mélange of Modern Culture—green chili vodka, mezcal, celery, lime and walnut—sound like they ought not work, but they somehow balance beautifully, up and down the list. Have one with something from the small-plates section (tapas are a clear inspiration here), like the grilled baby sepia (the cuttlefish enjoyed throughout the Mediterranean) served with squid-ink masa dumplings, smoked tomato sugo, lemongrass and a scattering of corn ($15) or, more conventionally, the Potatoes 3 Ways ($12), a skillful comfort-food execution. Then, since you’ve come with a group of friends, move to the Feast portion of the menu, where a roasted Lebanese-style lamb ($59) or a 45-ounce bone-in rib-eye ($95) can feed a small crowd. It’s big food, sure—but having a big good time is the whole idea.
1604 W. Chicago Ave., 312.929.4945
Tue.-Fri., 5pm-2am; Sat., 11-3am; Sun., 11am-midnight