There is no doubt in my mind that Otto Mezzo will soon be the late night hang out of every bon vivant in the city. The Art Deco interior design sets the tone for this luxe Italian inspired cocktail bar. Open until 4am Wednesday through Friday and 5am on Saturday, Otto Mezzo houses an impressive collection of grappa (Italian pomace brandy) and serves craft cocktails, wine, beer and small, expertly crafted snacks — emphasis on small, don’t expect to eat a full dinner here.
The guilded bar is adorned with large colorful murals and cozy tables are sprinkled throughout the dimly lit space. Top to bottom, the entire experience feels like a swanky secret lounge that would have existed in the late 1920s. If you go at the right time you’ll find a red carpet and two bouncers manning the inconspicuous front door.
Asa Nisi Masa
Fragola Fields Forever
The Fragola Fields Forever is Otto Mezzo’s version of a sour. Served in an intricately stunning glass with a sidecar, it is made with egg white, grappa (Italian brandy made from leftover wine grape skins, seeds and stems), fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and a variety of liqueurs, including Bepi Tosolini Fragola. An Italian strawberry and micro basil are used to garnish the frothy libation. It is bursting with strawberry flavor and smells like heaven.
Dolemite Don’t Need No Posse
Innovative and refreshing, the Figurati! is a happiness inducing elixir. The vodka base mixes well with fresh lemon juice, apricot and bitter liqueurs as well as Lurisia Aranciata, which gives it a burst of orange flavor. This could be Chicago’s go-to cocktail of the summer.
When is specialty meat served on a tiered tray not a good idea? Never! The Nduja (spicy salumi), Bresaola (salted beef), Finocchiona (Tuscan salami) and Tartufo (truffle salami) are all accompanied by traditional grissini (long, thin, crunchy breadsticks) and a variety of pickled vegetables. It goes without saying that this is one satisfying bar snack.
Bruschetta Del Giorno
Duck Egg & Guanciale Carbonara
Hazelnut Amaro Tossolino
The Hazelnut Amaro Tossolino is a medley of deliciousness. The rich gelato is topped with strawberries and is an ideal size for sharing. It’s nutty, smooth and has hints of bitterness reminiscent of dark chocolate.