Where We’ve Been Drinking
Suburban Edition: iPic Theater
As we mentioned Monday, we used our holiday trip home to the suburbs to do a little investigation of suburban drinking. Had the cocktail renaissance come to the suburbs? And if so, how are cocktails the same and how are they different in the city and in the suburbs? To conduct our research, we took our family on a crawl through the drinking establishments of The Promenade, the outdoor mall that serves in the place of downtown.
Our second stop was at the iPic Theater. At the dozen or so iPics scattered around the country, you watch your movie from a plush recliner; and wine, beer, cocktails, appetizers, and free popcorn are brought to your seat during the movie. At least at the one at the Promenade, the lobby is a spacious and comfortable bar open to the non-moviegoing public. I actually had a pre-movie drink in the iPic lobby a few years ago. With its long bar backed with pretty bottles, its modern leather armchairs, and its art deco touches, it looked and felt like a cocktail lounge straight out of central casting. Since then, it’s been sportified a bit, with many of the bottles being replaced by screens and most of the leather chairs making room for high top tables. Still, it’s maintained enough of its original feel to be quite an amenable setting for a quiet drink.
What We Ordered
Dirty and Delicious Martini: Grey Goose vodka; muddled Kalamata olives, yuzu, rosemary, blue cheese olives
Sunsplash: Bacardi Limon; Bacardi O; orange juice; cranberry juice
Vanilla Manhattan: Maker’s Mark Bourbon; vanilla liqueur; sweet vermouth; bitters
Mulligan Mule: Fuzzy Zoeller’s vodka; homemade ginger beer; cucumber and mint
What We Thought
The Sunsplash was a beautifully colored highball, a rose-tinted and slightly tart version of the Screwdriver. If you’ve read us much, you’ll guess that we found it overly juicy; but my parents enjoyed its easygoing nature, appreciating the way the juices took the bite out of the vodka.
After Bar Louie’s overly tampered with version, the mule was refreshingly simple.
The vanilla Manhattan was quite a solidly constructed drink. A nice, smooth Manhattan with just the right touch of vanilla.
The Dirty and Delicious, on the other hand, was the big disappointment of the evening. First, it was shaken, rather than stirred, a pet peeve of ours, making the martini too watery for our tastes. Then there was the yuzu. We somehow both missed yuzu in the list of ingredients, which was unfortunate since there was a healthy dose of it in the drink. We’re guessing that the yuzu was supposed to be the ‘Delicious’ part of Dirty and Delicious, added to make the otherwise stiff drink more user-friendly. It didn’t work. And not just for us. Some of the family declined to taste it, and others agreed that it was a strange Frankenstein’s monster of a drink. It looked and tasted like a citrus vinaigrette salad dressing.
If you find yourself meeting someone for drinks in Bolingbrook, by all means meet at the iPic. It’s a roomy and comfortable spot for a quiet drink. Just make sure you avoid the Dirty and Delicious.