Juniper Spirits & Oysters Opens in Chicago
Claridge House Chicago, which opened in May, announced the opening of the boutique, lifestyle hotel’s new ground-floor restaurant Juniper Spirits & Oysters, which provides guests with a sophisticated, yet approachable menu of seafood-centric fare. A place to sip, savor, and relax, either at the lobby bar and lounge, main dining room, or on the patio, Juniper provides a neighborhood spot for both locals and travelers, greeting guests with a mantra inspired by Ernest Hemingway: Be Happy, Make Plans.
With a focus on seafood, Chef Felipe Patron crafts modern American cuisine, offering menu items such as a Chicago Style Oyster Roll with fried oysters, dijonnaise, pickle relish, sport peppers, tomatoes, and onions on a poppy seed roll. The all-day menu also includes Juniper’s signature Sauced Oysters – oysters on the half shell immersed in booze-infused, cocktail-inspired granitas, including Gin & Tonic, Spanish Sangria, Bloody Mary, or Greyhound. Other seafood options include a classic Lobster Roll, Smoked Trout Flatbread, and Prince Edward Island Mussels.
Guests not in the mood for seafood can try dishes such as Filet Sliders with an optional quail egg topper, Angel Hair Zucchini with roasted cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, asparagus, and sunflower milk, Pot-au-Feu, and Duck Breast with potato purée, hen of the woods, and seasonal fruit.
The Sunday brunch menu, launching in the summer, treats guests to breakfast classics, such as a Ham & Cheese Omelet, French Toast, and Avocado Toast, while also providing creative brunch items like Lobster Benedict with poached lobster, smashed avocado, mizuna, poached egg, and hollandaise sauce.
Juniper Spirits & Oysters’ cocktail program spotlights its namesake spirit, gin, complemented by botanical ingredients and flavors. Juniper’s bar will rotate two draft cocktails seasonally, currently tapping Papa’s Daiquiri made with Bacardi Superior Rum, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, and fresh lime and grapefruit juice, as well as a house Gin & Tonic with Bombay Sapphire gin, Chartreuse, and house-made grapefruit bitters.
A menu of chef-crafted cocktails made in the kitchen is also available to guests, with drinks named after notable Chicagoans. The Jack Benny Goodman is made with Tanqueray gin infused with yuzu peel, Cointreau, lemon, and house-made meyer lemon bitters, shaken with a egg white. Straying from the gin focus, the Don Cornelius contains coffee-infused Courvoisier Cognac, maple simple syrup, orange, and coffee with pecan bitters.
Fans of the classic martini may choose from a list of four of the gin-based drinks, and a section of other classic cocktails is available as well, including an Old Fashioned, French 75, and Side Car.
Juniper Spirits & Oysters’ bar will also offer guests a variety of craft Dry Cocktails, containing no alcohol. The menu of mocktails, also named for iconic Chicago natives, includes Mr. Cub―a combination of house-made blackberry and pineapple shrub, vanilla syrup, and sparkling water. Uncle Buck is crafted with house lemon-lime soda, house-made grenadine, and maraschino cherries, while the herbal Orpah? (alluding to Oprah’s actual name on her birth certificate) is made of pear juice, ginger shrub, rosemary, nutmeg, and honey.
Juniper Spirits & Oysters is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. Breakfast is served 7-11 a.m., the all-day lunch and dinner menu is served 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and the bar is open from 11 a.m. until late. Sunday brunch will debut later in June and will be available 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.