Great cocktails are all about touch, precision and balance. Of course, if it weren't for Bar DeVille, I probably wouldn't yet understand this. But because of the passion, expertise and attention to detail paid at Bar DeVille, I've become a huge fan of cocktails over the past year. Before I began prepping at DeVille for my own personal 'bar exam,' I'm not even sure I had a favorite spirit. Now, when someone asks me what my favorite whiskey is, I have to ask them questions about the type of application before I can even answer. Tasting a plethora of meticulously-crafted cocktails at DeVille has helped me to understand that what makes a great Old Fashioned doesn't necessarily make a great Manhattan, and so on. But not only have I learned a ton at DeVille about spirits, how they are successfully combined and what makes a great libation, I've also enjoyed myself immensely at this comfortable corner bar, where the vibe is mellow and pleasant, the mixologists -- Brad, Jason and Eric, among others -- are highly skilled, friendly, enthusiastic and welcoming, and the patrons are almost universally appreciative.
I wish Bar DeVille were in my neighborhood but it's over 25 miles from my house. Still, it's become a favorite stop for me. I make regular trips there and when I have appointments or dinners anywhere near it, I try to build in some extra time to stop in for a drink or 2, either before or after. And as DeVille has helped me cultivate my cocktail passion, it's obsoleted nearly every other bar in Chicagoland for me. I've been spoiled by their premium cocktails. With the bar set so high by DeVille (pun intended), the perfunctory drinks other places turn out are hardly worth the ice over which they're poured. In fact, there are times when I'd rather not drink at all than have something less than a cocktail at Bar DeVille. DeVille's Old Fashioned -- which incorporates no fruit other than wide, cut-to-order strips of lemon and orange zest -- has become my very favorite drink in the city. Old Fashioneds at most other bars are disgusting concoctions that are littered with industrial-grade fruit salad. DeVille is also a place where I can comfortably put myself in the hands of whoever is behind the bar, name a preferred spirit (or not) and know that I'm going to receive an excellent cocktail.
Yes, it's a genuine 'neighborhood bar' and it's also great in the truest sense. The quality of the drinks being crafted at Bar DeVille makes it a bona fide destination. I'd confidently recommend it to anyone who is serious about cocktails, I'd proudly recommend it to an out-of-town visitor who wants to experience the best Chicago has to offer and I'd instinctlvely recommend it to anyone who wants a comfortable place to hang out and have a few drinks. I'm always looking forward to my next trip to Bar DeVille. I drive 25+ miles to get there -- past dozens of other bars -- and it's worth it every single time.
Here are links to a couple of threads, filled with positive comments, about Bar DeVille:
LTH Happy Hour - Bar DeVille, Tues, March 10, 6pm
701 N. Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622