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  • Post #241 - May 20th, 2010, 4:24 pm
    Post #241 - May 20th, 2010, 4:24 pm Post #241 - May 20th, 2010, 4:24 pm
    spiffytriphy wrote:Ok thanks! Yeah, my friends and I don't mind waiting. I just don't want to wait for hours, especially if it's cold and/or rainy lol


    I don't think "hours" is ever likely on a Wednesday night...that said, if it's cold/rainy you're likely to have a longer wait than if it's warm. I've noticed that the size of the crowd at the Violet Hour tends to be inversely proportional to the niceness of the weather.
  • Post #242 - May 20th, 2010, 10:53 pm
    Post #242 - May 20th, 2010, 10:53 pm Post #242 - May 20th, 2010, 10:53 pm
    kl1191 wrote:
    spiffytriphy wrote:Ok thanks! Yeah, my friends and I don't mind waiting. I just don't want to wait for hours, especially if it's cold and/or rainy lol


    I don't think "hours" is ever likely on a Wednesday night...that said, if it's cold/rainy you're likely to have a longer wait than if it's warm.


    Agreed. I very clearly recall several nights from the last few winters--with frigid, freeze-your-eyeballs cold--when I thought getting into TVH would be cinch. But there were serious lines of scantily-clad people waiting outside. I'm Canadian; I'm tough; and I love TVH--just not enough to wait like that.

    I say, "Go early; go often."
  • Post #243 - June 5th, 2010, 12:27 am
    Post #243 - June 5th, 2010, 12:27 am Post #243 - June 5th, 2010, 12:27 am
    I had my first disappointing experience at TVH last night.

    I had a dark and stormy, which was too weak on the ginger, cloyingly sweet and seemed strangely not cold. My date had a pimms cup that wasn't nearly as good as the one I'd had a few weeks ago and I could swear was in a different glass (collins) and was very flat.

    The bartender seemed very apathetic, barely jostling the shakers for both drinks and having to make way too many adjustments after the fact. His pours were obviously way off and he made up for it by topping off with either soda or more alcohol.

    There was also no one else on our side of the bar and he took at least 3-4 minutes to make the pimms cup after the D&S. Which was not as annoying as not serving the lady first.

    His performance was really pretty poor overall.
    Last edited by tem on June 5th, 2010, 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #244 - June 5th, 2010, 12:31 am
    Post #244 - June 5th, 2010, 12:31 am Post #244 - June 5th, 2010, 12:31 am
    had a lovely evening indulging in artisanal cocktails at Boka (yes Boka!) this evening with fellow LTH'er Petite_Gourmande and we discussed a similar dilemma--a visit to TVH a few weeks ago was simply disappointing. In contrast, we had a perfectly wonderful cocktail experience with Benjamin at Boka (food not so much) and definitely plan to return..soon!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #245 - June 5th, 2010, 7:58 am
    Post #245 - June 5th, 2010, 7:58 am Post #245 - June 5th, 2010, 7:58 am
    Without going into detail, mostly because I can't remember it all, but my wife and I were sitting at the front bar at the Hour from 6:30 till 9:30 or so, and while it was slow overall, our experience was as flawless as usual.

    SSDD
    He was constantly reminded of how startlingly different a place the world was when viewed from a point only three feet to the left.

    Deepdish Pizza = Casserole
  • Post #246 - June 8th, 2010, 9:21 pm
    Post #246 - June 8th, 2010, 9:21 pm Post #246 - June 8th, 2010, 9:21 pm
    I'll be going with a group this weekend...anyone mind sharing what the latest exterior paint job is?
  • Post #247 - June 8th, 2010, 10:15 pm
    Post #247 - June 8th, 2010, 10:15 pm Post #247 - June 8th, 2010, 10:15 pm
    cccpr wrote:I'll be going with a group this weekend...anyone mind sharing what the latest exterior paint job is?


    I was in there the other night, but I can't remember what the exterior looked like, I just know where it is. I'll be walking by tomorrow night (from Piece to home) and if no one posts before tomorrow night, I'll let you know.

    SSDD
    He was constantly reminded of how startlingly different a place the world was when viewed from a point only three feet to the left.

    Deepdish Pizza = Casserole
  • Post #248 - June 9th, 2010, 9:46 pm
    Post #248 - June 9th, 2010, 9:46 pm Post #248 - June 9th, 2010, 9:46 pm
    headcase wrote:
    cccpr wrote:I'll be going with a group this weekend...anyone mind sharing what the latest exterior paint job is?


    I was in there the other night, but I can't remember what the exterior looked like, I just know where it is. I'll be walking by tomorrow night (from Piece to home) and if no one posts before tomorrow night, I'll let you know.

    SSDD


    The facade is basically blue with some geometric shapes thrown in, most circles, near the door.

    SSDD
    He was constantly reminded of how startlingly different a place the world was when viewed from a point only three feet to the left.

    Deepdish Pizza = Casserole
  • Post #249 - June 10th, 2010, 6:38 pm
    Post #249 - June 10th, 2010, 6:38 pm Post #249 - June 10th, 2010, 6:38 pm
    Great, thanks for remembering. Now I can look like I know what I'm doing as I step matter-of-factly through the oddly painted door. :D
  • Post #250 - June 11th, 2010, 5:36 am
    Post #250 - June 11th, 2010, 5:36 am Post #250 - June 11th, 2010, 5:36 am
    headcase wrote:
    headcase wrote:
    cccpr wrote:I'll be going with a group this weekend...anyone mind sharing what the latest exterior paint job is?


    I was in there the other night, but I can't remember what the exterior looked like, I just know where it is. I'll be walking by tomorrow night (from Piece to home) and if no one posts before tomorrow night, I'll let you know.

    SSDD


    The facade is basically blue with some geometric shapes thrown in, most circles, near the door.

    SSDD


    Isn't that green? :shock: :wink: If it helps at all, there is also a silhouette of a figure painted crouched near the ground that appears to be releasing into the air a series of circles, like large black bubbles.

    A friend and I were surprised to find TVH pretty quiet last night. We were there from about 8-9:30, and there were seats available next to us at the bar the entire time. Friend had the Blinker, which was so smooth it was like drinking orange juice. Wanting a balance of bitter and citrus, I had our bartender make me a Paper Airplane, which hit the spot. A short but lovely evening.
  • Post #251 - June 11th, 2010, 9:35 am
    Post #251 - June 11th, 2010, 9:35 am Post #251 - June 11th, 2010, 9:35 am
    happy_stomach wrote:
    headcase wrote:The facade is basically blue with some geometric shapes thrown in, most circles, near the door.

    SSDD


    Isn't that green? :shock: :wink: If it helps at all, there is also a silhouette of a figure painted crouched near the ground that appears to be releasing into the air a series of circles, like large black bubbles.


    Could have been, I only saw it at 9:30 or so, from across the street, while walking home from Piece, so both my eyesight and judgment could have been impaired. I actually should be in the immediate area again tonight, so I'll double (triple) check, but I'm sure if you thought it was green it probably was.

    SSDD
    He was constantly reminded of how startlingly different a place the world was when viewed from a point only three feet to the left.

    Deepdish Pizza = Casserole
  • Post #252 - June 11th, 2010, 9:51 am
    Post #252 - June 11th, 2010, 9:51 am Post #252 - June 11th, 2010, 9:51 am
    headcase wrote:
    happy_stomach wrote:
    headcase wrote:The facade is basically blue with some geometric shapes thrown in, most circles, near the door.

    SSDD


    Isn't that green? :shock: :wink: If it helps at all, there is also a silhouette of a figure painted crouched near the ground that appears to be releasing into the air a series of circles, like large black bubbles.


    Could have been, I only saw it at 9:30 or so, from across the street, while walking home from Piece, so both my eyesight and judgment could have been impaired. I actually should be in the immediate area again tonight, so I'll double (triple) check, but I'm sure if you thought it was green it probably was.


    To be fair, it was a bluish-green, though I'm sure with enough cocktails, it could look almost any color. May test that this evening. :)
  • Post #253 - June 11th, 2010, 8:37 pm
    Post #253 - June 11th, 2010, 8:37 pm Post #253 - June 11th, 2010, 8:37 pm
    happy_stomach wrote:
    To be fair, it was a bluish-green, though I'm sure with enough cocktails, it could look almost any color. May test that this evening. :)


    To be even more fair,I would say it is more green than blue, at least that is how it looked in the sunlight, before drinking. The geometric shapes (circles) to the left of the door, still stands.

    Enjoy.

    SSDD
    He was constantly reminded of how startlingly different a place the world was when viewed from a point only three feet to the left.

    Deepdish Pizza = Casserole
  • Post #254 - June 12th, 2010, 5:36 am
    Post #254 - June 12th, 2010, 5:36 am Post #254 - June 12th, 2010, 5:36 am
    headcase wrote:
    happy_stomach wrote:To be fair, it was a bluish-green, though I'm sure with enough cocktails, it could look almost any color. May test that this evening. :)


    To be even more fair,I would say it is more green than blue, at least that is how it looked in the sunlight, before drinking. The geometric shapes (circles) to the left of the door, still stands.


    Fair enough. Confirmed by iPhone light last night after dark and after drinking, I was right. (Oh, and there are small octagons in addition to circles.)
  • Post #255 - June 20th, 2010, 9:39 pm
    Post #255 - June 20th, 2010, 9:39 pm Post #255 - June 20th, 2010, 9:39 pm
    I had a perfectly wonderful time at TVH tonight. I had a rather trying weekend and the violet hour was the perfect tonic. I had two cocktails at the bar with Maura mixing. First I started with an Eeyore's Requiem, which reminded me quite a lot of a negroni with fernet branca, but overall was quite nice, if a bit bracing. The next round went to a dealer's choice. I was sized up appropriately and was served a Woolworth's Manhattan, which was a kind of a root beer bittered twist on a very nice manhattan with buffalo trace and carpano. My my was this a very nice drink. I had to literally stop myself from drinking it too quickly. This is why I go to the Violet Hour, and why I always try to throw in a dealer's choice if I'm sitting at the bar. You always discover something new that you'll appreciate at least, and love at best.
  • Post #256 - July 5th, 2010, 2:15 pm
    Post #256 - July 5th, 2010, 2:15 pm Post #256 - July 5th, 2010, 2:15 pm
    headcase wrote:
    happy_stomach wrote:
    To be fair, it was a bluish-green, though I'm sure with enough cocktails, it could look almost any color. May test that this evening. :)


    To be even more fair,I would say it is more green than blue, at least that is how it looked in the sunlight, before drinking. The geometric shapes (circles) to the left of the door, still stands.
    /quote]

    Yeah, it was definitely more green...thanks to you all, I got to look like a smartypants as I strode into a pitch-black room. :D

    And I have to say, the Juliet and Romeo was certainly one of the most disgusting drinks I've ever had.
  • Post #257 - July 5th, 2010, 6:30 pm
    Post #257 - July 5th, 2010, 6:30 pm Post #257 - July 5th, 2010, 6:30 pm
    cccpr wrote:And I have to say, the Juliet and Romeo was certainly one of the most disgusting drinks I've ever had.

    You're the first person I've ever heard who's felt that way. What did you not like about it?
  • Post #258 - July 6th, 2010, 7:37 am
    Post #258 - July 6th, 2010, 7:37 am Post #258 - July 6th, 2010, 7:37 am
    Khaopaat wrote:
    cccpr wrote:And I have to say, the Juliet and Romeo was certainly one of the most disgusting drinks I've ever had.

    You're the first person I've ever heard who's felt that way. What did you not like about it?


    I thought the same thing when I read that last night, but I wanted to wait before posting to make sure I didn't miss read it somehow....

    SSDD
    He was constantly reminded of how startlingly different a place the world was when viewed from a point only three feet to the left.

    Deepdish Pizza = Casserole
  • Post #259 - July 9th, 2010, 5:01 pm
    Post #259 - July 9th, 2010, 5:01 pm Post #259 - July 9th, 2010, 5:01 pm
    Khaopaat wrote:
    cccpr wrote:And I have to say, the Juliet and Romeo was certainly one of the most disgusting drinks I've ever had.

    You're the first person I've ever heard who's felt that way. What did you not like about it?


    The combination of the mint and cucumber was far more overbearing than I had anticipated.
  • Post #260 - July 9th, 2010, 7:50 pm
    Post #260 - July 9th, 2010, 7:50 pm Post #260 - July 9th, 2010, 7:50 pm
    cccpr wrote:
    Khaopaat wrote:
    cccpr wrote:And I have to say, the Juliet and Romeo was certainly one of the most disgusting drinks I've ever had.

    You're the first person I've ever heard who's felt that way. What did you not like about it?


    The combination of the mint and cucumber was far more overbearing than I had anticipated.


    Did you send it back? The bartenders are more than willing to make sure you get a drink you're happy with there. It may have been over-muddled, over-shaken or both. It's been years since I've ordered one at the bar, but I don't recall the mint being very noticeable at all (except as garnish).

    If Toby's still about, maybe he can clear something up...most of the recipes I've seen online call for the mint to be muddled with the cuke/salt at the beginning. I've always worked under the impression that the mint is added after a primary shake of the other ingredients, and only taken for the equivalent of a slow walk in the shaker. Maybe this is something I adapted to my own tastes...I know I give the French Pearl a similar treatment.

    In any case, when done right, the drink is a masterpiece. Every one that comes over the bar might not be perfect, and even if it was perfect, it might not suit all tastes, but as a rule, disgusting cocktails don't generally become the inspiration for dishes at one of the world's best restaurants.
  • Post #261 - July 9th, 2010, 9:08 pm
    Post #261 - July 9th, 2010, 9:08 pm Post #261 - July 9th, 2010, 9:08 pm
    Wanted to get in on the J&R "disgusting?" conversation.

    Now, of course I didn't sample cccpr's drink. But my J&R's I try to pump my cuke and mint reasonably high -- those are pretty subtle flavors, in general, and can easiliy get overwhelmed by the lime (especially the cuke). If I'm using Hendricks to make a J+R I won't muddle quite so hard, because the botanicals in the gin are going to bring out those flavors nicely. But if I want to have a rickey or a southside I'm going to make a rickey or a southside. I can see a problem in the J+R being too much salt (I've never understood the need for it anyway.) The salt brings out the savory elements of the cocktail but of course needs to be applied with concern. Just a theory.
  • Post #262 - July 12th, 2010, 8:04 am
    Post #262 - July 12th, 2010, 8:04 am Post #262 - July 12th, 2010, 8:04 am
    I am truly sorry that cccpr was served a disgusting drink at The Violet Hour. I am even sorrier that the server/bartender did not notice that they were not enjoying their drink. It is a rarity that a full Juliet & Romeo sits around undrunk, and unloved.

    The technique for the J&R is to muddle the cucumber and the salt (the 15 or so grains make the cucumber pop, try a slice of cuke with and with out salt and you will see why it’s in there. It is easy to over salt though.) then the mint is added and just pushed down to the bottom of the shaker so it comes in contact with the liquid. Then the liquid is added. Shake, (we use Kold-draft so the muddling of the mint happens here. So if using chip ice one may need to gently muddle the mint before adding liquid.). strain and garnish.

    Cheers,
    Toby
    WRECHED EXCESS IS BARELY ENOUGH

    HEAT
  • Post #263 - July 12th, 2010, 3:04 pm
    Post #263 - July 12th, 2010, 3:04 pm Post #263 - July 12th, 2010, 3:04 pm
    I went to the Violet Hour last Thursday night. I hadn't been in several months. I had the Eeyore's Requiem, which was new since my last visit. The ingredient list is definitely intriguing for this one, as noted upthread:
    headcase wrote:
    kl1191 wrote:
    Eeyore's Requiem: Campari, Dolin Bianco, Cynar, Fernet Branca, House Orange Bitters


    Oh my.


    For good or bad, "Oh my" fits.

    I really enjoyed this drink, to the point I almost ordered a second of the same. It was definitely bitter, probably a bit more so than a negroni, to give a reference. But it was also very well balanced, especially considering what was in it. I thought the Campari was the predominant flavor, but my wife thought the Cynar domindated. Either way, we both enjoyed it.
  • Post #264 - August 6th, 2010, 4:53 pm
    Post #264 - August 6th, 2010, 4:53 pm Post #264 - August 6th, 2010, 4:53 pm
    Been meaning to ask...has anyone seen the summer menu yet? It's not on the website, and summer's almost through.
  • Post #265 - August 7th, 2010, 7:48 am
    Post #265 - August 7th, 2010, 7:48 am Post #265 - August 7th, 2010, 7:48 am
    jsagoff wrote:Been meaning to ask...has anyone seen the summer menu yet? It's not on the website, and summer's almost through.


    They may have skipped changing to an actual summer menu, I was there for a couple hours last night and they are still using the menu as listed.

    SSDD
    He was constantly reminded of how startlingly different a place the world was when viewed from a point only three feet to the left.

    Deepdish Pizza = Casserole
  • Post #266 - August 7th, 2010, 7:51 am
    Post #266 - August 7th, 2010, 7:51 am Post #266 - August 7th, 2010, 7:51 am
    headcase wrote:
    jsagoff wrote:Been meaning to ask...has anyone seen the summer menu yet? It's not on the website, and summer's almost through.


    They may have skipped changing to an actual summer menu, I was there for a couple hours last night and they are still using the menu as listed.

    SSDD


    Actually let me change this, I'm actually relatively certain there are some small changes from the online menu. One of the drinks I had last night isn't on the online menu, and while I gave my bartender choice, I am pretty sure that the drink was on the printed menu.

    SSDD
    He was constantly reminded of how startlingly different a place the world was when viewed from a point only three feet to the left.

    Deepdish Pizza = Casserole
  • Post #267 - August 8th, 2010, 8:39 am
    Post #267 - August 8th, 2010, 8:39 am Post #267 - August 8th, 2010, 8:39 am
    headcase wrote:
    headcase wrote:
    jsagoff wrote:Been meaning to ask...has anyone seen the summer menu yet? It's not on the website, and summer's almost through.


    They may have skipped changing to an actual summer menu, I was there for a couple hours last night and they are still using the menu as listed.

    SSDD


    Actually let me change this, I'm actually relatively certain there are some small changes from the online menu. One of the drinks I had last night isn't on the online menu, and while I gave my bartender choice, I am pretty sure that the drink was on the printed menu.

    SSDD


    Yeah, there are just small changes for summer. A summer negroni, summer punches... Last night, all of my drinks were carry-overs. I hadn't been to the Violet Hour late in a while. I realize the nice weather was probably a factor, but my friends and I went after Lolllapalooza, got there just past 11, and I was shocked that we were able to get a booth in less than 20 minutes. The line barely extended outside. We stayed until almost 2am, and our party aside, there was a lot of turnover.

    Finally, I think it's somewhat funny that people are still getting hit in the ass with the door when lingering outside/ looking for TVH. The facade currently appears as cars of a freight train, and the door of the building is much more pronounced than usual, painted as the door of one of the cars. People still aren't seeing it.

    Photos from earlier this week:

    Image

    Image
  • Post #268 - September 30th, 2010, 11:27 pm
    Post #268 - September 30th, 2010, 11:27 pm Post #268 - September 30th, 2010, 11:27 pm
    Go...now...don't even bother to read the rest of this thread. Just, go.

    I thought I'd broken the Violet Hour's hold on me...drinking in fancy NY bars and underground Chicago lounges, I may have been heard to bemoan that its best days were behind it. Not to sugar coat it, the Hour has certainly been in need of a shot in the arm. A completely revamped menu has done the trick. On the order of 20 brand spanking new cocktails (there's still the Juliet & Romeo, Dark n' Stormy & Gilded Cage, but otherwise, it's almost entirely new...and I don't just mean drinks that have been off the menu for a few months or years...new). My drinking companions and I sampled 12 drinks tonight, and they were all entirely worthy of what I consider the Golden Age of this establishment.

    Of particular note, the Grave Dancer is easily the best Manhattan variation since the Dogwood. And, the Jimmie Roosevelt (a Charles Baker classic) is a beguiling refresher (Champagne, Cognac & Chartreuse)...while the Coffee Ay-Ay (a Coffee Cocktail riff) is one of the tastiest flips I've had. The Barbed Wire Daisy, Perennial (Death's Door Gin, Apple Juice & Sherry?!) and about a half-dozen absolutely superb rum drinks (this from a man whose opinion of rum is only slightly higher than Devoto's)...all fantastic. Go. This bar is something special, not just in this city, but in this country and on this planet. Don't take it for granted.
  • Post #269 - October 1st, 2010, 3:18 pm
    Post #269 - October 1st, 2010, 3:18 pm Post #269 - October 1st, 2010, 3:18 pm
    Sounds amazing KL. I love the Violet Hour, but it seems to me like the quality of the bartenders might be getting a little lower. This is a broad statement, but lately when I've done a dealers choice, I usually just get something from the menu, or last seasons menu.

    That being said, last time I went I got Mike (manager, also at big star) and he either made me things he was working on, or one offs that truely delighted me (my favorite was a green chartreuse riff on the Queen's Park Swizzle.

    I'm very excited to try the new menu, and hope that it leads to a little more energy in there. I sound like I am bemoaning The Violet Hour right now, but I've truly enjoyed everytime I've gone. It's my go-to spot for relaxation and conversation. I've never had anyone I've taken there not enjoy it (although one person told me the drinks were just ok and pretentious...and I no longer speak to him).

    This is my long winded, rambling way, of saying that I'm stoked for the new menu :)
  • Post #270 - October 1st, 2010, 3:42 pm
    Post #270 - October 1st, 2010, 3:42 pm Post #270 - October 1st, 2010, 3:42 pm
    kl1191 wrote:Don't take it for granted.

    Sage advice. I haven't been in ages, and hope to remedy this soon (especially since my wife is dying for a cocktail, and will be able to drink with me soon ;) ).
    bjackson wrote:(although one person told me the drinks were just ok and pretentious...and I no longer speak to him).

    I hope you bought him a Captain & Coke as a lovely parting gift.

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