When’s the last time you saw a cocktail list written in iambic pentameter? If you’re a Shakespeare buff, get thee to Claudia, Trevor Teich’s one-Michelin-starred tasting menu spot in Bucktown, where the bar serves A Midsummer Night’s Dream–themed drinks and rabbit pâté en croûte.
Claudia is not the first fine-dining restaurant to open an attached bar (Esme and Oriole each have one too), but Teich, who ran Claudia from a few spaces around the city before opening here last fall, says a bar was always in his plans: “I wanted a spot where people could experience other things I like to cook, which is mostly classic French cuisine with a little spin.” The bar-only fare includes pâté en croûte, with layers of pistachio-studded rabbit, bacon, and foie gras wrapped in pastry; lobster pot pie, with a canopy of puff pastry; and oysters served with a togarashi-dusted slice of lemon and a sesame-soy mignonette.
On the cocktail side, beverage director Stevan Miller, who won this year’s Jean Banchet Award for best bartender, offers classics ($16) and themed drinks ($20) that take their names from lines from the Bard’s play. One is Roses & Eglantine, an elegant green-tea-infused shochu sour finished with dried roses. On the classics side, you’ll find approachable riffs on familiar favorites. “If you read through the list, you can see, ‘This is a martini; this is a Manhattan,’ ” Miller says. That martini is made with Armagnac, yuzu vermouth, and ume-infused whiskey. It’s a delicate creation, just the right kind of sip to ease into the night. 1952 N. Damen Ave., Bucktown