Readers, rejoice: No one will think you’re socially inept if you crack open a book at Bibliophile (1644 E. 53rd St.). With its floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, the bar and restaurant also serves as a bookstore, inviting you to pick a volume off its shelves to take home or read as you sit (and sip). The spot is right at home in scholarly Hyde Park, full of tome-toting U. of C. students and faculty.
Bibliophile’s literary schema carries over to its smart cocktail menu. Bar manager Rachel Smith has created concoctions like the “Catcher in the Rye,” which is made with rye bourbon, and “The Color Purple,” which features a spiced triple berry wine syrup that turns it exactly that. Sommelier and service manager Derrick Westbrook (formerly Next, Elizabeth, and 57th Street Wines) is on hand to craft the perfect wine pairing for Bibliophile’s menu of small bites, which includes a couple of entrée options for those who arrive hungry. Don’t leave without sampling one of the alcohol-infused desserts masterminded by co-founder Fabiana Carter (of Fabiana’s Bakery, just a couple doors east).