Since opening earlier this year, the basement mezcal bar at Quiote (2456 N. California Ave., Logan Square) has gotten almost as much positive attention as the restaurant itself. But starting tomorrow (following a soft opening tonight), it's undergoing a major overhaul. Rather than just exist as an extension of Quiote, it'll now have its own identity—Todos Santos—and its own menu of cocktails crafted by Jay Schroeder.
Schroeder is best known for his work at Mezcaleria Las Flores, and since leaving that bar at the beginning of 2017, he's laid low. He joined the team at Quiote two months ago and he's been quietly working on crafting Todos Santos.
The focus on mezcal and other Mexican spirits will remain, but the drinks will be entirely separate from the ones served with dinner upstairs (previously, the beverage menus had a ton of crossover). The initial menu will have seven cocktails, which Schroeder describes as "accessible, but with a lot going on." Take, for instance, the Through Being Cool, a blend of mezcal, tamarind paste, fresh ginger, and Victoria beer. "Instead of using a ton of beer, I'm using just a little to give it body and carbonation," he says.
The drinking vessels come from artisans both in Mexico and Chicago, including some tumblers spun by pottery studio Dark Times and painted by artist Don't Fret.
Should you need sustenance while you sip, you'll be able to order snacks from Quiote's taco trucks on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights through the winter. And once the crew gets settled in, Schroeder hopes to launch mezcal classes for curious sippers. "We want people to come in, taste some stuff, and then we can really illustrate the ideas behind the drinks," he says.