Open the windows, sweep up the dead leaves... it's spring for outdoor patios all over Chicago, and few are more spectacular than The J. Parker, the rooftop bar at the Hotel Lincoln run by BOKA Group and the Perennial Virant kitchen, with its unobstructed view of Lake Michigan. They're open year-round, but they relaunched for spring last night with a new bar manager and a revamped menu for spring from Paul Virant. Tony Selna came from L.A. to Chicago to kick off the beverage program at Mastro's Steakhouse, and worked at Roka Akor and Tzar Ultra Lounge before joining The J. Parker. Given Paul Virant's commitment to fresh ingredients from the Green City Market, he says he's excited to be creating drinks and revamping the punch bowl program while drawing on fresh farmer's market ingredients; there's only a little of that now in his new drinks, such as the mint in the Three10 (Russian Standard vodka, watermelon juice, aperol, lemon, mint syrup) but expect to see more as the markets come into season.
Chef Virant is also reworking the food menu for spring; some new items include:
• Roasted and Shaved Root Vegetables: cilantro, pecans, charred onion, bluegrass soy vinaigrette
• Seared Scallops: meyer lemon, arugula, pickled ramps, almonds and house cured guanicale
• The J. Parker Burger: nordic creamery smoked cheddar, soft bun, spicy carrot ketchup, pickles