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Ask A Chicago Bartender: Your Best Martini Recipe

Lake Street Kitchen + Bar couldn't be more straightforward and delightful. The seasonal farm-to-table menu is complemented with a list of flavorful craft beers, wine from around the planet and artisan cocktails many built from fine local ingredients. The food menu is as diverse as Oak Park itself so you'll choose from homey items like baked French onion dip with chips and oxtail ragu to more exotic fare like Moroccan pork sliders, 24-hour beef Burgundy and chicken teriyaki tacos. Oak Parkers are keen on the house-crafted cocktails and it's a great place for tourists to stop when touring the Hemingway Museum or the large collection of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings including Unity Temple and the architect's home and studio.

(Photo Credit:

Season Marsh
Lake Street Kitchen + Bar
1101 Lake St
Oak Park, IL 60301
(708) 383-5253

With possibly the most ecologically wonderful name on the planet, Season Marsh had pulled plenty of handles on beer and mixed a Jack and Coke or two by the time she moved to west suburban Oak Park. Specialty cocktail and martinis? Not so much. Until Marsh and company had to put together the beverage program at Lake Street Kitchen + Bar before it opened, "We had a banana box from Costco and we filled it with booze, mixers, herbs and spent quite a few days and nights mixing up idea after idea with fresh ingredients," she explains. "By the end of it all we, had a pretty kick ass list." Here are some of the restaurant faves with names that relate to historic people and places in the 'hood. All are really easy to make and any will make a fine addition to your next soiree. James Bond's martini world was a lot less complicated but these spirited recipes are much more intriguing.

Gunderson Ginger Cuc-Stinger


  • Fresh Cucumber (3 slices)
  • Fresh Basil (3-4 leaves)
  • Fresh Ginger (2 tsp diced)
  • 1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz Gin

Shake and strain. Cucumber slice garnish.

River Forest  


  • 1 1/2 oz Koval organic whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Koval Orange Blossom Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes orange bitters

Shake and strain. Orange garnish.

Related: Best Craft Beer Bars In Chicago

Season's Ruby   


  • 1 1/2 oz Absolut Ruby Red Vodka
  • 3/4 oz pomegranate syrup
  • Grapefruit juice to fill

Stir ingredients. Sugar rim with lemon wedge.

Related: Best Bistros In Chicago

Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at

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