FIRST IMPRESSION Lincoln Park’s newest wine bar, Trellis (2426 N Racine Ave), has taken over the former Gaslight Bar & Grille space. The recently revamped sports bar decor now has all the charm of a professionally decorated cottage in the Hamptons, with a design taken straight out of the Restoration Hardware playbook. Raised tables in the bar area are paired with difficult-to-climb-onto bar stools, so you’re better off opting for the regular tables in the back. The low-key crowd on a Friday night consisted almost exclusively of J. Crew–clad couples from the neighborhood, making it a good choice for a date or to escape the college crowds.
DRINKS The wine list here is your best bet, with an easy-to-navigate setup and interesting selection of unusual picks. There is a short list of specialty cocktails from the bar. We tried the Gentlemen of Leisure (bourbon, apricot, sherry and Chinese bitters) which tasted like a watered down Old Fashioned, and the Model T (gin, rosemary honey, lemon, mint and Chinese bitters) that was unbalanced and syrupy sweet.
FOOD The extensive menu has everything from your usual wine bar cheese plates and small snacks to individual pizzas and larger main dishes. We grumbled with disappointment at the perfectly lovely and expertly cooked handmade tagliatelle, heartlessly drowned in a slop of bland, watery sauce. The sopressa and Calabrese salami pizza was an improvement, but had a lackluster crust that couldn’t stand up to the heap of meat and giardiniera piled on top.
SERVICE The staff was friendly, attentive and surprisingly well-versed on the menu and the wine list given that the new space has only been open a few weeks.
THE TAB $51.94 for two drinks, venison meatball tagliatelle and a sopressa and Calabrese salami pizza.
RECOMMENDED: The best bars in Chicago. From rooftops to dives, we've got a watering hole for you.