If you can, go to Honey’s while there’s still light outside, sit at the bar and order small plates. While you’re lavished with service that’s sweet as pie, take a moment to look at the space around you. This West Loop spot has two rooms, the first boasting a white marble bar backed by mirrors and a smattering of two-tops with bench seating. But the most impressive feature is the building’s skylight; Honey’s sits on a block of Lake Street without tall buildings, so the overhead window fills the space with sunshine.
The restaurant is an Instagrammer’s dream, marked by clean lines and gorgeously plated dishes that, thankfully, deliver on taste. Executive chef Charles Welch heads up the kitchen, having departed his executive sous-chef position at Sepia. Some offerings rotate seasonally but raw dishes are a constant, with amazing oysters (currently served with a Bloody Mary mignonette) and littleneck clams. Try the hamachi for an appetizer, featuring bite-size pieces of the fish served in a cold green broth made with cucumber, grapes, finger lime, verjus and pickled onion—a bright and acidic accompaniment to the mild fish. You may want to skip the heavy selection of pastas on the menu, if only to save room for a dessert from pastry chef Alison Cates. Her sticky toffee pudding is sweet but not cloying, featuring poached pears, mascarpone and savory garam masala spices.
Cocktails at Honey’s rotate regularly, with the exception of the Smoke Up Your Glass, a smoky mescal drink made with Tromba tequila and garnished with a sprig of rosemary. Those inspired by the opulent setting should indulge in the equally lavish wine list. With glasses ranging from $14 to $19, make sure to have your server help you pick the right glass.
With its picturesque setting and great seafood, Honey’s functions as an ideal jumping off point for a night in the city. The menu of oysters and small bites makes it perfect for grabbing a relaxed drink and catching up with an old friend. You also wouldn’t feel out of place dressing up for a date night, anniversary or special occasion. It's worth a visit, even if you’re just coming for the Instagrams—trust us, your followers will eat it up (and so will you).
Atmosphere: Clean, crisp and hip. The group bills it as “accessible fine dining in a stylish, youthful and comfortable environment,” which is a very accurate description.
What to eat: Small plates, especially the hamachi and anything from the raw bar. Desserts are also delightful.
What to drink: Ask your server to recommend a wine. You’ll be happy with a cocktail too, but the list changes frequently. For something smoky with a bit of a bite, pick the Smoke Up Your Glass.
Where to sit: The bar in the front room, where you can admire the light pouring in from the unobstructed skylight above. Larger groups will find tables in the restaurant’s second room.