“The menu at Lazy Bird is a beautiful leather-bound book illustrated by the talented Kate Dehler and written by yours truly. It includes recipes, feels valuable and is the perfect size to fit in a bag or purse. We lost so many in the first 90 days we’ve had to limit how many can go to a table and implement intense systems to track them on a busy night. We sell them now, as it’s expensive to self-publish a small hardcover edition. Please, people, buy the book or come back to see it in person, I’d be happy to make you a drink.” —Lee Zaremba, beverage director
Restaurateurs and designers spend countless hours (and plenty of money) picking out the perfect decor—right down to the cutlery on the table and the artwork in the bathroom to the tiny knickknacks above the bar. They love it when patrons admire their stylist approach, but they can’t stand it when kleptos pocket their prized possessions. If you’ve ever swiped a bottle of hot sauce or stuffed a tiki mug from one of the best cocktail bars in Chicago in your bag, we’re looking at you. But no matter how sneaky you think you are, personnel behind the best restaurants in Chicago take notice. Here’s what they see go missing on a regular basis—from leather-bound menus and embroidered napkins to photos of celebrities on the toilet.