James Bond preferred his martini shaken, not stirred, Hemingway opted for a martini with equal parts gin and vermouth. I prefer mine a little more modern, with vodka instead of gin. After careful consideration, I have found a favorite martini in Chicago in the Gabitini at Mon Ami Gabi in Lincoln Park.
Mon Ami Gabi is a classic French restaurant located in the historic Belden-Stratford building overlooking the Lincoln Park Zoo. The Belden-Stratford houses two restaurants, a hotel and private residences. Through the main door you are swept into a past Chicago where you could envision flapper dresses, pearls, Gatsby and of course martinis. I have a plan to live there in my later years and wear lots of furs (vegan and vintage of course).
Step into the restaurant and if you’re lucky, grab one of the six seats at the bar. The intimate bar is a great way to get introduced to Mon Ami without the need for a reservation. Order a Gabitini – made with few ingredients but ones that play together harmoniously.
The richness of the stuffed blue cheese olives cuts the crisp vodka and makes you forget all about your tough day at work. The house made blue cheese stuffed olives are such simplistic perfection they may just convince you that they would be easy enough to make at home. Warning – it is much harder then you would think. Believe me, I tried.
Tucked away in the park Mon Ami can make you feel as if you’ll turn the corner and see La Tour Eiffel instead of the Five Guys on Clark Street. So grab a martini and reminisce about the last time you were in Paris…or the last time you won a poker game to save the world.