Photo Credit: Lounge 31/Facebook
Located above Bistro 31 in Highland Park, Lounge 31 is grown up and sexy with an exclusive vibe but doesn’t come off as being pretentious. It’s a little hard to find but well worth the effort.
There’s a great outdoor patio and terrace area, a Carrera marble bar, and an indoor champagne lounge so you can choose your ambiance to fit your mood. There’s a little something for everyone whether you want quiet conversation or an energetic party atmosphere. Indoor and outdoor spaces have comfortable seating and it’s all pulled together with a Mediterranean look that will lull you into almost believing that you’re on vacation somewhere dreamy.
Moving on to the important stuff (priorities, people, priorities) the cocktails are inspired. Where else can you find a coconut hibiscus cosmo? It’s a combination of hibiscus, raw coconut and citrus infused vodka with a little lime and orange juice to balance it out. Sweet without being too sweet, this was tangy and refreshing. Our second recommendation is the Barrel Aged Old-Fashioned which is a concoction of plum infused Texas bourbon served over an ice ball with orange peel, Luxardo cherry, and fresh sage. It was just as rich and luxurious as it sounds. Of course there’s numerous other cocktails but drinking through them all would have required a much more tolerant liver and a designated driver, neither of which was available. If these cocktails were any indication then you can’t go wrong no matter what you order.
Choosing from the Crudo Sushi menu is not for the indecisive. In fact, if you have the tendency to be decisively-challenged then we suggest you close your eyes and point. The Maguro Carpaccio is made with the most meltingly delicious Big Eye Tuna ever pulled out of the ocean. It’s served with baby wild arugula, seaweed, orange, and just a touch of Meyer lemon and olive oil. They finish it with a sprinkle of black sea salt. The rolls are equally delish — you can’t go wrong with the Lounge 31 which is made with tempura bacon, crab, and avocado then topped with yellowfin tuna and salmon. With an Old Fashioned in one hand and chopsticks in the other you’ll be ready to take on whatever fun the evening throws at you.
Yes, Lounge 31 is casual. Yes, Lounge 31 is laid-back. However, keep in mind that this is Highland Park and dress accordingly, please. You have no idea who you might run into here.