Play Kitchen & Cocktails (7 W Division St.) is now open in Chicago’s Gold Coast with plans to host a public grand opening party in late July. Located on Division Street between State and Dearborn, Play will offer daily entertainment from novelty menu items and a half-y hour to sports viewing, guest DJs, a late night menu, weekly parties and celebrity appearances. In late July, Play will add boozy brunches with shareable cocktails to its weekly lineup.
Led by Executive Chef Melva Jarvis (contestant on Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games”; Caesars Palace Las Vegas), the menu features representations of American classics. “I wanted to build a playful menu that was also approachable so I brought in bold flavors and created dishes that would incite excitement in our diners,” said Chef Jarvis. Highlights include offerings such as 24-Karat Gold Wings featuring house smoked jumbo wings tossed in 24K gold bourbon BBQ sauce with 24K gold flakes and served with ranch or blue cheese sauce; a Surf and Turf Burger with grilled double steak patties, aged cheddar, mustard, grilled onions, lettuce and tomatoes, topped with a lemon-grilled half shelled lobster tail on a toasted butter bun with brown butter aioli; and Cajun Mac with fusilli pasta and grilled chicken tossed in a signature cajun cheese sauce.
For dessert, guests can enjoy shareable sweets like the Honey Delight made with sweet mascarpone cream, grilled nectarines, and a graham cracker crust with a drizzle of local harvest honey. Play also offers a limited Late Night Menu until 3 a.m. Sunday through Friday and until 4 a.m. on Saturdays featuring items perfect for sharing like a Bucket ‘O Tenders, Surf & Turf Sliders and more. Complete menu available upon request.
To complement the menu, Beverage Director Mike Finnegan (founder of Nannoz CBD Simple Syrup by Euphoric Brands; batch cocktail creator for Bonded Beverage Solutions — Riot Fest, Mamby on the Beach, Spring Awakening and more) implemented a craft cocktail menu with seasonal ingredients and garnishes like edible flowers, glitter, rock candy and even a scorpion. Inspired by Finnegan’s friends and family, the cocktail list showcases citrus forward recipes with bright floral notes with hints of rosé and coconut. Highlights include the Stardust with Absolut Elyx vodka, coconut puree, peach puree, fresh lime, Combier Pamplemousse Rose Liqueur, topped with edible glitter; and a Sweet But Psycho with Altos Plata Tequila, cold-pressed watermelon juice, fresh lime, agave nectar, dash orange bitters, and grapefruit soda served in a tiki glass. For more adventurous guests, Play offers The Scorpion shot featuring chile and apricot infused Banhez Mezcal garnished with an edible, pickled scorpion.