Kentucky Derby Parties in Chicago
You Bet: 5 Ways to Celebrate the Kentucky Derby — Mint Juleps and All
It was cheers and jeers over the hats worn at the royal wedding. Now we get our chance to sport a wide-brimmed beauty at one of these Kentucky Derby parties this Saturday, May 7.
- Plan your ensemble before heading out to the Derby party at South Branch (100 S. Wacker Dr., 312-546-6177), because the new hot spot is dishing out awards for the best dressed clothes horses. There will be enough food on the Derby-style buffet and mint juleps to fill an entire room full of Southern hospitality. The party takes place from 3 to 8 p.m. and costs $12 per person (drinks not included). A percentage of the ticket proceeds will benefit Friends of the Chicago River.
- The Kentucky Derby is going on its 137th year, and the Brownstone Tavern & Grill (3937 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-520-8225) in Lincoln Park has been a part of the tradition for the past seven with its annual Derby day crawfish boil. Put those debutante manners aside and get ready to chow. The $25 all-you-can-eat buffet will include 1,000 pounds of crawfish flown straight from New Orleans, cornbread, gumbo, and beans and rice. Miller/Coors stadium cups, Maker's mint juleps, and Saratoga sunrises will be offered for $5 each, and the energy continues after every race with live tunes and $500 giveaways.
- There's nothing more Southern than barbecue, so who better to throw a Derby party than Chicago q (1160 N. Dearborn St., 312-642-1160)? The resto will open at 10 a.m. in time for the race, serving up specials all day long including $5 mint juleps, $10 bourbon flights, derby pie, and deviled egg flights. Make like it's a bad hair day, because the best hat will be voted on via Facebook and the winner will receive a $100 gift card and a gift basket of Chicago q’s house-made sauces, rubs and pickles.
- While there's still an award ($50 gift card to be used on race day) for best hat, Luxbar (18 E. Bellevue Pl., 312-642-3400) is hosting a "winner's circle" where you immediately become a part of the action. You'll receive a complimentary race card with a pony's name on it, and if you happen to be holding a winning horse, you'll score a $25 gift certificate to Luxbar. While you'll find traditional mint juleps and Kentucky creams for $5, there will be some nontraditional (think truffle fries) specials too.
- Seasons bar (120 E. Delaware Pl., 312-649-2349) in the luxe Four Seasons hotel is offering a $20 tasting menu with items such as bourbon and chili-braised duck sliders and caramel pecan macaroons. Since the calories are already out the window, you may as well add a bourbon ice cream float for an additional $12.
Source: South Branch