Updated: Dec 29, 2019
PLEASING TO THE PALATE It’s Friday evening and the Savory and Sweet Sisters are heading out for a double date, meeting in Elmhurst, the city that boasts it’s, “ideal for your business, your family, your life”. There among the vibrant unique trades we find – Tannins. Tannins is an intimate wine and beer lounge with cheese, small plates, sweet endings, and a retail area for bottles and gourmet foods. Upon entering, we are welcomed with a warm smile and shown to an alcove by the window. Owner Mike Allas describes Tannins specialty as “a great staff, great location and great wine”. He is determined to urbanize the Chicago wine and beer lounge while gently educating customers. The “Geekier”, hard to find wines are his aspiration. The wine list, beer and cheese selections are impressive.
Mike and Cyndi Allas opened Tannins in February of 2016. Previously a wine bar, they decided to take their passion for wine and food to the next level as new owners. From our table by the window we watched as Tannins quickly filled up with customers, conversations and cocktails. Live music permeated the air adding to the intriguing atmosphere. So what brings people in? Asking the couple next to us, Tim and Jana McNally moved here from Chicago. They love getting a babysitter and mingling at Tannins. Tim pointed out that Tannins has “the best craft cocktails in the suburbs!” With that we began our first course. We sipped a Fleur-de-lis; Tito’s vodka artfully mixed rhubarb grapefruit juice and lemongrass syrup. The Gin Mule was refreshing with locally produced Letherbee Gin, the perfect smooth base.
Preferring a classic? We recommend the Old Fashion with Bulleit Bourbon, Demerara syrup and house blend bitters. Don’t pass up on the tasty tidbits to go along with these crafty cocktails. Tannins procured soft pretzels from Winfield – they enjoy supporting local. The Gnarly Knot pretzel melts in your mouth as does the Brun-Uusto. The Scandinavian style bread cheese is served with waterwheel crackers and two spicy/sweet jams.
The next course – Wine and cheese! Our personal favorite, who couldn’t make a meal out of wine, cheese and crackers? Kim Crawford wines didn’t disappoint with the 2014 Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc. For a red we recommend the 2013 Roth Estate Cabernet Sauvignon dark ruby in color, full body and a complex aroma. These paired wonderfully with the suggested cheese platter of peppercorn gouda, Old Amsterdam and Ewephoria aged gouda. The champagne cocktail of Laurent-Perrier a sugar cube and angostura bitters cleansed and enticed our palate.
Our final course consisted of beer and the most divine Bovetti dark chocolate with candied orange peel and nuts. The Sculpin IPA, Founders Backwards Bastard and Speedway Stout were a nice finish to the night.. or so we thought. We were surprised by a peanut butter chocolate milk stout, Absence of Light by 4 Hands Brewing Co. What a sweet ending to our tasting journey at Tannins.
A place you definitely should make a date with!
Tannins 112 N. York St., Elmhurst (630) 834-4800 • www.tanninswine.com Owners: Cyndi and Mike Allas
ABOUT THE CRITICS Stephanie (right) & Tiffany (left) Schmoker are west suburban sisters who have always shared a love for dining out and they also enjoy cooking together. They came from a family of 7 and grew up on farm with fresh fruits, veggies and more. Watch for their review of a different west suburban restaurant in each issue of Glancer Magazine.