Winnetka’s KEVIN BRATT has been actively involved in wine service and restaurant hospitality for more than two decades and is certified by the Society of Wine Educators and the Court of Master Sommeliers. After 21 years as the National Wine & Spirits director at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab (Chicago/Las Vegas/Washington D.C.), he has also taken over as Beverage Director at Shaw’s Crab House (Chicago/Schaumburg), and is working on a recent concept, The Gin Commission. Like his own affinity for travel, history, great food, and, of course, gin, The Gin Commission is a gin-focused cocktail bar embodying all of that and then some. It features more than 50 varieties of gin from around the world, with a rotating selection of gin-focused craft cocktails, as well as a seafood-centric menu of small plates. If gin isn’t your spirit of choice, there’s also a full bar available. Keep an eye on Bratt @invitisveritas and look for news about The Gin Commission – it is not to be missed. Bratt puts down his glass to share how he stays on trend between sips.
ON HIS NIGHTSTAND
“I’ve gone back to revisit The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot. I’m discovering bits and pieces that I missed the first time around and using it as context to decipher some of my life experiences. I’m fascinated by the debate over whether we control our own destiny or whether everything is predestined. I also like to explore the idea that there’s something more to this life than what meets the eye. After saying all that, you’ll probably find it hard to believe I typically avoid science fiction.”
IN HIS EARBUDS
“Musically, I’ve really been into the recent Gilla Band release, ‘Most Normal.’ Not gonna lie, it’s definitely not for everyone, and I’d affectionately describe their sound as dinosaurs having a passionate conversation about nothing at all. Emotionally, it rattles my veins with energetic fervor, and the chaotic message they convey is poignantly soothing to the soul. If you’re open to unique and new noise, this might be an album for you. If not, don’t say I didn’t warn you. They’re also coming to Lincoln Hall in February if you’d like to see them in concert with me.”
ON HIS MOBILE
“I don’t have a profound list of people or pages I follow online, but I do enjoy @imbibe and @deathandcompany on Instagram for fun cocktail photos and inspiration for The Gin Commission. Also, @maunaeatschicago, @theishitaedition, and @agirlaboutchicago always keep me in the know about where to dine and drink in Chicago. Beyond that, I’ve always been a big fan of Danny Meyer, founder of Union Square Hospitality Group in New York City, and whenever I’m in the mood for some restaurant guidance or inspiration, I’ll turn to Audible and listen to his book, Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business. Whenever I need a reminder that our hospitality industry is just that, hospitality, I always find a good lesson in Danny’s message.”