Hot buttered rum: The Alcove, a tiny gem of a bar and cafe on Evanston's Main Street, more than lives up to its cozy name. Totaling a mere 400 square feet, with only four seats at the bar and two tables, expect to get to know your seatmates and bartender on a first-name basis. European-style decor and small menu offerings (think rustic salads, panini, house wines and classic cocktails) add more charm to the already inviting surroundings. The Alcove's delicious hot buttered rum is a seasonal splendor that tastes just as soothing going down as it feels to breathe in its smooth, buttery aroma. All of the drinks at The Alcove are exquisitely made, especially old standards like the Manhattan, but this $11 hot toddy stands out as the perfect wintertime combination of warmth, comfort and good cheer.
512 Main St., Evanston
Leah Pickett, special to the Tribune
Chicago Tribune, January 29, 2014