Finally—a Chicago bar where you can actually engage in coherent conversation as opposed to trying to read lips. D.O.C. is the acronym for "denominazione di origine controllata," which, in Italy, defines the specifications for how a particular wine is produced. Conveniently, this is also the acronym for Dunlays on Clark, the coinciding restaurant next door (Logan Square's Dunlays on the Square completes the trio).
The Lincoln Park wine bar is a sort of 21st-century cabin. Plush furniture and marble offset the hardwood floors and lofted ceiling in a perfect combination of upscale luxury and the comforts of home. It's also a great alternative to yet another night on the couch: A solid nighttime date spot, the soft, pinkish-red lighting provides a sensual glow, while the ultra-mellow music and cozy couches almost force patrons to snuggle. (Requisite fireplace included.)
D.O.C.'s wine list is extensive, covering 28 pages of all varieties of wines from France, Italy, Germany, Spain, New Zealand, Argentina and, of course, the United States. Wines can be purchased by the bottle, glass, flight or taste, and prices vary as one would expect. Not into vino? D.O.C. also offers a selection of spirits, port, cocktails, champagnes and dessert wines and specializes in small plate appetizers such as pan-seared Prince Edward Island mussels, grilled lamb lollipops, original pizzas and an assortment of seafood, vegetable and cheese cold plates. D.O.C. is available for private parties (for which the staff will prepare custom menus and beverage options), tastings and wine classes.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Amy Wilschke