Even though the endlessly acclaimed Linger does beaucoup dinner business, Executive Chef Justin Cucci says happy hour is vital to his culinary mission. "I think it's the gateway drug for restaurants. People come and "smoke" a little happy hour so they can go on to the harder dinner drugs," he says. "You get to sample the atmosphere and decide if you want to come back."
You can sample Linger for yourself with the restaurant's new happy hour menu, where almost everything is five dollars.
"We started out with about six or seven items on there with varying prices. We ended up dropping everything to a straight $5," Cucci continues. The new menu takes a big bite from the restaurant's pan-cultural plate, with new items like a mini masala dosa or falafel lettuce wraps with Turkish chile. Most of the plates are gluten-free -- except for Linger's famous pork belly, Mongolian duck and new Mu Shu chicken buns.
Many of the bar's standard cocktails are getting the $5 treatment as well, including the Marrakesh Express, with overproof rum and a pomegranate shrub, and the Sangria Rojo. Draft beers from breweries like River North and FATE ring in at $4 a glass.
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The new menu is served from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at the bar only. (Linger's rooftop patio is closed for the winter.) Take a look at some of Linger's new eats.