The Terrace at the Trump boasts arguably the best views in Chicago, with a 16th-floor panorama encompassing architectural icons such as the Wrigley Building, the Tribune Tower and the Jewelers Building. It features a “Polynesian Chic” theme, expressed with attractive black patio furniture, some colorful pillows, a few stalks of bamboo and a handful of windblown palm trees.
What it does not feature, unfortunately, is an exciting by-the-glass wine list. A rosé cava briefly caught my attention, but one could buy almost two bottles of the stuff for the $18 the Trump charges for a glass. Similarly off-putting price tags weighed down the other choices. Enjoy that glorious view, because you’re paying for it.
Finding little on the wine list to tempt our palates, we opted for two “Divine Nectars” (otherwise known as cocktails), the Huahine Basil ($18) and the Coconut Castaway ($23). The former, an attention-grabbing mix of Hum Botanical Spirit, ginger beer, fresh ginger and basil, tasted delicious. An unusual, locally made 70-proof liquor, Hum is composed of pot-still rhum infused with hibiscus, ginger root, green cardamom and kaffir lime (pot stills produce more robust flavors). I taste the cardamom and ginger most strongly in this spicy liquor.
In the Huahine Basil, perhaps a riff on the classic Moscow Mule, the Hum really took over, and I could taste little else. Nevertheless, the spirit’s flavors are complex enough on their own, and I didn’t really mind. Huahine, incidentally, is an island in French Polynesia, the name of which apparently translates as “women’s sexual organ,” according to the “Legends” section of Pacific Blue Adventure’s website. A cocktail name this classy could hardly be an accident.
I’ve now exhausted my positive comments about The Terrace at the Trump. If you plan to go and sip a delightful Huahine Basil cocktail as you gaze at some of the world’s most beautiful architecture, captivatingly honey-colored in the early evening sun, stop reading. Those who enjoy reading tales of shockingly overpriced, uninspired cuisine should by all means continue.