Category Archives: Best Dining in the City

World of Chocolate Returns December 6th

Experience a world beyond chocolate

THEE gala of the Holiday season, not to be missed!  World of Chocolate will transform the Great Hall at Union Station
into a decadent adventure. Treat your palate to the sweet and savory
chocolate creations made by chefs, chocolatiers and caterers from all
over the city of Chicago. Tour through this wonderful world and start
your holiday season with a bang!


Chicago in White Pop Up Dinner Party September 22nd

Chicago in White is the city’s original all-white
popup dining experience. Last 1600 guests gathered at the Merchandise
Mart for this unique outdoor dining experience along the river. The date
for 2013 has been set so please make sure to put September 22nd on your calendar and SIGN-UP HERE for Chicago in White 2013 notifications.

What is Chicago in White? it is a unique dining experience where
thousands of Chicagoans gather for a night of al fresco dining wearing
ALL white! How it works – You purchase a ticket (link coming soon) and
then you wait patiently for your Harmonization Point where you will meet
mere hours before the big event and finally be told the secret

In the meantime, gather your friends and get your white outfits and
settings together. Yes, the idea is that EVERYTHING is white. You and
your friends supply your own table, chairs, settings, and food. It’s fun
to plan all the decorations. Think white tablecloths, white napkins,
white plates, etc. You get the point. Then take it a step further. Last
year we spotted gorgeous white centerpieces that included your basic
flowers and vases to birdcages, chandeliers, and more. Think outside the
box and get as creative as you want. View photos from last year to get
inspired by CLICKING HERE. More photos can also be found by CLICKING HERE.

Please note, Chicago in White is
entirely based in Chicago and is not affiliated with the “Diner en Blanc
International” organization from Quebec.

Stay up-to-date on all the details of Chicago in White 2013 by signing-up for the 2013 notification list:


Bombay Spice Grill opens 2nd Location in Streeterville Area of Chicago








11 A.M. TO 2 P.M. 

Executive Chef Sunil Kumar is proud to bring his unique twist on healthy, delicious Indian cuisine when Bombay Spice Grill   officially opens its second Chicago location in the  thriving Streeterville area at 213 East Ohio St. on Monday, July 22,  following its triumphant debut at the Taste of Chicago.


On July 22, ONLY, guests at the new location will be treated to FREE CHICKEN TIKKA, a house specialty, available from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. (one per guest).


new express, “create your own” concept is designed for the fast pace of
area business workers and a respite for Michigan Avenue shoppers. 
Whether selecting a bountiful bowl, wrap, salad or sandwich, guests will
have fun customizing their own with a choice of Steak at $8.95; Chicken at $8.35; Veggie at $7.75 or Tofu at $7.75. Select a Base of White Rice, Brown Rice or Quinoa, then; choose a sauce of Curry, Masala, Spinach or Vindaloo (hot).


Bombay Spice Streeterville brings favorites from its River North sister location, including Lentil Soup, Hummus, Chickpea Ceviche, Behi  Puri, Samosa and Chicken Tikka.  The signature beverage is Mango Lassi.  Desserts are Carrot Halawa and Rice Pudding.


most dishes are 500 calories or less and prepared with olive oil rather
than ghee or butter, providing low-fat, heart-healthy meals without
compromising authentic Indian flavors. The nutritional content of each
dish can be viewed at the restaurant or at Perfect for a health-conscious date night out!


Bombay Spice Streeterville is open SundayThursday  from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.


Memorial Day brunch with El Mariachi

Join Us This 

Memorial Day 

For Brunch & 1/2 Price House Margaritas  

Business Hours

11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.


1/2 Price House Margaritas 


Come and experience one of the hottest up and coming brunch spots in the boys town/east Lakeview neighborhoods.  

Great place to enjoy with family & friends.  An amazing expansive brunch menu.  

Brunch Done With A Mexican Twist!!!

We Wil Be Serving Brunch From 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.



Dinner for 2 with drinks $45 at BOMBAY SPICE GRILL

Chicago’s Bombay Spice Grill (450 N. Clark Street) is spicing up date night every Wednesday with a “Date Night” Special, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Enjoy
a customized three-course dinner for two, which includes an appetizer,
two entrees and a dessert, plus two glasses of wine for $45.00.


Start off by selecting one appetizer such as vegetable samosas, seared eggplant or tandoori wings. Customize each entree by selecting a base of quinoa,
basmati rice or brown rice. Next, select a main ingredient, including
seafood, chicken or vegetables; and finally choose a sauce from masala,
spinach, curry, korma or vindaloo. Complement your custom entrees with a
glass of red or white wine. Finish the night on a sweet note, and share
any one of Bombay Spice Grill’s desserts, including Mango Sorbet, Carrot Halawa or Rice Pudding.


most dishes are 500 calories or less and prepared with olive oil rather
than ghee or butter, providing low-fat, heart-healthy meals without
compromising authentic Indian flavors. The nutritional content of each
dish can be viewed at the restaurant or at Perfect for a health-conscious date night out!



With a motto of “Think Healthy,” Bombay Spice Grill
is able to accommodate any vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free requests,
as the restaurant features healthy, fresh, home-style cooked Indian
Cuisine. Bombay Spice is located in the heart of Chicago’s River North
neighborhood at 450 N. Clark St.

For more information about Bombay Spice, please call (312) 477-7657, visit or view the restaurant’s Facebook and Twitter pages. 


Spring is in the Air in Chicago, and Roka Akor is Ready!

SPRING IS IN THE AIR! Finally!   I see restaurants getting their patios ready, in anticipation of the warmer days ahead!

And Roka Akor is such a beautiful place for after work drinks and bites – or late night on the patio sipping and sharing a punchbowl of Mango Thai Chile Shochu Smash! – By the way, I think this is the only restaurant in Chicago where you can get Shochu. Shochu is Japan’s other indigenous alcoholic beverage, but unlike
sake, shochu is distilled. It is also made from one of several raw
materials. The alcoholic content is usually
25%. Perfect for summertime sipping.

MIXOLOGIST Jason Huffman unveiled a handful of new spring/summer concoctions last week. The Roka Mule served in those wonderful copper mugs with a refreshing blend of vodka, ginger and some fresh berries is perfect on a hot summer evening. or Spring Fashion. Boozy and Bitter made with Gin and bitters.

But the real star of the show, I think is the food. Executive Chef Ce Bian has created a brand new Spring collection  bar menu of intriguing dishes, perfect for sharing or nibbling.

Available daily from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. and again from 9:30 p.m. to close.

Roka Akor Chibi Burger, $4;

Softshell Crab Maki(1/2 roll),$6;

Fried Squid with Lime and Serrano Chili, $7.50;

Braised Duck Spring Roll with Apple and Grape Fruit, $8;

Sweet Corn Tempura with Truffle Aioli, $8;

Chicken Yakitori (3 pc), $9;

SO REFRESHING AND DELICIOUS – Shrimp and Lobster Tacos with Scallop Ceviche, $9;

Waygu Beef & Kimchi Dumplings, $12;

Summertime is barbecue
time, but there is  a rustic form of grilling from Japan called
robata. Translated as “around the fireplace,” robata taps the ancient Japanese custom of cooking in the irori, the traditional charcoal-fired hearth once found in every home. Roka Akor uses this technique in their cooking.

What is decadence without bone marrow?
Robata Grilled Bone Marrow with Sesame Nori Toast , $12;

ROKA AKOR is voted one of the Top 10 Sushi Spots in the United States by Bon Appétit and Travel & Leisure Magazines, and 2013 Michelin Guide Chicago recommended, is a stylish Prime steak and sushi restaurant that features Robata-style “open charcoal” cuisine. For Chef Ce Bian’s dining room menu, the freshest fish is flown in daily, and sushi and sashimi are carefully handpicked by region and seasonality. The menu also features a variety of succulent steak cuts including Prime Rib Eye with Wafu Dressing and Prime New York Strip Loin with Truffle Aioli, as well as the highest quality of domestic and Australian Wagyu Beef.

Inside Roka Bar — Roka Akor’s informal, yet sophisticated dining environment — guests can feast on a selection of Japanese small plates, which are designed for sharing and very affordable and won’t totally break your bank.

Roka Akor is opening in San Francisco’s Jackson Square,  summer 2013.

Insider Scoop – Try Sunday Brunch at Roka Akor!   $9-$15.

Roka Akor 

456 N Clark St  Chicago, IL 60654

(312) 477-7652

Missed Baconfest? Check out Cochon 555 April 28th

LOVE  PORK?  but  you missed Baconfest last weekend, you can still get your fill of bacon and much more this coming Sunday at Cochon555.  And this year, Chicago has a tradition to uphold!  The 2012 winner from Chicago was Jason Vincent of Nightwood Restaurant.  He then went on to win the Grand Cochon event in Aspen proving that Chicago is the most amazing culinary city in the country.


Arriving in The Windy City on Sunday, April 28 at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, Cochon 555,
the pork-centric tour, gathers together five chefs, five pigs and five
wineries at each event – ultimately touching down in 10 cities across
the country and bringing its message of nose-to-tail cooking, breed
diversity and family farming to food enthusiasts nationwide.

Each Cochon 555 event challenges five local chefs to prepare a menu
created from the entirety of heritage breed pigs for an audience of
pork-loving epicureans and celebrated judges. Chefs competing for Prince
or Princess of Pork in Chicago are Kevin Hickey (Allium); Cosmo Goss (Publican Quality Meats); Matthias Merges (Yusho); Ryan Poli (Tavernita); and Josh Adams
(June Restaurant).  Guests will be treated to an epic pork feast
alongside wines from five small family-owned wineries. 

Twenty judges and
400 guests help decide the winning chef, who is crowned the Prince of
Pork and will compete against other regional winners at the finale Grand
Cochon event at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen on Sunday, June


Tickets are still available for both levels –
 standard ($125) and VIP ($200).  The VIP tasting begins at 4 p.m. and
the standard begins at 5 p.m.  For ticket information visit their
website at


You can also get more information on their Facebook page and can follow them on Twitter or YouTube.


Healthy Indian Food Cooking Lesson at Bombay Spice March 23rd





Saturday, March 23, 2013


 In honor of March’s National Nutrition Month, join Chef Sunil Kumar of Chicago’s Bombay Spice Grill, 450 N. Clark Street, for a healthy Indian cooking class from 2:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. for $45.00/person on Saturday, March 23.

Learn marinating techniques for Chicken Tikka (Indian Barbecue) and how to make Chickpea Hummus, Kale Tofu Stir Fry, and Sweet Mango Lassi. With
every Bombay Spice Grill menu item under 500 calories and many dishes
less than 200 mgs of sodium, there are a great variety of healthy tasty
Indian options to learn to make at home. All of the Indian spices used
in the dishes Chef Sunil Kumar will demonstrate are linked to health


dishes are prepared with olive oil rather than ghee or butter,
providing low-fat, heart-healthy meals without compromising authentic
Indian flavors. The nutritional content of each dish can be viewed at
the restaurant or at


Seating is limited, so call 312.477.7657 to sign up today! 


La Grand Vie Lounge and Restaurant

 Just steps from Michigan Avenue, nestled inside The Chatelaine building at 215 E. Chestnut, is downtown’s newest hidden gem, La Grand Vie. A sleek new lounge/restaurant with signature craft cocktails and a menu to suit 

everyone’s taste and budget.

Manager James Kupka (formerly of Mini Bar)says LGV emphasizes classic cocktails and small appetizers. But entrees are available as well. 
Popular items like Calamari and Oysters as well as more unique appetizers like Lobster Quesadilla and Roasted Beet Terrine. There are soups and salads and lots of  sandwiches like Croque Madame on Sourdough, with  black forest ham, gruyere and Swiss, hollandaise-mornaise,  and a fried egg; Signature Burgers and a Seared Ahi Tuna Steak sandwich.  Entree’s include Chicken, Pork Chops, Steaks and a vegetarian option. Save room for dessert! Beignets with a chocolate dipping sauce! Everything we tried was delicious and the portions were all a nice size. 
 Open for lunch, dinner, and late night as well as  champagne brunch on Sundays 11am-3pm.
Brioche French Toast, Pork Belly Mac and Cheese, Eggs  Benedict, Ham & Egg Pannini. Brunch options run $10-$13. Add on Bottomless Bloody Marys or Mimosas for $15
 La Grande Vie aims to draw in neighbors and power lunches during the day, and a hipper crowd at night. But Ricardo Sebastian, head of Luxury Management, a consulting group that works with La Grande Vie, insists the vibe is free of the usual Gold Coast pretension. “People feel intimidated when a restaurant is chic and you can’t pronounce what’s on the menu,” he said. “We wanted to veer away from that. It’s a place to chill and hang out.”
215 E. Chestnut St.
(between Seneca St & Dewitt Pl)

(312) 643-1111


New Years Eve with Roka Akor and Omakase Menu

Ring in the New Year this December 31 at Roka Akor Steak & Sushi, 456 N. Clark Street, with Chef Ce Bian’s sparkling five-course Omakase Menu, which includes dessert and a complimentary champagne toast.

 Later on, enjoy the musical stylings of Chicago DJ The “Dance MKR” beginning at 10:00 p.m. 
Reservations are now being accepted for a choice of three seatings: 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., 
8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., and 
11:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. 
Along with each of the dinner seatings, wine & sake pairings are available all night for an additional $30 per person.
First Seating:
4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., $85.00

First Seating:

4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., $85.00

·         First Course: Butterfish Tataki with White Asparagus and Yuzu Shallot Dressing; Wagyu Beef and Kimchee Dumpling or Ty Ku Silver.

o   Wine Pairing: Henriot Brut, Champagne, France.

·         Second Course: Tuna Four Ways Maki with Mango Sauce; Hamachi Sashimi with Ponzu Dressing and Serrano; or Deep Water/ Tosatsuru Azure.

o   Wine Pairing: Rudi Pichler Federspiel Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal, Austria.

·         Third Course: Robata Grilled Yuzu Miso Marinated Black Cod; Robata Grilled Asparagus with Sweet Soy; or Water Place/ Mizbasho.

o   Wine Pairing: Dr. Hermann Urziger Wurzgarten Kabinett Riesling, Mosel. Germany.

·         Fourth Course: Robata Grilled Wagyu Zabutan Steak with Truffle Maitaki Mushroom; Crispy Fried Brussels Sprout; or Star Sword/ Kenbishi.

o   Wine Pairing: Matsu El Picaro, Ribiera del Queles, Spain.

·         Fifth Course: Five Star Chocolate Cake.


Second Seating:

8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., $125

·         First Course: Robata Grilled Scallop with Soy Truffle Butter and Truffle Aioli, or Tuna Tataki with Red Onions, Chili Daikon Ponzu and Garlic Chips.

·         Wine Pairing: Henriot Brut, Champagne, France.

·         Second Course: Premium Sashimi Selection, or Wagyu Beef Gunkan with Caviar and Green Onions.

·         Wine Pairing: Rudi Pichler Federspiel Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal, Austria.

·         Third Course: Robata Grilled Lobster with Soy Ponzu Butter and Shiso Cress; Robata Grilled Broccolini with Ginger Shallot Dressing; or Butternut Squash Tempura with Soy Pepper Broth.

·         Wine Pairing: Dr. Hermann Urziger Wurzgarten Kabinett Riesling, Mosel. Germany.

·         Fourth Course: Robata Grilled Japanese A3 Wagyu Beef; Truffle Maitaki Mushroom; or Baked Eggplant with Red Miso Glazed.

·         Wine Pairing: Matsu El Picaro, Ribiera del Queles, Spain.

·         Fifth Course: Five Star Chocolate Cake.


Third Seating:

11:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m., $45

Each guest will receive each of the menu items.

·         First Course: Wagyu Beef dumplings; or Butterfish Tataki.

·         Wine Pairing: Henriot Brut, Champagne, France.

·         Second Course: Crispy Butterfish Roll; or Salmon Avocado Roll.

·         Wine Pairing: Rudi Pichler Federspiel Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal, Austria.

·         Third Course: Rock Shrimp; or Chicken Yakotori.

·         Wine Pairing: Dr. Hermann Urziger Wurzgarten Kabinett Riesling, Mosel. Germany.

·         Fourth Course: Black Cod; Sweet Pot; or Brussel Sprouts.

·         Wine Pairing: Matsu El Picaro, Ribiera del Queles, Spain.

Akor, voted one of the Top 10 Sushi Spots in the United States by Bon
Appétit magazine, is a stylish Prime steak and sushi restaurant that
features Robatayaki style “open charcoal” cuisine. For Chef Ce Bian’s
dining room menu, the freshest fish is flown in daily, and sushi and
sashimi are carefully handpicked by region and seasonality. The menu
also features a variety of succulent steak cuts including Prime Rib Eye
with Wafu Dressing and Prime New York Strip Loin with Truffle Aioli, as
well as the highest quality of domestic and Australian Wagyu Beef.
Inside the Sake & Shochu Lounge — Roka Akor’s informal, yet
sophisticated dining environment — guests can feast on a selection of
Japanese small plates, which are designed for sharing.


Roka Akor,
owned by JNK Concepts, is located in the heart of Chicago’s River North
neighborhood at 456 N. Clark. The restaurant is open for lunch Monday
through Friday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served
Sunday through Wednesday from 5 to 11 p.m., Thursday through Saturday
from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. The Sake & Shochu Lounge is open Sunday
through Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., Thursday and Friday from 5 p.m.
to 2 a.m. and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. For more information about
Roka Akor, please call (312) 477-7652 or visit  or the restaurant’s Facebook and Twitter pages.


Del Friscos Double Eagle Eye Popping Steak House

I was so sad to see the Esquire Theater go bye bye. But I have to say, the new Del Friscos Double Eagle Steakhouse is SPECTACULAR!

Chicago may be full of steakhouses, but the new Texas-based Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House  taking over the Esquire theater space, is certainly creating a big buzz. 
elements of the old theater were incorporated into the design of the
24,000 square-foot restaurant, including the original marquee. The large
chandeliers, winding staircase and sprawling bars evoke a sense of old
Hollywood glitz and glamor. The goal being to keep the memory of the
Esquire alive, not destroy it. Thank goodness.
Seating for 500!  Yes, 500. Four private dining spaces, and a stunning 47 foot wine
tower and a balcony on the second floor that will be a great space to
overlook shoppers on Oak Street.

Steaks include their signature 32 oz. wagyu ribeye “longbone”.
There are also quite a few seafood options, like their signature crab
cakes, along with hearty sides-king crab gnocchi; spinach supreme with
bacon; and lobster mac & cheese.

The bar menu pays homage to Chicago including hometown favorites:
mini deep dish pizzas with housemade sausage, hand crushed tomatoes and
fresh mozzarella; Kobe dogs served Chicago style; and Italian Beef
sliders with their own giardiniera.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House planted its roots in Dallas more than 20 years ago. We embody the rich tradition of fine American steak houses, amazing guests through our impeccable chef-driven cuisine, extensive award-winning wine list and unparalleled hospitality. We offer our guests an unforgettable experience in a stunning, energetic atmosphere perfect for special occasions, business affairs or a grand night on the town.

58 E. Oak St.
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Tel: (312) 888-2499


Chicago Street Food Artistry and Food Truck Social

2 COOL FOODIE EVENTS this month!

Presented by Lifestyle Zen and A’Vents by August, StreetFood Artistry Chicago – Where Foodies Unite,
is an unforgettable culinary and artistic explosion.

SFA is an annual
festival that celebrates the tapestry of Chicago’s eclectic “street”
food and art scene with a twist.   Learn More>>

Presented by Time Out Chicago, Empty Bottle Presents,  
and West Town Chamber of Commerce 
Saturday & Sunday,
August 25th & 26th, 2012

on Chicago Avenue between Wood & Wolcott
$5 Suggested Donation 
Food Truck Social 2012 is presented by Time Out Chicago, Empty Bottle Presents, and the West Town Chicago Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds benefit the West Town Chamber of Commerce, Commercial Park Advisory Council & Share Our Strength, a national non-profit that is ending childhood hunger in America.  
a dozen of Chicago’s best food trucks will be the stars of this two day
event, featuring mobile treats from mac’n’cheese to cupcakes. Some of
Chicago’s most prominent chefs will be making guest appearances to serve
up special treats from a pop-up “food truck.”


Gene and Georgetti’s Chicagos First Steak House Turns 70….Again

Gene and Georgettis is the place where Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball stopped in while “in town” when they wanted a great char-grilled steak in an intimate atmosphere with a “family feel.”

Launched in 1941 (?) ,  it is still at the same location at 500 N. Franklin
St. nestled under the noise of the El Tracks, it also ranks as
Chicago’s “first Italian steakhouse.”

The steakhouse actually turned 70 in 2011, but the platinum jubilee seems to be leaking into 2012. Earlier this year G&G took over the Park West on Armitage for a big party, the
centerpiece of which was the premiere of a movie about the restaurant,
made by G&G family scion Michelle Durpetti.

“Gene & Georgetti: The Movie” take relatives, employees, longtime regulars, and colleagues and everyone gives their 2 cents about the steakhouse.

I am not sure why it’s in the news  today...perhaps the movie is going to wide release? Who knows.


Chicago’s Dining Out For Life April 26th

On Thursday, April 26, 2012 EdgeAlliance presents its 19th annual Dining Out for Life event, benefiting children and adults living with HIV/AIDS on Chicago’s West Side. Chicago is one of 60 cities across the United States and Canada participating in the event, making Dining Out for Life the single largest HIV/AIDS benefit in the country! Last year more than 80 Chicago restaurants pledged a portion of the night’s proceeds to EdgeAlliance raising more than $125,000!

            With the generous support of this year’s Diamond Sponsors – Broadway Cellars, Connies Pizza, Crew Bar and Grill, Nookies Edgewater, The Signature Room on the 95th and Zapatista – Cuisines of Mexico – this year, EdgeAlliance hopes to raise $150,000 for Chicagoans living with HIV/AIDS! 

             “Just as Chicago is synonymous with good people and great food, Dining Out for Life has become a symbol of hope for our clients impacted by HIV/AIDS and homelessness. I hope you will join us in making 2012 further proof of Chicago’s appetite for great food and doing good.” said Jim Flosi, EdgeAlliance Founder, President and CEO.

            EdgeAlliance is committed to providing housing, supportive services and peace-of-mind to those affected by HIV/AIDS. Their North Lawndale campus serves more than 125 individuals, offering supportive housing and comprehensive services.

You can  visit the official Dining Out for Life website at for full details! Dine Out. Fight AIDS!


Participating Restaurants

312 Chicago • Acre • Andies Restaurant •  Angelina Ristorante •  Ann Sather Restaurant •  Anna Maria Pasteria •  Anteprima •  Atwood Café • Avenue Tavern • Baker & Nosh  •  Berghoff Restaurant  • Big Jones • Bite Café • Bistronomic • Blackbird • Bluegrass • Broadway Cellars • Browntrout • Carnivale • Ceres’ Table • Club Lucky • Connie’s Pizza • Crew Bar & Grill • Cucina Paradiso • Custom House Tavern •  D.S. Tequila Co. • Deleece • Deleece Grill • Fiorentino’s •  Fiorenza Ristorante • Francesca’s Bryn Mawr • Francesca’s Forno • Francesca’s on Chestnut • Francesca’s on Taylor • Growling Rabbit • Halsted’s Bar & Grill • Hamburger Mary’s • HB Home Bistro • Hearty Restaurant • Horizon Café • Jin Ju  • Kilwin’s Chicago  •  Lady Gregory’s • Las Mananitas • Leopold • Longman & Eagle • Magnolia Café • Mia Francesca • Minibar • Nookies Edgewater • Ombra • Pars Cove Restaurant • Palette Bistro  • Ping Pong  •  PROSECCO • Sable Kitchen & Bar • Salpicon • Silver Cloud • Sola • South Water Kitchen • Southport and Irving • Spacca Napoli Pizzeria • Stella’s Diner • Tank Sushi • Taverna 750 • The Bagel Restaurant & Deli (Lakeview) • The Bagel Restaurant & Deli (Skokie) • The Chicago Diner • The Signature Room at the 95th • Toppers Pizza • Tuscany OakBrook • Uncommon Ground • Via Veneto • Vincent • Vivere • Wakamono  • Wilde Bar & Restaurant • Zapatista – Cuisines of Mexico •


Greta Pope Live at Bennys Chop House in February

Sultry and Sensuous . . .
          Lively and Lyrical . . .
                 Classically Comedic . . .
                            Proudly Patriotic . . .

Greta Popes performance spans all of these musical moods…and more!

Segueing smoothly from a lively
Brazilian number into a beloved Broadway song…from a swing/jazz number
into one with a Country flavor, this multi-talented entertainer
demonstrates a striking versatility of voice and style.

Greta Pope is an International
entertainer. She has delighted audiences throughout Europe, the Far
East, South America and the Caribbean, as well as the United States and
Canada. Ms. Pope has been touted as one of the great voices of our
time, as she performs with ease all styles from Country to Opera, and
from Rhythm and Blues to Broadway.

Join Greta Pope @ Benny’s Chop House North Lounge

Friday evenings in February, 2012
444 North Wabash,     Chicago, IL  60611
7:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.
To make your dinner reservations in the North Lounge call 312-626-2444


City Winery Comes to Chicago Summer 2012

Coming this summer to Chicago’s West Loop is the first off shoot of music/wine impresario Michael Dorf’s City Winery New York. 

City Winery Chicago, a fully operational winery, restaurant with outdoor patio, concert hall, and private event space, is scheduled to open at 1200 West Randolph in Summer 2012.   30,000 square feet!

The venue plans to hire approximately 90 new employees for the facility, which will serve lunch and dinner, offer over 200 concerts a year, and host hundreds of private events and parties.  


The purchase closed in late December and official construction has begun to transform the former refrigerated food distribution warehouse built in the early part of the 20th century into a contemporary winery and hospitality facility, respecting the old brick and timber construction, while adding 5000 square feet of new construction.

and planning for the site commenced this past June after plans to
transform the ground floor of the old Carson Pirie Scott building at
Wabash and Monroe were abandoned when fellow tenant, Target, required
more space.   Dorf and his design team of architect Christopher Warnick
and designer Phillip Katz quickly commenced work on new plans after
securing the West Loop location. 

“We are very excited to bring our unique wine country-meets-culinary and cultural experience to Chicago’s discerning customers,” said  Dorf.  “Our new  home in the West Loop, among all the other great restaurants, is a perfect location and fit for our facility.”


The first City Winery opened in New York in 2008 and has been a huge success with customers and critics, earning industry accolades.


For more information on City Winery Chicago, please visit


NO Corkage Fee’s at Roy’s Chicago

A corkage fee is charged by a restaurant to patrons bringing their own wines to a meal. The corkage fee
is usually minimal and is considered a convenience charge to the
restaurant for opening and serving wines from outside their cellar.


No Corkage Fees Now
Through February 9th.

The Perfect Way to Let Your Favorite Bottles  Celebrate the New Year.

Ring in the New Year at Roy’s Chicago – they are  waiving corkage fees from now until February 9th.

Bring your favorite Pinot, Chardonnay or Merlot for a fantastic evening of great food, great friends and fine wine. We hope to see you and your favorite bottle soon.

*Limited to two bottles of wine per table. Not offered during group or private dining events.

In Hawaii, there are two things of equal
importance—food and the “aloha” spirit. The blending of these two
dynamic principles is how Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion® Cuisine was born.
European techniques and Asian cuisine meet Hawaiian hospitality to
create a fine dining experience unlike any other. Where the “aloha”
style of service comes straight from the heart, and where any occasion
becomes an unforgettable evening.

Roy’s Chicago (312) 787-7599

720 North State Street     Chicago, IL 60654


Best Dining in Chicago for the Holidays

The holidays are a time to celebrate, for many. And people often ask me, where is the Best Dining in Chicago, for a special holiday evening out.

Gosh, there are so many – and BEST is something different for everyone. Ask 10 different people, and you get 10 different answers!

These are a few of my favorite spots, in no particular order –

The Walnut Room is a famous dining hall that lives up to its legend. One of many Chicagoans’ most cherished traditions
is dining (lunch or dinner) by the Christmas tree in the Walnut Room, at Macy’s.

Marvel at the  45-foot Great Tree decorated with over 1200 themed ornaments and 25000 dazzling lights.
Themes change every year.

111 N. State St., 312-781-1000

TRU  – for the  SPECIAL elegant night out.  Upscale Mediterranean-influenced French food set in a
whimsical setting for the serious diner. Offers online reservations, its
menu items and pricing.
    686 N Saint Clair St # 1  Chicago, IL 60611     (312) 202-0001

ARIA exquisite fare. Contemporary twist on conventional comfort
foods. Using American flavors and ingredients to update traditional
dishes from around the world. Warm mahogany walls, luscious red and orange linens and one-of-a-kind
artwork provide a comfortable atmosphere to sample aria’s distinctive
approach to this inspired cooking. Located in the Fairmont Hotel, 200 North Columbus Drive    (312) 444-9494.

ALINEA – 312-867-0110  @  1723 North Halsted. This two story place of heaven offers a floating staircase with comfy
armchairs to try their tasting menus – six courses run about $75 and 12
courses $110 – which can last about 4-5 hours to try everything!  A special evening out!
Grant Achatz  is chef and restaurateur often identified as one of the leaders in molecular gastronomy  or progressive cuisine. His restaurant has won numerous accolades, and Achatz himself has won numerous awards from prominent culinary institutions.

MOTO and   ing – Chefs Homaro Cantu and Ben Roche of Chicago’s Moto Restaurant recently
spoke at the TED event in the Long Beach, California. Omar and Ben are
looking to make a positive impact on society by changing the way we eat
and think about food. Edible menus reduce the waste and environmental
impact of the restaurant industry. Edible styrofoam packing peanuts not
only taste delicious but they don’t take 500 years to decompose!

Moto features two different degustation menus nightly (10 & 20 courses).
ing has  two tasting menus, each priced at $75 for six courses.
MOTO  @  945 w. fulton market   p.312.491.0058 
and  ing  @ 951 W. Fulton Market     p.855.834.6464

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse -1028 N. Rush St.; tel. 312/266-8999. A classic landmark. Chicago has no shortage of great steakhouses, but Gibsons has a great
scene, too — a mix of moneyed Gold Coast singles,
expense-account-fueled business travelers, and the occasional celebrity.
This is the kind of place to live large (literally): The portions are
enormous, so you’re encouraged to share, which adds to the party

Purple Pig is  one of the new hotspots – a collaboration of Chefs Scott Harris of Mia Francesca, Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia, Jimmy Bannos and Jimmy Bannos Jr. of Heaven on Seven. Featuring housemade charcuterie, cheeses and classic Mediterranean fare plus an extensive yet accessible wine list.   500 North Michigan Avenue   312-464-1-PIG (744)

Pops For Champagne,  601 N State St, (312) 266-7677. A great place for drinks and bites. POPS boasts one of the world’s largest selections of champagne and
sparkling wine — more than 140 kinds – it comes either in a glass or
part of a flight.  There’s always some live music in the background. Gets you in that celebratory mood!

Best Dining, Food and Wine in Chicago



Four Seasons Chicago to Open New Restaurant 2012

Four Seasons Hotel Chicago today announced it will open a new modern American restaurant in February 2012, part of an extensive redesign project that is planned for several public spaces inside the hotel. Seasons Restaurant will close on January 1, serving its last meal on New Year’s Eve.


“For us at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, it is a time of exciting transition,” said General Manager Denise Flanders,
“We now look forward to introducing a fresh vision and concept that
recognizes the more relaxed turn that dining has taken in recent years.
The new restaurant will be an approachable yet exciting destination for


Executive Chef Kevin Hickey,
under whom Seasons earned its Michelin star rating in 2010, will
continue as executive chef of the forthcoming new restaurant, creating a
concept that will focus on regional, farm to table modern American


inspired me to become a chef and continues to inspire my cooking. The
passionate commitment to local, sustainable foods and Chicago’s melting
pot of ethnic and American food traditions drives our menus and fuels
our creativity,” said Chef Hickey.


The Four
Seasons Hotel Chicago’s new restaurant will be located in the space
adjacent to the seventh-floor hotel lobby that currently houses Seasons
Bar and Lounge, while the current Seasons space will be converted into
private event space. Featuring floor-to-ceiling views of Lake Michigan
and Michigan Avenue, the private space will become a picturesque
backdrop for social and corporate events. The extensive redesign of the
current Seasons Bar and Lounge space will showcase a warm, approachable,
and more modern aesthetic. While the main structural elements of the
space will remain intact, all decor elements will be replaced to create a
chic, contemporary look for the new restaurant and adjacent bar.


Restaurant is located on the seventh floor of the Four Seasons Hotel
Chicago at 120 East Delaware Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Until the
restaurant closes on January 1, 2012, Seasons Restaurant will continue
to serve dinner every Wednesday to Saturday and brunch on Sundays,
including special holiday celebrations. Seasons Bar and Lounge will also
remain open during this time. For more information about the
restaurant, please visit or follow the hotel’sFacebook page and Twitter feed for flash updates and news related to the new restaurant.


About Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Located at
900 North Michigan Avenue, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago is a landmark of
refined comfort featuring unrivalled Lake Michigan and city views
enjoyed from newly restyled guest rooms.

Best of the Best Dining Chicago


Jean-Georges Brings ABC Kitchen Concept to Chicago in the Pump Room

The Pump Room in Chicago has been around since the late 30s – a much-loved restaurant in an old Hotel recently renamed Public Chicago, by the iconic Ian Schrager! The king of chic boutique.

Hotel restaurants and outsider chefs have had shaky past relationships with the Chicago restaurant scene. But the  new PUBLIC hotel  will take a chance with both in one fell swoop when it debuts the second incarnation of the historic Pump Room under the direction of award-winning chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten on October 11. I think with Ian Schrager and Jean-Georges attached, it can do no wrong.

James Beard Award winner Jean-Georges Vongerichten of  New York’s  ABC Kitchen fame,  says this is ABC Kitchen for the Chicago market with trendy words like “reasonably priced” “relaxed, comfortable environment” and “farm to table” tossed around.

The restaurant has successfully  lured the talents of former LM Restaurant chef Bradford Phillips and rising pastry chef Kady Yon of Boka.

I think this is the most exciting thing happening in Chicago right now. (Besides NEXT).

New York wrote that in the past two decades, no single chef has had more influence on the way New Yorkers dine out—or on the way other chefs cook and other restaurants look. “He invented America’s answer to nouvelle cuisine,” says Mario Batali. “When I first came to New York, his book Simple Cuisine was the holy grail for young chefs, and JoJo was the hottest ticket in town.”

Vongerichten claims to have invented molten chocolate cake in New York City in 1987, but the French chef and chocolatier Jacques Torres has disputed that, arguing that such a dish already existed in France. According to Vongerichten, he pulled a chocolate sponge cake from the oven before it was done and found that the center was still runny, but was warm and had both a good taste and a good texture.

PUBLIC is one of the  new brands being launched by Ian Schrager.

With the transformation of the famed, iconic Ambassador East Hotel and its legendary Pump Room into PUBLIC Chicago, this endeavor will be more than just a rebirth of a Chicago institution – it may well represent the revitalization of the hotel concept itself and another worldwide wakeup call for the entire industry.

PUBLIC is a new class… a new breed of hotel.

Its fundamental attributes are innovative, sophisticated, authentic style (something we have come to expect from Schrager); spot-on, personalized empathic “essential” service that makes people feel special; lasting comfort with complete functionality, all at a tremendous value. For the first time, this type of hotel experience will be available for everyone and anyone who wants it. What is unusual is that it is inclusive, rather than exclusive. Ian Schrager has taken the best from the luxury set, the best from the boutique/lifestyle set and the best from the limited service model and created a new kind of hotel where everything has been rethought and every original idea updated. This brand will be defined by the unique experience it creates rather than by a business classification or price point.

Can’t wait!

Derrick Sorles