Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Breaking nightlife news . . .

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Heartthrob Nick Lachey is one of many celebrities to host Crobar's "Paparazzi Fridays."

Crobar's "Paparazzi Fridays" heats up in December.

Lovebirds Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo stop by to celebrate their birthdays on Dec. 7. Look out for more hot celebrities to make their way through during the month as well. Crobar's at 1543 N Kingsbury, 312-266-1900.

A tequila surprise

If you're a fan of tequila, Salud (1471 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-276-7582) is hosting its infamous tequila dinner next week. This time they're pairing a three-course meal with Don Julio Tequila--named after founder Don Julio Gonzalez Estrada. He revolutionized Reposado-style tequila production in Mexico.

In addition to the three courses, the dinner includes three sample shots of Don Julio, a featured cocktail with each course (!) and a special presentation about Don Julio tequila. The dinners happen Wednesday, Nov. 14 and Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7:30pm, but these things sell out quickly so get a move on it. Worm not included. $40.

Be a sommelier for a day

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Bistro 110's main dining room

This is one of my favorite events. Well, actually any event that includes endless amounts of bubbly is my favorite. But anyway, Bistro 110's (110 E. Pearson St., 312-266-3114) "Sommelier for a Day" is a walkaround wine-tasting event allowing guests to rate their favorites. The most popular selections make the menu.

It's approps that tonight's party takes on bubbly as most restaurants are gearing up for the busy holiday season. Bistro 110 is also celebrating its 20th anniversary, so they'll be sampling Champagne and sparkling wines from France to California.

Also, Executive Chef Dominique Tougne will pair specialty items with the Champagnes and sparkling wines, including smoked salmon pizza, mushroom ravioli, braised short ribs and more. It's $45, or $35 for Levy preferred members. 6-8pm. tonight.

'Dodo has left the building . . .'

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. . .states the message on Dodo's website (dodochicago.com), as it closed late last week. I'm kinda sad because it was right in my 'hood in Ukrainian Village and I only got to get over there once since it opened early in 2006.

But have no fear. This eatery, which calls its well-received concept "breakfast+lunch=breakunch," is not going to be extinct for long. In early '08, they're re-opening at 2003 W. Fulton St. at the corner of Fulton and Damen. The owner says he had to get out of his original location due to serious landlord issues and ongoing electrical problems. We're really going to miss those thick hotcakes, strong coffee and hearty sandwiches. Stay tuned for the opening date.

Deal of the day . . .

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So I remember a few weeks ago the "Today" show did this story on "blind dining," where customers ate multiple-course meals wearing blindfolds and had to figure out what they were eating. It was intriguing at the least, but quite daunting.

While I haven't come across any blind-dining deals in Chicago, I found this blind wine tasting event tonight at NoMI (800 N. Michigan Ave., 312-239-4030), the award-winning restaurant on the seventh floor of the Park Hyatt Hotel. "Cellar Notes," an open-house style party, takes place every Tuesday for $30 until the end of the year, and tonight's event is "Blind Tasting 101." Who knows what they're going to feature, but it's certain to be an entertaining event that challenges your taste buds. Cellar Notes occurs 5:30-7:30pm, but if you cannot make tonight, here is the rest of the schedule:

Nov. 13 - Australia and New Zealand
Nov. 20 - California Rising Stars
Nov. 27 - Alsace
Dec. 4 - Oregon Wines
Dec. 11 - Sparkling Wines and Champagne
Dec. 18 - Burgundy