Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Green City Market shopping for Thanksgiving

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Prairie Grass Cafe's Sarah Stegner

If you've got some leisurely time tomorrow morning, then make your way to the weekly Green City Market, which is in its fall/winter edition.

I'll admit that since I started going to it last summer, I haven't looked at a vine-riped tomato or squash the same again. And now that it's moved to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum's North Gallery (2430 N. Cannon Dr.) through December, you can get in on the good-food action as well--just in time for a heart-healthy Thanksgiving celebration.

Also, the best part of the market are the cooking demos, and tomorrow you'll be able to catch chefs Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris of Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook, 847-205-4433).

The event starts at 10:30am, and if you get there early you might even get a chance to sit close enough to sample some of their yummy concoctions. Oh, and the best part about it is that it's free. The market's locally and organically grown fruits and veggies, of course, are not.

'Take no prisoners' . . .

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. . . is the theme for tonight's industry event hosted by Z and Trigger, who've been kings in Chicago's nightlife for a number of years. They host their latest parties every Tuesday at Manor (642 N. Clark St.,312-475-1390), and they're packing 'em in.

Tonight, they're helping to launch local liquor Kilo Kai, a spiced rum that is making waves in the industry. Get there early (10-11:30pm) for a complimentary cocktail reception sponsored by Kilo Kai and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.

'Check, Please!' expands to video-based web site

If you're a fan of the WTTW-TV show "Check, Please!," then you'll be happy to know that you can now watch it anytime you wish as it as expands to the Internet.

With Checkplease.tv, a video-based web site partnering with NBC5 Chicago, you'll get to watch regular folks sound off on their favorite local and national restaurants.

You can even apply yourself to become a reviewer. Just post recommendations at Checkplease.tv and indicate that you would like to be considered. "Check, Please!" invites viewers to local events where they are videotaped making one recommendation and giving reviews of at least two other restaurants that have been suggested. Parallel to the hit television show, each posted restaurant features one person recommending a restaurant, and at least two reviewers giving their opinions on video.

NBC5 will air never-before-seen, one-minute Check, Please! video recommendations from local residents twice weekly on its 6pm newscast every Tuesday and Friday. The half-hour hit TV show, which has won five Emmy awards, will continue airing weekly on WTTW-TV.

BYOB, baby!

A colleague was raving about this tiny sushi spot in Lincoln Park last week, so I decided to check into it.

If you can get over the lackluster service, you're certain to be impressed by the rolls at Green Tea Japanese Restaurant (2206 N. Clark St., 773-883-8812), with nothing really over $6. The food here is super fresh, including starters like the edamame and oshinko, or Japanese pickles. Then you can move on to delightful rolls like the spicy tuna, avocado, smoked salmon or shittake mushroom.

With only 17 seats, most customers prefer to do take out or delivery, but if you decide to stay, we recommend taking a nice bottle of sake or pinot noir.

Deal of the day . . .

Because there are many of us staying in town this holiday weekend--as well as many coming in--knowing where to go for an inexpensive meal is still top of mind.

Lincoln Park favorite Tilli’s (1952 N. Halsted St., 773-325-0044) offers the perfect deal for a cozy night out in this trendy neighborhood:

Every Sunday-Wednesday, they've got half-price bottles of wine with the purchase of any two entrees (which come with a choice of one side). Our favorites? The gorgonzola pork chops marinated in maple syrup; grilled Cajun spiced catfish; Thai BBQ salmon; or the St. Johns skirt steak, a Caribbean island spice-rubbed steak topped with mango salsa.

Pair one of those with the Rex Goliath Merlot 2002 (half price at $12), Castle Rock Pinot Noir 2002 (half price at $12), Raymond Amberhill Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 (half price at $12) or the Woop Woop Shiraz 2003 (half price at $16), and you've got yourself a wonderful meal.

If you're not a wine fan, they've also got $3 drafts.