Monday, January 14, 2008

Free screening of 'Cloverfield' tomorrow

(Photo: Paramount Pictures)

Have you seen those wild commercials for that new J.J. Abrams' film, "Cloverfield," about a monster attacking Manhattan set against a stylish background? They're pretty intense, making this one of the most anticipated movies of the year.

Sooooo . . .

The guys over at Rockit Bar & Grill (22 W. Hubbard St., 312-645-6000) somehow got their hands on a shitload of tickets and they're giving them away tomorrow.

The special advance screening is by invitation ONLY on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at the AMC Theater (600 N. Michigan Ave.) at 8pm. Come to the restaurant between 5-7pm, and the tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis. Tickets can also be set aside for anyone making dinner reservations that evening. Also, complimentary trolley service to and from the theater will be available at Rockit 7:15–7:45pm.

Get on it!

Chicago-Scene mag's top picks for 2008

Chicago-Scene magazine polled some of the city's top tastemakers—including 312 Dining Diva!—and now the issue is out on the stands for the crème de la crème in dining, nightlife and so on.

Wanna know if your fave spots made it? Here are the winners for dining and nightlife. Enjoy!

Cocktail wants to get you bodied

(Photo: Bob Moysan)

First there was the show, and now there's a guilt-free margarita that won't knock you off your diet.

Nacional 27 (325 W. Huron St., 312-664-2727) manager/mixologist Adam Seger has created LookBetterNaked, a delicious cocktail made from all-natural ingredients, including Partida Reposado tequila, Sambazon organic acai, organic agave nectar, rosemary, egg white and fresh squeezed lime juice. Using Sambazon Pure Organic Acai Smoothie Pack and Partida Organic Agave Nectar fills the margarita with antioxidants, amino acids, dietary fiber, iron, calcium, cholesterol-reducing fructans and Vitamins A and C. The rosemary is rich in vitamin E, preventing cancer and skin damage. An egg white provides a lean source of protein, while the fresh lime juice prevents heart disease and gives an extra dose of Vitamin C.

So, bottoms up!

A first look at Takashi

Takashi's sauteéd Maine scallops (Photo: Tyllie Barbosa for Chicagoist)

What's up with Takashi (1952 N. Damen Ave., 773-772-6170), that hot new Japanese spot in Bucktown that everyone's talking about?! Chicagoist finds out with this first look, and they're lovin' it.

Local deejay not down with 'celebrity deejay' phenom

(Photo: Rob Zoom Photograph)

Deejay Paul Blair (a.k.a. White Shadow) sounds off on how he really feels about so-called "celebrity deejays" infiltrating Chicago nightclubs in an interview with Chicago Magazine's Sarah Preston on her
Last Girl Standing blog.

Also, check out DJ White Shadow on Thursday, Jan. 17, when he spins his stylish grooves at Crunch Fitness (939 W. North Ave.) for the Ultimate Body Detox benefit. All the proceeds from the party go to Active Chicago, a non-profit organization started by former "Survivor" contestant Mookie Lee to provide at-risk kids an opportunity to stay fit. The party also includes spa treatments from Asha SalonSpa, delectable bites from Landmark, Blue Water Grill and America's Dog, new Crunch class demos, Nintendo Wii Boxing and more. 6-9pm. $20. RSVP at

Sip, swirl and socialize . . .


. . . tonight at Quartino Pizzeria and Wine Bar (626 N. State St., 312-698-5000), as the restaurant hosts its weekly tasting event. This January, on every Monday (Jan. 14, 21, 28), guests will enjoy vino from Tuscany’s Azienda Agricola Tiberini Vineyard.

Owned by brothers Luca and Fabio Tibrini, the Tuscan vineyard is working toward an organic production of wine that incorporates a minimal amount of pesticides and chemicals.

They're pouring the following selections to complement Quartino's recipe for classic Italian salumi:

Tiberini Rosso di Montelpulciano Podere Le Caggiole D.O.C. 2005
Pietroso Rosso di Montalcino D.O.C. 2004
Tiberini Vino di Montelpulciano Podere Le Caggiole D.O.C.G. 2003
Pietroso Brunello di Montalcino D.O.C.G. 2001
Geografico Vin Santo del Chianti D.O.C. 2001

Mondays 6-8pm; open-house style. $30 (includes a take-home bottle of one of the featured wines). Reservations are requested but not mandatory.

Deal of the day . . .

Niu's fresh raspberry mojito is $5 every Monday. (Photo: Niu)

New-ish Streeterville sushi spot Niu (332 E. Illinois St., 312-527-2888) is aiming to make a name for itself with an exotic "fusion" menu and a futuristic, clubby design. And while many of their sushi offerings are standard fare, there are some real standouts, too.

Start with the Crouching Tiger (lettuce wrapped with tempura shrimp and spicy tuna) or Hirame tapas (fresh flute, cilantro, kaiware, caviar, drizzled with sesame ponzu dressing), then order specialty rolls like the Aloha Albacore (crabmeat and spicy tuna topped with albacore, bonito flakes served with garlic ponzu and wasabi mayo sauce), Sexy Mexican (shrimp, spicy crab, jalapeño topped with avocado) or Energy (tempura eel, onions and cream cheese inside, topped with baked eel and avocado served with ponzu and eel sauce).

While the sushi and other entrees are at regular price on Monday, they're featuring $5 raspberry mojitos that would complement your meal nicely. And because Niu is right next door to AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St., 847-765-7262), you can finally catch up on all those movies you want to see.