Wednesday, April 30, 2008

312 Dining Diva had it first!

Randy Zweiban, executive chef for Nacional 27, just announced his resignation. (Photo: Laurie Proffitt Photography)

Turned out I was right all along when I posted a couple of weeks ago that Randy Zweiban was resigning his position as Nacional 27's (325 W. Huron St., 312-664-2727) exec chef.

Just got this interesting email from Nacional 27's publicist:

"Chef Randy Zweiban announces new restaurant! Executive Chef Randy Zweiban announces departure from Nacional 27 and his new restaurant!"

In September, he's set to open Province (161 N. Jefferson St.)—a new American restaurant influenced by the modern, evolving cuisines of South America and Spain—in the West Loop. Look for the starting menu to include dishes like slow-roasted Tasmanian salmon; prawn and bay scallop "paella" with saffron and roasted peppers; and grilled beef tenderloin with Picon blue cheese and buttermilk whipped potatoes.

Housed in a certified green building, Province will incorporate green building materials, recycled design materials, low-voltage lighting and Energy Star equipment.

Girls on film

I can breathe a sigh of relief: Local Chicago chef Jennifer Gavin breezed through another grueling episode of Gordon Ramsay's "Hell's Kitchen" on FOX last night.

And let's cross our fingers for that other local culinary cutie, Stephanie Izard, who's still in the running to become the next "Top Chef," which airs tonight at 9pm on Bravo.

If you want to watch it with a large group, head to Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club (3700 N. Halsted St., 773-525-1111) or Paramount Room (415 N. Milwaukee Ave., 312-829-6300); both are showing the hit chef-driven series on several flatscreen monitors.

Do you know this dude?!


Anyone have an idea of who this cat is?! I see him out all the time, and so did the tipster who sent in this shot and wrote:

"I've never actually dealt with (him) at the door (fortunately or unfortunately), I've just seen them once they're in. Grrrr."

If anyone knows the identity of the newest member of The Eat & Drink Club, kindly let us know!


And as always, please send tips on who you think should join the newest crew in town!

Vino, vibes and vittles . . .


MID-WEEK FUN is just hours away at:

Quartino (626 N. State St., 312-698-5000), for the end-of-the-month wine tasting event where you get to take home one of the bottles of wine as part of the deal. This time, they're featuring vino from Casa Vinicola Gioacchino Garofoli S.p.A., the most decorated winery in the Marche. Four selections will be offered and paired with Neopolitan thin-crust stone oven pizza, classic Italian salumi, cured meats and cicchetti (bar snacks). 7-9pm. $30.

Dragonfly (832 W. Randolph St., 773-687-0784), for yet another wine-centric set, Wine Down in West Town, that's hosted by the Chicago Wine Club. You'll get to sample more than 50 wines and light appetizers and craft beers. You'll also get their exclusive wine diary so you can score all your favorites. 6-9pm. $40 ($50 at door).

The Drawing Room (937 N. Rush St., 773-276-7582), for a change of pace with the Rite of Spring Cocktail Dinner. Be one of the first to get a taste of executive chef Nick Lacasse's new spring menu with this specially designed three-course dinner. All items will be perfectly paired with spring-y cocktails created by master bartender Lynn House. 7:30pm. $45.

Moonshine (1824 W. Division St., 773-862-8686), for deals and DJ Bear Who? on the wheels—of steel—during Mamby. Hang out in this neighborhood gem and order half-price pizzas and $5 Absolut cocktails. Other deejays include Trilogy and Newlife. 8pm-2am. Free.