Thursday, May 1, 2008

New tapas for Old Town

Eivissa Tapas and Sangria Bar expects to open later this month. (Photo: Eivissa Tapas and Sangria Bar)

Eivissa, Spain is known for its vibrant nightlife and restaurants, so it's no surprise that this Spanish-focused eatery of the same name is coming to the bustling Old Town 'hood this spring.

Located at 1531 N. Wells St., Eivissa Tapas and Sangria Bar will offer an extensive sangria menu as well as contemporary takes on Spanish dishes. Check back for more info as it becomes available.

May Day, May Day . . .

Relax with Relax Lounge’s homestyle burger during National Hamburger Month. (Photo: Relax Lounge)

In high school, May 1 was “national hooky day” for seniors. But now that we’re all grown ‘n’ sexy, we’ve got bigger things to look forward to this month:

May is National Hamburger Month, and we’re not talking the Golden Arches or Having it Your Way. Head to Potter’s (17 E. Monroe St., 312-917-4933), the sleek new lounge tucked inside the Palmer House Hilton, for a trio of Kobe beef silver dollar sliders that come on mini brioche buns and drenched with black peppercorn sauce. Get them with the flavorful truffled potato chips. In West Town, make your way to groovy rock spot Relax (1450 W. Chicago Ave., 312-666-6006) for a juicy 1/3 lb Angus beef burger or surprisingly delicious veggie burger drizzled with their special “Pharmacy sauce.” Add a basket of hand-cut fries for only a $1. And at Harry Caray’s Tavern (3551 N. Sheffield Ave., 773-327-7800) in Wrigleyville, you’ll want to take advantage of the Holy Cow! Burger Bar, where you customize your burger at a special station. Choose the meat (Wagyu beef, Tallgrass beef, venison, lamb or veggie), preparation (charbroiled, Cajun, peppercorn crusted), sauces (Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce, Harry’s Famous Chili) and bun (sesame brioche, whole wheat, potato) for the perfect sandwich.

Also happening all month is Pure New Zealand: Wines to Dine For, a month-long tribute to New Zealand wines as some 30 area restaurants offer varietals by the glass, by the flights and paired with select menu items. Favorites such as Shaw's Crab House (21 E. Hubbard St., 312-527-2722), Tru (676 N. Saint Clair St., 312-202-0001) and Feast (1616 N. Damen Ave., 773-772-7100) will host wine dinners while both locations of Goddess and the Grocer (1646 N. Damen Ave. or 25 E. Delaware Pl.) will offer 10 percent off all New Zealand wines. A complete list of restaurants can be found here.

Also happening:


Social Therapy, hosted by Miracle Entertainment and Chicago’s Black Professional Network, takes place at Victor Hotel (311 N. Sangamon St., 312-733-6900). The party gets started right after work at 6pm and continues until 2am. Deejays I.N.C. and World crank out all the classic and contemporary dance music for your grooving pleasure.

Sola’s (3868 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-327-3868) executive chef Carol Wallack is heading to the world-famous James Beard House in New York to cook next week, but before she jets off, she’s previewing that special supper to local diners. For $85, you’ll get a five-course meal paired with wines. The menu includes Berkshire “kalua” pork potstickers; Vietnamese-style pho with oxtail dumpling, bean sprouts, herbs, and chilies; cocoa nib crusted scallops; and a double cut “sola” lamb chops stuffed with cambazola served with curried eggplant and chinese long beans and crispy cippolini.

Braziliance returns to Sonotheque (1444 W. Chicago Ave., 312-226-7600), featuring local deejays spinning infectious Afro-Brazilian, Latin and other mesmerizing music. Get busy at this super-sensual party where there is noooo parking on the dance floor. 9pm-2am. $5.


It’s the second-annual Looptopia, happening 5pm until 7am Saturday in the heart of the city. The event showcases top and emerging local artists for 14 hours, and concludes at sunrise (7am) with a special performance in Millennium Park.

It’s Lumen’s (839 W. Fulton Market, 312-733-2222) first-ever champagne tasting, and master sommelier Serafin Alvarado—a recipient of the prestigious 2005 Bill Rice Distinguished Sommelier of the Year award—will guide guests through the various sparkling wines. Assorted appetizers from Jordan's Food of Distinction and Vosges chocolates will be served with each bubbly. 8pm-2am. $40.

Who needs “Dancing with the Stars” when we have the finals of the annual Nacional 27 (325 W. Huron St., 312-664-2727) Bacardi-Bud Select Salsa Competition happening right here under our noses?! Watch the very best salsa dancers square off against one another during this very energetic event. Begins at 11pm. $50 per person food and beverage minimum in the dining room (Guests may keep their table to watch the competition). Guests not enjoying dinner will be charged a $20 cover charge.

If you haven’t started shopping for your spring threads, it’s not too late. Bucktown boutique Roslyn (2035 N. Damen Ave., 773-489-1511) teams up with non-profit Bright Pink—which supports young women at risk for breast or ovarian cancer—for a Spring’s Best fashion show at Climax Lounge (324 W. Chicago Ave.), featuring looks from Vera Wang, Christopher Dean and Erica Davies. 8-11pm. $35 in advance; $50 at door.


It may be a little chilly outside, but Salud Tequila Lounge (1471 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-235-5577) is throwing its rambunctious outdoor festival to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The event will include live music, dancers, drink and food specials. Gates open at noon and the party goes on until 2am. Free.

And Adobo Grill’s grande Cinco de Mayo happens all weekend long (Friday through Monday, May 5) with specials on food and margaritas. You'll also get to nod your head to mariachi bands at both locations: 1610 N. Wells St. or 2005 W. Division St.