Thursday, July 24, 2008

BYOB just got easier at Irazu

A nice pinot noir from new wine shop Red & White goes nicely with Irazu's grilled tropical chicken breast with rice, beans and plantains. (Photo: Gino Williams for Flickr)

Thank God for Red & White, a heavily wood accented wine shop that just opened last week in Wicker Park. Had it not been there, we would've been stuck with water and the non-alcoholic shakes (even though they are amazing!) during our dinner at Irazu that's right across the street.

Only two guys work the airy, cabin-like venue that's filled with pricey and not-so pricey wine and beer selections, but they know their stuff and can get you on your way within minutes. And for a balmy evening sitting on the Costa Rican restaurant's tiny patio, the moderately priced pinot noir for $14 they recommended was perfect.

The best thing about Red & White and Irazu being next to each other?! If you hit Irazu first and request a biz card for Black & White, you'll get 10 percent off your wine purchase. Now, you cannot beat that!

$57 for a glass of this?!


Drive-Thru calls out Rebar for its trumped up prices on a glass of Glenrothes Select Reserve single malt scotch whisky.

A toast to tequila


It's National Tequila Day. So drink up all day!

Make this a legendary weekend

Marilyn-themed food and drinks are on tap for the invite-only bash at the Chicago Cultural Center.

If you're not on the list for the Joe Jackson bday bash at The Joynt or the Marilyn Monroe-themed gig to unveil the newly renovated Tiffany Dome at the Chicago Cultural Center, have no fear, there's plenty to do this weekend:


Get to the celebration for the first-year anniversary of Martini Park. The party starts at 8pm, with live music, cocktail specials and a few surprises. No cover.

The Diva Series, hosted by Sarah Vargo Productions at Jbar, this week honors the ladies from Chicago Social and also features a launch party for Emperors New Clothes 86'd tees and $6 Snow Queen cocktails. Deejay Jesse de la Pena spins, accompanied by Kafele on trumpet. 9pm-2am. No cover.


A Summer Luau happens all weekend at Lizzie McNeill's, with live music, food and contests along the thriving lakefront. They're inspired by the big Jimmy Buffett concert also happening this weekend, so if you missed out on tickets, head here. Bands performing include Louis Scharf, Denny Diamond and The Black Oil Brothers. A portion of the food and beverage proceeds will be donated to Special Olympics and Misericordia. Starts at noon each day. No cover.

UNITY's in town, so that means the largest collection of African-American, Native American, Latin-American and Asian-American journalists will be around all weekend. Support the National Association of Black Journalists-Chicago Chapter as they host Mo Chocolate Jam: An NABJ-Chicago UNITY Production, with special guest Tom Joyner. Party happens at Sheraton-Chicago with local deejays spinning old-school/new school music. 10pm-2am. UNITY registrants $10; regular admission is $15.

Sheque Chicago works a Moulin Rouge Nights theme for its fifth-anniversary party at Underground. Event includes two-hour cocktail reception, manis and makeovers, luxe spa gift bags (for the first 100 guests) and appetizers by Rockit Bar & Grill. 8-10pm. $25 in advance; $35 at door.


Here's another food fest you don't want to miss if you've got all day to spare: It's the City Provisions Supper Club July 2008: The Farm Dinner. Board a charted bus at City Provisions (1043 N. California Ave.) for a trip to Faith's Farm for a history of the farm, along with a tour of the sustainable wonderland. End the day with an educational dinner and beer pairings by Two Brothers. Noon-11pm. $125 by calling 773-235-2489. Reservations required.

Deep house lovers will get the chance to party hard to the sounds of Brian Tappert, Andre Harris and Aaron Dae at Smartbar. Also, the legendary Dave Gandy is making his first-ever Chicago appearance. 10pm-5am. Free before 11pm.

My fave go-to spot for online house music, Groove Parlor, celebrates its sixth anniversary at Cuatro. Deejays Andy Compton, DJ FLX and Groove Parlor founder Mario Romay spin. 10pm-2am. No Cover.