Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The end of an expensive era?!


Now that all these high-rolling types in the financial industry are losing their jobs left and right, who's going to be able to afford bottle service every week in the clubs?!

Gawker declares that as of yesterday bottle service is dead in New York. Will Chicago follow this latest Big Apple trend?!

You know how I feel about bottle service, so I will be watching this one closely and keeping you updated on who makes a move first.

Developing . . .

Pane Caldo's servers get slammed in review

Grilled shrimp and calamari are served in white wine sauce with fine herbs at Pane Caldo in the Gold Coast. (Photo: Dave Slivinski for Crain's Chicago Business)

When Jennifer Aniston was in town filming "The Breakup" a few years back, one of her fave restaurants was the low-key, but very expensive Pane Caldo, in the Gold Coast. This unassuming Italian eatery, which has been around for 16 years, suddenly found itself in the spotlight beyond the neighborhood regulars who frequent it.

So you'd think by now they'd have the service thing down, right?! Not so, says Crain's Chicago Business, whose dining critic loved the food, but took mad issue with the shoddy service she received during her outings:

"If the service were only as good as the food at Pane Caldo, it would be among my top picks for business dining. . . . Servers need remedial training. Lunch service was slow. No refills on iced tea were offered. At dinner, crumbs and dirty dishes lingered on tables while staff loitered. If I were the chef, I'd be steamed."

To new beginnings and old friends . . .


Four new swanky spots to try whether you’re a sexy gal or swaggering guy:

Dirty Martini, an unassuming cocktail lounge in River North, features a high-tech machine pouring your drinks.

Lakeview's Late Night Thai opens at 9pm and closes at 5am for the after-hours owls with appetites for pad Thai and spring rolls.

90 Miles Cafe, in Logan Square, kicks out authentic Cuban sandwiches piled high with ham, roasted pork or shredded beef.

And Lincoln Park's The Counter is getting rave reviews for burgers really made your way.

Also, these deals are steals:

It's budget-dining night every night at Madame Tartine, the sixties-styled, French supperclub decked out in shades of red, white and black. For $29, you'll get a three-course meal that's paired with a half carafe of red or rose. Choose from steak frites, risotto, roasted chicken or baked salmon for your entree.

Another three-course prix fixe, for $27, is offered each Tuesday at Angelina Ristorante. The romantic Lakeview eatery offers a charming setting that goes perfectly with classic Italian dishes that change each week.

And the Pub Beer Showcase happens every Tuesday at the original Goose Island. Get there at 6pm for a free tasting of their latest beer. The brewer will also be on hand so here's your chance to sound off on suds.