Thursday, November 6, 2008

Exclusive: Exec chef abandons brand-new Farmerie 58; was it the review or something else?!


The ink is barely effing dry on this Time Out review on month-old Farmerie 58, but Executive Chef Billy Alexander is out as of Tuesday, says the manager. He adds that the departure is a matter of creative differences between Alexander and the owners.

Sous Chef Nathan Kosakowski, Alexander's protegee, has been promoted to the top spot, but don't look for him to make any changes to the menu until December.

Wonder if the shakeup also had anything to do with the TOC review (which in my opinion came out way too early)—in the current issue—or is it just the fact that the economy sucks?!

We've been waiting for this!


Cheer on Between Boutique CafĂ© & Lounge exec chef and "Top Chef" contestant Radhika “Rad” Desai when the show premieres on Bravo at 9pm on Nov. 12.

Between's hosting a viewing party, where Rad herself has whipped up a special tasting menu of her favorite dishes, including curried lobster bisque, spice-rubbed butterfish with spinach and chorizo, braised duck samosa and ginger chocolate mousse in a chocolate tart. That's $50, so go and whoop it up for the homegirl.

This just hit the mailbag . . .

From the Manor/RiNO team:

"We're opening a rock bar called The Lucky Lady in the old Gentry on State space (corner of State and Illinois) . . . We've been keeping pretty quiet about it for the time being. Looking to open sometime soon (probably within a month or so). We're putting in a photo booth and a juke box, it will be very relaxed, a perfect place to unwind after work. Still not sure if we will have a kitchen or not. Also look for some cool live performances and concert afterparties."



It's been a great week. A new prez and the first-year anniversary of 312 Dining Diva. Let's keep the party going:


Room 21 works overtime to stay relevant, and now they're doing it with a monthly cooking demo held on the first Thursday of the month. Tonight's event has Executive Chef Dan Tucker showing guests how to prepare fresh mozzarella, which will be paired with wine. Can you believe it's only $10?! Also, if you stay for dinner, they're knocking $10 off your bill. 6-7pm.

Underground gets mad props for donating its space for the Cheers to the Children wine-tasting event, hosted by the Starlight Children’s Foundation. The after-work party includes hors d’oeuvres, raffle and a walk-around tasting. $45 in advance; $60 at door. 7-10pm.


Obama-mania continues at the original First Fridays party, with a special performance by Slick Rick. Yes, that Slick Rick. People are in such a partying mood that they had to move the event to Rainforest Cafe to accommodate everyone. Deejays Timbuck 2, Mark Fullaflava and 33 1/3 spin. Party benefits the Community Education Network. 10pm-2am. Tickets start at $15.

Another post election party happens at the newly reopened PJ Clarke's in Lincoln Park with complimentary food and specialty cocktails. Not sure if that'll go on all night, but get there early to make sure you can take advantage. Penguin sponsors with gift bags for guests. 8:30pm-2am. No cover.

Chicago Originals Wine Week, from the local independent restaurant group, kicks off today through Nov. 13. You'll be able to get—wait for it—$2 glasses of vino at spots like Cyrano's Bistrot & Wine Bar and Cafe Bernard.

Hip Sip returns to ristorante we, this time with a Reality of Dreams theme. Scene will have art, specialty drinks, apps and music by DJ Jack from J*Davey. 8:30-10:30pm. $25.

Beer lovers will delight in the generous tasting event happening over at Lush Wine & Spirits, in Roscoe Village. Guests will get two solid hours of sampling the suds. 6-8pm. Free.


Logan Square continues its cool streak for nightlife, this time with newcomer The Whistler. The thing is, however, that this is one hard ass bar to find. Once inside, you're certain to love it for the simple, yet well-picked beer list, church pew seating and live rock bands on weekends.

The popular Saturday Underground series continues at Bonsoiree, and because they only have a few seats left for Saturday, they're extending the event to Sunday. If you're not up on Underground yet, know that it's a five-course prix-fixe menu served in an unassuming Logan Square storefront. We're especially excited about what's on the menu this week: Thai red curry lobster bisque, corn-stuffed quail, and a salad of sablefish sashimi, blueberries and pink peppercorn dressing. Mmmmm. BYOB $5 corkage fee. $65 per person.