Thursday, December 4, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: Room 21 to revamp concept


This just dropped in from an Ultimate Insider:

"Word has it that Room 21 is going to close down, revamp and come back as an Italian spot—supposedly with all waiters from Italy."

A call to the restaurant confirmed that they are indeed reconcepting, but not closing, with the manager adding that the plan goes into effect immediately after their New Year's Eve event.

Rad's still in the running for next 'Top Chef'


The Stew recaps "Top Chef," and our homegirl Radhika Desai of Between makes it through to the next round:

"Radhika's dish, Sweet Heat Shrimp, seems a winner: Loaded with flavor from chili sauces, but not too complicated. A dish designed to entice viewers in that it's exotic enough to be different, but within the range of most home cooks to tackle. Plus shrimp cook quickly—much faster than Alex's creme brulee. But time runs out before she even finishes her vinaigrette.

In neither case did Radhika do so badly that she lost or was even in the bottom tier—Colicchio didn’t have to run off set to spit out her food (too bad, Melissa)—but again, she certainly didn’t hit it out of the studio."




This weekend we celebrate your right to drink.

That's it. Because without the repeal of Prohibition, we'd all be sipping sodas right now. 312DD's rounded up a bunch of bashes right here for your pleasure.

Of course, there's so much more going on this weekend:


No doubt Galleria Unico (44 E. Superior St.) will be filled with all the local stylistas, as Havilah Boutique hosts a Passion for Fashion holiday runway show. Nosh on appetizers by Adobo Grill and HUB 51; all proceeds benefit Kids Fight Cancer, with DJ Rock City spinning. 7-10pm. $10 suggested donation; RSVP to

When DJ "Jazzy" Jeff (of "Fresh Prince" fame) spun at Lumen last summer, the place was packed with old heads and new schoolers jammin' out to everything from soul to salsa. This time he's slinging the beats at Underground, and hopefully he brings along another hot MC. Only New Yorkers can get away with that. 9pm-4am. $20.


Doesn't it feel good to give?! Go all out at Imerman Angels' third-annual toy drive at Le Passage. The high-energy cocktail party includes an open bar and appetizers from 6-8:30pm, but the festivites continue till 10. It's technically a toy drive, but this time $10 of each ticket goes directly to purchasing Children’s Memorial Hospital a mobile, technologically advanced "fun center" that'll have a Wii video game. $30 in advance; $40 at door.

More than ever these days we need to network and Rednofive's providing an ideal atmosphere with Face2Face, a social networking party for online friends. Comped gift bags, appetizers and cocktails. Proceeds benefit the Sue Duncan Children's Centers and Friends United for Juvenile Diabetes Research. 8pm-4am. No cover?! (Maybe or maybe not)

Iconic local spin star Jesse de la Pena returns to Cuatro for his First Fridays event. He's certain to rock out with hip-hop, Latin, funk, soul, rock and house. 10pm-2am. No cover.


If you dare brave the crazed shopping strip of the Mag Mile—bursting with SNAILS and tourists—you'll need to slip into La Boule de Noel, the Park Hyatt's seasonal Parisian macaroon boutique. Located on the first floor of the hotel, it's cranking out a number of delicious housemade treats in flavors of white chocolate peppermint, cranberry pecan, rum chestnut, chocolate Earl Grey, orange spice cake or brandy cherry white chocolate. They're $2 (each); $24 (dozen); $35 (two dozen) and go great with an espresso or hot tea. 800 N. Michigan Ave., 312-335-1234.

For those skipping the downtown crowds, there's no better place to be than the Do Division Holiday Walk happening on Division Street (from Ashland to Leavitt). Stop at the Barefoot Bubbly Cocktail locations (Caffe Gelato, Pump, Porte Rouge) for champagne; indulge in a free horse-drawn carriage ride; or just hang out in numerous bars and restaurants along the stroll. Noir (1726 W. Division St.) will also host a party where you'll get up to 25 percent on apparel, appetizers and cocktails. Noon-until.

Salsa lovers, rejoice! The Hot Salsa Kitchen is back, but they're partying in a brand-new venue at Dance Connection (3117 N. Clybourne Ave.). This one's actually an all-ages event, with DJ Kimani Rashad spinning and a dance lesson by Elba Diaz. Get ready for salsa, mambo, cha-cha and a little bachata. 9pm-1am. $10.


OK. And if you're shopping for someone who has unique taste, why not check out the Goth Wintertime Craft Faire?! Who knows what you'll find, as the affair will have more than 20 local Gothic artists and crafters offering jewelry, toys, leather, candles and more. Noon-8pm. No cover.