Thursday, February 19, 2009
Let's Stimulate the City!
So, so, so much going on the next few days, so let's get right to it.
This weekend we've got Oscars parties, Chicago Restaurant Week and the debut of Chicago Chef Week.
Up next: You don't want to miss the first-ever Chilifest, happening at Rockit Bar & Grill, plus Mardi Gras madness on Fat Tuesday.
In the meantime, get ready to rumble . . .
Give it up for the man who made Cubs' games more than just another day at the ballpark. It's time for the Annual Toast to Harry Caray, now in its 11th year at Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse. The theme of this year’s tribute is 101, marking 101 years since the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. No matter where you are in the world, lift your glass at 7pm. The first 101 fans to arrive for the toast at any of the Harry Caray locations (also Lombard, Rosemont, Wrigleyville) get a complimentary replica pair of Harry’s signature glasses and "Cubs Fan, Bud Man" hat. Also, 101 cent Buds throughout the day for all.
It's time for the annual SMACKDOWN mac and cheese cook-off, happening at Goose Island. A number of local high-profile chefs go head to head with their best recipes, including Giuseppe Tentori (Boka), Stephanie Izard ("Top Chef," The Drunken Goat), John Chiakulas (Mity Nice, Foodlife), Amalia Obermeier-Smith (Kuma’s Corner), Chris Pandel (The Bristol) and Roger Herring (Socca). Proceeds benefit Organic School Project, an initiative in the Chicago Public Schools teaching children about more mindful food and lifestyle choices. 6-10pm. $75 in advance; $100 at door.
SUB 51, the lower-level party spot of HUB 51, is doing its part to encourage you to get out and about with the brand-new Snow Queen Thursdays. Guests get half off on bottles of Snow Queen vodka, as deejays spin the usual hip-hop, rock and pop beats. 9pm-2am. No cover.
Could you possibly resist this deal at Cafe Selmarie?! Tonight's $20 prix-fixe menu includes soup, lobster ravioli, ruby red trout and a choice of dessert from the in-house bakery. Best deal of the day!
One of my fave house deejays of all time, Mark Grant, spins alongside Craig Alexander at new Wicker Park sensation Crocodile for the weekly US party. As always, there's free pizza when you order beer. 9pm-2am. Free to get in.
The "Annual Toast to Harry Caray" happens everywhere Thursday at 7pm.
Dunlays on the Square, the popular neighborhood wine bar, is now embracing beer. Choose from more than 30 brands, as well as five different flights. Each beer flight features three, five ounce pours, and Dunlays rotates them, highlighting seasonal and styles of beer. Flights are $6-$16.
Indulge in a little bit of culture with SENstudio, an art show by local artist Cleveland Dean at Par Lounge. Check out his style during the wine reception (7-10pm), and stay for DJ Marcus. Also, $4 sangria, $5 Bacardi cocktails, $5 vodka drinks. 6pm-2am. Free.
Vermilion, the hip Indian restaurant in River North, throws a—you guessed it!—Slumdog Millionaire bash. The pre-Oscar party includes a troupe of Bollywood dancers who'll teach you the "Jai Ho" moves, spicy specialty cocktails (Pani Puri margarita, blood orange chili Caipirinha, garam masala Bloody Mary) and "street" Bombay cuisine (Kabab platter, Chaat platter, Dhaba Thali, Mithai). Deejays spin after 9pm. $15 after 9:30pm.
Chicago's Twitterati community convenes for Brunch and Tweets! , starting at Yolk and ending up at the Art Institute of Chicago. It's a BYOB event, so bring your bottle as well as biz cards. Art Institute is free all month! 11am-4pm. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
Now here's a novel idea! Lush Wine & Spirits launches its first-ever Lush Reads ~ Book Club, for those book—and wine enthusiasts. Taking place every six weeks at the Roscoe Village location, they're starting with Making Sense of Wine by Matt Kramer, a great philosophical and practical introduction to wine. 6:30-8pm. Your $10 cover includes light bites, wine and a spirited discussion. Reservations recommended.