Thursday, January 8, 2009

Someone's Having a Birthday!

Swank Society's Christian Armand (Photo: Christian Armand)

It's a big week for Capricorns!

Nick Podesta (Jan. 6) is one of the brains behind Liquor Creek Management/Star 3, which owns two of the city's hottest properties: the modern French-American Duchamp in Bucktown; and Lumen, a Euro-inspired lounge with a bangin' sound system in the Warehouse District.

Christian Armand (Jan. 9), known for spinning smooth beats ranging from deep soul to hip-hop, has played just about everywhere, including Sushi Samba, Sonotheque and Double Door. You can catch his show online every Sunday 9-11pm CST here.

And the National Restaurant Association's ultra-fab Derrek Hull (Jan. 10) is responsible for keeping foodie journalists from around the world in the loop when they come for the NRA Show and International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event every spring.

Happy Birthday, guys!

EXCLUSIVE: Room 21 staff laid off


What a difference a month makes. In early December, 312DD exclusively reported that Room 21 was dramatically changing its concept to more traditional Italian fare. Management assured us that they would not be closing to make these changes.

Now, an email just dropped in the inbox from an Ultimate Insider telling us that the entire staff—including the executive chef—was laid off right after New Year's Eve. There's a possibility that they may be brought back in February to revamp, but who knows at this point.

A quick call to the restaurant, and we were told that they're closed in January, but "would be opening again at some point."

This economy really sucks.

It's cold outside, but it's hot in ...

Sonotheque hosts a "Brazilian New Year's Eve" similar to this one in South America.


Blue 13: Edgy River North eatery features half-price wines and a $35 three-course prix-fixe menu Tuesday-Thursday. Order anything (lobster pizza excluded), but we must have the Truffled Mac 'n' Cheese (with free-range Amish chicken), Steak and Egg on Acid (grilled beef tenderloin, sunnyside up quail egg) and "Drunken" Short Rib (Guinness braised!) right about now.

Rockit Bar & Grill: Elvis would've been 73 today, and to celebrate, get all shook up with The King (thick-cut French toast, peanut butter, bananas, whipped cream, topped with toasted peanuts) for $12. Rockit's serving it all day long.

Sonotheque: The monthly Braziliance party does a New Year's Eve in Rio theme, with Joe Bryl spinning exotic beats and specialty South American-themed cocktails like the Braziliance, which is a twist on the classic mojito with Maker's Mark. 9pm-2am. Free before 10pm; $5 after.

Celebrate Elvis' 73rd birthday today with "The King," only at Rockit Bar & Grill. (Photo: Rockit Bar & Grill)


Eno at the Fairmont: Big Willies can peel off $$$ for a tasting of the rare 1935 Barros White Colheita that's $90 for a one ounce tasting portion or $850 per bottle. If you go, 312DD will be happy to be your guest. 4-11pm.

Five Star Bar and Grill: Scotch fans can indulge in comped specialty Chivas 18 cocktails, or get their drinks neat or on the rocks. The rep will hit this hard rockin' West Town tavern 8:30-10:30pm. No cover.

Le Passage: The monthly Economic Stimulus Package Party happens tonight with comped drinks 10-11:30pm. RSVP to for free admission; stay for deejays spinning all the latest beats till 4am.

Park Grill: Did you have a hard time getting back in the groove this week?! If you're in the Loop, head to Millennium Park for another Chivas 18 event with signature scotch cocktails. 6-8pm. No cover.


Red & White: The minimalist Wicker Park wine shop hosts its weekly tasting with four different vinos from Cream Wine Co. 2-5pm. Free.

The Violet Hour: For the New Year, the trend-setting saloon has added new cocktails, including The Velvet Fog (Wild Turkey 101 rye, Punt e Mes, dark crème de cacao and Nux Alpina Walnut liqueur) and The Lady Clover (Beefeater, lemon, blackberry syrup, egg white and Peychaud's bitters). 9pm-2am. No cover.


Moonshine: The under-the-radar neighborhood favorite offers one of the best brunches in Wicker Park: $7 Bloody Mary bar; $3 drafts; $10 pitchers of Miller Lite; $9.95 homestyle fried chicken. And don't worry about dragging your ass out of bed early. It's served all day long.