Thursday, June 4, 2009

Michael Carlson's first TV interview!

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Marcus Riley of NBC-Chicago's entertainment showcase 24/7 snags an interview with the elusive Schwa chef/owner Michael Carlson on why it's so damn hard to get a reservation.

Peep the video here, with a cameo by 312 Dining Diva, who scored her first reservation here after a year-long wait.

Booze, Brunch and The Bombshell


After Josephine Baker and long before J.Lo, there was Iris Chacon—an exotic beauty known for her provocative performances, flamboyant style and curvaceous figure.

The Puerto Rican provocateur's the subject of the MCA's latest UBS 12 x 12: New Artists/New Work exhibition you can check out at this month's First Fridays after-work event. Created by Chicago artist Edra Soto, The Chacon-Soto Show explores her impact on U.S. feminist issues. It's on display through June 28.

Your First Fridays ticket include museum admission, live entertainment, complimentary Wolfgang Puck hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. 6-10pm. $16 ($8 for MCA members). 220 E. Chicago Ave.

Other exciting events you don't want to miss:


Everyone's talking about the new Whole Foods store in Lincoln Park, so if you haven't been, there's still room for the Chef's Table Supper Club tonight. The series occurs every other Thursday with a three-course meal and a glass of wine. The chef's selection is created with the freshest, seasonal ingredients the store has available. Registration required. 6:30pm. $42/person; $75/couple. 1550 N. Kingsbury St., 312-587-0648.

For something less formal, but just as tasty, grab a seat at one sixtyblue's bar for Burgers, Beer and Beats. Every Thursday, the West Loop eatery offers a rotating lineup of $4 craft brews paired with juicy $4 burgers. 6-10pm.

First Thursday Tastings happens at Fion Wine Bar with Unibroue beers (Ephremere, La Fin Du Monde, Maudite, Don De Dieu, Chambly Noire) and gourmet cheese pairings. 7-9pm. Free.

Grab dinner at North Center faves Brownstone or sola, then indulge in the third-annual Bubbles & Berries happening at the nearby Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro. Champagne, sparkling wine and moscatos will be paired with seasonal berries and a chocolate fountain. 7-9pm. $15 in advance; $20 at the door.

At The Bar returns to The Drawing Room, with executive chef Nick Lacasse and chief mixologist Charles Joly whipping up a fabulous three-course meal paired with market-fresh cocktails for only eight lucky diners. 6:30pm. $45 (reservations required).

You might have better luck getting in Chiquiteo: A Tapas Tour, a dining crawl happening at Lincoln Square's hottest spots. On-site registration starts at 6pm at Fiddlehead Cafe, then you can make your way to the other participants (Provenance Food and Wine, The Book Cellar, Café Selmarie, Bistro Campagne) for tapas and Spanish wine. 6:30-9:30pm. $35. Reservation required.


The Museum of Science and Industry launches its first-ever Smart Home farmers market with a special cooking presentation at 11:30am by chefs Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh (HBTV) of The Hearty Boys fame. They'll be cooking up a delicious brunch-time dish of Orange Blossom pancakes with mascarpone and fresh berries. For the kick off, guests will also enjoy music, food vendors and treats cooked in a solar oven. The farmers market happens on the first and third Fridays of the month through Oct. 16. 7am-2pm.

If you're over the usual hip-hop and pop in the clubs, make your way to Sonotheque for Free Da Funk, a night of amazing throwback tracks. Deejay Joe Bryl will be digging in his crates for the best in soul, funk, R&B and disco accompanied by rare Blaxplotation films. 9pm-2am. No cover. $5 drink specials.


If you ever wanted to get into the Guinness Book of World Records, this may be your chance: The World’s Biggest Bar Crawl happens in Lincoln Park and it's looking to beat NYC's record of 3,163 crawlers in March. Oh, we can easily beat that! Just show up and make it out to at least eight of the bars on the crawl, including Soiree, Glascott's, Toasted Ox and Grand Central. Participants get drink and food specials at each location, plus a portion of the proceeds benefits Children's Heart Foundation. $15.

If you're looking for a laid-back afternoon diversion, head to Lockwood inside the Palmer House Hilton. They're hosting a free wine-tasting event, and all those sampled will be available by the bottle at a reduced price for the evening. 3-5pm. Free.


You know how they say don't go grocery shopping if you're hungry?! Grab brunch first at the South Loop Whole Foods Market, then go get your goodies. Choose from a rotating menu of French toast, veggie-friendly dishes, eggs and pancakes for $5, plus you can order a Mimosa for an extra $5. Noon-2pm. 1101 S. Canal St.

Fashion-forward folks looking for next season's styles should head to Bar DeVille to check out Chicago-based clothing line Imaginary People. You'll get to check out the entire line—in all sizes—and if they don't have an item or color, you can also order. Free booze always makes shopping fun! Noon-6pm.


And, Monday-night obsession Rehab moves from Evil Olive to Debonair Social Club. Expect good energy level at this industry-dominated party that includes free drinks (9-10pm), drink specials and guest deejays. 9pm-2am. Free.