Thursday, June 18, 2009

What the hell is going on here?!


312DD got a tip from an Ultimate Insider about an apparent boycott going down Wednesday in front of West Loop newcomer Grocery Bistro.

Apparently Executive Chef Andre Christopher hasn't been paid in nine weeks, and his parents decided to stage a boycott in their van to support their son.

Says the UI: "What's up with the grocery bistro - I'm here and a huge sign - like huge is posted on a van outside saying to boycott on behalf of Chef Andre as he has not been paid in 9 wks."

That's a hell of a family stand!

Chicago’s Most Fashionable Foodie Fest

Izumi Sushi is one of the restaurants participating in Taste of Randolph Street this weekend. (Photo: Izumi)

When it comes to festivals, we're partying all summer long until Labor Day weekend.

Each festival embraces a theme, including ethnic pride, Pride, ribs (!!), getting naked wasted (!!!) and live music. But every local foodie knows that when it comes to the street foodie fest, there's none better than Taste of Randolph Street, taking place Friday through Sunday.

Something, however, happened this year. Notably absent in the food lineup is Red Light (Executive Chef Jackie Chen will still demo at the Whole Foods Culinary Pavilion) and Sushi Wabi, who've participated since the fest's inception in 1997. Oh well. Newcomers include two buzzworthy sports lounges, WestEnd and Market.

5-11pm Friday; 2-11pm Saturday, Sunday. $10 donation.

As always, there's so much more going on this weekend, so let's get right to it!


Fresh off a fabulous working weekend in Barcelona, 212's finest spin star DJ Kiss returns to show the 312 some love. She'll do a set at Manor for the weekly Outfit party. 10pm-2am. $20.

For my hottie dads out there, one event you don't want to miss is Bourbons, Burgers & Bond, happening at the Drake's Palm Court. Guests will enjoy a bourbon tasting, mini burgers and watch Casino Royale. 6-9pm. $80. Get tickets at

Even though it's all about Dad this weekend, here's an event dedicated to the working woman. The Eleanor Foundation hosts a mid-summer wine tasting at C-View. The fifth-annual party includes a selection of summer wines, appetizers and an enviable view of the city. 5:30-8:30pm. $150.

Dining With Dale Levitski continues at Relax. The season three finalist of Top Chef whips up something completely different every week; this time he's doing Lyonnaise salad, steak frites and lemon profiteroles for $30. Cocktail specials, too. 7pm; limited seating.

Underground Neo-soul band Fertile Ground performs at Shrine. Early arrival strongly recommended for this one, especially since owner Joe Russo just sent out a note announcing "a very special guest performance." Also, deejays Lee Farmer and Jesse de la Pena spin. 10pm-2am. $20.

(Photo: Glazed Donuts Catering)


Though June 29, you can be the winner of a $1,000 gift certificate from the Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse group. The trendy local chain celebrates 20 years and is giving away one gift certificate a day. Just stop in any location (also Hugo's Frog Bar, Luxbar) and fill out an e-mail card (no purchase necessary).

And who needs Dunkin Donuts when you've got Glazed, an independently owned donut operation using all local and sustainable ingredients?! This week, they've scored some amazing local strawberries, so they're whipping up strawberry-and-fresh-mint infused donuts. And, hey, a bonus: peanut butter & jelly donut (made with organic concord grape jelly and rich and crunchy peanut butter). Available Friday and Saturday at Swim Cafe and Bite Cafe. $3 each.


The Semillas Foundation, a nonprofit group helps the indigenous women of Mexico, and to raise awareness and money, they're hosting a benefit at the National Museum of Mexican Art (1852 W. 19th St.). We're excited that Rosangel tequila will be pouring copitas at the event, but we're even more thrilled about the participation of some of Chicago's hottest Latin restaurants. Cafe 28, Mundial Cocina Mestiza and Real Tenochtitlan will provide tastings. There will also be a colorful mercado featuring crafts and clothes, all handmade by women who have used Semillas funding to start small businesses or cooperatives. 4-6pm. $100.


Purgatory's Hip-Hop Brunch is still going strong with all-you-can-eat pizza and a taste of old-school beats. DJ 5/16 spins. 11am-3pm. $13.

Local deejay legend Jesse De La Pena launches a new Sunday night party at Crocodile, featuring a different theme each week. For tonight's party, it's all about the Ladies of Soul. Free pizza, too! 8pm-2am. No cover.


And Hopleaf's 7pm Beer & Cheese Tasting sold out almost immediately, but there's a rumor that owners are adding a second event. Email to add your name to the wait list. 9pm. $25.