Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P. King of Pop!


Every club in the world will be rockin' this weekend with the hits of Michael Jackson. Rest in Peace, dude, you were a GREAT one!

Pick A Fest: Pitchfork or Lolla?

Chicago attracts fans from all over who come to see Lollapalooza and the Pitchfork Festival. But now it's time to decide, which is the better festival? (Photo: Getty Images)

Our buddies over at just hooked up a poll to determine the fly-est local music festival, Pitchfork or Lollapalooza.

Check the stats, lineups, crowds, etc., then sound off on who you think is the best right here.

FYI, Lolla's winning right now!

Dig in . . .

Tortelli di Carciofi is just one of the masterpieces by Piccolo Sogno Executive Chef Tony Priolo—who's set to demo at the Taste of Chicago. (Photo: Piccolo Sogno)

. . . we're set for some well-deserved and amazing weather this weekend, so you should be fully aware of what's going down.

Get the bites, hit the benders, like tonight's annual A Midsummer Eve of the Eve hosted by HighSight. One of the summer's biggest bashes attracts a well-heeled crowd of young-ish professionals who come for the open bar, appetizers, silent auction and live music. This year, the food should be especially good as the party's being held at new American contemporary eatery Bluprint in the Merchandise Mart. Party happens 6-11pm. $50.

Parties, a parade and so much more going on this weekend . . .


The 10th annual Eli’s Cheesecake/Wright College Farmers Market occurs every Thursday in the parking lot of the school. Get your fresh produce, flowers and artisan crafts, plus free breakfast if you arrive early. If you get there around lunchtime, they're also grilling Allen Bros. steaks and produce from the market. 7am-1pm. Free. 4300 N. Narragansett Ave.

In Fine Spirits launches its weekly Eat Local/Drink Local night with a tasting from Koval Distillery Spirits, the city's first boutique organic distillery. You'll get to taste 10 spirits paired with apps. 7:30-9:30pm. $15.

Toast to even more spirits at Experience The Art of the Cocktail at Luxbar, but if you want to get in you must RSVP ASAP. They'll be pouring complimentary cocktails infused with (ri)1 whiskey. 9pm-midnight. RSVP to

OK, so we love the sound of this: Rhapsody's 5 after 5 every Thursday. All items on the lounge menu are $5 after 5pm, including Michigan duck nachos, flatbread with Taleggio cheese and the Rhapsody dry-aged burger. They're also doing $5 glasses of red, rosé or white wine, so it's an ideal spot to wind down after work. Menu's available in the bar, lounge and patio area only.


Those with children have through Sunday to take advantage of Kids' Restaurant Week, with prix-fixe menus (pay your age if you're under 11; $29 for kids and adults 12 and older) and family-friendly dining times of 5-7pm.

Maxwell's at the Club hosts an al fresco, wine-focused dinner on the terrace overlooking Chicago River. They'll have four stations set up with items like Southwestern flank steak, grilled summer veggie skewers and mini strawberry-blueberry shortcakes. All dishes are paired with seasonal wines. 6-9pm. $35.

It's time for Soul Joy, the city's grooviest party happening at the South Loop's Cuatro. Local underground spin stars Vick Lavender, Mario Romay and Celeste Alexander work the tables. You'll find only a tiny dance floor, but somehow they make it work. 6pm-2am. Free before 10pm- $5 after.


Two key happenings at the Taste of Chicago: Zagat hosts a Sweet Treat Challenge at 11am in Dominick’s Cooking Corner (near Buckingham Fountain). Four students from Washburne Culinary Institute compete to create the best Chicago-inspired dessert. The winner gets a $1,000 scholarship, compliments of Zagat. There will also be giveaways for the first 100 people seated in the audience. Judges include Executive Chef Phillip Foss of Lockwood and Marc Schulman, president of Eli's Cheesecake. And at 1pm, Eli's Cheesecake fetes its 29th birthday with a 2,000 pound cheesecake in front of Buckingham Fountain. We're hearing they'll have some "celebrity" cake cutters, and of course, everyone gets a slice.

If you've always wanted to hit a luau, here's your chance. Moonshine's hosting a special pig roast, transforming Wicker Park's urban roadhouse into a scene out of Waikiki. Yeah, that means expect lots of kitschy stuff, including hula dancers, ukulele player and too many damn Hawaiian shirts (wear the tackiest to win prizes). But you'll get over it because they're doing $5 Mai Tais and pineapple mojitos, plus pulled pork sandwiches from the prized pig. Noon-2am. Free.

All summer long—seven days a week—Theory is doing half off on appetizers. That's 5-8pm Sunday through Friday, and 5-9pm Saturday. You'll also get to take advantage of a number of daily drink specials.


Every bar and restaurant in Boystown will be crawling with people before and after the Pride parade, so you definitely won't be short on choices. But we're betting the best brunch deal's going down at minibar. The indoor/outdoor event will be out of control with unlimited mimosas and bellinis, plus an all-you-can-eat buffet. 11am-1pm. $25.

Another amazing brunch in the area happens at Angelina Ristorante, where you can get an entree and unlimited mimosas or bubbly for $20. Choose from the breakfast croissant (Canadian bacon, scrambled egg and smoked mozzarella, with home fries), Fritatta di Giorno (Italian-style baked omelet served with roasted potatoes and toast) or B.L.T. Club (toasted brioche, smoked bacon, baby arugula, tomato and pesto mayo). 10am-2pm.

And after Pride comes the party, and we love the idea of Bear Who?'s set at Forno Diablo. He'll actually be there all day, along with the drink specials, spinning deep house and hip-hop. 10am-5pm. No cover.


And Pops for Champagne is back on the chef track again for Shift Drink Mondays. Blue 13 Executive Chef Chris Curren will be behind the bar serving up his infamous Detox cocktail. We don't know what's in it, but that's the intrigue! 9pm-2am. No cover.