Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Old Town's Wine Crush is back!


At the top of our list of favorite things: lazy weekends, outdoor festivals and all things wine.

That's why we're especially excited about the annual Wine Crush, happening Sept. 12-13 in Old Town.

For $30 ($45 for premium tastings), guests can sample up to 50 wines, plus a number of artisan cheeses.

We're also looking forward to chef demos by Christian Phernotten (Old Town Brasserie), Othon Angel (Adobo Grill) and Dino Lubbat (Dinotto Ristorante).

A hilarious highlight of Wine Crush is the Grape Stomping Competition, as teams of two dance around in mounds of the divine grape to win a bottle of vino from one of the participating wineries.

And, of course, being a street festival, live music is always a big attraction. This year's entertainment includes Gin Blossoms, 16 Candles and the soul-infused local band Jambon.

A portion of the proceeds benefit the Old Town Merchants & Residents Association and Chicago 2016.

Pizza, pizza now thin, thin . . .


Is Chicago's famed deep-dish pizza passé?!

More thin-crust pizza joints are springing up around town, joining stalwarts like Spacca Napoli and Piece, according to MSNBC:

"As with many higher-end restaurants, the thin-crust pizzerias make a point of using (and telling you that they use) fresh, local, even artisanal ingredients. Spacca Napoli, for example, has its mozzarella delivered weekly from Italy. Great Lake makes its own.

"It also seems the thin-crust pizzas offer something that has long been associated with some of the city's finest restaurants and famed chefs such as Charlie Trotter, Jean Joho and Grant Achatz, but not pizzerias: the artistry of the chef, er, pizza maker."