Monday, March 1, 2010

Stage Bites: The Weekly Dining & Drinking Guide

Alana Arenas (above), Jacqueline Williams (below) and the cast of Steppenwolf’s "The Brother/Sister Plays (In the Red and Brown Water)." (Photo: Michael Brosilow)

Every Monday look for the week's top performances paired with the best deals before and after the show:

The Brother/Sister Plays at Steppenwolf Theatre. Three plays (In the Red and Brown Water, The Brothers Size, Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet) are presented in repertory in the Upstairs Theatre. On the banks of the bayou, a small community springs to life with stories of love, sexuality and coming-of-age that's influenced by lively Afro-Caribbean folklore. 7:30pm Tuesday-Sunday; 3pm Saturday-Sunday (through May 23). Get tickets here.

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!: Get here early (4-6pm Monday-Sunday) or late (10pm-midnight Friday-Saturday) for $1 pintxos, $3 tapas or get all six pintxos for $6. Standouts include the short rib-stuffed piquillo pepper, chicken empanada, chicken and ham croquettes, and the bacon-wrapped date.

Landmark Grill + Lounge: Wino Wednesday happens every week, offering you the chance to get half off on your favorite vino and sparkling wines. They're also doing $6 Svedka cocktails, so drink up. Pair booze with bites like the flatbread pizza topped with wood roasted-mushrooms and black truffles, Kobe beef sliders with truffle and foie gras, or crispy polenta frites with Parmesan thyme dipping sauce.

Vinci: You'll get traditional Italian dishes, plus the Cacciuco, or seafood stew of shrimp, mussels, calamari and fish in tomato herb broth for $23.95.

Landmark's main bar area. (Photo: Landmark)

Private Lives at Shakespeare Theatre. You'll get a peek inside the lives of a glamorous ex-couple in the mid-1930s, complete with parties. Divorcés Amanda and Elyot meet up again quite by accident—on their second honeymoons, with brand-new spouses in tow. Wednesday-Sunday (through March 7). Get tickets here.

Charlie's Ale House: There's nothing particularly innovative about this Navy Pier offshoot from the Lincoln Park original, but we do love them for serving up comfort-food classics. You won't find many places in the area where you can get beef tenderloin Stroganoff, pot roast, chicken pot pie and fried chicken on the same menu.

Harry Caray's Tavern: Speaking of sequels, the new Harry Caray's is now open on Navy Pier. The Holy Cow Burger Bar is here, offering you the chance to build your own burger from ingredients like Tallgrass beef, crispy buttermilk onion strings, Applewood smoked bacon and Gruyère cheese.

Big Star's Taco de Chivo. (Photo: Grant Kessler)

The Reverend Horton Heat at Double Door. The legendary psycho-billy band performs, with opening acts Dex Romweber on March 5 and True Historians March 6. Get tickets here.

Big Star: After the show, it makes sense to go to this Honky Tonk taco joint right next door for budget bites ranging from $2 tacos to $3 tostadas. Hell, why not just order a few for yourself, particularly tacos al pastor (marinated, spit-roasted pork shoulder with grilled pineapple, grilled onion and cilantro), tostada de pollo (wood-grilled chicken thigh, chayote, black beans, poblano cream, coriander and red onion) or tacos de panza (crispy braised pork belly with tomato guajillo sauce, Queso Rancherito and cilantro).

Feast: There's more spice to be had at the Bucktown original for the crab cakes that come with chipotle aioli and the roasted salmon paired with corn buttermilk hot cakes, avocado salsa and a spicy barbecue sauce.

People Lounge: Or opt for the young and clubby environs of this lively tapas bar for awesome share-able dishes and sangria. You'll never go wrong with the gambas (sherry garlic marinated shrimp skewer, couscous), empanada de cerdo (sweet chili pork empanadas, belgian beer aioli) or mejillones (mussels with Spanish chorizo).

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