Monday, March 15, 2010

STAGE BITES: The Weekly Dining & Drinking Guide

"Celia The Musical" runs at the Athenaeum Theatre March 18-21.

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

Celia The Musical at Athenaeum Theatre. Cuba's most sensational star—also known as The Queen of Salsa—is celebrated in this electrifying musical of her life. Only six performances: 7:30pm Thursday, Friday; 5 and 9pm Saturday; 3 and 7pm Sunday. Get tickets here.

404 Wine Bar: Work your magic and claim seats near the fireplace, then settle in for a couple of small plates (grilled flatbread with caramelized onions, beef tenderloin carpaccio) and one large plate of hearty veal osso buco ravioli. They also have an amazing wine list of bountiful choices you won't find at many venues.

Fritz Pastry: We could easily lose ourselves in this Euro-inspired sweet shop specializing in local and sustainably raised ingredients. Fritz closes every day at 7pm, so hit it up pre-show for beautiful bites of gingerbread poundcake, brown apple butter cake, chocolate-black pepper cookies or a variety of macarons. They're a little more expensive than your average bakery, but it's well worth it.

Harmony Grill: Surprisingly the menu will get you in the mood for the show with spicy, Latin-influenced items like the Chipotle hummus, potato & cheese empanadas, catfish tacos and a vegan burrito stuffed with grilled tofu, hummus, spinach, red peppers and black beans.

Honey-infused macarons from Fritz. (Photo: Fritz Pastry)

Hey! Dancin'! at Prop Theatre. We will never let go of the 1980s, which means we're rooting for Factory Theater's latest production about a local dance show on cable public access in 1986. 8pm Fridays, Saturdays; 7pm Sundays (closes April 24). Get tickets here.

Chief O'Neill's: It's known for a traditional Irish menu, but also for non-pub grub faves like the crispy stuffed chicken breast (stuffed with goat cheese, mushrooms, caramelized shallots, sun dried tomatoes) and a hearty seafood pasta of sautéed jumbo shrimp and diver scallops in a rich Creole cream sauce.

Kuma's Corner: If you know Kuma's, then you know that you'll need to get here at least two hours in advance if you plan on eating. You can never go wrong with the Kuma Signature Burger (bacon, cheddar, fried egg), Led Zeppelin (pulled pork, bacon, cheddar, pickles) and make-your-own mac and cheese.

Jay-Z: The BP3 Tour at United Center. Young Jeezy opens for headliner Jigga, Hova, Sean Carter or whatever he's being called these days. 7pm Thursday. Get tickets here.

one sixtyblue: Chef Michael McDonald's burger is not one you'll find under any golden arches. Instead, it's a foie gras burger filled with a stack of crispy shredded hash browns and caramelized onions. Since you're already going rich, why not pair it with duck fat fries or crispy sweet onion rings?!

Veerasway: The contemporary Indian resto is right at home on restaurant row, as its menu is chic and easy. Hot-ticket items include the Bollywood Lollipops (chicken drumsticks marinated in serrano peppers and green papaya), house-made ground beef and lamb Naan Burger, and Chicken Paratha Flatbread of marinated chicken tandoor, sweet onions and a spicy dill yogurt sauce.

Wishbone: It's BBQ night every Thursday at this Southern-focused West Loop gem. Grab an early dinner right after work for beef brisket, ribs or pulled pork.

No comments: