Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cool S%&(*&^%!@# . . . Period.

DJ Madrid spins every Thursday at Le Colonial.

We all know Le Colonial's upper-level lounge. It's exotic. It's dark and mysterious. It tempts us to become uninhibited after a few of those decadent drinks.

But it's been like that for almost 15 years, so it was time to go to the next level.

Enter DJ Madrid—known for cranking out the best international beats—and star bartender Nikki Friar, who shakes up the cocktails fast and hard.

They make the perfect team, offering a well-heeled crowd something that's sorely needed in nightlife right now. You won't hear any Top 40 hits, but you're certain to be inspired to move your body on the makeshift dance floor in front of the deejay booth.

The full menu of French-Vietnamese fare is offered till 11pm. Party's 9pm-2am. No cover.

More cool S%&(*%!@# you don't want to miss out on this weekend . . .

The Chosen Few Picnic: It's more like many thousand now, as this annual tribute to deep, underground house music attracted more than 20,000 revelers in 2009. A number of local and international deejays spin, plus this year's feature is a performance by legendary vocalist Rochelle Fleming from First Choice. 8am-8pm Saturday. Prices vary; get info here. 63rd Street and Hayes Drive.

Clandestino Outdoors in Logan Square: More outdoor fun as the underground experts take their dining event to the Northwest Side. It's also an introduction to new chef Brandon Smith, who'll treat diners to globetrotting grub of market fresh fish and pineapple skewers with peanut and chile sauces; crimini mushroom strudel, corn and pea salad; and a chilled raspberry and cherry soup. Location revealed 12 hours before event occurs Saturday. Tickets available here for $49. BYOB.

Crescendo: Hmmmmmm, a bikini car wash bash benefiting the Breast Cancer Network of Strength?! I'm certain there will be a whole lotta clean cars riding around River North this weekend. Daytime event also features a lemonade stand and prizes. 2-6pm Saturday. $20 includes hand wash, wet rinse and towel dry.

The "Fashion Stills" exhibition at Sofitel. (Photo: Sofitel)

Duchamp: We're excited that Bar DeVille's Eric Hay recently revamped the cocktail menu with some really creative concoctions. We couldn't get enough of the Loretto Flower, delicately made with Maker's Mark, St-Germain Elderflower, Aperol and fresh lemon juice, and Isla Tortuga (Tortuga Coconut Rum, Dumante pistachio liqueur, fresh lime juice, nutmeg) on Duchamp's gorgeous backyard patio a few weeks ago. Both are $12.

English: The final match for the World Cup happens Sunday between Spain and the Netherlands. This viewing party will include an appearance by Chicago Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko and ESPN 1000 talk show host Fred Huebner. Daydrinking! deals include $4 Goose Island 312 bottles; $7 Goose Island Matilda and Sofie drafts; $7 Jose Cuervo Tradicional Margaritas and $6 Jose Cuervo Tradicional shots. Chef Radhika Desai's British-inspired American menu complements with items like curry mussels, lobster & white truffle mac 'n' cheese, and Guinness pulled pork sliders. 1-5pm.

Fashion Stills at Sofitel: The luxury hotel partnered with Parisian photo gallery, Polka Galerie, for this touring exhibition of never-seen-before photographs of rare moments backstage with Dior, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. It's on display through August 22, and while there indulge in Le Bar's La Terrasse, or new outdoor dining and drinking option. $5 small bites include chorizo and crushed tomatoes; Serrano ham on garlic baguette croƻtons and beef skewers with shallot marmalade.

Brew Cruise: Tickets are still available for Shoreline's first-ever cruise featuring all hand-crafted brews. They're doing them all summer and first up is Rock Bottom on Friday. Guests will get Gold Pale Ale, plus nibbles of Mediterranean bruschetta, mini cold pesto and chicken sandwiches, Maltese couscous and chocolate cherry poppers. 8pm Friday. Get the $39 tickets here. Departs from Shoreline's dock at the west end of Navy Pier.

Publican: Through August 8 (Sundays only!), diners can take advantage of Fix Boutique (1101 W. Fulton Market) and shoppers can take advantage of a yummy brunch. Bring your receipt to either one and get 15 percent off your bill. Here's your incentive: waffles with strawberries, apricots and honey butter; the red wine poached egg and a pastrami short rib sandwich.

Sabor Saveur: And attention pork lovers: This totally caught my eye this week. The Wicker Park cafe is offering Pork Rind Lasagna all month. It's made with green tomatillo sauce, cotija and chihuahua cheese, and topped with pork rind crumble. Oink. Oink!

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