Monday, July 12, 2010

STAGE BITES: The Weekly Dining & Drinking Guide

Legendary rocker Pat Benatar performs at Northerly Island Sunday.

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

Pat Benatar at Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island. Before there was Madonna, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, there was Pat Benatar—a true badass babe who needed no hype or props during performances. "Heartbreaker," "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and "Life is a Battlefield" are only a few of her charttoppers we're looking forward to when she hits the stage this weekend. REO Speedwagon also headlines. 7pm Sunday. Get tickets here.

Epic Burger: I still dream about their heavenly hamburgers and hand-cut fries, which put that mass-produced nonsense to shame. Your best option is the combo deal, which includes a sandwich (burger or chicken or portabella sandwich), fries and smoothie for $11.99. We highly recommend going for the Milk n Honey smoothie, made with bananas, almonds, fat-free vanilla yogurt, honey and skim milk. Proximity to venue: Five to 10 minutes by car, depending on traffic.

Gioco: A great place to go for an early dinner, this classic Italian resto features a tiny sidewalk patio as well as floor-to-ceiling open windows. The menu offers homemade pastas and wood-fired thin crust pizzas such as Margherita, Calabrese (with salami) and Funghi (wild mushrooms). Proximity to venue: Five to 10 minutes by car, depending on traffic.

Brian d'Arcy James and Daniel Breaker star in "Shrek: The Musical" at Cadillac Palace Theatre.

Pitchfork Bands Together for Haiti: A Benefit for Haiti Marycare at Double Door. No worries if you missed out on getting tickets to Pitchfork Music Festival. Netherfriends, The Alaya Concious and A Lull perform this special benefit concert. 9pm July 18. Get tickets here.

Bluebird: They serve mussels with Belgian-style frites three ways at this glorious, late-night Bucktown beer hangout. Do them Brussels (steamed in Blanche de Bruxelles white ale with celery, herbs and bay leaf), Colonial (steamed in white wine with cream, curry, cilantro and lemongrass) or Provencal (steamed in white wine with garlic, shallots, tomato, fennel and chili flake). All are $15.

Feast: Summertime specials include bourbon, soy and honey braised beef short ribs and a seasonal pasta with linguine, grilled market vegetables, crispy capers, black olives and Sicilian pesto. Sooooo ideal to nosh on these dishes as you settle into the beautiful outdoor garden. Proximity to venue: Five minute walk.

iCream: Open until 11pm Sundays, this innovative ice-cream shoppe should cure every sweet tooth, especially since you get to whip up your own concoctions. Choose the frozen treat (ice cream, soy ice cream, frozen yogurt), flavors (almond to white chocolate) and toppings, and they crank it out for you. Simple and delicious. Proximity to venue: Five minute walk.

Shrek The Musical at Cadillac Palace Theater. The lovable green orge is now on stage throughout the summer, and of course Princess Fiona and The Donkey will be right there with him. July 13-Sept. 5 (2, 7:30pm Wednesdays; 7:30pm Thursdays; 8pm Fridays; 2, 8pm Saturdays; 1, 6:30pm Sundays). Get tickets here.

Encore: The "liquid lounge" gets in the spirit of Shrek with specialty cocktails, staff wearing green, green lighting and costumes. All cocktails are $9 and include Shrek (Absolut Pear, Midori, sour mix), Princess Fiona (KeKe Beach, Absolut Vanilla, Midori), Donkey (Malibu and Godiva Dark) and Dragon (Bacardi Dragonberry rum, cranberry juice and coco puree). Proximity to venue: Next door.

Mercadito: The family-style brunch is $18, and includes three entrees for the table and a cocktail (or non-alcoholic beverage) per person. Shake it up with Mexican-style French toast, huevos rancheros and a set of tacos (chile ancho-rubbed pork, rosemary-marinated organic skirt steak, herb-marinated chicken and beer battered Mahi Mahi). Brunch is 11:30am-3pm Saturdays, 11:30am-4pm Sundays. Proximity to venue: Five minutes by car; valet.

Trattoria No. 10: One of the best deals in the Loop is still going strong after all these years. From 5-7pm Tuesday through Friday, head to the bar for an all-you-can-eat buffet offering pastas, shrimp cocktail, salads and sandwiches. $12, with the purchase of a $6 minimum drink. Proximity to venue: Five minutes walk.

1 comment:

Tobin Vance said...

This is a great article about a show and dinner, but you left out information about how to get tickets. Pat Benatar tickets can be found at other places, often cheaper for the same venue! It's worth a look, I'd think.