Monday, September 27, 2010

STAGE BITES: The Weekly Dining & Drinking Guide

M.I.A. performs at The Vic Thursday.

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

M.I.A. at The Vic. The quirky and controversial British rapper first got our attention in 2003 with her big hit "Galang." Brimming with a mixture of dancehall, hip-hop and electronica, it helped define her style and has kept her in the spotlight ever since. "Maya," just released in July, is M.I.A.'s highest charting album release to date. 8pm Sept. 30. Get tickets here.

Andalous: Like M.I.A., this Moroccan-focused restaurant is exotic, fiery and pleasantly unpredictable. Two entrees caught our attention: The Sweet Couscous (bed of couscous topped with braised lamb, beef or chicken, with onions, garbanzo beans, raisins, honey, cinnamon and almonds; $15.99) and The Royal Couscous (couscous topped with lamb, beef, chicken and merguez and garden vegetables; $19.50). Proximity to venue: 10-minute walk; five-minute taxi ride.

DMK Burger Bar: Two grass-fed patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a flour top bun is The Big DMK, which is certainly delicious, but reminds us of a more famous burger. Or, you can go for The #4, its popular burger with roasted hatch green chile, fried farm egg, Sonoma jack cheese and smoked bacon. Proximity to venue: Five-minute walk.

Socca: Thank God they left the shrimp pizzette on the menu, which had Table Fifty-Two's Art Smith gushing that it was the best thing he ever ate on Food Network. It's actually quite simple, with ingredients heirloom tomato sauce, fresh basil and chili as well as Fontina, Asiago and parmesan cheeses. Proximity to venue: 10-minute walk; five-minute taxi ride.

DMK's "The #4" Burger. (Photo: Grant Kessler)

Macbeth at Lyric Opera. Baritone Thomas Hampson is in the titular role of what's known as Shakespeare's shortest tragedy. Soprano Nadja Michael—in her Lyric Opera debut—plays Lady Macbeth. Oct. 1-30 (Times vary; most shows at 7:30, except Oct. 24 at 2pm). Get tickets here.

312 Chicago: Hitting up the Tuesday performance at 7:30pm Oct. 12?! Stop in for an early dinner of their Tuesday specials: half off on bottles of wine and lasagna. Proximity to venue: 10-minute walk; five-minute cab ride.

Province: You can get some pretty good deals if you order a half size (for half the price!) of some of the larger plates. Some of our favorites: 10-hour BBQ'd lamb, slow-cooked miso glazed organic salmon and the Spanish Calasparra rice. Proximity to venue: 10-minute walk; five-minute cab ride.

David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow" is on stage at the American Theatre Company.

Speed-the-Plow at American Theatre Company. This is the David Mamet production Jeremy Piven almost ruined during its Broadway revival in 2008. Thank god he didn't, plus it's getting rave reviews in its current run here. Through Oct. 24 (8pm Thursday, Friday, Saturday; 3pm Saturday, Sunday). Get tickets here.

The Globe Pub: If you have late-night munchies, the kitchen's open until midnight for such hearty classics as Manchester Meatloaf, chicken pot pie, and fish and chips. Also, breakfast is served all day. Proximity to venue: Five-minute walk.

Sola: Before the show, head here on Thursday for Burger, Bacon & Beer night. It's the only night chef/owner Carol Wallack puts her award-winning Wagyu "Kobe" burger on the menu paired with a local craft beer. Proximity to venue: Five-minute walk.

T-Spot Sushi: The sushi here, of course, is popular, but what really keeps the crowds coming back is the tartare, which you can pair with signature sauces ginger lime vinaigrette, spicy chili or ponzu. Also, if you're in the mood for something stronger than tea (they're offering an impressive, massive selection), it's time to BYOB. Proximity to venue: Five-minute walk.

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