Tuesday, October 5, 2010

STAGE BITES: The Weekly Dining & Drinking Guide

"The Lion King" returns to Cadillac Palace Theatre Oct. 6-Nov. 27. (Photo: Disney)

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

Collaboraction's Beggars' Banquet at Salvage One (1840 W. Hubbard St.). This traveling theatrical group knows how to throw a bash, so you don't want to miss the wildest dinner party of the year. This time around it's working an "Arabian Nights" theme inspired by current production, "1001," onstage at Chopin Theatre (1543 W. Division St.) through Oct. 9. The venue will be transformed into a Persian fantasia, and Ali B. and his 40 Thieves host. Guests will enjoy an open bar, dessert, belly dancers, snake charmers and more than 40 characters from the stories of the "Arabian Nights" performing throughout the space. 9:30pm-midnight Friday (or 7:30pm for a ticket to "1001" and after-party). Get tickets here.

Bar DeVille: Don't let the unassuming exterior fool you. This corner saloon is serious business when it comes to booze. The mixologists here are known for whipping up seasonal signature drinks, and the back room offers a sexy speakeasy vibe. Proximity to venue: Five-minute ride by car.

Coalfire: The owners should be proud of the pizzas they crank out at this tiny West Town establishment. Everything's made to order, the crusts are ultra-thin and topped with a number of fresh ingredients. You'll go crazy over Four Cheese (mozzarella topped with tomato sauce, covered with ricotta, parmesan and romano cheeses) and Fiorentino (mozzarella topped with tomato sauce, layered with hot calabrese salami & roasted and red peppers). Proximity to venue: Five-minute ride by car.

Tuman's: My fave neighborhood dive has gotten a bit yuppified, but it's still a blast nevertheless because of the local deejays spinning everything from punk and hard rock to hip-hop and soul. No ordering of the fancy cocktails here, please. Proximity to venue: 15-minute walk; five-minute taxi ride.

Sandra Delgado warming up the crowd at last year's "Beggars' Banquet." (Photo: Collaboraction)

The Lion King at Cadillac Palace Theatre. The Tony Award-winning Broadway sensation roars into Chicago for a couple of months. The jungle comes alive with original music from Elton John and Tim Rice. Oct. 6-Nov. 27. Get tickets here.

Double A: The lower-level tequila lounge has just switched over to a sensational new fall menu that's certain to keep you warm all season. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that DJ Matt Reeves' cranking out exotic, sensual sounds certain to get everyone on their feet on the weekends. Proximity to venue: 10-minute walk; five-minute car ride.

Gilt Bar: A great spot to chow down before or after the show, but if you want the full experience, we suggest you head here later and check out "secret" downstairs den, Curio, for speakeasy-style sippers. Upstairs, there is food, and it's pretty damn good. We rec the pork meatballs, Gunthorp Farms roast chicken, and slow-roasted Duroc pork belly with Anson Mills stone ground grits. For dessert, try the "diner-style" toasted coconut & mocha cream pie. Proximity to venue: 10-minute walk; five-minute car ride.

Sepia: Another one of our favorite throwback-style restos, this West Loop treasure is best done before the show. You can actually order from the full menu in the sexy, front room lounge, so go all out with share-able plates of chicken fried sweetbreads with green tomato jam; bourbon baked beans topped with cider-braised pork belly; and pan-roasted sea scallops that come with popcorn grits and crispy ham hock terrine. Proximity to venue: 10-minute walk; five-minute car ride.

Revelers indulging at Double A. (Photo: Double A)

UB40 at House of Blues. This laid-back British reggae crew hasn't been in Chicago for quite awhile, so this will be a pretty tight show for those in the mood for some nostalgic tunes. Damn, now I cannot get "Red, Red Wine" out of my head. 9pm Friday. Get tickets here.

BIN 36: These hearty dishes are the perfect bites before you start jamming on the dance floor: slow-smoked stack of pork ribs in blackberry & espresso BBQ sauce; grilled cheese with three cheeses, truffle oil and caramelized onions; and the soft shell crab "CLT" sandwich (soft shell crab, red mizuna lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, bacon, served with a corn-butter sauce). Proximity to venue: Across the street.

HUB 51: Lucky for you, the kitchen is open late night, so after the show grab your crew and stumble down and share a number of plates, namely tacos (slow-cooked pulled pork, filet mignon, braised chicken, grilled fish), housemade turkey jerky and pulled chicken nachos. Proximity to venue: Five-minute walk.

Kimpton's Sable Kitchen & Bar: There's an actual book of cocktails at the bar inside the swanky Hotel Palomar. It's filled with a number of awesome choices, including champagne cocktails, martinis and old-school sippers. Proximity to venue: Five-minute walk.

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