Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hot on the Radar NOW . . .

Union Sushi + Barbeque's ritzy Up Bar lounge. (Photo: Union Sushi + Barbeque)

Cocktailing, a little couture and River North's newest burger bar are on my mind this week:

Californian Tim Goodell was named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine in 2000, and now he's making his mark in Chicago with a burger concept. 25 Degrees boasts a number of signature sandwiches and boozy sippers. We're especially excited about the decadent-sounding #2, which comes with roasted tomato, crispy prosciutto, burrata and pesto. Um, yum. You also have the option of "crafting" your own burger from a selection of meat, cheeses and sauces. Also looking forward to sampling the Salty Caramel "spiked" milkshake with Bulleit bourbon, butterscotch, vanilla bean ice cream and Hawaiian red sea salt.

Chicago q fetes its first year with its very own private label bourbon. q Bourbon is distilled by Evan Williams and single-barrel aged for 10 years. You'll be able to get it in $2 pours, served on a silver tray, neat, accompanied by a rocks glass with a house-made 1.25-inch ice cube and an eye-dropper filled with distilled water. The special bourbon will also be used in a refreshing Ginger Fizz for $5. It's available Sept. 4-10.

More than 40 of Chicago's most influential women will walk the runway during a fashion show at the Palm Court at The Drake. If you want to know what you should be wearing this fall, you'll want to be here. Fashions from Bloomingdale’s, Mark Shale, L.K.Bennett, Karen Millen, Club Monaco and more. VIP ($50) and general admission ($25) tickets are available here. 6-8pm Thursday.

DJ Madrid spins every Thursday at Le Colonial.

If you attend The Drake fashion show, then you should be after-partying at Le Colonial because every Thursday DJ Madrid spins in the exotic upper-level lounge. Here you'll find a sexy mature crowd, no mashups and a nice selection of unpretentious cocktails. 9pm-1am. No cover.

Tasty Mexican BYOB Sabor Saveur launches aguas frescas Friday. That's a popular drink found on the streets of Mexico, and Executive Chef Yanitzin Sanchez puts her own twist on it in a number of flavors to match her spicy food. It's available by the glass ($5), half carafe ($9) or carafe ($18). Here are the flavors, and Sanchez also recommends what spirits to bring:

Beta Rouge
Bet, lettuce, peanut, apple, piloncillo and orange juice
Best with red wine or vodka and vermouth

Le Chamoy
Tamarind, chile piquin mango, basic and lemon juice
Best with tequila

Eau de Ruiz
Rice, cinnamon, almond, pineapple, mango, basil and milk
Best with rum

Sabor Saveur Mojito
Ginger, pineapple, mint, lemon juice
Best with rum

Tezcalate per Vous
Pinole, achiote, cinnamon, piloncillo and milk
Best with rum, tequila or vodka

And every Wednesday it's time for Scene at Union Sushi. The social affair occurs on the top floor Up Bar, which overlooks the entire restaurant. Head Mixologist Revae Schneider whips up a number of delightful drinks, including The Star of Bombay, made of Bombay Sapphire, saffron vanilla syrup, lemon, Domaine de Canton and Bittercube cherry bark vanilla bitters. On Wednesdays, the cocktail is $7 (regularly $10). Other highlights of the Up Bar menu include The Sleepless Town (Plymouth Gin, rhubarb syrup, lime, Koval rose hip liqueur, egg white and pistachio dust) as well as the inventive Sashimi Cup of salmon, super white tuna, ponzu and wasabi avocado puree and rice puff. Finally, you're going to want to end the night with the latest addition to the menu. There's now a creamy and luscious house-made ice cream bar of coconut ice cream with chocolate and caramel swirls. It's $4.

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