Sunday, June 30, 2013

Prince Wows Sold-Out Crowd During Late-Night Show At City Winery


Growing up watching Prince in "Purple Rain," I had always wondered what it would be like to see him perform in an intimate space. What's funny is that I was actually in his hometown of Minneapolis last Thursday and thought about what it would be like to see him onstage at First Avenue—the dance club/music venue made famous in the film.

So, I finally got my chance early Sunday—along with about 300 rabid Prince fans—when he performed at City Winery. After-hours shows of this caliber typically take place in Los Angeles and New York, so those lucky enough to get tickets were most certainly in for something special.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Lite Bites: What Your Favorite Chefs & Mixologists Are Up To Around Town This Week

Sixteen Executive Chef Thomas Lents (Photo: Trump Chicago)

Marriage Equality for all!

If you're one of those people who has a knack for picking the freshest produce at the farmer's market yet hasn't mastered how to cook them, this summer series is for you. Sixteen's Thomas Lents recently collaborated with some of the country's top markets for a unique spin on farm-focused dinners. Diners choose produce from the restaurant's pop-up market, then Lents creates a menu showcasing those ingredients. Courses range anywhere from four to 12, so prices vary.

Monday, June 24, 2013

OON's Bar Staff Shaping Into One Hot Cast Of Characters

Brian Williamson (from left), Briar Brackney and Michael Huebner (Photo: OON Restaurant)

OON Restaurant debuts July 1 in the West Loop with Matt Eversman's unique style of American contemporary cuisine accented by Southeast Asian flavors.

To complement his fresh flavors, he's assembled quite the team behind the bar, thanks to general manager Jon McDaniel (who was most recently at Purple Pig).

Thursday, June 20, 2013

So Very, Very Hot Right Now.

Megan and Don Draper toast to a great "Mad Men" finale. (Photo: AMC)

It's been a strange, trippy road for "Mad Men" this year, and now the 1960s-based series concludes its sixth season on Sunday.

If you're looking to celebrate with like-minded folks, the glamorous Gold Coast hotel PUBLIC Chicago seems the appropriate place with its luxe, retro setting.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

You're Invited To Help Trattoria Gianni Celebrate Its First 25 Years In Biz

The patio at Trattoria Gianni (Photo: Trattoria Gianni)

The go-to spot before or after shows in the Lincoln Park theater district turns 25 years old in June. Trattoria Gianni celebrates with a massive, Italian-style dinner party on Monday, June 24, and I've got invites for a few lucky folks.

To be considered, you must be a fan on the 312 Dining Diva facebook page. Look for the post about this event, and tell me why you should go. And yes, you get to bring a guest! The contest ends at noon June 20 and I will pick the winners by noon June 21.

What You Should Be Sipping This Summer


Finally, some REAL summer weather!

To celebrate, I encourage you to indulge in what's certain to be the best drinks this season: the Moscow Mule and a number of Polynesian-inspired elixirs. We uncover some new twists on the classic tipplers.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

So Very, Very Hot Right Now.

(Photo: Magnolia Bakery)

Blackhawks, whoo whoooo!

Three OTs in the first game of the finals against the Boston Bruins certainly deserves something sweet. Thank goodness Magnolia Bakery brought back the limited-edition ode to our favorite hockey team.

The tasty treat's available in chocolate or vanilla with vanilla or chocolate buttercream, plus it's topped with a Blackhawks' ring. It's only available on game days for $3.25.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lite Bites: What Your Favorite Chefs & Mixologists Are Up To Around Town This Week

Incoming Blackbird Chief Mixologist Kyle Davidson (Photo: Blackbird)

Dads are awesome.

Lynn House's last day as chief mixologist at Blackbird is June 15. We'll really miss her behind the stick, but we're looking forward to what Kyle Davidson's bringing to the table when he replaces her on June 18. Davidson's well acquainted with the One Off Hospitality group, which owns Blackbird as well as Violet Hour and Publican, where he's worked behind the bar. Most recently he was the purchaser at Publican Quality Meats. Good luck to them both!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

N9NE Steakhouse Shutters After 13 Years

(Photo: N9NE Steakhouse)

Wow, it's the end of an era. N9NE Steakhouse closed Monday night. Here is the staff for one final photo.

An 11-year employee told Eater Chicago that "it's been a great 13 years, but time ran out."

Good luck to them all!

It’s Dad’s Day. Let Him Do What He Really Wants

The highlight of McGee's annual Father's Day brunch is ogling classic cars. (Photo: McGee's Tavern)

Here's the Ultimate Father's Day Guide for all you last-minute folks.

From an annual classic car brunch to tickets to a number of high-profile culinary events, this is the list you should check out before you spend any $$$.

Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Rant: Do People Forget Basic Social Graces At Restaurants When They Have Small Children?!

Photo via Delectably Chic.

I reserve Sundays for completely chilling out to get ready for a hectic week ahead. So when I venture out for dinner, it's typically at some low-key spot in a quiet neighborhood.

This past Sunday was no different as we headed to a family-run Asian eatery in Uptown. With a bountiful BYO selection in tow, we were pretty satisfied when we were the first people in the dining room. We picked a pretty good table off to the side because we knew the room would soon fill up...and we wanted to take advantage of the short-lived silence.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

'Ride For AIDS,' 'West Town Pup Crawl' & Other Fun Charity Events To Support In June


June is National Pride Month, which celebrates the LGBT community, and there are plenty of events happening all month long.

To kick off the festivities, Ride for AIDS happens at 7:30pm Friday, June 7 at Flywheel Chicago. It's a chance to get your workout in with an intense, 45-minute spin class while socializing with those who believe in the cause. Madly popular Flywheel instructor Candy Morales teaches.

The event also includes a post-class reception that's generously sponsored by Halsted's, Hydrate and Replay Beer & Bourbon. It's $25 per person (or $10 if you're only attending the reception). Sign up for the class right here.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Dale Levitski Goes 'Glamping,' No More Dover Sole At Brindille Until Fall & Foie Gras Gate At Next?!

Chef Dale Levitski (Photo: Sprout)

Don't expect to see Dale Levitski around these parts for a few months. The executive chef/partner of Frog N Snail and Sprout tells 312DD exclusively that he's going "glamping" (glamour camping) all summer at The Resort At Paws Up in Montana.

Now, what exactly does that mean?!