Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ah, the Good Life . . .

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Nu Bang Clan's Cordell Johnson is special guest deejay tonight at Subterranean.

Swank Society hosts its weekly "Good Life" party tonight at Subterranean (2011 W. North Ave., 773-278-6799) with special guest Cordell Johnson, whose day job is cameraman for WGN-TV.

You'll want to do some serious chilling out as he spins his special blend of deep house, funk and eclectic beats. Resident deejays Sean Alverez and Christian Armand also spin. Doors open at 8pm; $5.

'Project Runway' viewing party at Kit Kat

Who wants to watch a show this good alone?

"Project Runway" kicks off tonight, and Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club (3700 N. Halsted St., 773-525-1111) hosts a weekly interactive experience so you can showcase your design skills too.

They're debuting the "Design Your Own Martini" contest tonight in which guests are invited to enter their best martini "design" each Wednesday. The favorite martini will be chosen at the season finale viewing party and the "designer" will be awarded a $250 Absolut vodka gift basket.

Doors open at 5:30pm, and "Project Runway" airs at 9, so get there early to grab a seat and take advantage of the half-price cocktails and martini specials.

Also, they've added some entrees paying homage to the show, including:

"Nina Garcia": Spicy chicken and black bean soup soup with crispy tortilla strips

"Tim Gunn": Cold, spicy, tuna tartare on sesame wonton crisps

"Heidi Klum": Slow-braised pot roast, with saurkraut, and roasted new potatoes

It'll be your chance to shout in unison: "You in, oh you out."

Reality stars on a roll

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Michael Laungani from "The Apprentice: Season 5"

They've already showcased their skills of brain and brawn on such high-rated shows as "The Apprentice," "Big Brother" and "Survivor." Now, they're testing just how creative they can be in the kitchen as they design new sushi rolls in order to raise money for a good cause.

Tonight, the Glenview RA Sushi hosts "RA Reality," and four reality television stars have transformed into top sushi chefs. The winning roll will then be available in December at all three Chicagoland RA Sushi locations (Chicago, Glenview and Lombard) with a to-be-determined percentage of the proceeds donated to the winning reality star's charity of choice.

James Rhine of season 6 of "Big Brother" aligned himself with Immerman Angels to create a roll called Big Angel; "Survivor Fiji's" Mookie Lee is benefiting his own charity Active Chicago with the Ravu Roll; while Season 5 "Apprentice" alum Michael Laungani has cooked up The Orchid on behalf of the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Illinois; and Jamie Murray of "The Real World New Orleans" developed the Uber Uber Roll for La Rabida Children's Hospital.

The reality stars' rolls will be judged by a panel of media insiders and guests in attendance on the most innovative name, ingredients, presentation, and most importantly the taste. The winning roll will then be featured on its own special menu with a photograph of the reality star who created it.

The event occurs tonight 5:30-7:30pm at the Glenview location, 2601 Aviator Lane, but you'll be able to get the winning roll at all locations: 1139 N. State St., 312-274-0011 in the city or at The Shops on Butterfield in the Yorktown Center, Lombard (310 Yorktown Center, 630-627-6800).


Jamie Murray (The Real World: New Orleans)
Sushi Roll Name: Uber Uber Roll
Charity: La Rabida Children's Hospital
Recipe: Tuna, Avocado, Cucumber, Salmon, Cream Cheese, Sesame Seeds, Shrimp Tempura, Mayo, and Dash of Chalula Hot Sauce

Michael Laungani (The Apprentice, Season 5)
Sushi Roll Name: The Orchid
Charity: Make A Wish Foundation of Illinois
Recipe: Lobster, Yellowtail, Fresh strawberry, Cucumber, Avocado, Tempura Crunch, Mint, Light Wasabi Mayo

James Rhine (Big Brother, Season 6)
Sushi Roll Name: Big Angel Roll
Charity: Imerman Angels
Recipe: Tuna Avocado, Sliced Almonds, Topped with thin slices of strawberry, and drizzled with sweet eel sauce

Mookie Lee (Survivor Fiji)
Sushi Roll: Ravu Roll
Charity: Active Chicago
Recipe: White Tuna, Spicy Salmon, Unagi, Scallion, Avocado, Cucumber, Topped with tempura crunchies, and drizzled with eel sauce & wasabi mayo

A freebie for my friends

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You can enjoy Citizen's heated tent lounge even as the temperature drops.

If you're missing those lazy summer afternoons spent on Citizen's (364 W. Erie St., 312-640-1156) spacious outdoor patio, have no fear. They're back. But this time, the patio's tented over for an all-weather outdoor dining experience so that you don't freeze your ass off as the temperatures drop.

Tonight, they're launching the new tent offering with a grand opening party starting at 7pm. Enjoy complimentary wine, beer and passed appetizers until 8. Then you can enjoy their new fall menu by candlelight.

Can't make that gig tonight? Check into these additional heated outdoor gardens around town:

Chaise Lounge: The rooftop bar is as swanky as the indoors downstairs lounge, complete with a deejay, full-service bar and cabana seating. 1840 W. North Ave., 773-342-1840.

Northside Bar & Grill: Ideal for brunching or hanging out right before you head out, this venerable outdoor patio is one of the best in town for lazy days or nights. 1635 N. Damen Ave., 773-384-3555.

Village Tap: Daily drink and dinner specials are just one of the reasons why area folks make this their home away from home. 2055 W. Roscoe St., 773-883-0817.

Volo: Discover their revamped loungy backyard garden where you can enjoy a glass or bottle of great vino. 2008 W. Roscoe St., 773-348-4600.

Deal of the day . . .

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What would we do without all the countless servers, bartenders, hostesses and other service-industry folks making our dining and nightlife experiences enjoyable?

The staff over at Relax Lounge (1450 W. Chicago Ave., 312-666-6006) hosts a Wednesday night industry appreciation party where you can personally thank them as they chill out in this upscale loungey setting in Ukrainian Village.

Deejays spin a variety of classic rock, funk and soul as guests network and enjoy a number of Wednesday night specials, including $2 Bud bottles, $5 Red Bull Bombs, $5 Effen cocktails, $150 Effen bottles and $4 homestyle burgers.

Doors open at 6pm, but folks start trickling in around 9. No cover, so be there, and buy a service-industry friend a drink.