Monday, November 26, 2007

'Kitchen Nightmares' comes to Chicago

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With Bravo's "Top Chef" coming to Chicago next year, it's really no surprise that FOX's "Kitchen Nightmares" is making its way here, too.

And since I'm a huge fan of the charming, yet potty-mouthed host/chef Gordon Ramsay, I will be all over that. If you haven't checked out the U.S. edition of the UK original show, Ramsay goes into a restaurant that's on its last legs and turns it around miraculously in five days flat.

Right now, they're looking for restaurants to give the old "Ramsay touch," and they're casting 10 shows in our fair city. To find out how your establishment--or someone's you know--can be considered, email or call 310-387-6775.

Be your own winemaker

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Wanna have some real bragging rights this holiday season? Sign up for Just Grapes' first-ever interactive wine-blending seminar where you'll learn how to make your vino.

The premier wine shop in the West Loop specializes in wine education and events for corporations. And at this fun event, participants blend wine at team tables, learning the basic techniques of wine-blending and in turn being able to develop and understand their own wine preferences. Also, as part of the event you'll get to take home your very own magnum bottle of your concoction with a personalized label. Bring that bottle to your favorite house holiday bash, and you're certain to be the star of the party.

The event occurs Wednesday, Nov. 28 6-8pm at 560 W. Washington Blvd., 312-627-WINE. $100.

A minty holiday mixer

Where are my Peppermint Patties and Peppermint Patricks?

Lincoln Park Young Professionals hosts one of their infamous after-work cocktail parties where you can drink and eat for a pretty reasonable price.

Friday, Nov. 30, they're throwing a "Peppermint Holiday Party" at the Hard Rock Hotel (230 N. Michigan Ave.). For only $30 ($40 at door), you'll get your fill of their peppermint martini bars, Red Pama martini bars, Zodiac candy cane and Mistletow martinis, champagne, wine, classic cocktails and more. Edibles include selections from several Chicago-area restaurants, and what would this party be without plenty of Peppermint Patty candies?!

Be there 6-8pm Friday, Nov. 30 by calling 312-642-5097.

Deal of the day ...

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Sola’s ginger-glazed salmon

Thank God Thanksgiving is over. Did you get enough turkey to eat? If you’re so over picking on those leftovers, check into this:

Mahalo Mondays” happens every Monday at sola (3868 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-327-3868), the New Hawaiian sensation in North Center, until the end of the year (New Year’s Eve!). Mahalo is the Hawaiian word for “thank you,” and they’re doing so by offering half-price bottles of wine.

So that gives you the chance to sample one of their gloriously fresh fish entrees, which range from $24-$26. My favorite picks include the hoisin-mustard-panko crusted tuna with bamboo rice, avocado tempura drizzled with soy-wasabi buerre blanc; the seared and ginger-glazed salmon with
edamame puree, truffle teriyaki sauce and green bean tempura; barramundi with black forbidden rice, baby bok choy, black sesame, coconut butter; and the pumpkin-seed crusted Mahi Mahi accompanied by Japanese heirloom squash and truffle vinaigrette.

Makes you wanna gobble, gobble, huh?