Friday, December 7, 2007

Weekend dealios . . .

Not sure what you've got going on this weekend, but if you've got wine on your mind—and shopping for your wine enthusiast friends—head over to Randolph Street Cellars (1415 W. Randolph St., 312-942-1212). Every Saturday, they're popping open some wines for you to sample as you shop. 2-6pm.

And if the infamous Uptown Poetry Slam at Green Mill (4802 N. Broadway, 773-878-5552) is your thing, get to Agami (4712 N. Broadway, 773-506-1845) first for half-price cocktails and sushi at the bar. $6 for Uptown Poetry Slam; 7-10pm Sundays.

What the critics are saying . . .

. . . about:

Honky Tonk Barbeque (1213 W. 18th St., 312-226-7427): "Memphis-style baby backs and Saint Louis-style spare ribs are sprinkled with a mildly piquant dry rub, then cooked low and slow to render fat while leaving loads of flavor on the bone."—David Hammond (Chicago Reader)

The Gage (24 S. Michigan Ave., 312-372-4243): "Downtown's the Gage has a split personality, and that's a good thing. In the front is a traditional pub with one of the city's best Guinness pours. At the back of this turn-of-the-century building is a more serious restaurant, with big booths and plenty of tablecloth-covered tables. But no matter where you sit, you win with Irish-inspired food from Chef Dirk Flanigan (Meritage, Blue Water Grill)."—Lisa Shames (UR Chicago)

Les Nomades (222 E. Ontario St., 312-649-9010): "For a bigger punch of flavor, I preferred (Chris) Nugent's elegant take on salade Lyonnaise — frisée and lardons meet octopus and a poached quail egg. The sweet tartness of aged sherry vinegar ties it all together, offsetting the salty bacon and just-charred hint of grilled seafood."—Alison Neumer Lara (Crain's Chicago Business)