Monday, December 10, 2007

Top designer Suhail takes a stand against poverty

If you don't recognize his name, you'll certainly recognize his memorable, high-profile projects with a definitive edge.

Suhail—the master designer/architect behind such hot spots as DeLaCosta, Lava Lounge, Sonotheque and Tizi Melloul (also del Toro, Fahrenheit 212, Mod. and Sugar RIP)—is working on the most important project of his life: rebuilding Kashmir following its devastating earthquake in 2005.

His life was forever changed when he visited and volunteered in the region last year, and he wants to do even more by returning with more volunteers. Thursday's event is his biggest benefit to date in an effort to raise funds for this cause. All proceeds will be used to directly improve and rebuild schools, provide educational supplies and establish scholarship funds.

But don't expect this to be a stuffy event: Being Suhail, you know that it's going to be hip and happening. The multi-culti, creative black tie includes live traditional Indian music, DJ Madrid spinning global beats, a video installation by Brian Cho, open bar, photography exhibition and Kashmiri fusion menu. Premium silent auction items are donated by such favorites as avec, Blackbird, Moto, Orange Skin, Randolph Wine Cellars and the Joffrey Ballet.

Deets: 1101 W. Fulton St., Dec. 13 7-11pm. For more info, call 312-733-9411. $100 in advance; $125 at door.

Bring on the bubbly

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
(Photo: Paulus Rusyanto)

If you haven't had enough of the good stuff, we've uncovered even more. Hey, it's the holiday season: Drink UP!

Since last week, Geja’s CafĂ© (340 W. Armitage Ave., 773-281-9101) has been celebrating its 28th Annual Champagne Festival, featuring sparkling wines from around the world. During the two-month festival, which ends on Jan. 31, they're offering an impressive assortment of Champagnes by the glass and the bottle at special promotional prices. Guests may also enjoy Geja’s yummy fondue cuisine, including hot cheese dripping from chunks of bread; lobster, beef tenderloin and chicken breasts sizzling in a pot; and sweet fruit and tender marshmallows covered in creamy chocolate.

Or, if you're shopping along the Mag Mile, head over to Park Hyatt Chicago (800 N. Michigan Ave., 312-239-4051) each Tuesday-Saturday from 4:30-6:30pm for "Truffles & Champagne" in their elegant Library. Settle in for a trio of handmade chocolate truffles from Coco Rouge (1940 W. Division St., 773-772-2626) paired with a nice selection of champagnes and cognac by the glass. There's also a classical guitarist for background sounds. Prices range $14-$20 and this is going on until Dec. 22.

And then there's the half-priced Mondays at The Tasting Room (1415 W. Randolph St., 312-942-1313). Their more than 115 wines, including dessert and sparkling wines, by the glass are all half off. Sip and swirl as you chill out in their simply gorgeous two-level lounge.

Rock Star Dogs update

Looks like Weiner Circle (2622 N. Clark St., 773-477-7444) is finally getting some competition with the arrival of Dion Antic's Rock Star Dogs in Ukrainian Village.

The pioneering restaurateur behind such memorable joints as Liquid Kitty, Get Me High Lounge, Harry's Velvet Room and of course Iggy's (now Iggys3 at Chicago and Dearborn) opens his late-night hot dog spot in January. There's about 20 dogs on the menu with cool names like Tommy Lee (our foot-long tribute), Los Lobos (Latin-style bacon wrapped dog), Sting (Tantric tofu dog) and the J. Timberlake (Our Cheezy Dog . . .Dawg!). And non hot dog lovers can get The Misfits, two mini cheeseburgers. All sandwiches come with fries and a can of soda, and range $4-$6. It will stay open 'til 4am on most nights, 5am on Saturday. 801 N. Ashland Ave.

Deal of the day . . .

In West Town, Five Star Bar and Grill's (1424 W. Chicago Ave., 312-850-2555) got it all: a pool table, plenty of plasmas to watch the game or news, one of the largest selections of bourbons in town and that infamous stripper pole in the back room.

But it's their nightly specials driving the crowds earlier in the week, such as tonight's: 50 cent mini sandwiches (cheeseburgers, pulled pork or Sloppy Joes), ribs ($6.75 half slab/$10.75 full slab) and the $2 Old Style cans. No takeout.