Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Chicago girls doing it BIG

Today's Chicago Woman spotlights two local culinary queens you need to know: Miae Lim (Brasserie Ruhlmann, Japonais, Mirai Sushi) and Rochelle Smith (R'Culinaire).

Green is the new . . .


St. Patrick's Day is more than a few weeks away, and I'm already getting slammed with emails from publicists pubbing some interesting promos for places that are not Irish at all.

They're a little, well, you just judge for yourself:

Ai Japanese Restaurant "wants you to eat green and save green" on St. Patrick's Day with half-price "green" menu items like green tea, edamame, seaweed salad, house salad, green tea ice cream and Heineken Light bottles. Also, guests will get to order the Green Dragon Signature Maki for $14.50. 358 W. Ontario St., 312-335-9888

Dine fetes the occasion with drink specials, including the St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Cocktail (Irish whiskey, green Crème de Menthe) and heavy cream), St. Patrick’s Day Green Cocktail (Midori melon liquor, whiskey sour mix and Sprite) and St. Patrick’s Day Party Punch (limeade and lemonade concentrate, lemon-lime flavored soda, rum and lime sherbet). They'll also have corned beef and cabbage in addition to the regular menu. 733 W. Madison St., 312-602-2100

Hip new lounge Martini Park is getting in on the action with these corned beef sliders. (Photo: Martini Park)

Geja’s Café—the most peculiar offering—will have green cheese fondue (for the dipping of apples, grapes and bread), cans of Guinness for $3 and Bailey’s drinks to bring in the “luck of the Irish.” 340 W. Armitage Ave., 773-477-7666.

Retro swing lounge Fat Cat also gets groovy, from March 14-17, with corned beef and cabbage, Beamish Irish stew, Irish Coffee bomb shots, and of course Irish music. 4840 N. Broadway, 773-506-3100

And finally, c'mon now, Martini Park. Starting on March 1 (and ending March 17), they're doing St. Paddy's Day with an Irish Mojito, Irish Coffee Martini, hot Irish Coffee, corned beef sliders, and bangers and mash. 151 W. Erie St., 312-640-0577


Deal of the day . . .


I'm so freaking over this cold weather, and you probably are too. So let's jet off to South America—like tonight.

OK, seriously, the closest thing to that we'll be able to do tonight are these events right here:

Chicago Restaurant Week, where several Latin-spiced restaurants are participating, including Brazzaz (539 N. Dearborn St., 312-595-9000), Carnivale (702 W. Fulton Market, 312-850-5005) and Sushi Samba rio (504 N. Wells St., 312 595-2300) with three-course, prix-fixe dinners for $31.95 until Feb. 29.

Coobah (3423 N. Southport Ave., 773-528-2220) for $6 pitchers of sangria. That's right. Every Tuesday, they're offering the deal, which is usually $18 a pitcher. Coobah's sangria is a secret recipe from the Dominican Republic topped with fresh cut fruit.

Nacional 27 (325 W. Huron St., 312-664-2727) for Tapas Tuesdays, where every week the Latin-focused eatery features a special tapas tasting for $8.95 per person. Executive Chef Randy Zweiban sends out his favorites while the Dave Hiltebrand Trio pumps out sultry South American jazz.

NoMI's (800 N. Michigan Ave., 312-239-4030) Cellar Notes event on the seventh floor. Advanced Sommelier Fernando Beteta hosts an Argentinean wine tasting that's paired with cheese and fruit. It's open house style and runs from 5:30-7:30pm. $30.

Whole Foods Market (3300 N. Ashland Ave., 773-244-4200) for A Taste of South America. Husband-and-wife team Sam and Sunny McDaniel pairs artisanal cheeses with their hand-picked selections from various regions in South America. 7-9pm. $10 includes the wine, cheese and informational materials.

'This place rocks!'

That comes from singer/songwriter Richard Marx (remember him?!), who dined at just opened Italian eatery Frankie's Scaloppine (900 N. Michigan Ave. 312-266-2500) in the Gold Coast, reports Stella's Column. Also, Frankie's Scaloppine has a "celebrity wall," so it will be interesting to see who signs it. Check it out when you stop in the 900 Shops.