Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hollywood invasion continues

Heather Graham is just one of many movie stars currently shooting a film in Chicago.

There's so many celebrities running around town right now filming movies that it's starting to feel like Hollywood.

Now comes word that Jerry O'Connell and Heather Graham, who are filming "Baby on Board" here for the next few months, were spotted this week shooting a scene at the downtown Nick's Fishmarket (51 S. Clark St., 312-621-0200).

Also, Stella's Column reports that Academy Award winning actress Marion ("La Vie en Rose") Cotillard was seen chowing down at La Scarola (721 W. Grand Ave., 312-243-1740) with director Michael Mann, plus a ton of others were out and about.

The Wild Brunch

Yummy Alaskan King crab legs you'll get from Shaw's special buffet.
(Photo: Shaw's)

Easter Brunch is right around the corner, so it's time to make those plans right now. Shaw's Crab House (21 E. Hubbard St., 312.527.2722) is getting in on the action just in time for the occasion, offering a very special brunch buffet with classic dishes you don't want to miss.

Starting on Easter Sunday (March 23), you can nosh on breakfast items like Bananas Foster French Toast, plus some solid seafood choices like assorted maki, Alaskan King crab legs, seared salmon and Lobster Brie Penne Pasta. Of course, there's a dessert station (lemon cheesecake, chocolate-covered strawberries and Key Lime pie, oh my!), Mimosas and a Bloody Mary bar. $39.99 for adults (excludes Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day) and $19.99 for children (kids under age five eat for free). The special brunch is available through Father's Day.

A truly high-end brunch is in store for those who head over to NoMI (800 N. Michigan Ave., 312-239-4030) in the Park Hyatt Chicago. Guests may choose an entrée prepared à la minute, then choose seasonal hot and cold items from a number of stations like From the Ocean; From the Bakery; From the Garden; From the Kitchen and From the Pâtisserie. $105 per person; $35 children ages 6 to 12.

For more budget-conscious cuisine, Weather Mark Tavern (1503 S. Michigan Ave., 312-588-0230) is the way to go, but not just because you'll save a few bucks. The nautical-themed eatery is fun for all, especially if you have some little ones in tow. Everything here is a la carte, but highlights include the Grilled Banana Stuffed French Toast ($8.50), Midwestern Eggs Benedict with flank steak ($8.95) and Biscuits and Gravy with wild game sausage ($7.50). Also, $5 Bloody Marys, Screwdrivers and Mimosas.

Here's Eva!

Frankie’s Scaloppine's Gianfranco Cuneo and Christopher Francis Favero (at top) nabbed this photo with Eva Longoria and friends at the restaurant. (Photo: Frankie’s Scaloppine)

So, a picture finally surfaced of "Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria when she stopped in for pizza and apps at brand-new Frankie’s Fifth Floor Pizzeria (900 N. Michigan Ave., 312-266-2500) in late January.

312 Dining Diva reported exclusively that the petite star slipped in unnoticed, and graciously took photos with restaurant general manager Gianfranco Cuneo and vice president Christopher Francis Favero.

Also, its spanking new adjacent restaurant Frankie's Scaloppine has been getting a lot of buzz since it quietly opened a few weeks ago, including this First Bite from The Stew.

Just for the fun of it


It's midweek, you're stressed out and you need a little break. Whether it's a champagne-soaked soiree or a laid-back blues bash, we've got you covered tonight:

It's an all-girl affair at D.O.C. Wine Bar (2602 N. Clark St., 773-883-5101). The monthly Sheque Chicago Ladies' Night Out happens with free mani-pedi treatments as well as champagne cocktails and wine. 7-10pm. No reservations required. Free admission.

If you're up for hangin' out a little later, head to Krem (1750 N. Clark St., 312-932-1750), where deejays spin contemporary music and there's half price on appetizers, wine and bubbly. 9pm-2am. No cover.

Heading out right after work? Settle down at the sophisticated Le Bar (20 E. Chestnut St., 312-324-4000) with $14 martini flights that are paired with 'tini' bites. Guests get a trio of miniature martinis paired with bite-sized tastes such as smoked salmon and fried capers Napoleon; mini burgers and smoked chicken pizza with mushrooms and bell peppers. Free admission.

And things are always jumpin' at the South Loop's Reggie's Music Joint (2105 S. State St., 312-949-0120). The Wednesday night specials are $3 appetizers, $3 Stoli cocktails, $5 Stella and Hoegaarden drafts, and $5 Long Island iced teas and margaritas. Gary Gand's Pro Blues Jam performs at 8pm. It's also open-mic night, so blues or rock musicians bring your instruments! No cover.