Thursday, March 20, 2008

'Top Chef: Chicago' update

It's a blow for the hometown, says The Stew in its recap of Bravo hit show "Top Chef: Chicago." Also, they finally get one of our own as judge for next week's episode: Look for Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill/Topolobampo fame (449 N. Clark St., 312-661-0381) as a guest next Wednesday!

Make it a very good weekend

Who needs Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies when there’s cocktails, beer and wine to be had?!


Good for Party hosts its first monthly interactive party where the guests pick the theme. Tonight’s gig at Lumen (839 W. Fulton Market, 312-733-2222) is Fashion Fetish: What’s Your M.O., and guests are encouraged to wear glamorous ‘80s gear. DJ Tim Baker spins New Wave and other 1980s hits, and there will also be an ‘80s-themed fashion show. Arrive between 9-10pm for complimentary cocktails. 9pm-2am. Free for ladies; $5 for gents.

Another premiere tonight is Strings on the Water, an after-work event featuring live jazz at Flatwater (321 N. Clark St., (312-656-4422). Every Thursday, it’s a chance to unwind with cocktails and connect with your friends—or just make new ones. 5-9pm. Free.

Get ready for a deep house and Latin soul party at Cuatro (2030 S. Wabash Ave., 312-842-8856), as Grooveparlor hosts its weekly Thursday set. Deejays Mario Romay and Mark Grant spin for this mostly South Loop crowd. 10pm-2am. No cover.

You’ll have more than 99 bottles of beer to sample during a tasting at the South Loop Sam's Wines & Spirits (50 E. Roosevelt Rd., 312-663-9463). Choose from crisp and fresh lagers to smooth and rich ales as well as porters, stouts and specialty brews. 5-8pm. $30.


With all the hype of so-called celebrity deejays spinning these days, it’s good to see this guy reclaim his throne. 3Degrees brings Dimitri from Paris to Crobar (1543 N. Kingsbury, 312-266-1900) to spin a special set to celebrate the release of his new CD, Return to the Playboy Mansion. Special VIP hosts will be Playboy Playmates, and 3Degrees resident DJs Monna, Julius The Mad Thinker and FLX also perform. 9pm-4am.

The Good Friday Pastel Delight party should be an interesting sight. All guests who show up to Boutique (809 W. Evergreen Ave., 312-751-2900) by 11pm get in free. There will also be $5 Bunny-Tinis, whatever the hell those are. 9pm-4am.


Be one of the first to sample Roscoe Village wine bistro Volo’s new spring menu this weekend. Chef Stephen Dunne has updated it to include seasonal items like the spring pea and basil soup with proscuitto creme fraiche; braised Kobe beef with egg noodles and vegetables; and Peeky Toe crab cakes with wild mushroom lime chili sauce. This week is also a chance to support the TAP Project, a campaign helping to provide safe drinking water to children around the world. 2008 W. Roscoe St., 773-348-4600


Grammy-winning soul star Jill Scott hosts a Bailey’s party at Lumen (839 W. Fulton Market, 312-733-2222). She’s not performing, just hanging out immediately following her sold-out show at Chicago Theatre (175 N. State St.). Complimentary Bailey’s cocktails; call for admission. 9pm-2am.