Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Get those dialing fingers ready . . .

. . . because world-acclaimed chef Laurent Gras' long-awaited seafood-focused L.2O (2300 N. Lincoln Park West, 773-868-0002) just announced that they're now accepting reservations for dinner three months in advance (!!!). They're not opening until May 14, but they're gearing up for the lines to be busy.

"We're very excited about finally being able to open!" exclaimed general manager Serge Krieger, adding that what will set L.2O apart from other local seafood spots is that they'll be featuring fish from around the world from small providers.

They're also quite enthusiastic about the restaurant's smart and swanky interior, which is warm with rich leather, light and dark wood, and soft colored stones. Get ready, y'all.

I got a sweet tooth today

Pina Colada, Persephone and Mango Peach Poptails (Photo: DeLaCosta)

Today's the perfect day to indulge in one of DeLaCosta's (465 E. Illinois St., 312-321-8930) new Poptails, a cool combo of a cocktail and popsicle.

Choose between Pina Colada (DLC's pineapple infused vodka, pineapple juice, lime and Coco lopez popsicle), Persephone (Grey Goose L'Orange vodka, Pama pomegranate liquer, blood orange puree, cava and a pomegrante popsicle) or Mango Peach (Bacardi Peach red rum, mango puree, orange juice, lime juice and a peach popsicle). Get on it!

Chicago's gone cuckoo over cooking competition

"Top Chef" gets its own cupcakes at Bleeding Heart Bakery (1955 W. Belmont Ave., 773-327-6931). And speaking of BHB, get ready to get a sugar high when you look at this.

The Note changes its tune

Wicker Park mainstay The Note (1565 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-489-0011) plans to close on May 4, then transform into a neighborhood tavern, reports Time Out Chicago.

Be the star in new Food Network series

Now this is something I can get behind:


Do you or someone you know have an amazing food related story to tell? Do you know someone who has gone from being homeless to the owner of their own restaurant, makes pop art out of pineapples, or eats nothing but peanuts? Do you know someone who is battling food fears or phobias? Has food helped to cure an illness, changed the course of your life, or helped to inspire you in some dramatic way? We are looking for all types of stories even those that are odd or humorous to feature on and upcoming series for the Food Network.

Casting is underway, so Email a brief description of your story with your contact information and picture of yourself ASAP to or call 646.723.9848 to be considered for the show.

Padma's Passion, Hump Day Happy Hour and more

Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi, judges of "Top Chef" (Photo: Bravo)

You know you're hot stuff when they name a cocktail in your honor.

So goes Padma's Passion, the mighty delicious-sounding drink Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club (3700 N. Halsted St., 773-525-1111) has created to give props to sexy supermodel Padma Lakshmi, the host of "Top Chef." Made with Absolut vodka and passion fruit puree, it's available tonight as the restaurant hosts a viewing party every Wednesday during the popular chef-driven reality show.

Or sip a TopChefTini (Absolut Citron, wild strawberry liquer, melon liquer, splash of lemonade) or The Quickfire (Absolut Rasberri, melon liquer, lemonade) as you cheer for homegirl Stephanie Izard, who is still in the running to become "Top Chef." Other Wednesday specials include buy-one-get-one free entrees and half-price martinis and cocktails. The show will be presented on five large screens, with sound.

You can also view "Top Chef" at Paramount Room (415 N. Milwaukee Ave., 312-829-6300), which is showing the series on LCD screens on both levels. You'll get a chance to sink your teeth into their specialty Amish fried chicken, which is only served on Wednesdays.

To fete an early Earth Day, Le Passage (937 N. Rush St., 312-255-0022) and Go Green Management are hosting an eco-friendly night. Everything served will be made with fresh, organic ingredients such as complimentary VEEV cocktails and heavy passed hors d'oeuvres. 7-10pm. $10 admission.

And if you're getting started right after work, head to Hump Day Happy Hour at Cityscape Bar (350 W. Mart Center Dr., 15th Floor, 312-836-5000). Each week, they're serving up a complimentary appetizer buffet with Guinness BBQ chicken wings, cheddar jalapeno poppers and grilled fresh vegetables with aged balsamic reduction. Also, all bottled domestic beer and house wines are $4. 5-7pm.