Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Chocolate and Chianti, anyone?!

The second ENO (200 N. Columbus Dr., 312-946-7000) opened quietly yesterday in the Fairmont Chicago.

Hand-crafted chocolates (from local and national producers), artisanal cheeses and more than 500 bottles of wine are the focus at this unique concept. But what sets this location apart from the original ENO in the InterContinental (505 N. Michigan Ave., 866-210-8811) is that it takes over the entire lobby.

Rustic tones of burnt sienna and eggplant accent the multitextured furniture and the custom carpeting is designed to look like the slate floor of a traditional wine cellar. Comfortable café-style seating for 52 guests is available at regular and highboy tables, and at ENO's 16-foothammered brass andlive-edge white oakbar, which is fronted with backlit glass.

Melissa Principe (formerly of The Tasting Room) oversees the wine program with a staff of experienced wine experts. Get your wine
by the bottle, glass or flight.

Grant Achatz's road to recovery

Grant Achatz of Alinea (Photo: Alinea)

Despite a grueling course of radiation and chemotherapy for Stage 4 cancer of the tongue, Alinea (1723 N. Halsted St., 312-867-0110) executive chef/owner Grant Achatz “missed only 14 nights of service at Alinea, mostly near the end of radiation therapy, when the skin around his jaw had eroded so badly that he had to wear a burn mask.” Read the entire story in the current Men's Vogue.

There's still time . . .

. . . to get on the guest list for tonight's fabulous GenArt affair at the River East Art Center (435 E. Illinois St.).

Art in Motion, sponsored by Nokia NSeries, will be an interactive experience combining cinema, gallery and reality television. Get there early for socializing, complimentary cocktails and networking. 7-11pm. Invitation only, but you can RSVP here to get on the list for comp admission.