Monday, June 9, 2008

One more reason to go local . . .

Now that grocery stores and restaurants are pulling tomatoes because of a salmonella scare, this is one more reason to take your butt to the Green City Market where restaurants like North Pond Cafe, Rustik Kitchen and May Street Market get all their home-grown goodies.

The latest . . .

. . . on what's going on:

Perennial, that long-awaited project from Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz (Boka, Landmark), is now coming at ya on June 19.

The Dana Hotel's Japanese steakhouse, ajasteak, hits town June 16, but the bar opens on Friday, June 13.

True underground night spot Spy Bar is back in biz on Friday after a multi-million $$$ makeover.

And also on Friday the 13th, new after-hours club Religion finally has its grand-opening party with special performances by Harry Choo Choo Romero and B96's DJ Flipside.

Naha, Alinea nab top Beard awards

Alinea's Grant Achatz won the James Beard "Outstanding Chef Award" (Photo: Alinea)

The Stew reports on local James Beard winners—the Oscars of the dining world!—Carrie Nahabedian (Naha), Grant Achatz of Alinea fame and others.

Don't miss the comments section . . . some folks need to lay off the haterade for real!

The Bubble Bar, beats and tiny eats

Guests who indulge in the Bubble Bar on the Terrace of Conrad Chicago also get a unique view of Chicago's skyline. (Photo: Conrad Chicago)

There's so much competition for outdoor hangin' this summer that the more established spots need to step up their game. Terrace, on the fifth floor of Conrad Chicago, makes an aggressive move with the introduction of the Bubble Bar, the new outdoor bar cranking out bubble tea cocktails.

Go for the mango- or pineapple-infused drinks—made from fresh fruit and a variety of liquors (!!)—and settle on one of the cabanas that'll make you feel like you've been transported to South Beach. And Monday nights are also reserved for film buffs who come for classic and kitchy movies shown on a large screen. Tonight go retro with "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," and munch on truffle popcorn or from a menu of "StaxX" (a meal built vertically by layering bamboo steamers) such as vegetable spring rolls, mini crabcake sliders, sushi and seasoned fries. Showtime at 8pm.

Also happening tonight (and every night) is the $3 bar tapas menu at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! when you get there between 4-6pm. Yummy faves like the Rioja short ribs with Manchego mashed potatoes, chicken empanadas, or mushrooms stuffed with spinach and manchego cheese can be had.

Speaking of tapas, People Lounge doles out the deals every Monday-Thursday (5:30-7pm). Three dollars gets you bites such as pollo Diablo, rainbow trout and scallops. Tonight, you'll want to pair those with $10 sangria pitchers or $2 PBRs as you kick back with live Delta blues from John Kimler.

And down the street from People Lounge is another Monday night special: the BBR Monday Social at Debonair Social Club. Music 101 this week hosts a very hot party with legendary house music maestro Roy Davis, Jr. behind the 'tables. Get the $5 Stoli drinks and $3 domestic beers while you're there. 9pm-2am. $5.