Friday, November 14, 2008

This just in . . .

(Photo: Urban Daddy Chicago)

Urban Daddy hooks us up with brand-new Wicker Park playground, Edge, the latest hidden lounge to take on Violet Hour.

Sayeth The Daddy:

"Like the best insider tips, you're among the first clued in: Owners have been reluctant to talk up their stock until they hit their stride. (The fact that this place is hidden in plain view, a rare achievement for this stretch of Division, should help.)"

Don't miss out!

"Top Chef" contestant Radhika “Rad” Desai of Wicker Park’s Between Boutique Café & Lounge. (Photo: Between Boutique Café & Lounge)

Soooo, our homegirl Radhika "Rad" Desai of Between Boutique Café & Lounge pulled through the first grueling week of Bravo's "Top Chef" (peep Gaper's Block "Top Chef" recap).

I was one of the lucky ones to snag a seat for the restaurant's viewing party for this first episode, which included a tasting menu of her favorite eats (the curried lobster bisque and spice-rubbed butterfish with spinach and chorizo were the biggest hits, btw). This is the first time a Chicago contestant is actually a working chef during the show, so believe me when I say the place was packed and bustling. In fact, after the show ended people hung around well after midnight just chilling as owners cranked up some pretty cool jams.

They've decided to continue the parties throughout the season, offering what they're calling Rad's Favorites, a rotating, five-course tasting menu paired with various wines. That's $50, the show starts at 9pm Wednesdays, but it's recommended you arrive by 8pm. Reservations required.

Other fabulous events happening:

If you miss out on that hot ticket, there's the Chef's Table happening at Powerhouse. Hosted by The Local Tourist and Tweating Out, the series are casual meet & greet events with local chefs. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the chef in an intimate—and affordable—setting. The Powerhouse party also marks its first-year anniversary, so you'll get to mingle with the owner and chefs over passed hors d'oeuvres, champagne and wine. 6:30pm Nov. 19. $25.

Be the baddest babe in the room at all those upcoming holiday parties, but you'll need to attend the Haute for the Holidays event at LeDress first. Stylists will be on hand to help you get your "look" together, plus you'll get to mingle with some of the most fashionable women in the city. Complimentary cocktails and free admission, but you must RSVP to 6-9pm Nov. 19. 1741 W. Division St.

If you're looking for a delicious luxe gift for someone who truly deserves it, look to Vosges Haut-Chocolat. During a tasting party, they're offering guests an opportunity to sample their newly arrived Collection of Cheese + Chocolate, which comes in a custom-designed, sustainable bamboo box, and filled with five cheese selections, 28 chocolate truffles, mini exotic candy bars, black garlic, a guidebook and more. Also, all products are 10 percent off during the event. 7:30-9:30pm Nov. 20. $40.

And the Bacardi Flavor Exchange cocktail party occurs at Bon V, treating guests to a number of signature flavored rum drinks. RSVP here for comped admission. 9pm-1am Nov. 21.