Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Speidi snubbed at Alinea?!

Spencer and Heidi Pratt of "reality fame."

Speidi—the terrible twosome newlywed "reality stars" known as Spencer and Heidi Prattthink they're famous and run with the A-List crowd, but not in our town.

An Ultimate Insider writes to 312DD that the last time they were here, one place they couldn't pull any of their bullsh*t was none other than Alinea:

"Believe what you see. They really are douchebags. Came in to the restaurant once without a reservation (you know....that fancy place in Lincoln Park that starts with an 'A'), and were promptly turned away in hilarious fashion (considering no one there had any idea who they were) and when they finally came back (having made a reso like everyone else that time) they lived up to every concievable horror one might dream them to embody. Hilarious, and certainly a low point for that establishment's clientele."

Tickets are going fast!

"Top Chef" stars Stephanie Izard and Dale Levitski at last year's Green City Market Summer BBQ Festival. (Photo: 312 Dining Diva)

This year's Green City Market Summer BBQ Festival is bigger than ever with more than 50 of Chicago's chefs participating (that means more food!) in Lincoln Park.

Just found out they've sold more than half the tickets, so if you plan on going, you need to act now here because you won't be able to buy them at the door.

The grand outdoor chowdown happens 6-8pm July 16 (rain or shine), with the likes of John Caputo (A Mano), Paul Kahan (Blackbird, avec, Publican), Stephanie Izard (The Drunken Goat), Carrie Nahabedian (NAHA), Christophe David (NoMi) and others whipping up signature BBQ bites. You'll also get Goose Island beer, cocktails and wine. Tickets are $60.

Word on the return of fave alfresco spots . . .

Cedar Hotel opens this summer by the team behind RiNO and Manor. (Photo: flickr.com/jnicholl81)

It's June 2, and it's COLD.

Here's something to warm you up—even though these spots won't be opening until later in the summer:

On the Gold Coast, Cedar Hotel takes over the entire outdoor chilling space once known as Melvin B's and Cactus. It's now under the ownership of the guys behind RiNO and Manor, and anticipates opening by the end of the month.

312DD got a little more information about the venue once known as Pontiac Cafe (1531 N. Damen Ave.), now owned by the team behind award-winning ventures Blackbird, avec, Publican, Danny's and The Violet Hour. The still unnamed bar, which is incidentally directly across the street from The Violet Hour, will keep its massive outdoor patio that made it the most popular summer hangout in the Wicker Park 'hood. An Ultimate Insider tells us to expect it to be a cross between Danny's (homey, hipster vibe) and The Violet Hour (post-modern mixology program) with tacos on the menu. Opening unknown, but they're shooting for this summer.

And Life's Too Short, which shuttered its nautical-themed dive in 2004 at Elston and Division streets, is looking to make a comeback under the same name and new ownership. No word on whether they'll return to their original concept of live reggae under the stars, but that would certainly be a winner. We're hearing it might open later this summer.