Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The first 'review' is in!

Asian "meatball" sandwich jammed with lemongrass, fish sauce and mint. (Photo: Steve Dolinsky)

Belly Shack's only been open since noon today (Tuesday), and ABC's Steve The Hungry Hound Dolinsky's already dropped by and hooked up a review on his Twitter page:

"Super-bold flavors at Belly Shack. Asian 'meatball' sandwich jammed w/lemongrass, fish sauce, mint."

Now that Dolinsky's already been through expect a little madness of likes of Rick Bayless's Xoco . . .

Wings . . . and Other Tasty Things . . .

Rockit's WingFest continues through Oct. 23 at both locations. (Photo: Rockit Bar & Grill)

Man, this week is busy!

Belly Shack, Bill Kim's sensational Asian-focused sequel to last year's Urban Belly, opens in Humboldt Park today.

Also, the annual WingFest, hosted by Rockit Bar & Grill, continues through Oct. 23 at the River North and Wrigleyville locations. For $10, you'll be treated to a dozen of executive chef James Gottwald's favorite taste profiles, including the decadent truffle butter tossed chicken wings paired with foie gras gravy; ultra-tangy wings drizzled in pomegranate and port wine reduction with mango dipping sauce; and the Asian-inspired wings with sweet chili lime and soy sauce.

Head over to STATE AND LAKE and check out the new fall lineup of beers, which includes 16 on tap, 20 by the bottle and three new $7 flights. For the flights, you'll get three five-ounce pours when you choose All Hopped Up (Avery Brewing Co., IPA; Surly, Furious Dry Hop Pale Ale; Founders, Red Rye Pale Ale), Autumn in the Loop (Great Lakes, “Nosferatu,” Red Ale; Two Brothers, Cane and Ebel, Red Rye; Founders, Porter) or For the Love of Beer (Two Brothers, French Country Ale; Goose Island, Matilda; Left Hand, Milk Stout).

Neo-Soul star N'Dambi performs songs from new album, "Pink Elephant," at Rumba Wednesday.

More beer's on tap at Socca with the All About Beer dinner taking place Wednesday. You'll get seven beers paired with seven courses for $50, beginning with sausage-stuffed clams paired with Dogfish Head IPA and culminating in a dessert of sauteed heirloom apples with oatmeal cookie crumble and caramel gelato complemented by a "surprise" beer that's light and crisp. Reception starts at 6:30pm. Reservations required.

It'll be a roomful of stylish folks at the 900 Shops (900 N. Michigan Ave.) for the official kickoff of Fashion Focus Chicago, the city's answer to New York Fashion Week. RSVP to boom@expagency.com for the glamorous gathering that includes cocktails, passed appetizers from the likes of Sunda, Bull & Bear and Old Town Social, plus sounds by the fabulously flamboyant DJ Rock City. 6-8pm Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, it's finally time for the Final Four of the Sweet 16 of Mixology contest that's been going on since the spring. Charles Joly (The Drawing Room) takes on Zach Friedlander (Relax Lounge) in a freestyle cocktail competition at Landmark. You get to be the judge! Complimentary appetizers. 6:30-7:30pm. Free.

And finally, we cannot begin to tell you how excited we are about N'Dambi coming to town. The sultry Neo-Soul star will perform songs from Pink Elephant—just released earlier in the month—at Rumba on Wednesday. Steve "Miggedy" Maestro spins soul, R&B and hip-hop. 8pm-2am. $12.