Monday, February 15, 2010

The Publican Gets Props From Forbes!

(Photo: Bob Briskey Photography)

Forbes just came out with its annual list of America's Best New Restaurants, and The Publican was the only Chicago spot to make it:

"The Publican, which was opened by the team behind Blackbird and Avec (the bacon-wrapped, chorizo-stuffed dates at Avec are not to be skipped on any visit to Chicago, period), is modeled after a European beer hall. Appropriately there are dozens of brews to choose from, all to be paired with hearty meat dishes that are simple, elegant and filling.

"It's all about pork in all of its guises and artisan beer to wash it all down," says master sommelier Richard Betts, cofounder of the Betts & Scholl wines and Sombra Mezcal. "[It's a] really fun, beer-hall type of addition to Chicago's already young and fun scene."


Stage Bites: The Weekly Dining & Drinking Guide

Legendary punk rocker Patti Smith performs at the Park West Saturday.

Every Monday look for the week's top performances paired with the best deals before and after the show:

Abigail's Party at A Red Orchid Theatre. If you think those Bravo "Housewives" series are hysterical, you're certain to love this satirical look at a suburban housewife's party gone wrong. 8pm Thursdays-Saturdays; 3pm Sundays (through March 28). Get tickets here.

33 Club: Chops and steaks and seafood take centerstage at this opulent two-level steakhouse harking back to the "olden" days. Or, you can hang out in the bustling bar area for lighter bites like the truffle mac and cheese, bacon popcorn and crispy tilapia tacos.

Eivissa: Get tix to Friday's performance of Abigail's Party, which includes an after-party at this clubby spot for a discussion of the play with ensemble members, sangria and tapas. Get $50 tickets here.

Perennial: The stylish resto helmed by chef Ryan Poli is part of the third-annual Chicago Restaurant Week (Feb. 19-28). For din-din, you'll get three courses for $32, which includes choices like red wine-braised short rib, black truffle gnocchi and a crispy hazelnut bar (milk chocolate, crème fraiche, chocolate caramel) to feed that sweet tooth.

The main dining room at 33 Club. (Photo: 33 Club)

Hopefest featuring Patti Smith at Park West. The legendary punk rockin' queen headlines a benefit for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. Troubled Identity also performs. 8pm Saturday. SOLD OUT.

Gemini Bistro: This Lincoln Park newcomer is also part of Chicago Restaurant Week. The three-course, $32 menu includes some of their favorite dishes, including a creamless tomato soup, short rib ravioli, steak frites, and Amish chicken with mashed potatoes.

Stanley's: Before the show, fill up on good country cooking from this down home-style corner spot. Hell, just make it an all-fried night, from the Kentucky Fried Tomatoes to the Southern Style Fried Chicken to Chicken Fried Steak. All items under $13.

The Exchange cocktail lounge in Wicker Park. (Photo: The Exchange)

Whack! The Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan Story, A Karaoke Musical at Gorilla Tango Theatre. Since we're all in the spirit of Winter Olympics, why not reminisce on the days when Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding were in the news?! The creators of the Tabloid Musical Series are back with this delightful drama on ice. 9:30pm Thursdays (through Feb. 25). Get tickets here.

The Exchange: Go somewhere else if you want wine, beer or simple mixed drinks. But if you're in the mood for inventive cocktails created by master mixologist Peter Vestinos, head here after the show for The Firefly (made with New Holland Knickerbocker Gin, Alpine liqueur, chartreuse, lime, egg white, bitters) and The Challenge (Tanqueray gin, Antica vermouth, cynar).

Sabor Saveur: This BYOB serves sumptuous, French-Mex cuisine, but the real deal is its nightly prix-fixe menu where you get five courses for $40. Must-haves: veal medallions marinated in tamarind mango sauce and beet salad served with avocado, mango, papaya and ricotta. Special menu served 5-7pm.

Usagi Ya: Located right next door to the theater, the somewhat hidden sushi spot offers an enviable list of specialties, including grilled oysters on the half shell, lemongrass boneless chicken and Ton Katsu (pan-fried pork tenderloin with Panko bread crumbs).