The Blip
Bright spots on the month's cultural radar
The Hot List
10 places everyone is talking about—and dining at—right now

Dining Guide

A quick guide to select restaurants

By Cuisine
  • African
  • American
  • Argentinean
  • Bakery/Desserts
  • Barbecue
  • Brazilian
  • Breakfast
  • Cajun/Creole
  • Caribbean
  • Cheese
  • Chinese
  • Contemporary
  • Eastern European
  • French
  • Gastropub
  • German
  • Greek
  • Indian
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • Japanese/Sushi
  • Jewish deli
  • Korean
  • Kosher
  • Latin American
  • Mediterranean
  • Mexican
  • Middle Eastern
  • Pan-Asian
  • Pizza
  • Russian
  • Seafood
  • Southern / Soul
  • Spanish
  • Steak
  • Thai
  • Vegetarian
  • Vietnamese
  • Wine Bar
By Neighborhood
  • Albany Park
  • Andersonville/Edgewater
  • Ashburn
  • Avondale
  • Belmont Central
  • Beverly
  • Bridgeport
  • Bronzeville
  • Bucktown/Wicker Park
  • Calumet Heights
  • Chinatown
  • Cragin
  • Edgebrook
  • Edison Park
  • Englewood
  • Gold Coast
  • Greektown
  • Gresham
  • Heart of Chicago
  • Humboldt Park
  • Hyde Park
  • Irving Park
  • Lake View
  • Lawndale
  • Lincoln Park
  • Lincoln Square
  • Little Italy
  • Little Village
  • Logan Square
  • Loop
  • North Austin
  • North Center
  • Old Irving Park
  • Old Town
  • Park Manor
  • Pilsen
  • Ravenswood
  • River East
  • River North
  • Rogers Park
  • Roscoe Village
  • South Loop
  • Streeterville
  • Suburban North
  • Suburban Northwest
  • Suburban South
  • Suburban West
  • Ukrainian Village
  • University Village
  • Uptown
  • West Loop/West Town
  • West Rogers Park
Browse all listings »

Shopping Guide

A list of 94 boutiques we love

By Category
  • Accessories
  • Antiques
  • Bath
  • Clothing
  • Clothing/Shoes
  • Furniture
  • Gifts
  • Home and Garden
  • Kid's Wear
  • Kid's Wear/Books
  • Kid's Wear/Gifts
  • Men's Wear
  • Shoes
  • Women's Wear
  • Women's Wear/ Kid's Wear
Browse all listings »

Today's Top Events

What's going on this week

Fiorello!

05.11.2008

TimeLine Theatre Company revives its acclaimed staging of this rarely produced 1959 musical, chronicling the achievements of NYC’s charismatic...

Intrigue With Faye

05.11.2008

HBO’s Six Feet Under redefined dark comedy, and, lucky for us, Chicago has inherited some of the show’s top-tier talent: First there was writer...

Old Town

05.11.2008

It’s election night in Cook County, and Chicago’s political machine collides with one candidate’s messy personal life in Brett Neveu’s new...

Big Bugs

05.11.2008

Twelve gigantic wooden critters—from a 1,200-pound praying mantis to a 17-foot daddy longlegs—by artist David Rogers take over the grounds....

The Ballad of Emmett Till

05.11.2008

In a new musical drama, Chicago author Ifa Bayeza adds mythic dimension to the 1955 murder of a teenage boy, whose death served as a catalyst for...

Newsletters

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  • Sales Check
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Radar
the latest on dining, culture, real estate, and more

05/09/08
04:18 PM
Coda

Home Smart Home

Composting with worms is sooooooo outdated. That's but one of the conversational threads I picked up last night on a preview tour of the new Smart Home at the Museum of Science and Industry. I went in expecting to see the typical "eco" flourishes—bamboo flooring, energy efficient windows, dual-flush toilets—and I came out geeking over the interior design with my pal Heather Blaha, who edits Apartment Therapy Chicago...

Comments (0) | Read more »

05/09/08
04:11 PM
Not Yo Mama's Kodachrome

Tulip Time

Spring! Sunshine! Tulips! All three are so fleeting around these parts, so we take time to appreciate these two sweet photos that capture recent lovely moments in our downtown. Check out the vibrant colors in the shot by Flickr's kellyhafermann, and admire the amazing angle and lighting captured by jeanneg...

Comments (0) | Read more »

05/09/08
11:30 AM
Relationships

Word to Your Mother

It's been two weeks since I had reconstructive knee surgery—two weeks spent holed up at my parents' house in the suburbs recovering. Having my ACL and meniscus repaired hasn't slowed the wedding arrangements down at all; not even crutches can affect this bride's ability to plan, plan, plan. If anything, being laid up has let me devote even more time and energy to the big day. The only thing scarier than a bride with too much time on her hands? A mother of the bride who's newly retired...

Comments (4) | Read more »

05/09/08
07:43 AM
Marquee

To Infinity and Beyond

Pet Project

Like many people in September 2005, with Hurricane Katrina looming off the Gulf Coast, Tim Maddock packed up his car for a long drive—but unlike most, Maddock headed toward the disaster rather than away. The former Chicagoan’s experiences with the post-hurricane animal-rescue effort directly informed his new play, Because They Have No Words, which tackles the chaos, grief, and bureaucratic nightmare at the heart of...

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05/08/08
08:01 AM
On the Market

On The Market—Throwing Bucktown a Curve

List Price: $1.9 million
The Property: The architect John Hanna threw the rigidly rectilinear street grid in Bucktown a curve when he designed this contemporary home for a corner lot. The house appears impossibly slender when viewed from the west (looking at its front door), but then broadens in a sweeping, glassy curve as you walk around its north side.
Inside, the floor plan doesn’t feel pinched at the narrow ends because Hanna and the property’s developer, Chris Angelou, tucked balconies, closets, and bathrooms into those spaces. Stacked from the basement to the top floor within the house’s big bend are a...

Comments (2) | Read more »

05/07/08
06:00 PM
Dish

Cute Restaurant Alert

Go Now

Mixteco Grill (1601 W. Montrose Ave.; 773-868-1601), a 35-seat BYO restaurant named for a region of Oaxaca and the indigenous people who inhabit it, opened last week—and we’re smitten. “The food there is the only food that is 100 percent authentic Mexican,” says Raul Arreola, the chef/owner. “No influence of other food. No Mayan. No Spanish. No French.” Arreola, a Mexico City native, put in 11 years at Frontera Grill, and ascended to sous-chef at

Comments (2) | Read more »

05/07/08
06:48 AM
Housing Bulletin

Housing Bulletin— Neighborhood Info @ Your Service

Two weeks ago, the Chicago real-estate agency @properties rolled out a cool tool for house hunters and sellers on its Web site. The @Report, as they call it, is built on the idea that real-estate markets are very, very local.

The eight-year-old agency has offices or agents working in 21 Chicago neighborhoods (most of the lakefront from Rogers Park to South Shore, plus a layer or two of inland neighborhoods for much of that stretch); this new tool puts the details on...

Comments (0) | Read more »

05/06/08
05:15 PM
Dish

Dish Flash—Achatz Update

Then and Now
A full Dish column is coming tomorrow, but first we wanted to direct you to two terrific stories from our upcoming June issue. One is Burned, a dramatic narrative by Jennifer Tanaka on Grant Achatz’s brave and frightening days since his diagnosis with oral cancer. The other is Dennis Ray Wheaton’s From There to Alinea, a thoughtful examination and comparison of Achatz’s current stunner with the place where he came of age years ago: Napa Valley’s legendary French Laundry.

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05/06/08
03:22 PM
Push

Waves of Fear

Right up there with Waikiki, Copacabana, and Venice, Bondi Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world. Pronounced "BOND-Eye", this less-than-a-mile expanse in Sydney's eastern suburbs has a rich history as a hardbody hangout and a surfer's paradise. Though we are neither hardbodies nor surfers, for some reason we felt it necessary to check out Bondi...

Comments (1) | Read more »

05/06/08
09:07 AM
Sales Check

Earth-Friendly Baby Gear in Andersonville

Kids Need Their Greens

Get ‘em started while they’re young and green your baby at the new Andersonville shop Green Genes (5111 N. Clark St.; 773-944-9250, green-genes.com), a baby store that compiles style and eco-friendliness with its selection of baby clothes, toys, diapers, bottles, and other items. The baby clothes, for example, are made of organic cotton, including a onesie emblazoned with “V is for Vegetables” from WonderToast Organics ($30) or canvas pants for toddlers ($23). You’ll also find PVC-free diaper bags from Kalencom, such as the olive green with an orange design ($85), and other practical items, such as SIGG water bottles, bamboo bowls, and Erbaviva baby soaps, lotions, and...

Comments (0) | Read more »

05/05/08
07:27 AM
Sale of the Week

Sale of the Week—Breaking the Mold in Glen Ellyn

List price: $600,000
Sale Price: $545,000
The Property: When a homeowner owes more than a house is worth, that’s called being “under water.” In the case of this house, the term took on a double meaning.

The sellers of this house had bought the place in July 2006 for $800,000. The next year they moved to New York before they were able to sell the home, says their agent, RE/Max’s Christopher Kouros. Eventually the sellers, whose names do not appear in public records, dropped their asking price to...

Comments (0) | Read more »

05/02/08
09:29 AM
Marquee

Midnight’s Children

Do we know how to pick them or what? In our May issue, on stands now, senior editor Cassie Walker tipped readers off to a trio of young, ambitious playwrights, including Laura Jacqmin. Since then, the 25-year-old wunderkind has received the coveted Wasserstein Prize, which recognizes under-the-radar up-and-coming playwrights. See what all the fuss is about when...

Comments (0) | Read more »

05/01/08
11:22 AM
On the Market

On The Market—A Tudor Manor in Highland Park

List Price: $2.9 million
The Property: This grand old home 75 yards from the Lake Michigan blufftop in Highland Park evokes the early 20th-century age of big North Shore country houses. With its peacock fan of gable beams above a cozy inglenook entry, it would have been a happy place to arrive after a long...

Comments (0) | Read more »

04/30/08
05:19 PM
Dish

Zweiban Goes Indie

Get Provincial

Randy Zweiban, the longtime exec chef/partner of Nacional 27 (325 W. Huron St.; 312-664-2727), steps down on April 30th to open Province (161 N. Jefferson St.), a 140-seat spot in the West Loop. “It’s modern American cuisine influenced by the flavors of South America and Spain,” Zweiban says. “It will be a bit broader than what I’ve done here at Nacional.” A few dishes he’s got nailed down for the menu: Tasmanian salmon carpaccio with preserved Meyer lemon and salsa; spice-rubbed grilled ahi tuna taco with chipotle tartar salsa; prawn and...

Comments (0) | Read more »

04/30/08
08:57 AM
Housing Bulletin

Housing Bulletin— City Condos Provide a Little Good News—for Now

Numbers out last week from the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR) showed a big drop-off in home sales for Illinois in March from the same month in 2007. But Chicago stood out in two ways. The number of sales here dropped by a far smaller percentage than in the rest of the state. What’s more, the median sale price was up in Chicago, although it was down in...

Comments (1) | Read more »

04/29/08
08:47 PM
Coda

How to Duck a Suckah

Sometimes, something so perfect crosses my desk, that I feel compelled to stop, inhale ... and immediately put it on my blog. This press release from Simon & Schuster is one of these.

"Recently, I sent you a copy of HOW TO DUCK A SUCKAH: A Guide to Living a Drama-Free Life (February 2008) by Big Boom, author of the Essence bestselling book, If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs (2007). . . In HOW TO DUCK A SUCKAH, Boom explains his controversial past and why he has decided to take a stand against suckahs by guiding women out of the 'sitting duck syndrome.' Big Boom was once a player/pimp/hustler and...

Comments (1) | Read more »

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-May 2008 -May 2008
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You Should Know

Who: Beth Horn, a.k.a. Venom

What: Will appear in NBC's American Gladiators this summer PLUS: meet three other women who kick ass

Who: Karlie Kloss, 15-year-old fashion model

What: Was a hit at Paris Fashion Week and will appear in numerous spring ad campaigns

Who: Mivie, lucky dog

What: Saved by his devoted owner and a Good Samaritan after plummeting into Lake Michigan on a freezing cold day

Party Pix

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Bear’s Gala for Kids with Cancer

Bear’s Gala for Kids with Cancer

Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation hosts it’s Annual Bear Tie Ball each year in February. The gala is the organization’s largest fundraiser with approximately 750 guests in...

Green Awards Reception

Carson Pirie Scott's "Trendevous" Spring Runway Show

Current Issue
May 2008

Features

Plumbers Who Won't Drain Your Wallet

Plumbers Who Won't Drain Your Wallet

Need a plubmer you can count on? Here are 24 of the best in the Chicago area

Departments

Table of Contents

Archive »

May 2008 Table of Contents

Table

Archive »
See Marcus Cook

See Marcus Cook

Marcus Samuelsson lets his food do the talking.

Trend: Gluten-Free Goodies

Trend: Gluten-Free Goodies

The offerings at Rose’s WheatFree Bakery & Café may be gluten-free, peanut-free, casein-free, corn-syrup-free, and trans-fat-free, but they obligingly leave in the most important element: flavor.

The Closer

Archive »
Up to the Plate

Up to the Plate

You may know that The Closer, when he's not Closing, reviews restaurants. People constantly ask him, "Man, how do I do that?" His answer: Eat like a maniac, and write like you mean it. Oh, and make...

Arena: Page Two

Archive »
Hot for Teacher

Hot for Teacher

Only three Chicago-area teachers crack the Top 50 "Hottest Professors" list

Gop.com

Gop.com

Cook County GOP officials turn to the Web for help against their rivals

Political Calculus

Political Calculus

How the race for president would be different if the Democrats had followed the GOP's lead

Letters

Archive »

Feedback

In this month's letters: antisocial justification, the F-bomb, solar investment, a relieved mother, a magnet school, and more Web sites

Contributors

Archive »
Contributors—May 2008

Contributors—May 2008

Jay Pridmore, Bob Coscarelli, Crystal Yednak, Robert Krughoff, David Murray, Dennis Ray Wheaton, Jeff Ruby

Arena

Archive »
Weeknight Find: Culture Clash

Weeknight Find: Culture Clash

Actor-playwright Heather Raffo stars in a one-woman play, 9 Parts of Desire, for three weeks starting May 3rd.

High Time

High Time

Jennifer Koh's new album showcases an eclectic career at its height.

The Buzz Bin

The Buzz Bin

On May 2nd, students at The School of the Art Institute will present the best runway show in Chicago.

Shopper: Branca

Shopper: Branca

Italian-born interior designer Alessandra Branca will open a 2,900-square-foot concept shop dedicated to her "classic, with a wink" aesthetic

You Should Know ... Ashley Wheater

You Should Know ... Ashley Wheater

The Joffrey has a new man in town—and not even The Nutcracker is safe.

A Slippery Subject

A Slippery Subject

A conversation with Bill Clinton biographer Carol Felsenthal

Saving Grace

Saving Grace

From Sundance favorite to box-office flop, what the fate of John Cusack's Grace Is Gone says about us

Young Writers Block

Young Writers Block

They all moved here for one reason: Chicago is the place young playwrights come to get a break.

The Blip - May 2008

The Blip - May 2008

Bright spots on the month’s cultural radar

Reporter

Archive »
Unanswered Cries

Unanswered Cries

Before she died in 2004, Kathleen Savio, the third wife of former Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson, repeatedly warned authorities she would be killed. Now her death has been reclassified a...

Real Estate

Archive »
Who Will Buy the Condos?

Who Will Buy the Condos?

Since 2000, developers have flooded downtown Chicago with more than 20,000 new condos and townhouses—yet at the end of 2007, nearly 8,000 of them sat unsold. Will that glut drag down the local...

Chicago Guide

Archive »
Three Questions

Three Questions

Dennis DeYoung: Styx frontman, native Chicagoan, and creative force behind the world-premieere musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Taste of Chicago

Taste of Chicago

The Bottom Lounge returns in true punk-rock fashion: bigger and more ambitious than before.

Solo Show

Solo Show

The industrial-rock band Ministry, launched in Chicago in 1981, comes home for its farewell tour this month.

Freebie of the Month

Freebie of the Month

Best bet for a free event this month: Tony Fitzpatrick's exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center

Cheers

Archive »
Dropping the Name-Dropping

Dropping the Name-Dropping

Expect a heavy emphasis on sports and music at Aberdeen.

View all articles in this issue »