Category Archives: live music and food

Pre-summer food, music and wine

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Pre-summer blooms off Michigan Ave.

Summer is at hand, people. No reason not to start right now enjoying the music, food and fun that are always on offer throughout our great city from spring through late fall. Here are a few opportunities to get you rolling…

Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival, on Sheffield from Belmont to Roscoe St. Sun. May 27 – Mon. May 28, 2017 – noon to 10pm.  And don’t fail to check out Trader Todd’s karaoke stage and contest – try out for best singer and look forward  to the award ceremonies in June at Trader Todd’s tiki bar, 3216 N. Sheffield. Check out our review on Trader Todd’s brunch here.
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Happy 40thbirthday, Potbelly! Thursday, June 1, they’re giving a $40,000 donation to One Summer Chicago. Check out the limited-time Potbelly birthday menu items,  and enjoy 40% off Originals sandwiches in-shop at Potbelly nationwide between 11am-3pm. Find your nearest Chicago Potbelly location and go enjoy.
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Dog-friendly, burger/beer specials. Burger + Beer promotion at The Patio at Café Brauer. From May 26 – May 29, get a juicy, succulent burger and a domestic beer for $15.95 all Memorial Day weekend. Read our rave review of Cafe Brauer here.
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English: Band shell in Millennium Park by Fran...
English: Band shell in Millennium Park by Frank Gehry – Pritzker, from across Michigan Avenue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Music at Pritzker Pavillion. Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer – two weeks before the Grant Park Music Festival season begins. To celebrate, order a One Night Pass and get a reserved seat close to the stage for any Festival concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. And when you order online this weekend, you’ll save 25% on select seats for any concert in June! Use promo code MEMORIAL when you order online at gpmf.org. Offer expires Monday,  May 29 at 11:59 PM. Or,  explore our entire 2017 season. Choose any four concerts (excluding Beethoven Symphony No. 9 on August 18 and 19) with a Choose Your Own membership and we’ll add the Festival’s Independence Day Salute as our way of saying thank you.

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Rich and rewarding Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

For home barbeques or hostess gifts, consider one of these excellent wines from Black Stallion Estate Vineyards. Black Stallion Chardonnay 2015, Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, and Black Stallion Sauvignon Blanc 2015 are deliciously complex and rich tasting. Perfect companions to grilled shrimp or lobster, super-marbled steak cooked a pointe on the grill, and any favorite traditional accompaniments like mustard potato salad, veggie pastasauteed fresh garlic asparagus or superb sauteed mushrooms.  Get your Black Stallion wines from these Chicago area retailers: SavWay Wine & Spirits, Garfield’s Beverage Warehouse, Sunset Foods, Woodman’s, Heinen’s, or talk to your friendly Binny’s folks.

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And if you’re into  higher-end wines, here’s a list of special Black Stallion wines that have garnered serious recognition lately:

  • Wine & Spirits magazine “100 Best Buys of the Year” – 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: 92 Points
  • James Suckling’s list of “Top 100 Reds of Napa Valley 2016” – 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: 93 Points
  • Decanter: 2013 Barrel Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Highly recommended, 91 pts; 2013 Transcendent Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; Highly recommended, 91 pts;  2013 Gaspare Estate Vineyard, Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Highly recommended, 90 pts; 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Highly recommended, 90 pts;
  • Wine Enthusiast: 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: 90 pts; 2014 Los Carneros Pinot Noir: 90 pts
  • Robert M. Parker, Jr. / Wine Advocate (Barrel samples): 2014 Bucephalus Red Blend: (91-93); 2014 Barrel Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: (90-92); 2014 Transcendent Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: (90-92)
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Tortoise Supper Club – drink up and give to worthy causes

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Feel welcome in the cozy classy atmosphere of Tortoise Supper Club

Just discovered the Tortoise Supper Club during a press event featuring D.E.W. Tullamore Irish whiskey’s “DEW and a Brew” tour through Chicago. Love the leather-and-wood ambience and loved the food and service, too. Now this cozy, classy restaurant, known for its steaks, chops and fresh seafood, is inviting us to come have a special cocktail so they can donate $3 per drink to the worthy cause of the month.

Cocktails for a Cause teams the supper club each month with a local non-profit to help raise awareness and funds for that organization.  The restaurant/lounge creates an original limited edition cocktail and donates $3 of every one sold to that month’s non-profit partner.

This month, Tortoise Supper Club teams up with The Miracle Center, which provides arts-education-based programming for inner-city Chicago kids.  Through its afterschool and summertime programs, youths aged 11 – 22 work together to develop full-scale theater productions that are then performed for the general public.  These programs help kids strengthen their creative problem-solving abilities and build self-esteem by developing their leadership and general life skills.

Curtain Call is this March’s Cocktail for a Cause. House-infused dill vodka is mixed with fresh-squeezed lime juice and a housemade honey syrup, finished with a couple dashes of grapefruit bitters and garnished with a touch of grapefruit zest. Even if you’re not a huge fan of mixed drinks, this one sounds like a winner.

No reservations required. Just come in and relax this month, meet the owners who are almost always onsite greeting guests, and know that 3 bucks of your Curtain Call price will be donated directly to The Miracle Center.

P.S. Weekly specials include Half Priced Signature Cocktails on Wednesdays, Sautéed Frog Legs and Buttermilk Battered Cod on Fridays, Northwoods Dry Rubbed Prime Rib on Saturdays and $1 Oysters / $1 Shrimp Cocktail from 4:30 – 6:30 pm on weekdays.  Live Sinatra-style jazz music is played in the lounge every Friday and Saturday night.

 

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Winter bar news – aliveOne and Fifolet

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aliveOne Bar comes alive in a few new ways this month. Every Sunday beginning February 19, aliveOne will host Living Room Sessions, an open mic comedy event from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Amateur comedians who want a shot at the stage can sign up starting at 5:30 p.m.

  • Every Sunday
  • 6 pm to 1 am
  • Free to attend; $4 to $5 drink specials
Following Living Room Sessions, Dead Comedy at aliveOne will kick off at 10 p.m. featuring a two-hour stand up showcase with some of Chicago’s best comics. Sunday specials will include $4 Temperance brews, $5 Absolut Bloody Mary’s and FREE pool.
 
aliveOne and Bell’s Brewery will host a Hopslam Ale tapping on Wednesday, February 22; Hopslam beers are $7 all night.
  • Wednesday, February 22
  • 5 pm to close
  • Free to attend; $7 Hopslam beers

Every weekday from 5 to 7 pm, aliveOne’s Happy Hour features half-price beer and cocktails.

And when you’re in the mood for old-school classic house music, aliveOne welcomes “Gramophone Records Presents – Clark St. Jams” in the back room starting 10 pm.  No cover charge. How cool is that?

Fifolet to Host Four-Day Mardi Gras Celebration

Since we can’t all make it to Bourbon St. for Mardi Gras, Fifolet Cajun & Cocktails will be bringing the famous New Orleans festival to you right here in Chicago. Starting on Saturday, February 25th, the new Wicker Part restaurant and bar will be ground zero for all things Mardi Gras.  Four days of festivities will include everything from live music, Hurricane cocktails and face painting to authentic Creole/Cajun food specials, limited edition beers from New Orleans’ favorite brewery, Abita, and more.

Saturday, February 255:00 pm – 2:00 am. 30¢ Beer Flights for 30 Minutes. For one night only, guests can enjoy 30¢ Abita beer flights for a period of 30 minutes. Guests will have the chance to partake in this promotion two times throughout the evening.

Taste of New Orleans. Executive Chef Kevin Crouse has created a special menu designed to allow guests to get a real taste of the Big Easy.  Dishes on the Taste of New Orleans menu are available in half size portions to allow diners to taste as much as they want.  In addition to signature menu items like Gumbo and Jambalaya, the following specials will be available:

Red Beans and Rice, Slow-Cooked Red Beans | Smoked Pork | Andouille | Herbed Wh.te Rice. Mac & Cheese.  Pimentos | Peas | Wild Boar Bacon. Shrimp and Grits – Creamy Stone-Ground Grits | Andouille | Shallots | Garlic | Brussels Leaves | Cherry Tomato | Rich Shellfish Broth. King Cake – Cinnamon Swirl | Mardi Gras Icing *with hidden baby toy. Beverage pairings of Cognac Flights ($15) and Abita Beer Flights ($12) will be available to round out your dining experience. Enjoy Chicago’s largest selection of Abita Brewing Company beers,

Sunday Feb. 25 5pm-12am
Monday Feb.27 5pm-12am
Tuesday Feb.28 5pm-2am

*all available while supplies last. 

Then come to join Abita Brewing Company’s Official Mardi Gras Party at Fifolet, where they proudly host the party for New Orleans’ favorite brewery!  $4 Purple Haze | $4 Light | $4 Mardi Gras Bock

Find the Abita rep at the party and your first beer is on him/her. And party to one of Chicago’s best New Orleans-style bands, Four Star Brass Band, all evening long.

Fifolet will offer a family-friendly environment from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm.  Kids are invited to partake in face painting and non-alcoholic Abita Root Beers. Face painting, 5pm to 8pm. Local artist Amanda Cohen will paint the fun-loving faces of Fat Tuesday party-goers.  Can’t decide on a design?  Look to one of the many Mardi Gras masks that line the walls of Fifolet for some colorful inspiration!

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3 city & 1 ‘burbs – Spots for live music with good food

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Do you expect exceptional food when you go out for live music? Chicago has a few places that make this a priority. In the city, where you can get there by cab or public transport:

  1. Bandera, 535 N. Michigan. Jazz & blues every night. Cocktails, lunch and dinner in sexy, subtle lighting.
  2. Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Steak, 521 N. Rush St. Seafood, oysters, crab, sea bass, etc. and prime steaks. Pricey but highly rated.
  3. Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S. Wabash. Rockin’ good music and down home Southern-inspired dishes. Word is, Buddy himself sits in sometimes!

And we just heard about one in the ‘burbs that’s making food a priority, too: 210 Restaurant and Live Music Lounge, 210 Green Bay Road, Highwood, IL. Co-owner and Executive Chef Jeff Tomchek Chef Jeff Tomchek KCI_0733lo resbrings 30 years of experience in several countries honing his abilities to turn fresh, high quality, locally sourced produce and ingredients into menu items that span regional and global cuisines as well as barbecue and Southern-style dishes. 

Appetizers include Hawaiian Tuna Poke with toasted Macadamia Nuts ($13 Hawaiian Tuna Poke with Toasted Macadamia Nuts 210 KCI_0537 lo res.jpg); Roast Local Corn Mexican Street Food Style ($5/$8); Korean Chicken Wings ($12); and Tomato Bisque ($5/$8). Salads include Roast Beets with Bean Hummas, Arugula & Pine Nuts ($12); Frillman Farms Heirloom Tomato with Burrata & Basil ($11); and a Crispy Chicken Chopped Salad with Chipotle Ranch ($18).

Main dishes Baby Back Ribs Dry Rub and Pit Smoked 210 a KCI_0626 lo res.jpginclude Baby Back Ribs, Dry Rub & Pit Smoked (taste $8, half $16/full slab $24); Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich with Arugula & Remoulade ($13); Roast Scottish Salmon with corn mashed potatoes and Mexican Truffle Vinaigrette ($24); and Andouille Jambalaya with Louisiana Style BBQ Shrimp ($19).

Roast Cauliflower with Thai Three Flavor Sauce 210 KCI_0718lo resThis place even lets you get your vegetables in with original presentations like Roast Local Eggplant with Moroccan Spices ($9); Miso Glazed Acorn Squash ($8); Roast Cauliflower with Thai three flavor sauce ($8) and Bacon Braised Collard Greens ($8); and Not Yo Mamma’s Mac & Cheese ($8); and Local Bi Color Corn Sautéed with Peppers & Onions ($8). Seasonal offerings and daily specials are listed on the website.

If you live in the city and want to enjoy 210 Restaurant and Live Music Lounge, consider finding a nice hotel in the area so you can stay as long as you like and not have to worry about driving home. If you live nearby, get thee hence and try it soon.

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