What We're Reading
Fitzgerald's Chicago muse, 25 years of Goose Island beers, two local personalities of note....
May 17, 2013
A Chicagoan, Ginerva King, was the muse for Gatsby's Daisy Buchanan.
Gatsby fever continues: apparently Fitzgerald was inspired by Ginerva King, a Chicagoan, for his character of Daisy Buchanan (in the book, Buchanan settles on Long Island after living in Chicago for some time). [Huffington Post]
The Bulls’ playoffs run may have ended Wednesday, but Benny the Bull is still one of America’s top mascots. [Forbes]
Meanwhile, Craft Beer Week—a 10-day celebration of Chicago breweries—began yesterday. One of the noteworthy events this year is Goose Island’s celebration of its 25th anniversary. [Chicagoist]
The Coveteur checks in with Derrick Rutledge, the man who does Oprah’s makeup. [The Coveteur]
Speaking of Chicago personalities, see this interview and cool photo shoot with Glossed and Found producer/editor Emily Hard. [The Every Girl]
Photographs Courtesy Chicago History Museum
Brunch Plans: Gather
The Lincoln Square spot introduces a Sunday brunch with European and American influences.
May 17, 2013
For summer Sundays, Gather features an outdoor terrace.
Lincoln Square restaurant Gather recently added brunch to its menu, putting its signature European-American spin on some a.m. classics. With chef Ken Carter—a Charlie Trotter alum—behind the burners, the Sunday meal (10 am-2 pm) is sure to be a hit.
Opened just last December, Gather has already garnered a few dinner menu favorites, which fans of the resto won’t be deprived of at brunch. Namely, the uovo raviolo—a dish that has morning meal influences to begin with—combines egg, ricotta, sweet jalapeno, pancetta, and white truffle butter. The other import from Gather’s dinner menu is its unique burger, loaded with white cheddar, smoked bacon, caramelized onion, and roasted red pepper aioli.
The menu is far from just afternoon-focused fare, though. Delicious new additions include the brioche bread bowl with poached egg, pork sausage, asparagus, mushroom, and mornay, served with home fries. The pastrami hash is also appealing, with a fried egg, bell pepper, and onion; or go classic with an order of flapjacks. But whatever you pick for your main, we suggest starting with the Gathering Board: it features charcuterie, cheese, honeycomb, roasted almonds, berry jam, apple mustard, and pickled vegetables.
The cocktail offerings are traditional, and the Bloody Mary is worth it for the chorizo-stuffed olive alone. One fruity addition is the aptly named Strawberry Fields, a cocktail comprised of strawberry, basil, and rum. 4539 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Square, 773-506-9300
Weekend Recommender: May 17-19
Talk art with Lynn Basa, sample French cheeses, and enjoy an alfresco workout.
May 16, 2013
Works by artist Lynn Basa at the FLATS Chicago pop-up gallery space. Basa is the artist-in-residence for this weekend’s Salon Series Dinner.
FLATS Studio Salon Series Dinner
Friday, May 17, 7 pm
Uptown’s FLATS Chicago development partnered with The Salon Series to put a pop-up gallery in its storefront space. The most recent in the eight-month dinner series features the work of artist-in-residence Lynn Basa; guests will enjoy a casual dinner, drinks, and in-depth discussions about art with Basa. Purchase $40 tickets at salonseries-lynnbasa-eorg.eventbrite.com. 1319 W. Wilson Ave.
Cheese Café Pop-up
Saturday, May 18, 11 am-7 pm
The Cheeses of France Marketing Council hosts an interactive cheese café featuring demos, cheese-centric dishes created by local chefs, and endless samples. Taste and shop more than 20 different French varieties including Brie, Camembert, Fourme d’Ambert, and Pont l'Évêque. Event admission is complimentary. 1051 N. Rush St.
3rd Annual Bee Fit Brunch at Hotel Palomar
Saturday, May 18, 8:45 or 10 am
To kick off its summer series in collaboration with Chicago-based Barre Bee Fit (BBF) studio, Hotel Palomar is hosting a barre class on its rooftop sundeck. Following the workout, guests will enjoy a seasonal and healthy brunch prepared by Top Chef alum Heather Terhune, head chef at Palomar’s Sable Kitchen & Bar, while nutritionist Jenny Westerkamp shares secrets on eating right. To RSVP, e-mail email@example.com or call 312-985-0736 ($35); BBF members can reserve a spot on clients.mindbodyonline.com. 505 N. State St., 312-755-9703
Space519 Trunk Show
Sunday, May 19, 2-6 pm
Shop two made-in-NYC lines at space519 this weekend. Bissel & Blaise shows a selection of gorgeous fine jewelry made with gemstones and a unique 18k matte peach gold. Meanwhile, Morton + Hudson brings their selection of sophisticated-yet-edgy handbags. Bonus: the trunk show continues on Monday (9 am-1 pm). 900 N. Michigan Ave., 312-751-1519
Cityscape Bar's New Cocktails
Enjoy a host of new cocktails and martinis while taking in views of the Chicago River.
May 16, 2013
From the 15th floor, Cityscape Bar offers gorgeous views of the Chicago River.
With its sprawling views of the city and river, and perfect business district location, Cityscape Bar is already a happy hour hotspot. This season, we have one more reason to head there after work: the bar’s brand-new beverage program features expanded beer and wine lists, as well as a host of new cocktails.
The new menu is a must for martini lovers, offering nine variations on the classic cocktail. Our favorite for summertime is the refreshing Saint Basil, featuring Absolut Mandarin vodka, St. Germain, lime juice, bar syrup, and fresh basil. Similarly seasonal is the Sparkling Spring martini, comprised of citrus vodka, raspberry puree, bar syrup, and Mionetto Prosecco float. A few others are perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth. For example, the upgraded chocolate martini Le Chocolat combines Absolut Vanilla, organic chocolate liqueur, Bailey’s, Frangelico, and cream.
In addition to the martinis, a number of specialty cocktails have been added to the list. We’re intrigued by the Blueberry Collins, which mixes gin, pomegranate juice, blueberry syrup, lemon juice, and citrus soda. The Margarita Perfecto de Patron combines two types of the top-shelf tequila—Anejo and Citronage—along with sour mix and fresh lime juice.
Complement your cocktails with a couple of appetizers. Share a sausage fennel pizza with friends, or try a trio of sliders—we suggest the barbecue pulled pork sliders with Asian coleslaw—accompanied by Parmigiano-Reggiano and truffle oil shoestring fries. 350 W. Mart Center Dr., 15th Fl., 312-836-5000
Chicago Creation: Modern Sprout Planter
A local couple Kickstarts an innovative urban gardening method.
May 15, 2013
Behr and Burrows came up with Modern Sprout out of pure necessity. Trying to grow their own herbs for cooking, and flowers for décor, had become time consuming and messy. The hydroponic system used in the resulting planters ($65-$169) does not require soil, and waters itself with the help of a timer and air pump to push the water from an inner reservoir to the plants. Set up is easy, and you'll simply need to plug your planter in near a sunny window, then refill your reservoir with water and organic liquid fertilizer every two-four weeks. A solar option is also available.
Each window box has space for three different plants with the ability to grow everything from herbs like basil, thyme, and rosemary, to flowers like gardenia, lavender, and orchids. Devoted home cooks can even grow tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, and other fruits and vegetables.
Unlike other indoor gardening options, though, Modern Sprout planters blend seamlessly into almost any décor. They are available in four different finishes: while the reclaimed wood planter, which is crafted in partnership with Chicago-based RxMade, is a close second, the chalkboard planter is our top pick. Record the name of each plant, or use the board to display the menu of a dinner party—especially one that incorporates your homegrown herbs.
Shred415's Team Shares Healthy Favorites
Bonnie Micheli, Tracy Roemer, and Jordan Shackelford chat about local feel-good spots.
May 15, 2013
The Shred415 team (FROM LEFT): partner Jordan Schackleford, and founders Bonnie Micheli and Tracy Roemer.
Early next month, Shred415 founders Bonnie Micheli and Tracy Roemer—with the help of partner Jordan Shackelford—will open a third workout studio in Northfield to supplement the current locations in Lincoln Park and Old Town. Developed just two years ago by Micheli and Roemer, the Shred415 workout method combines treadmill work and weight training in high-intensity intervals.
The trio of fitness fanatics call Lincoln Park (Micheli and Roemer) and Winnetka (Shackelford) home; below they divulge their go-to healthy spots, and a few indulgences.
If you’re looking for a healthy meal after a great workout, where do you head?
BONNIE MICHELI/TRACY ROEMER: If we can sneak away [from] Lincoln Park Shred415, Floriole (1220 W. Webster Ave., 773-883-1313) for sure is a go-to.
JORDAN SHACKELFORD: I love Café Aroma (749 Elm St., 847-881-2601) or Three Tarts (301 Happ Rd., 847-446-5444)—they both have great salads, sandwiches, and soups.
Of course, there are always times you let yourself indulge. Where do you go for dinner if that’s the case?
BM/TR: Macku [for sushi] (2239 N. Clybourn Ave., 773-880-8012) and Frasca Pizzeria (3358 N. Paulina St., 773-248-5222) are favorites.
JS: I love Guildhall (694 Vernon Ave., 847-835-8100) in Glencoe!
Where do you shop for workout gear and for everyday clothes?
BM/TR: We always count on Lululemon (2104 N. Halsted St., 773-883-8860) and Nike [Training Club] (833 W. Armitage Ave., 773-294-8121) to find things we love. When we’re feeling in shape, you can find us at Samantha (64 E. Walton St., 312-951-5383), Sara Jane (1343 N. Wells St., 312-335-1962), or J.Crew (929 W. North Ave., 312-951-0784).
JS: I shop right at Shred415! We have a great selection of Splits 59 clothing. We will carry more lines in the new Northfield studio.
With summer quickly approaching, what are some favorite outdoor spots in or near your neighborhoods?
BM/TR: We love Chi Che Wang Park (1762 W. Diversey Pkwy., 312-742-7785). Lincoln Park Zoo (2001 N. Clark St., 312-742-2000) is perfect for our kids—we love family days there.
JS: I love spending time at the Chicago Botanic Garden (100 Lake Cook Rd., 847-835-5440), especially this time of year. You can also find me at Tower Beach (Tower and Sheridan Rds.) or Elder Park (Sheridan Rd. and Elder Ln.)—anywhere I can soak up the great Chicago summer weather!
Lunch Plans: American Junkie
The River North hotspot introduces a lunch service with contemporary-American cuisine.
May 14, 2013
American Junkie's lobster bisque is served with lobster, sherry, and puff pastry.
New River North restaurant/bar American Junkie comes just in time for summer: with its retractable roof and wall of open-air windows, the hotspot puts an indoor twist on alfresco dining. This month, American Junkie adds to its appeal by introducing a contemporary-American lunch service.
Overall, the menu offers a balance of lighter fare and more substantial items from chef Kendal Duque. If you’re after something simpler, try the citrus seafood salad with avocado, crab, shrimp, lobster, and oyster cream. Served with lobster, puff pastry, and sherry, the lobster bisque hits the spot for a satisfying lunch dish. On the more filling side of things, the bison burger is done up with smoked mushrooms, tomato jam, and bleu cheese, and the Frieda burger is big enough to share, with two Pat LaFrieda patties, bacon, onions, cheddar, and sweet pickles. Even the appetizers and sides are intriguing: start off with bacon-wrapped dates with goat cheese and red pepper sauce, or supplement your main selection with housemade potato chips.
For a lunch out during the workweek, American Junkie offers an impressive list of beer and wine, but for after work or weekends, the cocktails are a must. The Sunset Blvd. comes creatively mixed with cucumber vodka, St. Germain, lime, and Prosecco. Or, sip something stronger with the aptly named Knock Out, comprised of Maker’s Mark, sweet vermouth, and Aperol. Lunch is offered seven days a week from 11 am-4 pm. 15 W. Illinois St., 312-239-0995
Atelier Azza Debuts a Storefront
The luxe local label opens a brick-and-mortar in The Shops at North Bridge.
May 14, 2013
Since launching her label just last year, local designer Azeeza Khan has garnered a major following. So, it only made sense that the next step for her burgeoning business was a brick-and-mortar shop. Opened late last month, Atelier Azza offers both ready-to-wear and bespoke designs in The Shops at North Bridge.
The new store’s interior is a mod mix of black, white, and Lucite, accented with refurbished vintage pieces and gilded finishes. This blank canvas is perfect for showcasing Khan’s creative designs: the intricately hand-beaded dresses, collars, belts, and blazers create a veritable rainbow of color along the walls. Khan displays her ready-to-wear pieces (starting at $150) on the left side of the shop—our current RTW must-have is the scarf, embellished with a weighty, semi-precious turquoise stone border and fringe ($395).
On the other side of the space, shoppers will find Khan most in her element in the custom designs section among sample swatches, a sewing machine, and measuring tape. Here, racks are hung higher on the wall to accommodate the newest addition to Azza’s atelier: frothy couture bridal gowns. A large desk provides a space for Khan to meet with brides—or anyone looking for a custom gown, which generally takes four-six weeks to produce—and get an idea of a client’s wants, needs, and personality. Khan says she is still putting the finishing touches on her store, but has big plans for the future. In addition to the creation of her bridal line, she’ll be adding an in-store tea service in the coming months. 520 N. Michigan Ave., 312-327-2300
Photography by Grace Willis
A Weekend Getaway in Kingfisher Cover
Here's why a development in Saugatuck, MI is the perfect place to have a weekend home.
May 13, 2013
One of the lakefront cabins at Kingfisher Cove in Saugatuck, Michigan.
As the weather warms, an abundance of beaches, golf courses, hiking trails, and vineyards make nearby Saugatuck, Michigan the perfect place for a weekend getaway. Kingfisher Cove, a lakefront cabin community developed by Chicago-based Tillman-Colvin, LLC, is our pick of places to stay while you’re there. Cabins are available to rent for a weekend, but many Chicagoans—including Second City Comedy Club Director of Operations Mike Conway—opt for ownership.
Though it’s just a two-hour drive from Chicago, Saugatuck seems worlds away. Relax on gorgeous Goshorn Lake—upon which Kingfisher Cove’s 29 cabins sit—or head to Lake Michigan’s award-winning Oval Beach. Vacation-goers will also want to check out the evening theater entertainment at Mason Street Warehouse (400 Culver St., 269-857-4898), and unwind with a day of golf at Ravines Golf Club (3520 Palmer Dr., 269-857-1616). Venture out for a good glass of wine at Fenn Valley Vineyards (6130 122nd St., 269-561-2396), or invite personal executive chef Jim LaPerriere (616-212-5695; firstname.lastname@example.org) to your cabin for a romantic dinner in.
First unveiled in 2007, Kingfisher Cove is now in its final phase of development. The community is currently pre-selling some of its luxe cedar cabins, which generate rental income year-round thanks to the beauty and amenities of the Saugatuck area. To find out more, contact Peter Colvin (616-893-1398).
Jessica Alba & The Ultimate Baby Shower
In town to celebrate a local mom, the actress talked Mother's Day, her brand, and new book.
May 10, 2013
Jessica Alba hosted The Ultimate Baby Shower for Chicagoan Casey Arendt at Land of Nod (900 W. North Ave., 312-475-9903) this week.
This week, Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company—an online source for safe, eco-friendly baby products—teamed up with Land of Nod and Tea Collection to give one local deserving mom the ultimate baby shower. The actress and mother to daughters Honor and Haven was in town for the shower event celebrating Chicagoan Casey Arendt, who is expecting twins in early fall.
Happy Mother’s Day! How are you celebrating?
JESSICA ALBA: I’m going to spend it with my mom and my kids. When the kids are napping, my mom and I will get a mani/pedi, [and] we usually have brunch in the morning.
You started The Honest Company after becoming a mother yourself. What was the motivation to start this company?
JA: I really created [The Honest Company] because I needed this company to exist for myself and for other families. There wasn’t one company out there that I could trust that made high-quality products—that were, obviously, non-toxic—and affordable. [There are] products that tout themselves as being the healthy option or the eco option because there’s a green leaf on [them], or the packaging is brown. I would then find out that what was inside was just as toxic as what is in any conventional product; it’s the packaging that makes it eco-friendly. But I want what’s touching my baby—and what’s touching my own dishes and laundry and everything—to be healthy.
Through The Ultimate Baby Shower contest, The Honest Company gives a deserving mom tons of things she needs for a new baby. What inspired you to do this?
JA: I came up with the idea when I was pregnant. [At a baby shower] you get so many things that are cute, but your kids grow so fast. At the end of the day, you really need diapers and wipes, and household cleaning products! If I would have gotten that as a gift I would have been so grateful. We wanted to throw showers for mothers that are deserving, that inspire us, and it was perfect to do it around Mother’s Day. Any time you can pamper another mom, I think it’s so important. It is a job that never ends, and your kids will never know how much you love them, so it’s nice to be celebrated—that’s the focus of today.
You also have a new book out, The Honest Life. Is its theme similar to the mission of The Honest Company?
JA: Yes, it really just touches on every aspect of one’s life, from putting together a home, to recipes, to shopping for food, to shopping for beauty products, and how to stay organized and fashionable. It’s [about] having a different consciousness when it comes to consuming: invest in pieces that you’re going to have for a long time versus disposable, and look for quality over quantity, and things like that.
How do you find a balance between acting, working with the company, and being a mother on top of it all?
JA: I don’t, really! My kids’ happiness and health is my priority, and as long as they’re good then everything else just sort of falls into place. There’s no perfect formula.
Photography by Nate Estenson
Michigan Avenue celebrates with cover star Harrison Ford at Chicago Cut Steakhouse.