Poag Mahone's Crosstown Classic Burgers
Northside and Southside burgers celebrate National Burger Month and the Crosstown Classic.
May 21, 2013
Poag Mahone’s ‘Northside’ variation is a grassfed cheeseburger with a hot dog, sweet relish, mustard, sport peppers, lettuce, tomato, and celery salt on a pretzel roll.
On May 27, the Cubs and the White Sox face off for the season’s first Crosstown Classic series, but the rivalry is about more than just baseball. The true Northside/Southside battle is over food, and throughout the month of May, Loop restaurant Poag Mahone’s attempts to settle the debate with two burgers playing to the tastes of each neighborhood. The best part: a portion of the proceeds from the Chicago sandwiches goes to two local charities.
For Cubs concession fans, the Northside Cure for the Curse Burger features a 100% grassfed cheeseburger and a hotdog. It’s piled high Chicago style, with sweet relish, yellow mustard, sport peppers, lettuce, tomato, and celery salt between a pretzel bun. A dill pickle spear and side of nachos accompany the hefty burger. In support of recently retired Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood, some of the Northside burger’s proceeds will be put toward the Wood Family Foundation. Southsiders, on the other hand, will want to sample the Put it on the Board Burger, a cheese-stuffed grassfed burger with Polish sausage, beer onions, and spicy brown mustard. It benefits the Bring Me Home Children’s Home and Aid Foundation.
No matter where their loyalty lies, though, Chicagoans can always agree that beer is the best accompaniment to a hearty burger (and hot dog). Poag Mahone’s offers an expansive selection of seasonally rotating craft ales, and right now we love the locally brewed 5 Rabbit American Blonde golden ale. 333 S. Wells St., 312-566-9100
Chicago-Made Wine Accessories
A Chicago-made cooling sleeve, wine rack, and bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to buy this summer.
May 21, 2013
Shelby Steiner Debuts at Dovetail
The young Chicago designer launches her Spring/Summer collection at the West Town shop.
May 20, 2013
Steiner cites her Midwest upbringing and eclectic family as major influences to her overall design style, but the latest collection has an additional influence. The dark aesthetic is a result of Steiner’s anger about the rhino-poaching problem in South Africa. As somber as the inspiration may be, though, the pieces are ultra-chic. Steiner’s Green Inverse Top ($132) is a standout with its unique pattern, while the Black Coated Cotton Crop Top ($128) is perfect for summer when paired with a high-waisted maxi skirt and lots of jewelry. Other items include canvas circle skirts and handmade leather bracelets.
The best part? You can feel good about wearing Steiner’s clothes, since she uses ethical best practices to make sustainable pieces. In fact, most everything you’ll find at Dovetail is considerate of the environment and its inhabitants. “I’m very excited to have my line carried at Dovetail alongside numerous other talented Chicago designers’,” Steiner says. “Each of us is creating a high-quality product made ethically, while creating a supportive community within the fashion industry.”
Though this is the first time Shelby Steiner pieces are available in a store, the designer first launched her collection late last year at the Chicago Fashion Focus runway show. She is currently one of six designers-in-residence at the Macy’s Fashion Incubator. 1452 W. Chicago Ave., West Town, 312-508-3398
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CASSIE DOUMAS
The Updated Odyssey Sets Sail
The renovated Navy Pier yacht debuts just in time for summer cruises around Lake Michigan.
May 20, 2013
The renovated roofdeck on the Odyssey yacht offers unbeatable skyline views.
This season, Chicago’s summertime tradition of taking a skyline cruise on Lake Michigan gets even better with Navy Pier’s largest yacht, the Odyssey, boasting $2 million renovations. A top-to-bottom remodel, the upgrades include technology—flat-screen TVs, hi-def sound systems—chic modernized décor, and an ultra-luxe roof deck.
Each of the ship’s lower decks is climate-controlled and spacious, but the real coup is the upper observation deck, which boasts breathtaking views of the skyline to one side and lake to the other. The deck has been outfitted with modern leather seating, plush pillows, high and low tables, and pretty planters that make you forget you’re on a moving ship. Indoors, the two lower levels feature three bars and dance floors lit from below with starry lighting.
Even the kitchen got a revamp: Eric LeVine, the winner of Food Network’s Chopped, collaborated with Odyssey executive chef Leonel Martinez to put together elevated menus offered on board. Our pick is the Champagne Dinner cruise, which begins with a chef’s tasting of cauliflower puree, tapenade, crudite snap vegetables, and a glass of Champagne. All menus feature locally-sourced produce and ingredients, and every meal ends with selections from the desserts table. Though the ship is available for large events, we think it makes the perfect romantic dinner for two on a midsummer night. Reservations are $60 and up and can be made at odysseycruises.com or by calling 888-957-2320. Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., 866-305-2469
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. Bissell & 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!
Michigan Avenue celebrates with cover star Harrison Ford at Chicago Cut Steakhouse.