As summer starts to wind down, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to jump on one of the many boats that daily work their way up and down the Chicago River for this week’s segment. The good folks at Wendella Boats (www.wendellaboats.com) were good enough to let us jump on a Water Taxi for a wonderful-looking backdrop of the city. Wendella runs a variety of boat tours, including the popular Architecture Tour, various sightseeing tours, private charters, wine tasting tours and summer fireworks cruises. Get it all in now before it starts getting a little uncomfortable out there.
Last year, one of my favorite outings was the Windy City Wine Festival — so nice, I’ll have to do it twice. It all goes down Sept. 5-6 at Daley Bicentennial Plaza at 337 E. Randolph St. Tickets are $25 and $10 for “designated driver” tickets. Binny’s provides the suds, and if I remember correctly from last year, I actually learned a little something when I was out there, as the pourers hipped me to some great new varieties of champagne.
Two food and music festivals to point out next weekend with an international flair. Check out the Ukrainian Village Fest Friday through Sunday. It takes place at the Saints Volodymyr and Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church in West Town, 2245 W. Superior St. And the 8th Annual German-American Festival will be held in Lincoln Square on Saturday and Sunday, and it’s absolutely free. 4700 N. Lincoln Ave. is where it all goes down.
One of the most talked-about new spots in the city has to be ZED451, located at the corner of Clark and Superior in the bustling River North neighborhood. That’s where we decided to use as a backdrop for this week’s 24/7 Chicago “Word On The Street” segment.
My first impression was the absolute sheer size of the restaurant. No matter what type of ambience you’re looking for, you’ll definitely find it in here somewhere. My choice this summer will be the rooftop deck — for happy hour — which sports a variety of seating and even real grass!
The waiters walking around with choice cuts of meat will remind you of a Brazilian steakhouse, but the folks at ZED451 will be quick to correct you. They’re going for a more international feel with this restaurant. Here’s another tip — hang out at the chef’s table and get the meat right of the grill for maximum enjoyment.
Apparently Looptopia was so nice they had to do it twice. Yes, the dusk till dawn celebration is back for another year, scheduled for May 2. More than 100,000 people are expected to converge on the downtown area for this year’s festivities, comprising of around 100 venues. The Street Team blogged this last year, and will be back at it again this time around. Log on to http://www.looptopia.com for more information.
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