Archive for June, 2009

D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyday was Friday?  Well supposedly the tropical island of Eivissa evokes the type of energy where every night out seems like a Friday night celebration.  Eivissa, the Catalan name for Ibiza, is known for its summer club parties that attract a ton of tourists and a lot of publicity.  It’s no wonder why the owners of the new tapas restaurant Eivissa are attempting to bring that same type of energy to Old Town.  The concept sounds cool, but can the new kid on the block pull it off?  Maybe for partying, but not so much for the cuisine.

Eivissa Cocktails

Eivissa Cocktails

The best thing about Eivissa are their “Islas Baleares” cocktails and “Chupitos” (infused shots).  Their standard red sangria is infused with vanilla beans and Ceylon cinnamon for a warm, spicy taste.   But after the alcoholic beverages nothing else is memorable, except for their Pinxtos, a unique mixture of morsels on toasted bread.  The “Salpicon Aioli”, consisting of different seafood was the winner in this category.  Their classical tapas are just average and be sure to order more cocktails to help wash down the  dry “Croquetas De Jamon”.  The “Carnes-Meats” section featured a duck and asparagus dish.  My advice is to take the asparagus and leave the duck.  The dessert menu featured a tart, rice pudding, and a chocolate churro, but I was too disappointed with the service to move on to the next  course.  Oh, did I mention service?  Two words sum up the service.  Not good.  The communication or lack there of with the server was frustrating.  There was no explanation of the menu and dishes were slower than normal to arrive at the table, despite a sparse lunch crowd.  The restaurant is nicely designed, but a return visit is necessary to determine the vibe.  Eivissa is not a first choice for tapas, but their fabulous drinks may have the Old Town folks sipping libations on their patio throughout the summer.

Eivissa is located at 1531 N. Wells St.  Log onto www.eivissachicago.com for more information.  Check out www.efete.net for more restaurant reviews and an inside look into Chicago’s newest and hottest restaurants.

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Glenn Murray, NBC Chicago Street Team

Ken Burroughs is determined to bring “real music” back to Chicago one night at a time. He is the creator of the Hot Mic Night at the House of Blues which features local acts performing with a full band at the  Back Porch Restaurant. The event debuts tonight at 8PM and a second installment is scheduled for July 13th. The House of Blues Is Located at 329 North Dearborn.

Local Musicians perform looking for a chance at being featured on the House of Blues big stage possibly opening for national acts. Poets and bands alike vie for the title of the hottest act. Not at all an amateur, night but more a night of outstanding talent, polished vocals and much more as each act covers familiar new tunes as well as the classics. Hot Mic Night will also feature a few of the best spoken word artists the city has to offer. Tonight the featured band will be Aniba Hotep & the Sol Collective. Throw in the great food at the HOB restaurant and Hot Mic Night is definitely the most fun you can have on a Monday night in Chicago.

Hot Mic Night at The House of Blues
329 North Dearborn
Monday June 29th
Admission Is Free

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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC Chicago Street Team

Did the Chicago Bulls send a message to incumbent starting power forward Tyrus Thomas Thursday night by drafting two power forwards? By using both of their first round draft picks on prospects who play the four, the Chicago front office seems to be telling us one of two things. Either a.) Coach Vinny Del Negro, GM Gar Forman and company are unhappy with Thomas (who desperately needs to develop a post move) and are attempting to motivate him, or b.) Ty is being aggressively shopped to other GMs in the league. Maybe we’ll learn more once NBA free agency starts on July 1, when more transactions are like to start happening around the association.

But we can worry about that later, for now let’s focus on who the Bulls did pick up with the 16th and 26th overall picks.

Wake Forest, Forward, James Johnson

In college, Johnson was able to muscle weaker defenders down low while also using his ability to drive and finish. His range from deep leaves plenty of room for improvement, but he did develop a more consistent mid-range game as a sophomore. “We love his versatility he can play the four, he can play the three, he can play inside, he can play outside, at his size 6’8” 250 he can put the ball on the floor, he can rebound and put it out in transition. He’s a very big passer for a big guy,” Forman said to the media present at the Berto Center.

USC, Forward, Taj Gibson

Gibson is already 23 years old and should be able to contribute off the bench right away. He will likely make a living as a professional thanks to his rebounding and shot-blocking ability. 6’10” with a 7’2” wingspan, Gibson had the second longest reach of anyone in this draft. (Only the 7’3” Hasheem Thabeet was longer) “His wingspan was amazing, he’s long, he can block shots in the lane and he has a developing inside-outside game,” Forman said of Gibson on draft night.

See more of Paul M. Banks’ work at the Washington Times, Walter Football.com and The Sports Bank

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Shlomi Rabi, NBC Chicago Street Team

The age-old adage “Behind Every Great Man Is a Great Woman” is just that—old. The key to success in any relationship, we now know, is support, regardless of whether the person behind us is wearing a pair of pants, a skirt or something by Marc Jacobs. Love is love; its origin should not matter, and the more—the merrier.

This is why Tel-Aviv’s show of love and support for Chicago’s LGBT community in the form of a beach-themed float is an empowering addition. The city that Time magazine has termed “the Mediterranean’s most unlikely capital of cool” becomes the first international city ever to publicly endorse Chicago’s LGBT community at the Gay Pride Parade.

Earlier this year, Tel Aviv was honored with the task of hosting next year’s International Gay Tourism Convention. By doing so, the city reinforces its status as one of the world’s most fun and easygoing gay capitals, alongside London, Rio, Berlin, New York and Amsterdam.

Helping Tel-Aviv spread the love for Chicago’s LGBT community is Club 1948, a local non-for-profit whose mission is to celebrate Israel’s arts and culture. Reflecting the organization’s emphasis on fun and diversity, twenty swimsuit-clad men and women, from different backgrounds and of different ages, will be dancing on the float to the live tunes of American, European and Israeli music.

In a time that gay marriage is a hot topic and opinions on gay rights are polarizing the country, it is nice to see that a foreign friend has got your back. This one never gets old.

To find out what else Shlomi does to live it up, click here.


Cavorting on the Tel Aviv beach

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Hungry Z, NBC Chicago Street Team

The Taste of Chicago was born July 4th in 1980, and is now the second largest tourist attraction in Illinois. For 10 days, this free admission festival is the place to be, injecting the city with a spirit of hunger and attracting a few news stories along the way. To add some spectacle to all the gluttony, there will be live performances by Ne-Yo, Counting Crows, Wallflowers, Barenaked Ladies and more.

In the midst of these hard economic times, Taste will offer a better value than ever this year. Each restaurant will offer a choice of two Taste portions instead of one. The taste portions are smaller and cheaper sample versions of the regular-sized portions.

Fifty different vendors will be vying for a spot in your belly, but not all of them deserve it. Must-try items include B.J’s Mustard fried catfish, O’Brien’s Celtic corn, Original Rainbow cones, and Garrett’s caramel and cheese popcorn.

Visit NBCChicago.com for a full list of Hungry Z’s Taste hits and misses.

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Laura Lodewyck, NBC Chicago Street Team

Inspired by their love affair with their two favorite things–food and biking–Chicagoans Dimitra Tasiouras and Sharon Bautista founded Fork and the Road bike tours. Now they hope to pass on this perfect combination to you through this summer’s tours: Asian, Latin American, International BBQ, Vegetarian and “Unsung Chicago Classics” (teaser: Mexican street treats to “heroic sandwiches” to Greektown…hm). Hailed as an “eating adventure”, the tours are aimed at trying new foods in undiscovered places, while navigating the city powered by your own wheels (or rented, whatever). The total tour ranges from about 14-22 miles, reportedly at a fairly “leisurely” pace — which sounds like a good thing, given all the food that will be in your belly. From artisan cheeses and sustainable markets to Little Vietnam and”secret” Thailand cuisine, this is no typical Chicago deep-dish tour. Check them out at http://www.forkandtheroad.com.

NudeHippoNBC5Email me at llodewyck@nudehippo.com to report your favorite under-discovered Chicago events and check out my past blogs and entertainment reports with Nude Hippo at Nudehippo.tv and NBCchicago.com.

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

People who hear me on the radio, listen to my podcasts or read my blogs are certainly aware of my passion for music.  But first and foremost I am a mother, and without a doubt the main focus of my life is my kids.   Not a day goes by where I don’t feel extremely thankful for their health and happiness. 

My heart breaks when I hear of families that have to deal with terminal health issues, especially those involving sick children.  I can’t imagine the pain of knowing your child is suffering and/or might not make it to their next birthday.  So, when I heard about a young toddler  “Lucy” (her name is an alias to protect her privacy) stricken with such a horrible disease I felt compelled to share her story. 

photo courtesy of Christie LaMountain

photo courtesy of Maura Gaskill

Lucy has a genetic disease called SCA7 (Spinocerebellar Ataxia 7) which will eventually shut down all her abilities to walk, see, talk, breathe, think, and pump blood to her heart thus killing her.   As if that isn’t heartwrenching enough – she is part of a large but very close foster family in Oak Park, and one of her brothers wrote a very touching story about her situation.

You can help Lucy and the 150,000 Americans and their families who suffer from the devastating effects of Ataxia. Your participation in the 2009 Laps For Lucy this Saturday morning will bring the world one step closer to a cure for Ataxia.  The race is at Oak Park River Forest High School Track (Lake Street and East Avenue, Oak Park, IL).  All Proceeds go to the National Ataxia Foundation.

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Marcus Riley, NBC Chicago Street Team

Tonight is your only opportunity to check out “Unresolved Truth” — a play about four different men with very different life stories.

The characters are all played by Maestro the Barber, who seamlessly transitions between each role that details what each character fears, what makes them happy and what tears them apart.

maestro Derrick is over-indulges himself with women, Nookie is a gangster who lives a reckless life, Marcus is a man that is struggling with his sexuality (why’s he gotta be Marcus?) and Dexter is the business tycoon that is confident and arrogant. Through their trials and struggles they will slowly reveal their unresolved truth.

The play takes place at the Chopin Theater (1543 W Division St) and doors open at 7 p.m. with an 8 p.m. start time. Tickets are $15 each.

The play will be followed by a brief Q&A and a reception.

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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC Chicago Street Team

Two Days before the NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls got great news about their small forward depth. Luol Deng, out since Feb 28th with a fractured tibia, started running and looks to make a full recovery without surgery. If only the Bulls’ salary cap space could recover from the massive wound inflicted by Deng’s contract. It will be interesting to see how this news affects the Bulls’ plans. New General Manager Gar Forman will likely use one (or maybe both) of the team’s two first round draft picks on someone who played at least a couple years at a big name program. It’s how former GM and current VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson operates. Here are three candidates fitting that bill.

Arizona’s Chase Budinger

The name value is there and he could potentially be gone when Chicago’s on the board at #16 but more than likely falls into the mid-20s, so maybe the Bulls can grab with their second pick at #26. He likely would have been a lottery pick if he declared after his freshman or sophomore seasons. This past year however, Budinger stock fell like the Dow Jones. Budinger spoke about the meaning and prestige of being drafted high.

“There is some status, but I try to look past that. When they get to the NBA, every rookie is going to be on the same level. Look at a guy like {Orlando Magic F} Courtney Lee, who was picked later. He became starter and he’s getting a lot of minutes on a very good team,” Chase said.

Louisville’s Terrence Williams

One of this draft’s top small forwards, Williams was very candid at the combine about Draft workouts. “Some other players don’t really work out because they feel they’re already secure in a certain spot, and that surprises me because you’d think that people who love basketball would play regardless,” Williams said. He also expressed his love for the idea of playing for the Bulls. When a reporter reminded him how rare that is (a player so honest about wanting to play for a specific team) he didn’t back away from his comments. Will Chicago reciprocate?

Pitt’s DeJuan Blair

He only measured in at 6-6.5 in shoes which is far from the ideal size for an NBA power forward. But his physicality and 7-2 wingspan will help wipe away any doubt teams have about his future productivity. Blair is pretty confident: “I don’t think there was a better offensive rebounder by far in this class at all. There’s something about that ball, I go get it,” he said at the combine.

In addition to his rebounding, NBA Draft aficionados also buzz bout Blair’s astonishing weight loss (40 pounds in three weeks). Blair had a sense of humor about it. “I told my mom about it this morning, she said did you cut off your leg off?” Get ready for the next best-selling book: “The DeJuan Blair Diet.”

See more of Paul M. Banks’ work at the Washington Times, Walter Football.com and The Sports Bank

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Hungry Z, NBC Chicago Street Team
The word Bice may conjure up memories of a long haired “American Idol”, singing about “The Real Thing”. While you probably won’t find any long haired rockers here, you might find a tasty meal. Will it be the real thing, or just a reasonable facsimile?bicecrab

Unassuming from outside, Bice welcomes you with a relaxed two level dining area. Customary bread baskets are given to each table with butter provided, and olive oil available upon request. Although after tasting their bitter olive oil, you may wish you stuck with the butter.

To help forget about the olive oil, crab cakes were in order. Four well sized cakes were fork tender and very enjoyable. Folks should treat the accompanying salad as garnish and not suffer through its blandness. A much more enjoyable salad choice would be the tomato and fresh mozzarella salad. Simple and delicious.

While there are many types of pasta to choose from, a steak can be a nice departure. A wonderfully tender filet is topped with a creamy green peppercorn sauce. While not a “steakhouse”, the filet was prepared perfectly medium, and the green peppercorns livened up a normally mellow cut of meat.

Go back to tradition and enjoy the lovely tiramisu. Ladyfingers drenched in espresso, layered with mascbicetiramisuarpone, and dusted with cocoa give your taste buds a lovely kiss goodnight. Flaky apple strudel was another fine choice and even brought back memories of childhood.

Dinner for two with drinks and tip runs about $125-150. So was it the “Real Thing”. Similar to that long haired idol, Bice sings a catchy tune, but doesn’t rock as hard as it could.

Location: 158 E. Ontario


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Bulls Draft Moving Forward?

Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC Chicago Street Team In the NBA Draft, lying is the only truth. NBA GMs often tell the media they’ll be focusing on guards with their draft choices. Before they say they’re focusing on forwards. Or maybe centers. Others just go the “best player available” route. In this environment of doublespeak, it’s good to focus on need when attempting to predict where a team will go. And the Chicago Bulls need a scoring big man like a newbie author needs an Oprah’s Book Club recommendation. Unfortunately, there are very few legitimate 4s and 5s with offensive game in this draft after Blake Griffin.

Therefore, when the Bulls possibly pick a forward with their two first round picks (#16 and #26, they have no picks in the second round this year) it may be at the 3, a.k.a. small forward or swingman. One of those could be North Carolina’s Danny Green, who had a physical workout at the Bulls practice facility before the NBA Draft Combine. At combine media day he spoke about his experience at the Berto Center. “They were really cool guys that I knew from last year when I met, sat down and talked with them. I saw Joahkim Noah there, I did high school ball at AAU with him,” Green said.

Partially due to the ridiculous amount of unnecessary hype surrounding his teammate Tyler Hansbrough, perhaps no player in college basketball did more for his team and received less attention for it than Green. He isn’t going to blow you away with any particular part of his game, but he does a little bit of everything- truly earning the title “glue guy.”

Perhaps this statistic solves the Chicago draft riddle: about three-quarters of the players who have worked out for the Bulls were forwards. Including: UConn’s Jeff Adrien, Gonzaga’s Josh Heytvelt, LSU’s Chris Johnson, Georgia Tech’s Gani Lawal, USC’s Taj Gibson and Wisconsin’s Marcus Landry.

See more of Paul M. Banks’ work at the Washington Times, Walter Football.com and The Sports Bank

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

  Everyone has a Mama, but not everyone has a “Mama” like Fernando’s Tequila Bar and Restaurant.  That’s because Executive Chef Carmen Gonzalez is the matriarch of the twenty-five year old Mexican joint and has been in the industry for forty-five years.  Carmen, affectionately known as “Mama” by the regulars and her kitchen staff, is married to husband Fernando and together have made their restaurant a mainstay for authentic Mexican regional cuisine.Fernandos

Like most Mexican restaurants, Fernando’s menu consists of traditional items such as burritos, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas and fajitas.  Two dishes that are special to Fernando’s are the Chicken Oaxaca (a boneless chicken breast cooked in a paper bag) and Grilled Rainbow Trout (topped with garlic and cucumber).  The ceviche ixtapa appetizer stood out, but the queso fundido needs some work.  What really makes Fernando’s hop are their signature hand-blended margaritas specially prepared by Fernando himself.  Fresh fruits and their secret family recipe may have contributed to Fernando’s selling more than 3,400,000 margaritas over the past twenty-five years.  The atmosphere definitely feels like a friendly neighborhood spot and is great for families.

Fernando’s, located at 3450 N. Lincoln Ave in the Lakeview area, will celebrate 25 years on July 22nd.  Food samplings, a mariachi band, and tequlia samplings will highlight some of the festivities.  For more information call (773) 477-6930.  Also check out www.efete.net for more dining options and watch Fete Select TV to get an inside look at the newest and hottes restaurants in Chicago.

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Jeff_BarackaJeff Baraka, NBC Chicago Street Team

“Yes, yes y’all!” This weekend, Chicago is the first stop for two major, national festivals featuring hometown hip-hop heroes:

First up, the Dew Tour, the first ever action sports tour (skateboarding/BMX/Motocross), now in its 5th season. It’s made up of 5 major events that take place in 5 different cities over the course of 5 months (June-Oct.). The Chicago event happens during the day in Grant Park, Friday (6/26) and Saturday (6/27), and features some of the top BMX athletes in the world.

lupedewThe Dew Tour Music Series concert takes place on that Friday at The Chicago Theatre (8pm). Lupe Fiasco is the headliner, Lady Sovereign is the opener, DJ Flipside (of B96) will be spinnin’ and yours truly is the host (yay!).

Also on Saturday (6/27), the 11-city Rock The Bells Festival rolls into town, so you may need to flip a coin or consult a psychic to decide which event to choose. It’s happening at The First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park.

RTBs is the nation’s premier hip-hop music & culture fest, featuring some of the biggestchalipic names in the game. Nas, The Roots, Busta Rhymes and Big Boi of OutKast are all on the bill. Common will represent for Chicago, as will Chali 2na, who rose to fame with LA acts Ozomatli and Jurassic 5, and is now embarking on a solo career. He’ll also rock the House Of Blues around 9pm.

Later that night (10pm), The Roots’ Questlove spins an afterparty at The Marmon Grand Loft, 2230 S. Michigan Ave (props to the homey Mark Fullaflava for puttin’ that together). With so much action-sports and hip-hop royalty in town, no tellin’ who might fall thru.

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Glenn Murray, NBC Chicago Street Team

To stay in business 20 years is quite an accomplishment to do so in a rapidly changing and slowly eroding business is a near miracle! Tonight Dedry Jones , owner of the music experience celebrates 20 years in the music business at his monthly “Bronzeville Nights” Event.
Bronzeville Nights celebrates good music and gives you an opportunity to meet and network with fellow music lovers and hear music from local artists. At this edition of Bronzeville Nights, and the 20th Anniversary of The Music Experience as well as the 20th Anniversary of Peak Recording artist, Will Downing who will serve as the evening’s host. The event will be held at the Harold Washington Cultural Center 4701 Martin Luther King Drive. Doors open at 6 PM.

Music Experience store front
The Music Experience is an outgrowth of Track One Records and the marketing company, Right Track Entertainment. The Music Experience’s noted signature event is The Experience. This event has featured Grammy nominee Will Downing (three times), Grammy winner Al Jarreau, Grammy winner George Duke, Grammy and Dove award winner CeCe Winans, Lalah Hathaway, Rahsaan Patterson, and multiple Grammy winner, John Legend.

We wish Dedry continued success and hope he has 20 more years of creating great “experiences”.

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candace-small2Candace Jordan, NBC Chicago Street Team

Thursday was a very eventful day for Shauna Montgomery, Shelly MacArthur Farley, Whitney Lasky and me! We filmed our auditions for Becky Cattie of Towers Productions! We all gathered at Shauna’s gorgeous N. Lake Shore Drive apartment for our group interview which was filmed in front of a big bank of windows which made the lighting perfect for us. Becky’s assistant, Mary Kozelka, did the filming and should be on a show herself she’s so pretty. Chicago_housewife_candidate

We all had previously filled out an 8 page questionnaire that included questions such as: what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done; were you ever arrested; describe your personality; are you a citizen or legal resident; who are the people you surround yourself with; describe a typical day in your life; what would people not know just by looking at you; have you ever filed for bankruptcy; describe a typical day in your life; what are you passionate about….etc. Now Towers Productions knows more about me than my husband does!!
After the group interview, Becky interviewed us individually. We were told they are looking at 4 or 5 more groups but are more interested in women who live downtown since they want to feature our gorgeous city prominently in the filming! YEHHHH!! I know there are lots of gorgeous and dynamic Chicago women out there so Becky and Mary have their work cut out for them! We will be told in 3 weeks or so of the outcome. Good luck to ALL and may the best Housewives win!

By the way, if you missed my interview on NBC’s “The Talk” last week, then click here to  check it out. Thanks so much again to our own Street Team boss, Marcus Riley, for recommending me to the show’s fabulous host, Marian Brooks!!!

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

If I could have bottled up all of the sheer happiness at Chicago’s House Of Blues last Friday night and sold it, I’d be a millionaire. Many happy Hammerheads were immensely enjoying a moment they feared would never come.

photo courtesy of Christie LaMountain

Lovehammers at House Of Blues, photo courtesy of Christie LaMountain

Marty Casey shocked Lovehammers fans (and, in fact, the rest of the Lovehammers) about a year ago when seemingly out of blue he announced that he was leaving the band he had been the lead singer of for over a decade (more about that here) to front L.A. Guns. Thankfully, that lasted exactly a year and he has now returned to his fellow Lovehammers. A packed house at the House Of Blues got to experience one of Chicago’s premier rock bands put on one of their greatest shows ever. They performed songs off of every single one of their albums, including the soon-t0-be-released Heavy Crown.

I spoke to the band hours before they hit the stage Friday night. Heavy Crown won’t be out until July 21 but you can hear most of the songs from it and the truth about Marty leaving and then coming back to Lovehammers HERE:

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rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team


Yesterday was Father’s Day, so chances are you spent some time with good ol’ dad feasting on brunch, or firing up the grill. You may not have realized that yesterday also marked the Summer Solstice, a celestial event that prompts longer, light-filled days. NBC-panepatio

Pane Caldo is celebrating this astronomical occurrence with a special “White Nights”  lunch and dinner experience, available through June 27. Executive chef Maurice Bonhomme got creative in the kitchen and came up with special dishes featuring light and white-colored foods, such as steamed white asparagus with morel mushrooms and truffle dressing, and grilled halibut fillet with with golden beets and a grain mustard sauce. Pastry chef David Same’ didn’t forget about your sweet tooth, so save room for the ice cream bar of white chocolate, muscatel and white cherries.  Wash it all down with (what else) a crisp white wine.

If you’ve never been to Pane Caldo (or need to revisit how fabulous it is), Bonhomme only uses the freshest ingredients, seasonal herbs, organic meats and wild seafood in his preparations. Of course, as the restaurant name suggests, fresh-baked bread is an accompaniment to every table. Another way you can celebrate the warm temps is by dining alfresco on Pane Caldo’s newly expanded outdoor seating area, which has doubled in size this season. If you’re watching you wallet but still want to experience a little of  “la dolce vita,” then dine early from 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. and take advantage of the 3 course prix fixe dinner menu for only $34. It’s cheaper than a trip to Italy, but tastes just as good.

For more information and reservations, diners can visit www.pane-caldo.com or call 312.649.0055.

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Blagica, NBC Chicago Street Team

If you are in and around Printer’s Row and are craaaaving some Mexican food, do I have the treat for you: Flaco’s Tacos. We waited for this restaurant to open for some time and finally, bam, heaven.

Picture 5The meat in the burritos are chock FULL of meat. No skimping here. Feel like something vegan? No problem, enjoy a nice full, rich burrito and you won’t be missing the chicken or beef.

The setup at Flaco’s Tacos is simple. Order at the counter, the team brings it to your table. No fuss, no muss. The takeout area is pretty easy to navigate and you don’t feel like you are bumping into a staff member. I was digging the open kitchen environment – seeing your meal cook and not wondering what ingredients were thrown into the mix.

The place was full of families and kids when the hubby and I rolled in a few weeks ago – I love that. A casual environment, with good homemade food – at a price point that will make ALL of our wallets happy.

Oh, another note: Your first online order is 25% off. Enjoy!

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JenChicago, NBC5 Street Team
If you have been checking out my last few posts, you may notice a theme… Live music and The Joynt. I moved here a year ago from Austin, TX (also known as the live music capital of the world) and maybe that has a little something to do with my love for live music. And undoubtedly, my love for dance, draws me to The Joynt. Now, I can break it down with the rest of them to a hot DJ (like Tim Spinnin’ Schommer that is guest DJ-ing tonight) but there is just something about a live performance. You know what I’m talking about. That sizzle in the air. The energy.

Jacqui Horton is my friend. And we became friends from me hearing her sing, totally falling in love with her as a person, and then asking her if she would like to be my friend. (She said “yes”.) Jacqui loves people, loves life and has a beautiful heart! I feel it when I talk to her, and I DEFINITELY feel it when she sings! I tell people she gives me goosebumps… and she does.

I shot this video at The Joynt last Saturday to give you a little taste of what you may not even know you are missing in your life! I make no apologies about the video, save this… There WERE a lot of people dancing around me… AND I was in heels. So cut me some slack on the shooting, eh?

This group of musicians work incredibly well together and as you can see, the crowd loves every second of it! Like any live performance, a recording isn’t quit the same as actually feeling the energy of the room. Luckily for you, you can check out the real deal on Saturday nights at The Joynt! You will have a good time because “We’re gonna boogie-oogie-oogie ’til we just can’t boogie NO MORE!

For more boogie-licious videos, check out JenChicago.com!
Find me on Facebook! (Search: JenChicago)

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Janelle Rominski, NBC Chicago Street Team

The Chicago Botanic Garden has many spectacular events happening all summer long to suit people of all ages.

The Garden, that is located in Glencoe, recently held a wine festival and have begun several special events. Those events include Hot Summer Nights, Music on the Esplanade, Garden Chef Series, Dancin’ Sprouts and more!


Alma de Tango

Each Thursday from 6 pm – 8 pm, the Hot Summer Nights music series features live music and dancing to a specified genre of the evening. Dance instructors are available and will teach mini-lessons relating to the musical style of the night.

Last Thursday, Garden guests were treated to an Argentinian and Uruguayan musical performance by Alma de Tango.  Professional dancers were also on hand to teach the tango.  This evening the Garden hosted Hawaiian music and coming soon are nights filled with Cajun, Brazilian and Celtic music.


Professional Dancers

Music on the Esplanade takes place Tuesdays from 6 pm – 8 pm where local musicians showcase genres of music including Big Band/Swing, Calypso, Blues and Jazz.

On Saturdays and Sundays, the Garden Chef Series are hosted by distinguished chefs from restaurants in and around Chicago.   These chefs prepare dishes made from garden fresh ingredients.

For the children, Dancin’ Sprouts takes place on select Wednesdays and offers musical entertainment for the little ones.

The Chicago Botanic Garden events are free to attend and regular parking fees apply to nonmembers.

For more great events and information, visit the Chicago Botanic Garden online at www.ChicagoBotanic.org.

Want more Rominski reads? Read more right HERE!

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Marcus Riley, NBC Chicago Street Team

We’ve all been there before — busted walking out of a dorm room or apartment wearing the rumpled clothes from the night before, your hair astray, and the obvious guilty facial expressions of someone who hooked up the night before. Yes, one of the many potential consequences of that spontaneous booty call is doing the walk of shame the next morning.

Well Hub 51 (51 W. Hubbard St.) is offering the chance to hold your head high. Among the many facets of their brand new breakfast and brunch menu, is the Walk of NO Shame. So if you come in for breakfast in the same attire from the previous evening, you get a 20 percent discount. Show up in your pajamas and it’s 10 percent off — cuz who has time for sleep?

“We don’t care if you show up in your PJs, or what you wore out the night before, that matter. In fact, we encourage it,” says RJ Melman, co-founder of HUB51.

Click here to read the rest of this post on NBCChicago.com.

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stephanie_small1Stephanie S. Green, NBC Chicago Street Team

Father’s Day is right around the corner and this year, try something different with the father figure in your life.  How about getting him to try something old, something new, something borrowed or something blue?
Something Old:   Real Men Cook” is a time-honored Chicago Father’s Day tradition, and this year, it’s more impressive than ever!  On Sunday, June 21, Real Men Cook moves to an expansive (and technologically and architecturally impressive) venue – Kennedy King College.  The Washburne Culinary Institute provides fantastic cooking facilities and there are ample grounds to allow fathers, foodies and more to spread out at this indoor/outdoor To-Do.  You’ll be amazed by the wonderful variety of food, prepared with love, that you’ll be able to savor!
Health and Wellness is an important component at Real Men Cook and at events leading up to the main event.  On Saturday, you can join Real Men Cook’s Father’s Day Wellness Weekend Walk & Health Experience and start your morning off right at the beautiful 63rd Street Beach!
Just the Two of Us - Al Hawkins

Just the Two of Us - Al Hawkins

Something New:   How about an new exhibit at one of many art galleries on the South Side?  Yes – many!  On Thursday, June 18, check out eta’s opening reception for “Through My Eyes,” an art exhibition by Al Hawkins, before taking in the play Pill Hill, opening this week at eta.  Or, at Gallery Guichard, both the novice and experienced collector would enjoy the Collector’s Champagne Preview.   On Friday, June 19, the Bronzeville Art District Third Friday Trolley Tour resumes just in time for this Father Day weekend.  Hop on board and enjoy the ride as you meander through opening receptions at FaiE African Art, Gallery Guichard and South Side Community Art Center. 

Something Borrowed:  Pappa’s gonna be livin’ on borrowed time if he doesn’t take care of himself!  So, on Saturday, June 20, get him (or yourself!) on over to the the Thapelo Institute’s Health & Fitness Experience for African and African American Men.  With a variety of programs offered during a seven hour period – learning opportunities are abundant!  The Thapelo Institute is a taking a holistic approach to dealing with the health issues of African and African-American men.  Free testing for a variety of common issues will be available, and you’ll also find workshops that address body, mind and spirit.  And – it’s Free!
Something Blu(e):  So, its Thursday evening, you’ve spent a couple of hours at the Collector’s Champagne Preview, you’ve enjoyed some wine and hors d’ouevres and now you want a little more.  Well, plan ahead and make reservations for dinner at Blu 47 and enjoy a one-set performance by Yaw at Illuminata – A Father’s Day Celebration. If you’ve been to the Events by Eve Summer Breeze Jazz Concert Series, you know that you can expect a mature set of predominately African-Americans, who dress appropriately without being told!  Come in your favorite jeans or come in some sparkles and feel completely comfortable either way!  If that’s not enough blue for you, douse yourself in cool, blue vibe and and energetic sounds at the Close Up 2 Indoor Smooth Jazz Festival.  From Thursday, June 18 through Saturday, June 20, enjoy live entertainment by Detour JazFunk, Corey Wilkes, Marqueal Jordan Project – and more.

Still want a little more To-Do?  Visit www.so-LAZE.com for tons of options!

Happy Father’s Day!

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Marcus Riley, NBC Chicago Street Team

Even if you feel secure in your current job, we all certainly know someone was in the same boat, but is now suddenly looking for a new gig.

It goes without saying that those networking functions that used to mask an excuse to load up on some cheap drinks and meet some new hotties, now carry a lot more urgency and significance.

But that doesn’t mean you still can’t have a good time with a great view in a unique location. That’ll be the case on June 24th when
Raymi Productions
and TheChiGuide.com team up for a unique professional networking event on The Tall Ship Windy on Lake Michigan.

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