Feb. 5, 2010
Went back to that novel. Went for a run. Finally followed-through on that favor. Called a pregnant sister. Volunteered. Donated to Haiti. Re-read Our Town.
Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris
Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris make their return to the city tonight, as they quietly open Prairie Fire, the follow-up to their successful Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook, located in the former Powerhouse space at Clinton and Lake.
Both chefs were colleagues at the Ritz-Carlton for more than 20 years: Stegner in The Dining Room (now sadly closed), Bumbaris overseeing the entire hotel. Their partnership with TV anchorman/cattle rancher Bill Kurtis shows up in a few dishes: Tallgrass brisket on baguette, as well as a Tallgrass penne pasta tossed in a basil-tomato-meat sauce with Parmesan and bread crumb topping.
Stegner has always been a fan of seafood - there's a fish & chips and a sauteed Lake Superior whitefish. While Bumbaris' Greek heritage shines through in a chopped Greek salad and a moussaka of lamb, potato and eggplant.
Even though Stegner's mom has stepped back from baking all of the pies, her seasonal recipes are still the first dessert item listed on the dessert menu. Somehow though, the baked pear in almond cake has me slightly more excited at this point.
A bizarre, only-in America lawsuit: Heart Attack Grill, an Arizona restaurant characterized by its attorney as "the originator of the medically-themed hamburger grill and restaurant" whose motto is "Taste Worth Dying For", files suit against Florida-based Heart Stoppers Sports Grill. The former has waitresses dressed as nurses serving Bypass Burgers and Jolt Cola, while the latter does the same for its Chili Chest Pain Fries. Another point requiring intellectual property interpretation: both restaurants offer free food to anybody weighing over 350 pounds.
Feb. 5, 2010
Columbia College Media Production Center (photo by Lee Bey)
But suppose--just suppose--the 120-year-old college, whose graduates are an eclectic mix of artists, actors, journalists, dancers, filmmakers, music and television professionals, constructed a building of its own? What would that look like?
Many will find out today as the school and dignitaries cut the ribbon on the $21 million,Columbia College Media Production Center at 16th and State Street. It's first building the college has constructed.
Feb. 4, 2010
Chicago television news icon Walter Jacobson, whose feisty commentaries were a staple of WBBM-Channel 2's 10 p.m. newscast for 20 years, is bringing them back to the CBS-owned station. He debuted Thursday with a piece about negative campaign commercials by candidates in last Tuesday's Democratic gubernatorial primary. (Here's the link.)
"I sure am glad to be back to give it a try," said‚ Jacobson, who'll deliver his trademark "Perspective" pieces every Tuesday and Thursday night on a trial basis for the next month or so. He's‚ expected to tape his commentaries earlier in the evening for airing on the 10 p.m. news. Each will run about 75 seconds, which is roughly half the length of his old ones.
Skippy's reemergence comes days after Channel 2 replaced its traditional morning newscast with "Monsters and Money in the Morning," a news-deficient two-hour talk show, and opted out of extended coverage of the Illinois primary. The moves are part of a strategy by Channel 2 general manager Bruno Cohen and news director Jeff Kiernan to differentiate the station from its competitors while dealing with dwindling revenues and resources. Channel 2's 10 p.m. newscast has been running second in overall household ratings lately (behind ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7), thanks largely to diminished lead-ins for WMAQ-Channel 5 from NBC's lame duck "Jay Leno Show."
Jacobson, 72, made headlines in November when he and longtime anchor partner Bill Kurtis returned to Channel 2 for one night only to substitute for solo anchor Rob Johnson.
Feb. 4, 2010
On Friday, Feb. 5 from 6-8 pm, ThePoisonCup will host "The Great Taste," a monthly sampling of over 25 wines. Tickets cost $10 and you can call 773-935-1325 to register.
The restaurant formerly known as Chaise Lounge gets a facelift, but keeps its chef. The place debuts as the Southern tonight in Bucktown. Led by Georgia native and Executive Chef Cary Taylor, the Southern offers a menu of Southern comfort food and has a wide selection of small-batch bourbons, microbrews, plus whiskeys and specialty cocktails.
On Tuesday, Feb.