Thank you everyone for sending your lists our way. We hope you enjoy this week’s curated presentation of “Gems We’ve Learned from our Kids.”
Week 2: Mission Accomplished!
Jan. 22, 2010
Le Bar at Sofitel Hotel Chicago
Feeling a little cheeky this Sunday? Le Bar at the Hotel Sofitel has just launched "French Specialty Nights" every Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. Chef Martial Noguier has partnered with Le Bar's mixology team to create the special nights with featured appetizers and beverages.
French Specialty Nights run from 3 p.m. until 1 a.m. through April 28th.
Jan. 22, 2010
One day after the new boss of WLS-AM (890) vowed to revitalize the program department and "restore the luster of the WLS brand," he swept out the program director of the Citadel Broadcasting news/talk station.
Bob Shomper was forced out Friday after little more than a year on the job. His departure was foreshadowed in an interview here with Michael Damsky, who was just promoted from vice president and director of sales to president and general manager: "My top priority is make sure WLS is being programmed to best showcase the talent that we have."‚
A few of the goodies at Bake in West Bucktown
Whenever a new bakery opens in a part of the city, there is cause for excitement (unless you're gluten intolerant).‚ I recall for years - after I first moved to Chicago in the early 90s - the only place we would ever go for the kids' birthday cakes was Bittersweet, the charming bakery on Belmont, helmed by Judy Contino, the former pastry chef at Ambria.‚ Then, seemingly overnight, the city became inundated with high-quality bake shops: Sweet Mandy B's, Angel Food Bakery, Delightful Pastries and more cupcake joints than I care to recall.‚ It was like the drug epidemic of the 80s, except now, instead of heroin, people were getting hooked on buttercream, fondant and pastries - all made using Plugra butter, naturally.‚ "Where did you get the birthday cake?" was often heard around the tables at The Little Gym or Dorby Magoo's as the kids stuffed their faces.‚ "Oh, is it a madagascar vanilla cake with the chocolate custard filling?" I would hear on occasion.‚ We had begun to move beyond the sheet cakes from Jewel and Dominick's, as people started asking questions about what was in the sugary sweets we were feeding our kids.
Chicago's "sweet snobbery" has led to another round of new bakeries. While Bucktown can claim to be the neighborhood where Red Hen Bread opened its first retail location, finding fruit tarts, custom cakes and high-quality pastries made by European-trained chefs has been rare. That is, until about a month ago, as not one, but two bakeries opened along the same block (2200 West) on North Ave.
pork belly confit with pumpkin
risotto and chestnuts
I could barely find the front door, let alone grab a place to park. I should have just taken the Blue Line, since the entrance to the new Longman & Eagle is directly across the street from the Logan Square stop. A friend went on Wednesday night - the first official night open - and said it reminded her of a joint in Portland, OR. I concur. Hipsters in chunky, black-rimmed glasses sipping esoteric and hard-to-source bourbons looked around the room, bobbing their heads to the country/alt-rock soundtrack, while their trixie dates nibbled on silky brandade and scooped up the salt cod-garlic-cream trifecta with the thinnest, crispiest potato chips that had the benefit of a brief fry in rendered duck fat.
Jan. 22, 2010
Allison Payne has been saying for years that her slurred speech, glassy-eyed gaze and occasionally erratic behavior on the air are due to a series of ministrokes from which she was recovering. Even as she took a lengthy leave of absence from Tribune Co.-owned WGN-Channel 9, the veteran news anchor insisted there was nothing more to it.
"I was not drunk," she once famously told Tribune media columnist‚ Phil Rosenthal, while apologizing to viewers who flooded the station with calls of concern after observing her swivel in her chair and slur her words during a 9 p.m. newscast in August 2008. She blamed the incident on "lingering effects of a series of ministrokes . . . compounded by overwork and perhaps a bit of adrenaline-fueled giddiness."
On Thursday, during a live interview on the midday newscast she co-anchors with Steve Sanders, Payne, 45, went public with what many of her co-workers have suspected -- that she's also been battling addiction.
Jan. 21, 2010
On Friday, the 22nd, The Kids' Table offers its "Kids/Parents Night Out!"‚ Instead of leaving the kids home with a babysitter, you can drop them off at this adorable cooking school where they can find their inner Giada. Kids 4 - 10 yrs. old spend the first hour rolling, chopping and mixing their way toward the completion of their meal. After eating and clean up, they get to watch a movie and dig into stove-top popcorn (how Old School is that? Now they just need to resurrect coconut oil). The night runs from 6 - 9 p.m. and costs $35 per kid.
Jan. 21, 2010
(photo by Lee Bey)
Chicago can build some pretty great-looking schools when it wants to.
The good thing?‚ It frequently wants to. Mark T. Skinner West Classical elementary school is a bright new addition to that body of architecture.‚ The‚ three story, largely masonry building set on a steel frame, opened this school year at 1260 W. Adams. The showpiece is the building's main entry where brick, metal and glass meet with the exuberance of a kindergartner rushing to greet his mother after school.