Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holiday Shopping at Your Fingertips

Dreading the long list of holiday gifts you have to buy? Does your gift shopping list keep getting longer and longer? Avoid the crowds and hassles of Black Friday, and shop online at CharityBlast.com, a website that provides exceptional discounts at online stores. The best part? CharityBlast donates up to 30% of your purchase to the charity of your choice-- in this case, A Silver Lining Foundation (ASLF).

ASLF's mission is to ensure dignified, respectful and equal access to quality cancer education and services for all, by creating meaningful partnerships with community, advocacy and healthcare organizations. ASLF gives gifts year-round through its Buy A Mom A Mammogram program, which provides no-cost breast cancer screening mammograms to underinsured and uninsured patients.

CharityBlast gives discounts at online stores like Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Dell, Delta Airlines, Harry & David, Macy's, Old Navy, Staples, The Body Shop, Travelocity and more. That can cover just about anyone on any list. Santa, if you're reading this, take note.

Use this special link to shop for ASLF on CharityBlast.

ASLF has given back-- now it's time to give back to ASLF. And it's just a few mouseclicks away. No crowded mall parking lots for you!

For more information on ASLF, please visit www.asilverliningfoundation.org.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Our evening with Buddy Holly's Peggy Sue

Whatever happened to Peggy Sue? OMG, you never know who you're going to run into at the Chevy Vettefest. Lee and I intended to spend a couple of hours there Saturday. Six hours later, we were planning a dinner outing with Buddy Holly's Peggy Sue Gerron, a charming 68-year-old West Texan who has just penned her memoires and is touring the auto circuit doing book signings

It was by accident that we met. Or was it? A spiritual woman who had prophetic nightmares of the impending airplane dissaster that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper, may beg to differ.

I had just spotted a guy wearing a Carroll Shelby jacket. In a sea of Chevrolets, I figured that the guy had guts, and he must have had something to do with my old friend Shelby. (I was on the public relations team that launched the Shelby Daytona for Dodge in the early 80s).

Jerry Heasley, the Shelby jacket wearing guy, was a West Texan like Peggy Sue; they were friends. He had just released his beautiful tabletop book on the Mustang. A photo journalist and author, Jerry's books set themselves apart from car company produced books as they are personnal accounts, and behind the scene photo essays. He was at the Vettefest to promote his Corvette book and slipped in a copy of the Mustang one alongside. For me, it was memory lane. Many of the people he wrote about were friends and business collegues of mine from my 14-year auto industry stint. (I spent four years at Crain Communication's Automotive News and 10 years with Chrysler Corp. public relations). Jerry and Peggy Sue were sharing booth space.

It was like a past life experience for both Lee and I. Lee began his early career as a guitarist. It was a simplier time before BU and Northwestern. He and childhood friend Steve "Funkytown" Greenberg played in many bands, touring the midwest circuit, playing dance halls, much like the ones played by Buddy Holly. I was a band promoter during college and later worked with music sponsorshipsand promotion at Chrysler. My first independent pr gig was working for the band The Association (Cherish, Windy, Never My Love, Along Comes Mary).
And now, years later, we were back talking about music, life on the road and cars.

We called Steve so he could chat with Peggy Sue. I don't know who was more excited, Peggy Sue for meeting the guy who wrote and performed the one hit wonder "Funkytown," or Steve who was touched by the woman immortalized by one of Rock 'n Roll's most significant icons.

Whichever, it was a fantastic evening down memory lane.

Appropriate today, perhaps more than ever, The Chevy Vettefest is a celebration of a time when people had a love affair with the American automobile. It made sense to have Peggy Sue there, to tell her story and represent the person that changed American pop music history forever.
And for those who lived it, a chance to recount the 50 years that have passed since that fatefilled night.

Friday, November 21, 2008

What chefs will join Obama in D.C.?

AP photo by Jae C. Hong
High school good friend of Kurman Communications, Inc. President Cindy Kurman, Gail Klingensmith, can be proud to say that she's served pancakes to the future President of the United State of America, Barack Obama. Klingensmith is part of the ownership team behind Pamela's, a popular diner with multiple locations in Pittsburgh.

This past April, the Obamas enjoyed Pamela's Swedish pancakes during a campaign stop in the battleground state. Notorious for
their healthy eating and wide-ranging palates, the Obamas were big fans of the pancakes and atmosphere that welcomed them at Pamela's.

This week, the AP published a story covering this "first family of foodies," detailing their local Chicago favorites like Topolobampo and Spiaggia. For the entire article, press here.

Mexican food, pancakes, Italian dining... what type of food will the Obamas ask for in The White House? We hear that Art Smith has already setup shop in DC. Will Rick Bayless, Tony Mantuano and the Gail / Pamela duo follow?

Chevy Vettefest Rolls Into Chicago Saturday and Sunday

Still deciding what do this weekend? Stay out of the cold, and head to the Nickey Chicago Chevy Vettefest this Saturday and Sunday at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. The WGN Morning News' Around Town reporter, Ana Belaval, showed viewers a sneak peek of the show (the largest All-Indoor, All-Chevy show/swap meet in the country).

Watch below as Ana talks with Nickey Chicago CEO, Stefano Bimbi about some of his cars that will be at this weekend's show:

See these and other Chevys and Corvettes this Saturday and Sunday, November 22 and 23 (Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Tickets are $15 for adults, children 12 and under are free. Visit www.chevyvettefest.net for more information.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chevy Vettefest on WGN TV

Several local car owners showed off their collectible Chevys and Corvettes during the WGN 9 midday news today to promote the Nickey Chicago Chevy Vettefest, presented by Bill Stasek Chevrolet, happening this Saturday and Sunday, November 22 and 23 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL.

Nickey Chicago CEO, Stefano Bimbi showed WGN's Steve Baskerville an award-winning '94Red Corvette Coupe, a '96 Corvette Grand Sport, a 1,000 Horsepower Red Camaro (one-of-its kind) and a '69 Z/28, which will be showcased in a special sYc Supercar Showcase of '69 Z/28's that will represent all 18 available colors! Also on hand were a '71 Steel Cities Gray LS6 which will be a part of the Triple Crown Gallery at the Vettefest, an original '70 Nova, a '68 Chevelle Drag Racer and a Yenko Junior Drag Racer.

The Nickey Chicago Chevy Vettefest is the largest all-Chevy, all-indoor show and swap meet in the country with more than 400 of the country's best Chevys and Corvettes. See cars like these this Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $15/adults (children 12 and under are free).

Don't forget discounted tickets are available for just $10 through Thursday, ONLY at Bill Stasek Chevrolet (700 W. Dundee Rd., Wheeling, IL; 877-806-0997).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Celebrate Thanksgiving with these Kurman Communications Clients

75 W. Algonquin Rd., Arlington Heights, Ill.
(847) 427-4242

Birch River Grill - An American Kitchen celebrates Thanksgiving with its pre-fixe, offered November 27 from noon until 7 p.m. Enjoy Acorn Squash and Kentucky Bourbon Bisque; Autumn Salad, with mulled wine poached pear crumbled bleu cheese, toasted pecans and kiln dried cherry dressing; Maple Glazed Free Range Turkey Breast, with Granny Apple sausage cornbread stuffing, sage pan gravy, buttermilk mashed Yukon Gold potatoes, brown butter green beans and rustic cranberry-orange relish; and finally, Spiced Pumpkin Pie, served with cinnamon whipped cream. The meal is $24.95 per person, and $13.95 for children 12 and under.

Birch River Grill - An American Kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. The lounge stays open one hour later daily. All major credit cards are accepted. Complimentary parking is available. For reservations or more information, please contact Birch River Grill - An American Kitchen at (847) 427-4242 or visit them on the web at www.birchrivergrill.com.

Dine logo 125DINE
733 W. Madison St, Chicago, Ill.
(312) 602- 2100

Chicago's chic, retro-themed Dine celebrates Thanksgiving with a special pre-fixe Thanksgiving menu, offered November 27 from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. Enjoy Roasted Acorn Squash Soup, with brown butter and sage, or Fall Greens, with buckwheat honey roasted pears and cider vinaigrette for starters. For the main course, feast on Sage Rubbed Turkey Breast, with andouille sausage cornbread stuffing, roasted green beans and caramelized shallot gravy. Satisfy the sweet tooth with Pumpkin Cheesecake, with pecan crust and cinnamon ice cream. The meal is $28.95 per person; $16.95 for children under 12.

Dine is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Breakfast is served from 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Lunch and dinner are served from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The Martini Bar and Lounge is open until 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until midnight Friday and Saturday. Dining is available at the bar. Valet parking is complimentary. For more information or to make reservations, please contact Dine at (312) 602-2100 or visit www.dinerestaurant.com.

EVEEve logo 300 pixels
840 N. Wabash, Chicago, Ill.
(312) 266-3383

The Gold Coast's latest addition to the culinary scene, Eve, celebrates Thanksgiving with four unique, regionally-inspired menus. For North, enjoy a Slow Roasted Suckling Pig; a salad of Fennel, Heirloom Apples and Arugula; Baby Spinach Salad with Shiso Vinaigrette; Herb Roasted Heritage Turkey; Sausage and Black Walnut Stuffing, Sage Gravy; and Pumpkin Chocolate Bread Pudding with spiced cream.

East's menu includes: Gorgonzola Broiled Oysters with applewood smoked bacon, pear and celery; Roasted Chestnut Bisque; Cranberry-Orange Sorbet; Grilled Breast of Heritage Turkey; Maine Lobster Croquettes, Brussels Sprouts, Pumpkin Puree; Cranberry Apple Crumble and Spearmint Ice Cream.

The vegetarian West menu includes Chantrelle Mushroom Streudel with Maytag bleu cheese and cranberry-apple chutney; Tofu Tempura Baby Tat Soi Salad with shiso orange vinaigrette; Walla Walla Onion and Butternut Squash Muillefeuille; Tuscan Kale with piquillo peppers and date beurre blanc; and Cranberry-Orange Crumble Spearmint.

The hearty South menu includes Turkey Crawfish Gumbo with pickled okra; Wilted Frisee and Fried Green Tomato Poached Egg with Virginia ham and cranberry vinaigrette; Grilled Quail; Smoked Cheddar Grits; and Chocolate Pecan Tart with bourbon Anglaise.

Eve's Thanksgiving menus are available November 27 from noon until 7 p.m. for $55 per person. Reservations are required. Eve is located at 840 N. Wabash in Chicago. Eve is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.; Saturday from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. For reservations and more information, call (312) 266-3383 or visit www.evechicago.com.

Glen Prairie Logo et bannerGLEN PRAIRIE-FINE FOOD & DRINK
1250 Roosevelt Rd., Glen Ellyn
(630) 629-6000

With the intent to promote environmentally sustainable practices, Glen Prairie - Fine Food & Drink, does just that with its pre-fixe Thanksgiving dinner. The five-course menu highlights the Midwest's bountiful culinary offerings, with one choice of appetizer, soup, salad, entrée, and dessert.

For an appetizer, try Crab Corn Pudding, Grilled Roasted Vegetable Polenta with portabella red wine ragout or Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread. For soup, try Pumpkin and Shrimp Bisque, or Heirloom Beet Soup served in roasted acorn squash. Salad selections include Cranberry Waldorf, with red and green apples, raisings, walnuts and cranberry vinaigrette, or Arugula Salad with oranges, pomegranate seeds, herbed goat cheese and citrus vinaigrette.

Entrée selections include Grilled Free Range Turkey Tenderloin topped with roasted dark meat served with cornbread stuffing, maple roasted acorn squash and cranberry-orange relish; Lamb Bolognese, with roasted cherry tomatoes, pappardelle pasta and fresh basil; Pumpkin Goulash, lentils, vegetable broth and brown rice or Macadamia Nut Crusted Wisconsin Trout, served with Minnesota wild rice, caramelized apples, sautéed green beans and Champagne saffron sauce.

Finally, choose from Brioche, Bing Cherry Bread Pudding, Pumpkin Cheesecake with caramel sauce, or Grandma's Chocolate Cake. Glen Prairie's Thanksgiving feast is $42 per person.

Glen Prairie is located at 1250 Roosevelt Rd. in Glen Ellyn, Ill. in Chicago's western suburbs. Glen Prairie is open from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. Sunday. The lounge remains open one hour later than the restaurant each day. For more details, contact the restaurant at (630) 613-1250.

karma_logo_FINAL Jpeg Small510 E. Route 83, Mundelein, Ill.
(847) 970-6900

Karma-Asian Food & Wine has prepared a Thanksgiving feast with its pre-fixe Thanksgiving menu, offered November 27 from noon until 10 p.m. Served family style, the menu consists of: House Salad, Fresh Fruit Salad, Gingered Butternut Squash Soup, Slice Roast Turkey Breast with Gravy, Red Skin Mashed or Sweet Potato Mashed, Grilled Asparagus with roasted red peppers, Green Bean Casserole, Homemade Cranberry Relish and Dinner Rolls. For dessert, choose between Apple Pie a la Mode or Pumpkin Pie . The meal is $19.95 for adults, $11.95 for children four to twelve years old, and complimentary for children three and under.

Karma is open seven days a week 6:30 a.m.-10 a.m. for breakfast; 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. for lunch;
5 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday for dinner, and 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday for dinner. The lounge is open 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; and 5 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday. Karma is located adjacent to the Crowne Plaza Chicago North Shore at
510 East Route 83, Mundelein, IL 60060. For reservations or more information, call Karma at
(847) 970-6900 or visit www.karmachicago.com.

more FinalLogo large 300 pixelsMORE
1 E. Delaware Pl., Chicago, Ill.
(312) 951-0001

Looking for something more this holiday season? Chicago's new upscale cupcake boutique, MORE, known for its creative sweet and savory cupcakes, has introduced a variety of new, unique cupcake flavors that are sure to help make holiday celebrations so much more. MORE offers a rotating selection of daily flavors, including new flavors like Sweet Potato, Thanksgiving, Banana Spiced Rum and Cranberry. Cupcakes range from $3.50-$4.25/each, $39.50-$49.50/dozen.

Looking for party favors or that perfect hostess gift? MORE offers a variety of cupcake flights with six of its MOREsels, mini cupcakes, including a special Holiday Flight with flavors like Gingerbread, Chocolate Mint, Peppermint White Chocolate and their deliciously infamous Red Velvet. MORE also has a new Wine and Cheese Flight with flavors like Camembert Sauternes, Apple Gorgonzola, Champagne Brie and Pear, Blue Cheese and Port. MORE also offers flights with sweet or savory MOREsel flavors each day. All flights range from $9.50-$11.50/each.

To make the perfect holiday party appetizer or dessert, MOREsels are also available by special pre-order in sets of 16 or 30. Please note orders required a minimum of 48-hours notice. To place an order for cupcakes, please contact MORE at (312) 951-0001.

TALLULAHTallulah low res
4539 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, Ill.
(773) 942-7585

Visit the chic Tallulah in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood for their special pre-fixe Thanksgiving menu. The four-course dinner includes Heritage Roasted Turkey with jalapeno-cheddar dauphinoise, Buttered Baby Turnips, Boar Bacon Gravy, and Seared Duck Breast with cranberry rillettes and tartine, Miners lettuce and orange vinaigrette. This Thanksgiving menu is offered on November 27 from noon until 6 p.m. and costs $45 per person. Reservations are required.

Tallulah is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. and open for brunch on Sunday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tallulah is located at 4539 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago. For reservations and more information, call (773) 942-7585 or visit www.tallulahchicago.com.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thanksgiving Menu at Deerfields Gluten-Free!

We pulled this from our client Deerfields Gluten-Free's blog. We know that many people suffer from gluten allergies. The holidays are always difficult times for people who can't eat food with gluten. Lisa Albertson, the awesome baker at Deerfields has developed a tasty line of Gluten-Free products including their new Stuffing Cubes! Check out what they have available:

Gluten-free Thanksgiving Made Easy!
Stuffing cubes, mini baguettes, artisan rolls, and pies will make your Thanksgiving Day a breeze and everyone can enjoy! We have pecan pie, Dutch apple streusel and pumpkin pie. Please order by Thursday, November 20th by calling 847.520.0068 x 2.

Yummy Holiday Pies
Our pecan pie is made without corn syrup. Our apple pie is loaded with apples and topped with a streusel made with certified gluten-free oats. Our pumpkin pie is nicely spiced and not too sweet. Our pie tasters (with wheat-eating taste buds) gave these pies two thumbs up. They especially loved the pie crust.

9" Pecan Pie: $18.50
9" Dutch Apple Streusel Pie: $14.50
9" Pumpkin Pie: $14.50

Bread, Rolls, Stuffing Cubes
Most stuffing cubes are 14 oz; ours are 1-lb and make enough stuffing to feed 8-10 people at least!

1-lb Stuffing Cubes: $8.95
3-pack Rice Bran Artisan Rolls: $4.95
2-pack Mini Baguette: $3.95


Pecan Pie: Pecans, organic evaporated cane juice, brown sugar, butter, eggs, water, vanilla.

Apple Pie: Apples, streusel (brown sugar, butter, certified gluten-free oats, brown rice flour, coconut flour, cinnamon) sugar, tapioca starch, butter, lemon puree.

Pumpkin Pie: Pumpkin puree, brown sugar, maple syrup, heavy cream, eggs, water, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, salt, brown rice flour, tapioca starch.

Pie Crust:
Butter, cream cheese, brown rice flour, potato starch, coconut flour, rice flour, quinoa, xanthum gum, salt.

Non-dairy Rolls, Baguettes, Stuffing Cubes: Water, tapioca starch potato starch, brown rice flour, rice bran, yeast, Sucanat, sea salt, coconut flour, xanthum gum.

How to Order

Order by Thursday, November 20th. In order for us to plan ahead, all pies and stuffing cubes are special order only. And while you are at it, please order your rolls and/or mini baguettes, so that we don't run out.

Customer service:
847.520.0068 x 2
7:00 a.m to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday
7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Sunday

Order Pick-up:
Pies and stuffing cubes can be picked up as follows:
Deerfield Store: Tuesday, Nov 25 AFTER 12:00 p.m. only (no morning pick-ups) and Wednesday, Nov 26, 6 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Buffalo Grove Store: Tuesday, Nov 25, 6 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Nov 26, 6 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Schaumburg Store: Tuesday, Nov 25, 6 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Nov 26, 6 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Deerfields Bakery is closed Thanksgiving Day.
Decorated Cake Orders for the Thanksgiving Holiday
The gluten-free department will be closed Thursday, November 27 through Sunday, November 30. Any special orders for Friday, November 28th MUST be placed by Tuesday, November 25 by . We will NOT be accepting any special orders for pick-up on Saturday, November 29 or Sunday, November 30 or Monday, December 1.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Have you been naughty or nice?

The holidays are just around the corner, which means it's the season of gift-giving. Make sure your name is on Santa's list of "Nice" rather than "Naughty" by joining the Junior Board of A Silver Lining Foundation (ASLF) for the "Save the Girls Holiday Party" at Zella (1983 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago; 773-549-2910) on Friday, December 5 at 8:30 p.m.

"Save the Girls Holiday Party" will raise money to fund no cost screening mammograms for uninsured and underinsured individuals, and raise awareness of the need for early detection of breast cancer. It will support ASLF's unique Buy A Mom A Mammogram program, which provides the screening mammograms. Is there a better gift to give during the holidays?

While the December temperatures drop, you'll be enjoying the all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drink party in a heated tent on Zella's outdoor patio. Advance tickets are $35, and can be purchased online at www.asilverliningfoundation.org/tickets, with $40 admission at the door. All attendees will receive a raffle ticket for prizes like sporting tickets, mountain bikes, and much more.

For more information on ASLF, visit http://www.asilverliningfoundation.org/.

Monday, November 10, 2008

America's First Espression by Lavazza cafe set to open Tomorrow

The Espression by Lavazza cafe, located at Chicago's Drake Hotel (140 E. Walton Pl., Arcade level), will celebrate its grand opening on Wednesday, November 12 as the first of its kind in North America. Already popular in Europe with locations in Germany and Italy, the Espression by Lavazza concept offers an innovative approach to coffee with a highly creative menu, and original espresso and gelato beverage creations.

World-renowned consulting chefs, Ferran Adria and Moreno Cedroni helped to develop the exclusive offerings at Espression by Lavazza. In fact, Adria himself is behind the creation of Lavazza's solid espresso creation, Espesso, named Best Invention by TIME Magazine in 2006. Other unique coffee beverages include Espresso Melba, espresso with peaches in light syrup, hot chocolate, amaretto and whipped cream; Espresso Nocciolato, espresso with Nutella, hazelnuts and whipped cream; and the Blendissimo, a combination of espresso, gelato and a choice of flavoring like mocha, hazelnut mocha, orange mocha or caramel.

Although Lavazza is known for its unique coffee creations (being Italy's leading coffee company), the Espression by Lavazza cafe aslo offers a number of salad and sandwich selections also created by the all-star chef team of Adria and Cedroni. Favorites include the Duetto Agrodolce, two mini baguettes with Proscuitto di Parma, mushrooms and onion chutney; Involtini di Salmone Affumicato, smoked salmon roll ups with asparagus, cream cheese and mixed greens; and Insalata di Frutta e Parmigiano, assorted greens with mixed berries, walnuts and shaved Parmesan served with Passion Fruit vinaigrette.

The cafe concept received the 2008 Grand Award for Restaurant Design at the A.R.E. Design Awards.

The new Espression by Lavazza cafe will be open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, call (312) 640-2440 or visit http://www.espression.com/.

Photos from Espression by Lavazza on Walton Place.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dining Deals

If the economy has taken a bite out of your wallet, stop by rustic, gourmet American eatery Birch River Grill (75 W. Algonquin Rd., Arlington Heights; 847-427-4242) and chic pan-Asian restaurant and lounge Karma (510 E. Route 83, Mundelein; 847-970-6900) for dining deals that will be tough to beat.

Birch River Grill
Monday, November 17 through Friday, November 21, Birch River Grill offers a three-course pre-fixe meal during both lunch and dinner. At lunch, start off with either Chef's Soup of the Day or Birch River Grill House Salad; for an entree, choose either Pan Roasted Chicken Breast, Portobello Mushroom Ravioli, or the Meatloaf Tower; for dessert, indulge in the Homemade Pumpkin Cheesecake or Chocolate Temptation Cake. Birch River Grill's pre-fixe lunch menu is $24 per person.

Dinner's starter options include: Warm Hummus Platter, Crispy Salt & Pepper Calamari, or Boursin-Stuffed Mushrooms; for entrees, choose between Indiana Maple Leaf Farm Duck, Cedar Planked Maple Salmon, or Bourbon Glazed Organic Pork Tenderloin; finally, choose between Homemade Pumpkin Cheesecake or Chocolate Temptation Cake for dessert. Birch River Grill's pre-fixe dinner menu also includes a glass of wine and costs $35 per person.
Don't forget about the kids! From now until December 31, kids meals are $.99 with the purchase of an entree. The offer is valid for kids ages 12 and under.

Monday, November 17 through Friday, November 21, Karma's three-course pre-fixe meals are available for both lunch and dinner. At lunch, start off with either Vietnamese Coconut Rock Shrimp Soup or Karma's House Salad; for an entree, choose either Orange Peel Tempura Chicken or Oden - Winter Stew; for dessert, indulge in Ube, sweet purple yam ice cream, or Trio of Sorbet. Karma's pre-fixe lunch menu is $24 per person.

Dinner's starter options include: Black Salt & Szechwan Pepper Calamari or Shiitake Mushroom Potstickers; for entrees, choose between Thai Ginger Chili BBQ Salmon or Thai Chili Beef; finally, choose between Ube, sweet purple yam ice cream, or Coconut Rice Pudding. Karma's pre-fixe dinner menu also includes wine pairings with the starters and entrees, and costs $35 per person.

Reservations are recommended. For more information on Birch River Grill, visit http://www.birchrivergrill.com/ or call (847) 427-4242. For more information on Karma, visit http://www.karmachicago.com/ or call (847) 970-6900.

A Bargain at Dine

With the economy in rough shape, everyone wants to get out, enjoy life, and forget about the troubles on Wall Street. The West Loop's retro-chic eatery, Dine (733 W. Madison St.; 312-602-2100) offers a bargain for anyone looking for a delicious three-course meal. Between Monday, November 17 through Friday, November 21, take advantage of Dine's fixed lunch menu, a three-course meal at $24 per person.
For lunch, choose between Not So Much of a Wedge salad or Point Judith Fried Calamari; for the second course, choose Chicken Provolone or Beer Battered Fish and Chips; and for dessert, choose either Ricotta Cheesecake or the daily selection of Sorbet or Ice Cream.

Dine also offers a pre-fixed three-course dinner menu at $35 per person, which includes a 1 oz. wine sampling with each choice of entree. For salad, choose between Not So Much of a Wedge or Asparagus Salad; for entree, pick either Roasted Amish Chicken Breast or Grilled Norwegian Salmon; and at dessert, indulge in either Ricotta Cheesecake or the daily selection of Sorbet or Ice Cream.

Prices for both the lunch and dinner pre-fixe menus exclude beverages, tax and gratuity. The regular menu will also be availabe. For more information on Dine or to make reservations, visit http://www.dinerestaurant.com/ or call (312) 602-2100.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Opening this Eve

Eve, the fabulous new restaurant at 840 N. Wabash in Chicago opens for dinner tonight. The dinner menu will be served from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. This casual fine dining restaurant opened last week for lunch and early reviews are great.

Says Chicago Magazine's Dish: It will be similar [to Tallulah], but maybe just a little bit more sophisticated.” This means dishes such as grilled lobster sausage with chanterelles, applewood smoked bacon, pearl onions, and maple béchamel.

Says the Daily Candy: The lavish dining room — reflective glass mosaic walls, sparkly chandeliers — will be like flypaper to ladies who lunch. Dinner service starts next week. Everyone who’s anyone will be there.

Says Metromix: Eve features a contemporary American menu, but here, executive chef Troy Graves adds some refined twists. Look for choices such as spicy pomegranate-glazed prawns with pumpkin panna cotta; grilled lobster sausage with chanterelle mushrooms, applewood smoked bacon, pearl onions and maple bechamel; and crispy veal sweetbreads with curried cauliflower, sugar snap peas and lentil puree.

Says Centerstage: Eve is slightly more refined than its older sister, catering to the business professionals, trendy shoppers, and stylish residents of the Gold Coast. The decor finds a balance between ethereal elegance and sensual decadence, with delicate glass chandeliers that send light dancing over the sumptuous white leather tablecloths. The serene slate blue walls contrast with multi-faceted mirror mosaics and textured wooden inlays. The menu, too, is all about balance.

Says Citysearch: Tallulah's sister has a flashier address in the middle of the Gold Coast, thanks to duo Matt Fisher, the owner, and Troy Graves, the executive chef. Pristine and posh, the physical space reflects the simplicity and ethereal qualities of its name, utilizing glass mosaic tiles, flowing curtains and soft blue-grey tones. White leather chairs with black trim serve as perches for the well-heeled denizens of the neighborhood. Speaking of refined, talk about about a sophisticated menu: Grilled lobster sausage with chanterelles, applewood smoked bacon, pearl onions and maple bechamel.

Says the Chicago Tribune: And several of Graves' new menu items—crisped sweetbreads with curried cauliflower, yellowtail tartare with charred poblanos —sound a lot like the kind of food the chef creates at (3-star) Tallulah.

Says Thrillist: Eve's serving an equally impressive, entirely new menu in a chic, not-rustic space decked out with hand-strung Lucite chandeliers, a backlit alabaster bar, and walnut frames festooned with dozens of small mirrors (check yourself out -- that's what Jeff Goldblum thinks of you). Lunch standouts include wild boar ribs w/ plum BBQ sauce & mac 'n' cheese; duck consomme w/ duck rillete pot sticker; and a crawfish po' boy w/ tasso ham, goat cheese, pickled okra, and fried green tomatoes -- if you're forced to watch that flick, the po' boy is you. Dinner starts Nov 5 with the likes of grilled housemade lobster sausage (w/ chanterelles, applewood smoked bacon, maple bechamel), grilled beef tenderloin (w/ horseradish-cheddar croquette, housemade sauerkraut, crab hollandaise), and rack of lamb w/ sheep's milk ricotta dumplings and lamb ragout, fulfilling your darkest desire: 2 ruminants, 1 plate.

Says Juli B: Sure, adam can claim he was in the garden first, but it's new resto eve that'll have you giving in to temptation.

Says Urban Daddy: Eve of Seduction. You can resist anything. Except, of course, a tease. So let us introduce you to Eve, scheduled for a coquettish debut in the Gold Coast on Monday. But since any good vamp knows anticipation is always the best part, she's making you wait for dinner. The first week, it's lunch only. This is good because we've heard you've been looking for a sexy little afternoon spot—you know, for that certain type of "business lunch" that never makes its way to your business calendar. Plus, daytime options will give you a pretty good sense of what to expect in the evening...You may want to start at the bar with one of the basil/ginger-infused vodkas, though Eve's Apple (cinnamon-muddled bourbon with brandied cherries, chervil, brown sugar, orange juice and apple cider) might be best saved for dessert.

Here's what's in store tonight and every night at Eve: (Dinner hours: 5-10 pm Weekdays; 5-11 pm Fridays and Saturdays. Call 312-266-3383 for reservations or visit: Eve reservations.


Terrine of Salsify and Butternut Squash Brussel Sprouts, Candied Pecans, 9
Oysters on ½ Shell Green Apple Yuzu Mignonette, 12
Steamed P.E.I Mussels Honey, Ice Wine, Radish, Concord Grapes, 10
Crispy Veal Sweetbreads Red Curried Cauliflower, Sugar Snap Peas and Lentil Purée, 12
Spicy Pomegranate Glazed Prawns Pumpkin Panna Cotta, 11
Pan Seared Foie Gras Quince-Buttermilk Bisquit, Port Reduction, 15
Grilled Lobster Sausage Chantrelles, Apple Wood Smoked Bacon, Pearl Onion, Maple Bechamel, 16
Hamachi Tartar Roasted Pablano Pickled Red Onion, Mint, Passion Fruit Yogurt, 13

Duck Consomme Duck Rillete Pot Sticker, Green Papaya, Lemongrass Essence, 10
Roasted Turnip Purée Celery Root, Rosemary Crème Fraiche, 8

Peeky Toe Crab Belgian Endive, Avocado, Spicy Beet Essence, 13
Seared Duck Breast Watercress, Drunken Goat Cheese, Spiced Cider Vinaigrette, 10
Organic Field Greens Maytag Blue Cheese, Toasted Pine Nuts, Cranberry Vinaigrette, 8
Baby Spinach Salad White Asparagus, Poached Egg, Almonds, Buttermilk Parmesan Dressing, 9

Monkfish Sweet Potato, Frisee, Grilled Apple, Brown Beech Mushroom, Lobster Miso Buerre Blanc, 26
Grilled Tenderloin Horseradish-Cheddar Croquette, Housemade Sauerkraut, Crab Hollandaise, 34
Pan Seared Scallops Roasted Pear Risotto, Telllagio, and Crispy Proscuitto, 28
Truffled Celery Root Ravioli Sunchoke, Baby Carrots, Herb Brown Butter, 18
Rack of Lamb Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Dumplings, Swiss Chard, Crispy Garlic and Lamb Ragout, 27
Artic Char Rose Finn Potatoes, Escargots, Black Truffle, Parsnip Purée, 25
Pistachio crusted Ahi Tuna Brussels sprouts, Lima Beans, Blackeyed Peas, Huckleberry Compote, 31
Pheasant Breast Pheasant Confit & Medjool Date Crepinette, Rapini, Smoked Bacon Vinaigrette, 28
Braised Short Ribs Oxtails, Rapini, Yukon Potato Puree, 29

Change in the air, first Obama, now StreetWise

Since we've all be wrapped up in the elections, another significant change may have gone unnoticed. A few weeks ago we wrote about StreetWise changing from a weekly newspaper to a weekly magazine. The day has come. Today, along with celebrating President Elect Obama's triumphant victory, we are celebrating the launch of the new StreetWise magazine.

You are invited to join us at CloseUp2 Jazz Club, 416 S. Clark St., Chicago, tonight (Nov. 5) from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. It's a benefit with a minimum donation of $25 at the door. A number of terrific restaurants have donated goodies including pizza from Bella Bacino's, More cupcakes, Eli's Cheesecake, couscous from Tallulah and Eve, lettuce wraps and salmon hors d'oeuvres from Nostalgic Catering and sandwiches from Corner Bakery.

But wait, there's more.

The launch party is a smooth jazz lover's dream. Chicago's star saxman, Ray Silkman and his band is the featured jazz artist. He will play shows at 7, 8 and 9 p.m. Also playing is rising star jazz guitarist Lee Alec Barrie . Famed Chicago bassist and smooth jazz radio star Michael Manson plans to stop by to show his support, and other Chicago jazz artists are expected to drop in.

- StreetWise Magazine Launch Party and fundraiser
- Interview opportunities with StreetWise founder Judd Lofchie, Executive Director Michael Speer, and Editor-in-Chief Suzanne Hanney
Where: CloseUp2 Jazz Club, 416 S. Clark St., Chicago
When: 6-11 p.m., Wednesday, November 5, 2008

After 16 years, StreetWise, the newspaper sold by Chicago's homeless and those at risk of homelessness, is turning into a full-color glossy magazine. The goal is to reach a broader readership, increase revenue to support its mission and to offer Chicago a vital, must-read publication.

StreetWise has directly helped more than 8,000 homeless or at-risk men and women since its founding in 1992. Currently more than 200 licensed vendors sell StreetWise in Chicago.
StreetWise's mission is more critical than ever as current economic hardships are creating more homelessness and unemployment.

The launch party is a smooth jazz lover's dream. Chicago's star saxman, Ray Silkman (left) and his band is the featured jazz artist. He will play shows at 7, 8 and 9 p.m. Also playing is rising star jazz guitarist Lee Alec Barrie (right).Famed Chicago bassist and smooth jazz radio star Michael Manson (left) plans to stop by to show his support, and other Chicago jazz artists are expected to drop in.

StreetWise, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, has as its mission is to empower men and women who are homeless or at risk of being so, as they work toward gainful employment and self-sufficiency. Visit the StreetWise website at http://www.streetwise.org/.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Night Menu at Obama Grant Park Event

We're still trying to decide whether or not to attend the history making Obama event in Grant Park tonight. We have our tickets and we know that it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. We aren't thrilled about being literally one in a million. Kind of scary.

We were thrilled, however, to learn that our friend Rita Gutekanst from Limelight Catering was hired for what I think is the plum catering event of the century as Limelight is the exclusive VIP caterer tonight. Here's a sneak peak of what the other half will be snacking on tonight in Grant Park.

Election Night Menu

Warm Rosemary Roasted Tomato Soup
Grilled Tillamook Cheddar Cheese Sandwich
Focaccia Sandwich with Fresh Mozzarella & Roasted Red Pepper
Focaccia Sandwich with Grilled Free Range Chicken, Fresh Mozzarella & Roasted Red Pepper
Spicy Beef Sirloin Tamale Bites
Pico de Gallo
Warm Spinach & Herb Dip
Crostini and Crackers
Spicy Black Bean Dip & Homemade Market Salsa
Tortilla Chips & Market Crudité
Perfect Chocolate Cake