Thursday, May 31, 2012

Celebrate National Doughnut Day June 1!

Who doesn't love doughnuts?  They can be added to the list of all-American favorites, next to baseball, barbeque and apple pie.  So on June 1, in honor of National Doughnut Day, celebrate big with a dozen doughnuts from Scott Harris' new artisan doughnut shop, Glazed and Infused!

Glazed and Infused offers up handcrafted doughnuts in 13 flavors; featuring delicious creations like Red velvet, Vanilla cake chocolate frosted, Luscious lemon, Old fashioned, Apple fritter, Vanilla bean glazed, Chocolate glazed, Raspberry glazed, Seasonal jelly filled, Maple bacon long john, PB & J, and Crème brûlée.  Each batch is made fresh on the hour and serves as the perfect option for your National Doughnut Day celebration. 

Take a batch to the office to share or grab a couple on the go; and don't forget the coffee!

Glazed and Infused in the Fulton River District is located at 813 W. Fulton Market, 312-226-5556, with hours from 6:30 a.m. to 2 pm Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m Saturday and Sunday.

The Wicker Park is location at Francesca's Forno at 1553 N Damen Avenue, 773-770-0184, with hours from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday-Friday; 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Francesca’s at the Promenade appreciates teachers

Calling all teachers and educators!  Visit Francesca’s at the Promenade (641 E. Boughton Road, Bolingbrook, IL 60440; 630-739-6300) during the month of May receive 20% off (up to $20) off your bill. Just bring proof of your educator status to come and enjoy!

Monday Night Car Shows at Westfield Old Orchard

Westfield Old Orchard wants to take you on a ride! Starting this June, Westfield will be presenting Monday Night Car Shows. Take a trip to the past and check out a selection of classic cars parked on display in the West parking lot of Westfield Old Orchard shopping center. Every Monday night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., as many as 200 cars will be on display including Classic cars, Muscle Cars, Hot Rods, Motorcycles and vintage Military vehicles. This is an event for car enthusiasts and novices alike!  
Come and enjoy a summer night full of great music, food, prizes, hourly raffles, and fun. Monday Night Car Shows start June 4 and run every Monday night through September 10.
Monday Night Car Shows, Inc. is a non-for-profit organization comprised of local businessmen and citizens dedicated to the Classic Car Hobby and the Community at large. The mission is to advance the Classic Car Hobby through community awareness, camaraderie, contributions to programs that teach automotive skills to the next generation through scholarships. To learn more about Monday Night Car Show, Inc., or if you want to register your vehicle, visit  You can also ‘like’ the show in Facebook.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dog friendly patio opens at Francesca's Bryn Mawr

Francesca’s Bryn Mawr (1039 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago, IL 60660, 773-506-9261)

Calling all dog owners and K-9 enthusiast!  Bring your four legged friends to Francesca’s Bryn Mawr for the Grand Opening celebration of their new dog-friendly patio Friday, June 1 – Sunday, June 3.  The “Bryn Mawr is going to the Dogs” three-day event will feature a guest appearance from Mr. Chunkers of the U, red-carpet photo ops for your beloved pooch, fun, prizes and much more!   All summer long, dogs and their humans can dine al fresco at Francesca’s Bryn Mawr, just 2 blocks from the lake, in the historic Edgewater community.       

Francesca’s on Chestnut is part of IRA’s - Chicago Culinary Crossroads

Francesca’s on Chestnut (200 E. Chestnut Street, Chicago, IL 60611; 312-482-8800) is participating in Chicago Culinary Crossroads. This citywide dine-around program will run Tuesday, May 1 - Friday, May 25 to celebrate the NATO summits and place a spotlight on Chicago’s diverse, world-class restaurant industry. The dine-around will encourage both residents and visitors to patronize our city’s great dining establishments and experience the warm, welcoming hospitality that can only be found in Chicago. Francesca’s on Chestnut will be offering 3-course menu for $24.99. For more information please visit

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Support your community with Francesca’s Eat and Earn program

Francesca’s Bryn Mawr will be participating in an Eat and Earn June 1-3 in support of PAWS Chicago.  Dine in or carry out and mention PAWS Chicago, to have %15 of your bill donated to the organization. 

PAWS Chicago is the city's largest no-kill  humane organization, focused on solutions to end the killing of homeless pets.  For more information, visit

Francesca’s Bryn Mawr also will participate in an Eat and Earn for the AIDS Foundation Thursday, June 28. For more information, visit

Monday, May 28, 2012

Dog friendly patios at Francesca's Restaurants

Francesca’s Bryn Mawr (1039 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago, IL 60660, 773-506-9261)
Bring your four legged friends to Francesca’s Bryn Mawr for the Grand Opening celebration of their new dog-friendly patio Friday, June 1 – Sunday, June 3.  The “Bryn Mawr is going to the Dogs” three-day event will  feature red-carpet photo ops for your beloved pooch that will be displayed on Francesca’s Facebook page, prizes  and an opportunity for the most “liked” dog to win his or her human  to win a $100 gift certificate!  

 La Sorella di Francesca (18 W Jefferson Ave., Naperville, IL 60540; 630-961-2706)
La Sorella di Francesca’s outdoor patio is now dog-friendly!  Bring your best animal friend to relax with you while you dine on delicious Italian cuisine. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

It’s Burger Time! Celebrate National Hamburger Day May 28!

You don’t need a special occasion to enjoy a hamburger, but when National Hamburger Day rolls around on Monday, May 28, it’s time to skip those everyday burgers and go for the real gourmet deal.

111 W. Huron, Chicago
312) 202-9900;

Elate has become one of Chicago’s casual dining treasures. The restaurant is one of the most attractive gathering places in the city and its LEED certified design, comprised of mainly of sustainable, re-purposed materials, is very inviting, stylish and comfortable. But what keeps guests coming back to Elate is its consistently delicious and creative food from Executive Chef Michael Noll. His specialty is contemporary American fare made from primarily locally sourced, organic and sustainable ingredients.

 His Elate Burger doesn’t disappoint—it’s one of the most delicious and generously sized burgers in Chicago. The Elate Burger ($14) is topped with creamed leeks, Applewood bacon and served with a generous portion of hand-cut fries.

 If your food preferences run along vegetarian lines, you’re in good hands at Elate with the very popular Vegetarian Black Bean Burger ($11). It’s topped with whipped avocado/piquillo peppers and served with seasoned fries and house made pickles.

1576 North Milwaukee, Chicago
(773) 770-0184;

Right on the six corners of Wicker Park, Francesca’s Forno offers traditional Italian cuisine with a twist.  Surrounded by the artistic and edgy boutiques, bars and cafes, Francesca’s Forno has been deemed a great place to dine by the locals.  From its weekend brunch to daily lunch and dinner menu items, there is always a tasty and affordable option for every patron.

One of the lunch and dinner favorites just happens to be an American classic with an Italian twist. The Forno Burger ($11) is a grilled prime burger served made to order and is topped with gorgonzola cheese, oven dried tomatoes and served on a pretzel roll with a side of smashed potatoes.  Add pepper corn bacon or a fried egg for an additional $2 each. 

East Bank Club
500 North Kingsbury, Chicago
(312) 527-5800;

 The folks who live in River North and Fulton River District have happily discovered that the main restaurant at East Bank Club, Maxwell’s at the Club, is open to the public. They’ve also discovered that this superb, comfortable restaurant serves some of the best food in the neighborhood, prepared with culinary finesse and customizable to please one’s particular tastes and desires. As you would expect at such a major health club, many of the dishes are nutritious and heart-healthy as well as delicious.

One of the most popular delights at Maxwell’s is Max’s Minis ($10). This trio of sliders includes a mini prime steakburger, a mini Santé Fe chicken burger and a mini Yellowfin Tuna Steak burger, all topped with crispy onion strings. If you would like to customize your minis, simply ask your server for any combination of the three. If you’re in the mood for steak sliders, you’ll enjoy the very popular Mini Tenderloin Sliders ($14), a trio of seared mini filet mignon sliders finished with lemon and basil.

If you’re in the mood for a full-service burger, try Maxwell’s Prime Steakburger ($11), made from ten ounces of prime beef, topped with lettuce tomato, onion and pickle and served with your choice of sweet potato fries, fresh-cut fries or seasonal fresh fruit.

25 E. Ohio, Chicago
(312) 329-9463;

960 Milwaukee Ave., Lincolnshire, IL
(847) 793-0333;

One would expect a great steakhouse to serve a great burger, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar doesn’t disappoint. The bar at Fleming’s is always hopping in the after-work and evening hours and one of the attractions is the Prime Burger ($14; available only in the bar area) with Wisconsin cheddar cheese, peppered bacon and their signature onion rings. If you want to enjoy Fleming’s quality at a great price, stop by Fleming’s bar area before 7 p.m. when the Prime Burger is part of their “5 For $6 'Til 7" bar menu. You get a choice of 5 premium cocktails, 5 distinctive wines by the glass and 5 generous appetizers or the Prime Burger, each for only $6 (liquor prices and hours offered may vary depending on state liquor laws). Also, keep in mind that Fleming’s has an amazing wine program, which includes 100 wines by the glass. So this may be your perfect opportunity to try out some new wines while you savor a first-rate burger.

Unibroue Brewery Beer Dinner at Francesca's Fiore

May 30, 7:00 p.m. – Francesca’s Fiore (7407 W. Madison St., Forest Park, IL 60130, 708-771-3063)

Unibroue Brewery creates unique-tasting craft beers using traditional brewing methods developed over the last two centuries by Belgium monks in Europe.  Their creations are unlike any other product on the market, and no two are alike – try four of their premier pours on Wednesday, May 30th at Francesca’s Fiore for this exclusive, Unibroue Brewery Beer Dinner. $40 per person, tax and gratuity additional.  Advance reservations required for this sell-out event.   

The evening begins with Steamed Prince Edward Island Mussels, golden ale, sweet onion, cilantro, coriander leaves, and toasted pretzel. This is paired with La fin du Monde, triple style golden ale. Following this is Crab and mascarpone filled Raviolo, sweet corn broth and chives, paired with Blonde de Chambly, saison. The next course features Grilled pork tenderloin, charred red peppers, Calabrian chilies. The Maudite, strong amber red ale pairs perfectly with this course. The dinner ends with Triple chocolate hazelnut torte with nutella gelato and espresso caramel. Noir de Chambly, Belgian style black ale is paired with this course.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Last chance for Fleming's Dining gift offer!

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar private dining gift offer is wrapping up so don't miss out on the opportunity to hold your event in one of its private dining areas. Book your event at Fleming’s with a party of 15 or more by June 15 and receive a $50 Dining Card for every $500 you spend. Flexible menu options are available which include prime steak and 100 wines by the glass. Also available is Fleming's personalized planning service which will help you sit back, relax and just enjoy the party!

Book your reservations by June 15 for your upcoming client or corporate event, seminar, birthday or wedding celebration by calling Fleming’s in Chicago at 312-329-9463, contact Megan Beasley at or in Lincolnshire at 847-793-0333, contact Cara St. John at

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

French Market coming to Westfield Old Orchard

Westfield Old Orchard and Bensidoun USA are partnering to bring a Parisian style street market to the high end shopping center. Starting in June, the outdoor market located near Macy’s will house a plethora of artisan vendors selling everything from fresh produce, breads and cheeses to other local artisanal products.  Also available will be unique gifts for the home and family. 

This is the first time Westfield and the French Market have partnered together in an effort to create a completely new shopping experience for Westfield customers.  By adding the artisan outdoor market and selling fresh and local goods, Westfield’s goal is to create a greater sense of community in the area which includes residents of Chicago and surrounding suburban areas, as well as Westfield retailers.  In supporting the French market and participating vendors, Westfield hopes to provide a greater recognition and appreciate for local artisans.  

The market is set to begin 2 pm – 7 pm every Thursday starting in June and running through September.  For more information on the upcoming French Market at Westfield Old Orchard, call 847-673-6800.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Brunch at Francesca's Restaurants

Francesca’s Fiore (7407 W. Madison Street, Forest Park, IL 60130, 708-771-3063) has been added to the list of Francesca’s restaurants that are serving brunch.  Delicious brunch menu items include Pollo e Uova, Crispy chicken confit and bacon hash with two eggs any style ($10.99) or Capicolla Spinaci Benedict, Spicy capicolla ham, parmesan, spinach, toasted English muffin with hollandaise and house potatoes ($10.99).  Sweet options include French Toast and Jam, Vanilla bean battered Texas hollybread, topped with red wine grape compote, mascarpone and toasted almonds ($8.99) and Sweet Pancakes ($9.00).

Mia Francesca (3311 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60657; 773-281-3310), the flagship restaurant of the Francesca’s restaurant group, features a brunch menu including Italian breakfast favorites like Baked Uovo Florentina, soft baked egg, fontina cheese and creamed spinach on ciabatta toast and white truffle oil ($10.00) or Torta di Salviata, a fresh sage omelette with parmigiano regiano served with house potatoes ($10.00). Sweet options include Sweet Pancakes ($9.00), Blueberry ricotta pancakes with blueberry-lemon compote ($9.00) or French Toast and Jam. ($9.00). Mia Francesca also offers brunch cocktails like the Good Morning Sunrise with apricot nectar, the Sea Breeze Mimosa with cranberry and pink grapefruit or the Zing Zang Bloody Mary, each for $5.00.

Francesca’s Bryn Mawr (1039 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago, IL 60660; 773-506-9261) now has a brunch menu that features many of the same Italian classics, like the $5.00 Mimosa, with a few items unique to Francesca’s Bryn Mawr, including Savory Pancakes with polenta and bacon on sweet corn pancakes with maple butter, each for $9.00.

Francesca’s Forno (1576 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60622; 773-770-0184) is offering a brunch options for city dwellers. Brunch cocktails include the Forno Bloody Mary with vodka and the Salty Dog, made with vodka, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and served in a glass with a salted rim, each for $6.00. The food options include Frutta e Granola, Milk & Honey Café granola with vanilla yogurt and fresh berries ($7.00), Bourbon-Soaked French Toast, challah with bourbon vanilla bean batter, maple crème fraiche and candied walnuts ($9.00) and a classic Breakfast Monte Cristo, made with an English muffin, fontina, crispy pancetta and a fried egg with spicy tomato jam and hash browns ($10.00).

Live music and dining al fresco at Francesca's

Francesca’s Passaggio (3124 S. Route 59, Naperville, IL 60564, 630-946-0600)

Beginning June 1, Francesca’s Passaggio will begin its summer live music series featuring performances every  Friday and Saturday evening on the outdoor patio.  Its beautiful patio boasts lush greenery, seating for 68 and a table-top fire feature like nothing you’ve ever seen.  Patrons can kick-back and enjoy over a great Italian meal. 

 Check out other Francesca’s locations that will be offering patio dining -  Francesca’s Fiore (7407 W Madison Street, Forest Park, IL 60130; 708-771-3063); Francesca’s at the Promenade (641 E Boughton Road, Bolingbrook, IL 60440; 630-739-6300); Francesca’s Vicinato (12960 S. LaGrange Road, Palos Park, IL 60465; 708-671-1600); Francesca’s Forno (1576 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60622; 773-770-0184)

Glazed and Infused: New Artisan Doughnut Shop from Scott Harris opens

Restaurateur Scott Harris will soon make Chicago's doughnut lovers very happy with the launch of his new artisan doughnut shop, Glazed and Infused. It will be an amazing ride: locations will offer handcrafted doughnuts in 12 flavors plus a weekly feature and many more rotating flavors.

Glazed_final logo 400 pixels for ETOpenings will be handled in stages, with the first Glazed and Infused opening on Monday, May 21 inside Francesca's Forno at 1553 North Damen Ave., Chicago 773-770-0184. The entrance to this Glazed and Infused, a walkup window, is on North Damen, steps from the Wicker Park Damen Blue Line stop. Planned hours are: 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday; 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The second Glazed and Infused also will open Monday, May 21 at 813 W. Fulton Market in the heart of the Fulton River District just step off he Morgan Green Line stop, 312-226-5556. Planned hours are: 6:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. This location offers 36 seats inside and 8-10 seats outside.

The third location, in the Lincoln Park/DePaul area, is planned for July at 929 West Armitage St. in a historic building within steps of the Armitage Brown Line stop.

ChocolateRaised 300 pixels for ET captionHarris has assembled a heavy‐hitter team that promises to make Glazed and Infused a major league doughnut contender from the very first pitch. Leading the charge are two highly respected pastry chefs, Christine McCabe and Tom Culleeney. Christine McCabe, Executive Pastry Chef, was named "Pastry Chef of the Year" by Bon Appetit in 2005. 

Tom Culleeney, Executive Chef, has spent the past ten years as Corporate Chef, Research and Development, for Lettuce Entertain You and then as head of operations and new product development for Lettuce's major Krispy Kreme doughnut franchise on the West Coast.

 "This is the first time a doughnut shop has been launched with not one, but two, top‐tier pastry chefs who are amazingly committed to creating the best products possible," said Harris. "That should tell Chicagoans how serious we are about making Glazed and Infused the best artisan doughnut shop in Chicago-perhaps in the country." The two chefs have been immersed in recipe development for many months; every doughnut flavor to be offered is the result of many rounds of testing and perfecting.

All Glazed and Infused doughnuts will be made the old‐fashioned way: hand‐crafted, made fresh each hour from whole and natural locally grown ingredients. They will be infused with natural and seasonal flavors and every doughnut will be made using trans‐fat free shortening, making them the healthiest doughnuts in the city and among the healthiest in the nation. The menu will consist of both cake and yeast doughnuts, some with traditional flavors and some with unique artisan flavors. Glazed and Infused also will serve a special coffee blend created by Intelligentsia.

CinnamonCrumb 300 pixels for ET captionHarris has tapped Megan Brown, a high‐energy, experienced business growth strategist, to lead the business and build the brand. "We all felt it was time to bring back this iconic specialty with an artisan twist," said Brown, "focusing on quality, great flavors and a healthier approach. Each doughnut is handmade, not processed, and each doughnut has a unique twist. For example, the Vanilla Bean Glazed uses all natural real vanilla beans and the chocolate is shipped directly from South American farmers. In addition, each week Glazed and Infused will have a weekly special that is planned weeks in advance, utilizing a special or seasonal ingredient. This means there will be 52 new doughnuts each year, providing a new experience each week."

Glazed and Infused's wide variety of flavors is designed to please a wide range of doughnut lovers, and the tag team of McCabe and Culleeney can cover these bases easily. "For doughnut purists, those who desire the best ever renditions of traditional flavors, we will offer amazing versions," said Culleeney. These flavors have withstood the test of time and are always in demand. "Secondly, we will seduce food enthusiasts who want to experience creative, culinary influenced doughnuts," said McCabe, who has designed a palette of freshly made artisan fillings that will be surprisingly delicious and unlike anything people have had in a doughnut before.
CremeBrulee 300 pixels for ETcaptionTwo distinct doughnut batters will provide the basis for Glazed and Infused's creations. Light and fluffy yeast doughnuts will come in flavors including vanilla bean glazed, a raised ring with Madagascar vanilla bean glaze; maple bacon long john, a bar of golden goodness layered with real maple glaze and maple bacon; PB&J, a homemade raspberry jam filled bismarck with crunch pb glaze; crème brûlée, a vanilla crème brûlée filled Bismarck with brûléed sugar crust, and apple fritter, crispy nuggets of yeast dough laced with cinnamon and fresh apple, blanketed with vanilla bean glaze.

Glazed and Infused's cake doughnuts will initially come in five varieties:  cake chocolate frosted, vanilla cake with cacao berry ganache and dark chocolate vermicelli (sprinkles); red velvet, cocoa buttermilk cake with cream cheese frosting; bacon "sticky bun" cruller, a cake bar topped with bacon brown sugar caramel and pecans; luscious lemon, lemon cake filled with yuzo curd topped with lemon glaze and candied zest, and old fashioned, the classic spiced buttermilk cake with vanilla bean glaze filled crevasses.

As inspiration for the décor, Glazed and Infused has gone retro‐Americana. "We're harking back to the days when doughnuts were clearly the all‐American treat," said Brown. "We're going to evoke the era of World War II and post‐war America. Back then, all doughnuts were fresh and handcrafted. We were an optimistic, community‐ spirited country and we couldn't wait to go to the local doughnut shop to smell the aroma, chat with our neighbors, and savor amazing doughnuts with a great cup of coffee."

MapleBacon 300 pixels for ET captionThe shops are designed to offer a fun, personalized customer experience. The décor of Glazed and Infused is 1940's industrial Americana inspired where reclaimed barn wood and vintage chairs meets industrial lighting, chem metal, counters with marble top and specialty stained concrete floors.  The artwork is a nod to the posters of the era, with our own unique twist, mirroring the overall concept. The space is a celebration of an American icon, the doughnut.

"We are looking to build a loyal and personal following of our clients," Brown emphasizes. "We are not interested in long lines. For commuters on the go, we want to provide a convenient, quick experience. We want to get to know their likes and dislikes, be ready for their pickup and get them in and out quickly so they can have a productive and positive day. For doughnut lovers who have the time to stick around and savor the doughnuts in the shop, we want them to have a relaxed, friendly and surprisingly delicious experience. Our curb service, delivery service and special event services will cater to our corporate, weddings and party clients," she said. "Glazed and Infused doughnuts are infused with goodness. We want to pass that goodness on to our customers, positioning them to have a good, no, a great day!"

Friday, May 18, 2012

New Store openings at Westfield Old Orchard

eCosway will be setting up a new location at Westfield Old Orchard this June.  The new retailer specializes in health, beauty and nutrition products and will be located near Champps Americana.
Located next to Coldwater Creek and The Gap, The North Face’s new 6,278 square foot store will carry all of the high endurance and high performance apparel, equipment and footwear that it is internationally known. This will be the third location in the Chicagoland area, joining others in the John Hancock Center in Chicago and Sherman Plaza in Evanston.

C.D. Peacock is making a grand entrance in Westfield Old Orchard this summer near Nordstrom and Tiffany & Co.  The Chicago-based jeweler will offer collections that are not available at any other Westfield Old Orchard retailer.  Collections like Hearts on Fire and timepieces from names like Tocari, Hermes, Panerai, Chanel, IWC, Corum, Montblanc and Henri Daussi will be exclusively available at C.D. Peacock, opening this summer.  The 3,500 square foot store will be located next to Nordstrom and Tiffany & Co.

Rolex will be opening a boutique operated by C.D. Peacock located next to Tiffany & Co.  The world renowned timepiece crafter will be setting up shop in Westfield Old Orchard this fall.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Upcoming Events at Westfield Old Orchard

Men in Black Appearance
Rogers & Hollands

May 19, 2012, 2 – 4pm
Catch the dapper secret agents before they disappear from the center without a trace. Their brief visit will take place outside of the Rogers & Hollands store, where they will be wearing the new line of Hamilton Ventura watches appearing in the new movie Men in Black 3. For more information, call 847.329.7200.

Charter Club Shopping Party
Macy's, Charter Club Department

May 19, 2012, 2 – 4pm
Macy's invites you to check out the must-have trends of the spring season. Enjoy sips & sweets, a DJ, and in-store models showing off the hot new spring looks. Additionally, the Macy's fashion experts will be on hand to help you dress your best and learn how to incorporate the new trends into your lifestyle. For more information, call 847.329.2700.

A Tasting Table Memorial Day Menu

May 20, 2012
Get ready to fire up your grill for Memorial Day with this spectacular class created by Tasting Table's best sous chefs. Tasting Table prides itself on creating epicurean recommendations that are authentic, trustworthy and actionable; so a fabulous cookout is guaranteed. Reservations are required. For more information, call 847.933.9803.

Vitamix Technique Class

May 27, 2012
The Vitamix is the chefs' blender, seen on every cooking show on television. You've watched amazing transformations emerge from this powerful machine in minutes, from minced veggies and pureed hot soups to froths and frozen desserts. Learn how to make the most of your Vitamix and see the newest model in action. These incredible blenders continue to be bestsellers, and after this class, you'll understand why. Reservations are required for this complimentary event. For more information, call 847.933.9803.

Kerry Wood Signs All You Can Be: Learning and Growing Through Sports
Barnes & Noble

May 29, 2012, 7:30pm
Meet Chicago Cubs star Kerry Wood as he signs his new book for kids! You'll leave with an autograph as well as a copy of his book to inspire young readers to pursue their dreams with integrity and a sense of responsibility. For more information, call 847.676.2230.

Meet the Expert

May 31, 2012, 11am - 6pm
Come in to meet Beverly Wargowsky, one of Shiseido's leading makeup artists. Beverly’s specialty is creating beautiful looks for the eyes and brows from smokey and dramatic, to soft and natural. Beverly’s beauty philosophy is to bring out the best features in her customers and teach them the skills to recreate the look on their own. Reservations are required. For more information, call 847.675.5200.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Celebrate Dads and Grads with Westfield Old Orchard

With Father’s Day just around the corner and high school and college graduates off to start the next phase of their lives, the question at hand seems to be: “What can I get them that they’ll love?”  With the incredible selection of retailers offered by Westfield Old Orchard (Skokie Boulevard & Old Orchard Road, 847-673-6800), gift-giving for your dad or grad can be simple and fun. 
Yes, sometimes it’s difficult to shop for dad, but Westfield Old Orchard makes it easy with great gift ideas for every dad’s taste. For the fashion conscious dad, sophisticated specialty retailer Brook Brothers pulls out all the stops.   Get him the Silver Train Cuff Links for $195 and he’ll look dapper all the way to the office.  If dad is one that lives in the gym and loves to stay in shape, Westfield Old Orchard Finish Line has a huge variety of options for him.  The Reebok ZigRee Trek Running Shoe is perfect for his next 5K run for $114.99 or get him the Nike Free 4.0 V2 Running Shoe; a Finish Line exclusive for only $89.99. 

Dad has a skin care regimen too!  Help him get his youthful glow back with a set of custom selected products from The Art of Shaving.  Gift him with The Art of Shaving Skin Care Kit which includes Facial Wash, Facial Scrub, Moisturizer, and After-Shave Mask® for $65.  Or, he can get that super close shave he loves with the Fushion Contemporary Shaving Set in Black or Ivory for $255.

Who doesn’t love supple leather goods?  Dad is no exception, so perhaps set your sights on the Leather Snap Case for his iPad for $145, or the Alpha Large Soft Leather Travel Satchel for $575 from world renowned leather retailer Tumi.

Let’s not forget about the grads!  As they embark on new adventures wouldn’t it be nice, if they take a wonder gift along for the ride? For the sentimental graduate who’ll always want something to remember her good times at school, Westfield’s Pandora offers the LP WG, pavé bracelet, 0.14ct for $770 available in Sterling Silver or 18k Rose Gold.

College-bound graduates will have something to write home about for graduation if they un-wrap the new Macbook Air notebook.  Available at Westfield’s Apple Store, it starts at $999. Or, send your grad off to college with something to make their dorm room feel more like home with fun gifts from Crate and Barrel like a set of 18th Street Dinnerware for $39.95 or a color 4’ x 6’ area Zak Rug for $299.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar Hosts the Cakebread Cellars Wine Dinner

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar (960 Milwaukee Ave, Lincolnshire, IL 60069 847-793-0333) will host the Cakebread Cellars Wine Dinner 7 p.m. Friday, May 18.   The lavish dinner will feature an exceptional five course menu, created by Chef Partner Roger Abuan, paired with five estate-bottled wines from Cakebread Cellars. The cost is $120 per person all inclusive.  Please call 847-793-0333 for reservations as space is limited.
The meal will begin with Grilled Pizza, with shrimp, cherry tomatoes, and arugula paired with CAKEBREAD, Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley, 2010.  Next will be a Fleming's Crab cake with avocado, aioli, spring mix salad which will pair perfectly with CAKEBREAD, Chardonnay Napa Valley, 2009.  The third course will be Paella of Duck, with Andouille sausage, shrimp and roasted pepper paired with CAKEBREAD, Pinot Noir Anderson Valley, 2009.  The next course will feature Grilled Prime New York Strip with celery and blue cheese relish which will pair beautifully with CAKEBREAD, Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, 2009.  Finally, the dessert course will feature Panna Cotta with strawberry and rhubarb marinated in balsamic paired with CAKEBREAD, Vin de Porche Rosé, 2011.

About Cakebread Cellars
Jack Cakebread purchased Cakebread Cellars over 39 years ago during a trip to Rutherford, CA to photograph the Napa Valley for a book. The Cakebread family’s dedication to making the highest quality wines and a commitment to family has stayed with them throughout the years, even as the evolution of winemaking has progressed.  Cakebread Cellars has vineyard properties located throughout Napa Valley.  The first 22 acre parcel was purchased in 1972 and the family has continued to acquire additional vineyard parcels throughout Napa Valley and the North Coast.  Today, the winery owns 13 sites totaling 982 acres.  Its properties include Hill Ranch, Winery Ranches, Dancing Bear Ranch, Maple Lane, Anderson Valley, Cuttings Wharf, Doggwood Vineyard, Milton Road, Foster Road, Tinsley Ranch and Suscol Springs Vineyard.  Learn more about Cakebread Cellars at

 About Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Nationally acclaimed Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar offers the best in steakhouse dining – Prime meats and chops, fresh fish and poultry, generous salads and side orders—with a unique wine list known as the “Fleming’s 100™” that features 100 wines served by the glass.  Fleming’s was launched in Newport Beach, Calif. in 1998 by successful restaurant industry veterans Paul Fleming and Bill Allen. Today there are 64 restaurants nationwide. Fleming’s is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including Wine Spectator’s annual Awards of Excellence, and Wine Enthusiast’s annual Awards of Distinction.

For more information about Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, please visit

Patio season is here… dine al-fresco at Francesca’s

Francesca’s Fortunato (40 Kansas St., Frankfort, IL 60423, 815-464-1890)

Join Francesca’s Fortunato and the Frankfort Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, May 18th for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and unveiling of their new sidewalk café in the heart of downtown Frankfort.  Enjoy specials on Italian-style sangria throughout the event and visit all summer long for superb al-fresco dining and a front row seat to the hustle and bustle of all the happenings of downtown Frankfort.  The sidewalk café seats 25, additional patio seating for 50 available.

Francesca’s Passaggio (3124 S. Route 59, Naperville, IL 60564, 630-946-0600)

The patio at Francesca’s Passaggio in Naperville is quickly becoming a destination for live music enthusiasts in the Western suburbs.  Beautifully appointed with lush greenery, seating for 68 and a table-top fire feature like nothing you’ve ever seen, guests can kick-back and enjoy performances every Friday and Saturday evening over a great Italian meal.  If live music isn’t your thing, join us Sunday-Thursday for al-fresco dining and catch an evening ball game on one of their 2 flat-screen patio TV’s.  The word is spreading quickly about this hidden gem, so join us soon!

Francesca’s Forno (1576 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60622; 773-770-0184)
A full wall of sliding windows opens up, bringing the fresh air and hubbub of Wicker Park into this urban mecca. The six-point corner location is one of Chicago’s best sites for people watching.

Check out other Francesca’s locations that will be offering al-fresco dining -  Francesca’s Fiore (7407 W Madison Street, Forest Park, IL 60130; 708-771-3063); La Sorella di Francesca (18 W Jefferson Ave., Naperville, IL 60540; 630-961-2706); Francesca’s at the Promenade (641 E Boughton Road, Bolingbrook, IL 60440; 630-739-6300); Francesca’s Vicinato (12960 S. LaGrange Road, Palos Park, IL 60465; 708-671-1600); Davanti Enoteca (1359 W Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60607; 312-226-5550)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Francesca’s Bryn Mawr is partnering up with Fable Festival

Francesca’s Bryn Mawr (1039 W. Bryn Mawr, Chicago, IL 60640; 773-506-9261)

 A newly established, community-based Fable Festival is taking place May 16 – May 20 in non-traditional spaces throughout Chicago’s Edgewater and Andersonville neighborhoods. The performance festival answers calls to action happening in town hall meetings across Chicago for more focus on neighborhood arts events in the City’s upcoming Cultural Plan.

Performances will take place in empty storefronts, public schools, cafes, restaurants, the Lakefront and bars in an effort to showcase the community and collaborate with businesses to bring more patrons to the Edgewater and Andersonville neighborhoods. This unique event invites over 20 established theater-makers and performance companies to present a weekend of new, short works based on international fairy tales and fables – often accompanied by music, puppets,  food and drink.

Thursday, May 17, 8pm - Hearts and Brains present The Story Story By Lacy Campbell.

Two puppets and two projectors telling three stories, each illustrated by three different visual artists. Assorted crostini and pizza will be provided by Francesca’s throughout the event.

Sunday, May 20, 12-2pm - iO’s Storytown

From superheroes to undersea adventures, Storytown takes you on an interactive, fully improvised adventure, using your suggestions and ideas to create a different story every time. Kids design the setting and help shape the story, and the actors, artists, and musicians bring it to life. Recommended for children 3 and up.  Francesca’s will provide gelato as refreshments for the little ones.

For more information, please visit or call 773-828-9185