Friday, September 28, 2012

Chicago French Market October Events and Entertainment

October 3, 2012 - Lunch Hour Music with Dean Milano 11-2pm Complimentary
 Dean Milano is a songwriter, musician and the author of The Chicago Music Scene: 1960’s and 1970’s.  To kick off the October concert series, he will be performing a can’t miss concert at Chicago French Market.   Make your lunch memorable and grab your favorite co-worker for a fun and relaxing lunch hour.

October 11, 2012 – Rush Hour Music with Coventry Jones
4-7PM Complimentary
Inspired by iconic musician, Bob Dylan, Coventry Jones is a singer/songwriter from Milwaukee, WI who combines his critically acclaimed vocals with styles ranging from folk, Celtic and blues.  His song roster expands across a large variety of genres.

October 17, 2012 – Lunch Hour Music with Andrew Calhoun
11-2 PM Complimentary
Andrew Calhoun's music is innovative and rooted in tradition. Throughout his 40 years as a performer, he has evolved an increasingly varied repertoire including Irish and American folk songs, Scottish ballads, African-American spirituals, hymns, original works, and poems and songs by writers including Dave Carter, Mary Oliver and Robert Frost.

October 25, 2012 - Rush Hour Music with Jenny Bienemann
4-7pm Complimentary
Jenny Bienemann combines startling musicianship with her original songs to create a musical experience that is quirky as it is thoughtful. During her performances, she offers up her exquisitely crafted, lyrical songs, often orchestrating vocal harmonies live with an electronic looper, as well as her dry humor drenched in Jazzy guitar.  This complimentary rush hour concert is fun and relaxing and is the perfect way to get ready for the upcoming weekend.

October 25th - Pastoral Artisan Cheese Bread & Wine, Wine & Cheese Tasting
4:30 – 6:30pm Complimentary
Stop by the Chicago French Market’s Pastoral for its complimentary monthly wine tasting and taste some of the prizes of its wine portfolio. This month, Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine welcomes a representative from Consider Bardwell Farm, in west Pawlet Vermont offering samples of their special artisan cheeses. Bardwell Farm’s animals rotationally graze on organic pastures to produce the sweetest milk and tastiest cheese.  Come in for this special treat and taste the difference.

October 31, 2012 - Lunch Hour with Steve Justman
11-2pm Complimentary
Folk musician Steve Justman joins the lunch hour crowd from 11-2pm to perform a complimentary concert for Chicago French Market patrons.  Justman hails from Chicago area and is known for performing Americana music.  He has performed in many of the best acoustic venues in the Chicagoland area and is excited to return to the market. 

Delightful Pastries at Chicago French Market October specials

October is Brownie Month at Delightful Pastries where every Tuesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. you are invited to sample more than 10 different brownie flavors.  

Delightful Pastries has added homemade Pierogi to its lunch menu.  Three flavors will be featured: cheese & potato, meat and mushroom and sauerkraut. All Pierogis will be served with caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, chive, homemade Tzatziki sauce and an optional topping of marinated Canadian bacon with apple and honey. Pierogis are available for lunch and dinner -- $5 for 4 and $7 for 6.  Pre-packaged options also are available by the dozen for $8.

Warm up from the chilly fall air - Delightful Pastries is offering several new beverages including hot cider, hot chocolate served with optional pumpkin spice, hot Moroccan mint tea (Green Tea, Mint, and Lemon & Honey) and Ice Palmer (Half freshly brewed unsweetened ice tea and half freshly squeezed lemonade).  All beverages are $3.


East Bank Club Hosts Lobster Tails Dinner at Maxwell’s at the Club

Tuesdays Maxwell’s at the Club (500 N. Kingsbury St.) hosts its Lobster Tails Dinner every Tuesday evening. At this special dining event, you can enjoy succulent cold-water twin lobster tails broiled to perfection and served with the vegetables of the day. The price is $38.50 and the dinner is open to the public. For reservations, call (312) 527-5800, extension 301.

Maxwell’s at the Club is the sophisticated yet casual restaurant at East Bank Club. The menu offers a broad selection of delicious small plates, salads, entrées, desserts and wines. Maxwell’s is located just off of East Bank Club’s main lobby, and is open to the public. Lunch at Maxwell’s has returned beginning October 1. The restaurant’s fall hours are, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Sunday hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information contact East Bank Club at 312-527-5800 or visit

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Lisle French Market Host Local Vendors and Live Music at its New Location

Fasel's Bakery
The Lisle French Market has moved to a new location on the northeast corner of Main St. and Burlington Ave in Lisle, IL. It remains open for the same hours, Saturdays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Bensidoun USA market continues to offer weekly live musical entertainment, in addition to its local vendors that provide a variety of produce, baked goods, jewelry and other artisan crafts.

The newest addition to the Lisle French Market is Fasel’s Nursery. Fasel’s sells plants from its nursery in Big Rock, IL and produce from its farm in Hinckley, IL. Throughout the year they focus on seasonal products; presently you can find pumpkins, and gourds, and other fall goods at its booth. Fasel’s will also be presenting a pumpkin patch – in the grassy area – every Saturday through the end of the season.

The Lisle French Market’s wide assortment of vendors, offers goods to meet a range of preferences. Windy Acres (Geneva, IL) sells its seasonal fruits, vegetables, jams and flowers. At the Provos Bakery booth, you can find fresh baked Polish breads, cookies, cakes, pastries and pies, and visit Blue Creek Farms for its Michigan grown fruits, and vegetables.

There are many other great vendors at the Lisle French Market, including Pop-A-Harrys (Wheaton, IL), selling flavored gourmet popcorn. The Great Harvest (Naperville, IL) booth sells its bakery fresh bread, and KAP Farms offers market-goers its farm fresh local fruit, mushrooms and other vegetables grown in northern and southern Illinois.

At the Lisle French Market patrons are treated to live weekly music entertainment. On September 29, the husband and wife team Lynn and Dave Gow perform their range of musical stylings including: classic, folk, blues, and country music. Steve Justman comes to the market October 6 and plays vintage folk, classic, country and more.

Other musical entertainment includes Dean Milano who shares his blend of folk, country, rock, ballads, Latin and bluegrass on October 13. Anselmo Marquez brings his Spanish influenced ballads to the market on October 20. Lastly, the market finishes out the season with Jenny and Robin Bienneman on October 27. The husband and wife duo combines her harmony vocals and thumb piano melodies with the sounds of his jazz guitar.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Break fast tomorrow at Maxwell's at the Club

No plans for Yom Kippur Break Fast?
Maxwell’s at the Club (500 N. Kingsbury St.) invites you to break the fast with its Yom Kippur Dinner, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. September 26. This traditional dinner includes appetizers, salads, a carving table, entrées, breads and desserts. It will feature noodle kugel, Israeli couscous with roasted butternut squash, braised beef brisket, challah, marjolaine and other cultural favorites. This special dinner is $45 for adults and $15 for children 10 and under. To ensure availability, make a reservation at (312) 527-5800 ext. 301.

Fleming's "Bottle Wars" series closes with Glass Warfare

The final “Bottle Wars“ wine tasting is 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.  this Friday, September 28.  Contact Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar to make your reservation for this week’s tasting themed “Glass Warfare”, a blind tasting sampling wines from around the globe.  This event will offer 10 well-matched wines, including appetizers for $25.

What makes one wine twice as expensive as another? And is it twice as good? During this “Bottle Wars”, guests will blind-taste five of the best wine values from the Fleming's 100 against five premium wines that cost twice as much.  Which wines do you think will come out on top?

"Glass Warfare" Blind Tasting — Friday, Sept. 28th
This week’s competing wines:
Roederer Brut (Anderson Valley) vs. Mas Fi Cava (Spain)
Gunderloch Riesling Spatlese (Germany) vs. Loosen Brothers Dr. L Riesling (German)
Cambria Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley) vs. Mark West Pinot Noir (California)
Trefethen Double T Cabernet-Merlot Blend (Napa Valley) vs. Colby Red (California)
Hall Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) vs. Paripaso Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles)
Reservations are required for “Bottle Wars” so please contact Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar at 25 E. Ohio St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-329-9463 or 960 Milwaukee Ave. Lincolnshire, IL 60069, 847-793-0333

Monday, September 24, 2012

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer North Shore Walk at Westfield Old Orchard

Westfield is joining the fight against breast cancer this October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Project Pink, a 5k non-competitive walk, will be taking over the shopping center beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday, October 21.  Westfield’s Project Pink is one of more than 250 nationwide Making Strides events and aims to show support to the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.  It’s a celebrated and special occasion designed to express hope and celebrate Breast Cancer survivorship. Additionally, Project Pink will focus on raising awareness about steps women can take to help prevent the disease and raise money to find cures. 

Participating Westfield retailers will feature special pink merchandise and donate proceeds from sales to Making Strides.  There is no registration or minimum amount to rise required for Project Pink, however participants are welcome to raise money online or collect donations to turn in on the day of the event.  For more information and to sign up for Project Pink visit

Project Pink is looking for models to participate in this year’s survivor fashion show in support of the American Cancer Society.  All individuals whose lives have been touched by breast cancer are welcome to inquire -- children, men, women, survivors, caregivers, etc. Those interested in taking part can contact Jenna Kastan at or 847-328-5147, opt 3 to find out more information.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Look Younger and Feel Better: Amazing deals on Botox ® and Latisse ®

There’s nothing wrong with a little tweak here and there.  The holidays are approaching and don’t you want to look your best?  Doctors for Visual Freedom (875 North Michigan Avenue Suite 1550, The John Hancock Center, Chicago, IL 60611; 312-291-9957) feels the same way and from now through October will be offering unbeatable deals on Botox® and Latisse® cosmetic services.

We all know that Botox ® Cosmetic is not just Hollywood hype. Everyday women all over the country use it to smooth away fine lines and wrinkles hoping to look younger - helping their inner confidence shine through. Now, Dr. Golden wants to offer you the opportunity to look younger and feel better with 20 units of Botox for an exceptionally discounted price of $150, a 50% savings.  Getting back that youthful glow and baby smooth skin is just around the corner.

Now the luscious lashes you’ve always wanted are within reach. Also being offered is Latisse®, the prescription cosmetic solution for treatment of hypotrichosis and used to grow eyelashes, making them longer, thicker and darker.  Regularly a $120 value, Doctors for Visual Freedom is offering this treatment for only $79, over a 65% savings. Your killer lashes will definitely cause a commotion.

This is a limited time offer and appointments are required for all services.  Contact Doctors for Visual Freedom with questions regarding services and pricing.

About Doctors for Visual Freedom Laser Center
Doctors for Visual Freedom Laser Center, has its office in The John Hancock Center on Michigan Avenue.  Dr. Golden has more than two decades of experience performing refractive surgery and was one of the earliest pioneers in the field of Lasik Laser Vision Correction.  He started teaching the flap making process to international surgeons starting in 1993 before US FDA approval and after US approval of the laser, trained hundreds of surgeons in the techniques of Lasik and performing over 23,000 Lasik procedures.  He has helped open laser centers throughout the United States, training staffs and setting protocols for standard of care.  He has lectured extensively at ophthalmology and optometry meetings held by organizations including the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). You can learn more about his practice by visiting his website at or contact him at  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Trademark Tavern in Lombard to Host Live Music and Trivia Night Weekly

Trademark Tavern (777 E. Butterfield Rd, Lombard, IL; 630-472-0777), the newly opened casual restaurant and bar, Hifi Superstarthat has earned high praise from guests, launches its live entertainment program on September 21. On Fridays and Saturdays guests will be treated to live music provided by disc jockeys and bands. Trademark will also offer Tavern Trivia on Tuesdays, starting at 7 p.m. October 2, hosted by Chicago stand-up comedians.

Trademark Tavern’s new assortment of live music offers fun and excitement for the many fans who enjoy the food and the top notch beer, wine and cocktail program. The DJs will play from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and offer a mix of 70s, 80s, 90s, and today’s hits. The upcoming DJ lineup includes: DJ KO on September 21 and October 13, DJ Ruff Ryde on September 22, October 6 and 20 and DJ RL will be mixing on September 29. Each DJ takes audience requests.

The upscale neighborhood tavern will also host bands and acoustic shows. Danny the acoustic band performs, 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. September 28. The Goodfellas Acoustic Showcase plays at 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m October 5, showcasing their wide range of musical talents. The Goodfellas are known to rouse a crowd by encouraging them to dance and sing along. On October 12, Trademark presents Hifi Superstar and their acoustic act, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Additionally, the My Morning Driver band adds its classic rock to the mix, 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. October 19.

Trademark also introduces Tavern Trivia nights, hosted by Yes I Am Trivia.  This unique version of pub trivia will use Trademark’s many high-definition television screens to display questions. The trivia is presented by Chicago area comedians and the clues will consist of videos, music and pictures. Prizes will be awarded to the winners.

Get ready for the 4th annual OctoberFeast in River North, October 2

Presented by the
River North Business Association

The River North Business Association will host its fourth annual  OctoberFeast, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday, October 2.
OctoberFeast is a tasting tour of River North restaurants and bars with each venue featuring signature food and drink samplings.
Participants will start the evening with registration and appetizers at Maggiano’s Little Italy and head out to spend about 20 minutes at 5 different restaurants, ending the evening by partying at Moe’s Cantina. Moe’s is featuring an hour long open bar, more food and great music!  All this is included in the $50 ticket price.

For the first time, a limited number of VIP tickets are being offered for $65. Guests purchasing the VIP ticket will receive a $10 gift certificate to a participating restaurant and VIP attention at the After Party.

“OctoberFeast is a great way to sample a handful of restaurants you might not have ordinarily ventured into,” commented Bob Zimmerman, past RNBA President and 3-time attendee. “Everyone walks away happy and possessing the secret knowledge of a new spot to return to with friends.”

OctoberFeast registration takes place from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Maggiano’s Little Italy, 516 N. Clark. Other participating venues include 25 Degrees, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Hard Rock Cafe, Hooters, House of Blues, Italiasia(The Best of Both Worlds), Kinzie Chophouse, LaMadia, Maggiano’s Little Italy,Maxwell’s at the Club, Moe’s Cantina, Nick’s Fishmarket Grill and Bar, ParisClub, The Redhead Piano Bar, Rockit Bar & Grill, Scoozi!, Sullivan’sSteakhouse, Theory, Underground Wonder Bar, Untitled, and Wildfire.
OctoberFeast sponsors who make the evening possible include: The East Bank Club, BMO Harris Bank, Friedman Properties and David Kover and Associates.  Tickets are available on-line at or by calling the River North Business Association at 312-645-1047.

River North Association represents more than 325 businesses in the area bounded by the Chicago River to the south and west, Division on the north and Wabash on the east. The area boasts the highest concentration of restaurants and entertainment venues and the largest number of art galleries in the city and is Chicago's most exciting neighborhood to live, work, shop, dine and play.  For information, contact RNBA at 312-645-1047 or visit


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fleming's "Bottle Wars" Old World vs. New World wine tasting, September 21

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar is taking reservations for its next “Bottle Wars” wine tasting series.  Friday, September 21, customers can take part in the friendly battle of “Old Word vs. New World”. Maybe Old World and New World aren't so different in a global world. Come and find out by tasting great wines from both.  Does experience count for everything?  It’s up to you to decide.
"Bottle Wars" is a series of four unique wine tastings held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Friday during Fleming's September “Month of Discover”. Each event will offer 8 to 10 well-matched wines, including appetizers for $25.  Fleming's professionally trained wine managers will guide guests through the tasting experience.

Old World vs. New World" — Friday, Sept. 21st
French and Italian estate wineries dating back hundreds of years and newer U.S. wineries will compete.

 Competing wines:

Nicolas Feuilatte Champagne (France)
Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs (North Coast California)

II Borro Tuscany Lamelle Chardonnay (Italy)
Merryvale Starmont Chardonnay (Napa Valley)

Château Lasseugue Les Cadrans St. –Emilion (France)
Burgess Merlo (Napa Valley)

Château de Parenchère Bordeaux (France)
Greg Norman Limestone Coast Cabernet-Merlot Blend (Australia)

Reservations are required for “Bottle Wars” so please contact Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar at 25 E. Ohio St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-329-9463 or 960 Milwaukee Ave. Lincolnshire, IL 60069, 847-793-0333

Graham Elliot and Jacquy Pfeiffer to be inducted in Chicago Culinary Museum and Chefs Hall of Fame September 19

Chef Graham Elliot
Chefs Graham Elliot and Jacquy Pfeiffer will be inducted into the Chicago Culinary Museum and Chefs Hall of Fame at its 7th annual event tomorrow (Wednesday, September 19) at the Chicago Hilton & Towers, 720 S. Michigan Ave. Executive chef host is Mario Cordia, CEC.

Festivities begin at 6 p.m. with a reception, followed by an awards presentation at 7 p.m. and dinner at 7:30 p.m.  Individual tickets are $120 per person.

For tickets, visit: Brown Paper Tickets.

Elliot and Pfeiffer join an illustrious list of past inductees including Charlie Trotter, Art Smith, Rick Bayless, Jimmy Bannos, Carrie Nahabedian and Pricila Satkoff.

Graham Elliot, 2012 Chef of the Year

Elliot began his career by working at The Mansion on Turtle Creek, a five diamond/five-star property in Dallas, Texas. This was followed by a move to Chicago where Elliot had the opportunity to work at the famed restaurant Charlie Trotters for the next three years, as well as work alongside Chefs Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand as the Chef de Cuisine of Tru.

A stint at The Jackson House Inn & Restaurant in Woodstock, Vermont earned him a spot as one of Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs of 2004.

This opened the door for Elliot to return to Chicago to become Chef de Cuisine of Avenues at The Peninsula Hotel. Under Elliot, Avenues earned a four-star rating from the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Magazine as well as a AAA Five Diamond Award.  He became the nation’s youngest four-star chef and earned three James Beard award nominations.

In 2007, Elliot faced off against Iron Chef Bobby Flay on the TV show Iron Chef America, with the secret ingredient of chocolate. Elliot put up a good fight but lost to Flay by a total score of 49-47. He appeared on "The Today Show."

In May 2008, Bowles opened his first restaurant, Graham Elliot, in Chicago, a "bistronomic" restaurant combining four-star cuisine with humor and accessibility, to another round of wide critical acclaim.

In 2009, he appeared on the TV show Top Chef Masters. In the show, he cooked for The Heart and Stroke Foundation due to his nephew needing a heart transplant.

In 2010, Elliot became a judge on the U.S. version of the reality show MasterChef, along with Chef Gordon Ramsay and winemaker/restaurateur Joe Bastianich.

Elliot opened his third restaurant Graham Elliot Bistro on Randolph St. in Chicago this past June.

Elliot was born in Seattle, Washington, as a self-described "Navy brat”. He dropped out of high school at the age of 16 and started out in the food business as a dishwasher and bus boy for two years. He attended culinary school at Johnson & Wales University.

Pastry Chef of the Year, Jacquy Pfeiffer

Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer
“A lifetime is not long enough to learn pastry. One always needs to keep working on mastering this ever changing craft. That’s what makes pastry so fascinating – it’s a never-ending story.”

Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer's exceptional career began with an apprenticeship in Alsace at the famous Jean Clauss Pâtisserie. Following his apprenticeship in Strasbourg, Pfeiffer went on to establish himself as a leading figure in the art of pastry working with some world-renowned families and establishments.

Some of these include the Royal Family in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; the Sultan of Brunei; the Hyatt Regency, Hong Kong; a prestigious pastry shop in Palo Alto, California; and both the Fairmont and Sheraton hotels in Chicago, Illinois.

These experiences led Chef Pfeiffer to teach and consult in numerous of the most prominent properties and companies worldwide, such as the Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas, and the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

In 1995, Jacquy Pfeiffer along with Sébastien Canonne, founded The French Pastry School where their team is devoted to imparting excellence. Today, The French Pastry School is considered one of the leading pastry institutions in the world. Jacquy Pfeiffer is presently the Academic Dean for Student Affairs.

He has earned a number of awards. For additional information visit the
Chicago Culinary Museum website.

About Chicago Culinary Museum and Chefs Hall of Fame

The mission of the Chicago Culinary Museum and Chefs Hall of Fame is to promote and celebrate Chicago as a Culinary Mecca. Through hard work and dedication to this endeavor, the organization takes a leadership role with the entire industry to create a culinary environment that fosters education, awareness, and growth to our industry.
CCMCHF’s goal is to preserve the past, and develop the future of the culinary achievements in the great City of Chicago and America. The Chicago Culinary Museum will house a interactive learning center for children, culinary artifacts, library and will provide a common place for the Hospitality Industry.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s life-size rendering of Seurat's "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte" painting showcases the talents of noted digital photographic artist Michael Lande

Artwork and live vignettes featuring cast members will be presented at Art Institute of Chicago at 11 a.m. on September 16

When Chicago Shakespeare Theater put together its artistic game plan for its soon-to-open production of the Sondheim and Lapine musical "Sunday in the Park with George," CST’s creative agency, Leo Burnett, placed a call to Chicago-based digital photographic artist Michael Lande.

The mission was intriguing: to create a unique, life-sized rendering of Georges Seurat’s famous "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte-1884" painting. This is one of the Art Institute of Chicago’s most prized and beloved masterpieces.

But this rendering would have a few missing elements. Some of the subjects in the original painting would have to be removed. "In this lifelike version, I had to make it seem as if the cast members of the play had literally leapt from the canvas onto the stage," said Lande. "I had to artistically take people out of the painting and replace their images with what I imagined would have been in their place."

The amazing results of his meticulous work will be on display as Chicago Shakespeare Theater promotes the new production at an 11 a.m. Sunday, September 16 preview event at the Art Institute of Chicago. The event will feature a live performance of a song from the musical, presented by the cast members who will be in full costume. Art Institute visitors who mention Chicago Shakespeare Theater at the admission desk will receive $2 off their admission to the Art Institute on that day (September 16).

The CST rendering of "Grand Jatte" will then be on display at the Navy Pier Expo until just before the production opens, when it will move to Chicago Shakespeare Theater to become part of a lobby display. The play runs from September 26 through November 4 at Chicago Shakespeare’s Courtyard Theater on Navy Pier. After the final performance, the artwork will be auctioned off to benefit Chicago Shakespeare’s arts-in-education programs.

For Lande, conceiving and producing this work of art was an adventure that captured his imagination—and tested the enormous skill set he has developed over twenty years of working in the digital space. He was a natural choice for this project. He has built a stellar reputation for his longtime work with such major clients as Leo Burnett, P&G, McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Comcast, Nintendo and Wrigley’s, to name a few. He is a CLIO award winner and a go-to artist for many projects involving photography, retouching and special effects.

"After I started working on this project," said Lande, "I became immersed in the artistic vision of Seurat, who was a true innovator. It was Seurat’s work that inspired the term pointillism and it is Seurat who everyone thinks of when they hear that term." Lande went so far as to find some French classical music of Seurat’s period to play while he spent hours working on the digital painting. "At some point I began feeling as if I was channeling Seurat. It was extraordinary to feel so connected to an artist, but I had to have that connection in order to make my rendering of the painting exude his master’s touch and passion."

Lande started with a quarter-scale digital version of the original painting. He then enlarged it to life-size and digitally removed and replaced parts of the digital image to accomplish his mission. He experimented with a variety of digital techniques to achieve the Seurat look. "I wound up painting dot by dot, the same way Seurat did, but with a digital brush," he said. "After trying a variety of shortcuts and using many PhotoShop tools and filters, I determined that none would have produced the results that would meet Seurat’s standards, if he were alive to see them. So I re-grouped, analyzed his painting technique very closely and figured out how to do the same thing with digital tools."

The final rendering is printed on canvas and is 121.25 inches wide. Lande has achieved remarkable accuracy in duplicating the lighting, textures and color tones that are on the original Seurat. "If you compare the original with the Chicago Shakespeare Theater version, and then see the musical, you’ll see that the missing elements are the cast members brought to life," said Lande with a smile. "What fun!"

For more information about the September 16 preview and the September 26–November 4 production of Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s "Sunday in the Park with George," please visit the CST website at or call the theater box office at (312) 595-5600.


To contact digital photographic artist Michael Lande, please visit his website at He can be reached by telephone at (312) 404-1593 or by email at

Thursday, September 13, 2012

National Cheeseburger Day is Tuesday, September 18!

National Cheeseburger Day is upon us yet again and several Chicagoland restaurants are honoring it by featuring juicy and delicious cheeseburger options for everyone’s taste.

131 N. Clinton St. Chicago, IL

Chicago French Market’s, Frietkoten, is primarily known for its authentic Belgian fries and hearty selection of Belgian beers, both on tap and bottled.  However the recently added menu of gourmet Belgian cheeseburgers, made from beef that is freshly ground daily, is proving that the Belgians know what makes up a great burger.  It’s offering of cheeseburgers include a combination of choice toppings like smoked Gouda and blue cheeses, maple bacon, cheddar cheese, sweet grilled onions, apples, and fried egg. All cheeseburgers come with Frietkoten’s signature crispy Belgian fries and a dipping sauce for $8.75, plus tax.  Add a seasonal beer to make it a meal from one of its selections on tap including Avril Biere de Table and Debuisson Cuvee des Trolls, Blond Ale for only $11.

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

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

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar not only serves prime steaks cooked to perfection, but its extensive new Bar la Carte  menu offers Fleming’s guests six all-new satisfying dishes available any time, any evening. More substantial than appetizers or the typical “bar bites” found at many restaurants, the addition of this Bar la Carte menu makes Fleming’s bar as much a destination for food as it is for wine and cocktails. Included in the new Bar la Carte menu is the Fleming’s Prime Burger, served with Wisconsin cheddar cheese, peppered bacon, and Fleming’s Signature Onion Rings.  Stop in to enjoy the prime burger on National Cheeseburger Day for $14, or enjoy it for only $6 between 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. during Fleming’s daily 5-6-7 promotion - in which 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. Beverage specials are good all evening in Illinois.

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

River North and Fulton River District’s Maxwell’s at the Club, is open to the public despite its location in the private confines of East Bank Club. The restaurant serves some of the best food in the neighborhood, with many menu items customizable to please anyone’s particular tastes and desires.

One of the most popular selections at Maxwell’s is Max’s Minis, a trio of sliders that includes a mini prime steakburger, a mini Santé Fe chicken burger and a mini Yellowfin Tuna Steak burger, all topped with crispy onion strings for $10. For customized minis, ask for any combination of the three. Steak lovers will enjoy the very popular Mini Tenderloin Sliders for $14, a trio of seared mini filet mignon sliders finished with lemon and basil.

For a larger appetite, Maxwell’s Prime Steakburger is available for $11, made from ten ounces of prime beef, topped with lettuce tomato, onion and pickle and your choice of cheese, served with sweet potato fries, fresh-cut fries or seasonal fresh fruit.

777 E. Butterfield Rd. Lombard IL
 (630) 472-0777;

Trademark Tavern offers customers a way to truly indulge in the burger holiday; with its “Add a Patty” promotion. Running through September 22, customers can order 1/3 pound cheeseburgers for $3 and stack on as many extra patties as they wish for an additional $1 each. The burgers come with American cheese, lettuce, and pickle.
Trademark also has a range of tempting cheeseburgers including its signature Trademark Burger for $10, made with a Pat LaFrieda™ ground chuck and ground short rib combination; topped with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. They also provide an enticing selection of cheese options including aged cheddar, Gruyére, provolone, Gouda, habanero jack, and blue cheese for an extra $1.

419 West Superior Street Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 475-9112;

Zealous is celebrating 19 years in business this month, and as Michael Taus, chef/owner, continues to offer an award winning fine-dining experience to his patrons, he has proven he still knows how to produce a great cheeseburger.  Voted Chicago Magazine’s “Best Burger Ever” and Travel & Leisure’s “Top 10 Burgers in America” Zealous’ Z’ Burger is the pinnacle of a fine dining take on the all-around classic.  Served with Havarti cheese and tomato Remoulade on a house-made dill roll and served with fries, the highly coveted burger is available a la carte for $15. 

Cheeseburger History
The history of the hamburger is not quite certain, but some sources believe Mongols riding on horseback started it all. They would stash meat in their saddles and ride around while conquering different territories, during which the meat would become tenderized enough for consumption. It is also believed that this practice was brought to Russia, where they adopted it as steak tartare. Years later, with global trade becoming more prominent, the idea was carried to the port city of Hamburg, Germany. There they decided to mold the meat into a shape resembling steak, and cook it; soon becoming known as “Hamburg Steak.” Even the origin of the modern cheeseburger is crowded in mystery, since more than one person claims to have placed the first slice of cheese on a beef patty. Was it Pasadena fry cook Lionel Sternberger in 1924 or Charles Kaelin years later in his Louisville restaurant? Today people don’t mind much where it was invented just as long as they can enjoy them this National Cheeseburger Day.