Cuba Comes to Lincolnwood at 90 Miles Cuban Café

When you are in Key West, only 90 miles separates Cuba from the United States. For many, it was tantalizingly close, but a world away. For the Gonzalez family, who emigrated from Cuba on a shrimp boat back in 1980, it was a 15-hour trip to the land of opportunity. Alberto Gonzalez certainly made the […]

Cocktails Flow and Food Wows at Danny Meyer’s GreenRiver

High above Streeterville, on the 18th floor of a Northwestern Medical Center office building, sits GreenRiver, a luxe restaurant and bar that combines the magic pixie dust of NYC restaurant king Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events with the Best Bar in the World team (Jack McGarry and Sean Muldoon of NYC’s The Dead Rabbit). It’s a […]

Lake Forest Destination: Westwood Bistro

The Lake Forest crowd is a clubby bunch, and when they find someplace they like, they descend upon it in numbers. Westwood Bistro, which opened last year, certainly fits that bill. Yes, I’m a little late to the party, but better late than never, right? It was jammed to the gills on a recent visit, […]

My New Secret Vice: La Principal in Evanston

I probably shouldn’t be telling you this, because it’s already crowded, even on a recent Tuesday night when the Cubs hadn’t yet thrown in the towel. But the truth is, you need to know about La Principal, a new full-service Mexican restaurant in Evanston. Authentic Mexican Street Food Located on the site of the old […]

Lyric's 'Cinderella' So Much More Than the Disney Classic

Lyric Opera of Chicago is presenting the story of Cinderella as we’ve never seen it before. Gioachino Rossini’s marvelous retelling of this story (“La Cenerentola”) at the Civic Opera House makes us forget the Disney version. There is no fairy godmother. Instead, a towering philosopher sees to it that virtue is rewarded. No cute little […]

Chicago Shakespeare Theater's 'Ride the Cyclone' at Navy Pier

The Ferris wheel may be gone, but you can still “Ride the Cyclone” at Navy Pier. Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) is currently presenting the U.S. premiere of the decidedly offbeat – and entirely engaging – “Ride the Cyclone” in the Theater Upstairs. It’s a smart blend of musical genres, cultural references, quirky characters, and impossible […]

Summer Year Round: The Hampton Social

Summer in Chicago is short (July, August, occasionally September) but oh, so sweet. The Hampton Social aims to make the feeling last all year long – and largely succeeds. From the moment you step inside (and even before, walking beneath the twinkling strands of white linen globe lights on your way to the door), you […]

'The Marriage of Figaro' at Lyric Opera of Chicago

“The Marriage of Figaro” is all about sex, and Director Barbara Gaines doesn’t let us forget it. In a new production at Lyric Opera of Chicago, which opened Sept. 26 at the Civic Opera House, she gives everything from adolescent longings to le droit du seigneur a humorous touch. Gaines is founder and artistic director of Chicago […]

Cibo Trattoria: New Italian in Glencoe

One of this summer’s oddest suburban dramas has ended peacefully: After a few months at odds with the City of Glencoe’s liquor licensing process, Cibo Trattoria has finally been granted their license, and their full bar is now open. For a while there was uncertainty about whether they would remain open; it’s hard to compete […]

Greek Life: Kefi Greek Tavern in Evanston

Kefi is a Greek word (roughly) meaning passion, exuberance, joy, a lust for life. Think Zorba the Greek dancing on the beach, or the Greek custom of smashing plates. For owner John Tasiopoulos, it’s an expression that sums up how he feels about his family, his heritage and his mother’s food. Because at its heart, […]