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Prince Paul
9 p.m. at The Shrine; $10
For as much as De La is responsible for ushering in the Daisy Age, none of that would have been possible if not for the work of Prince Paul. His offbeat skits, bugged-out sense of humor and encyclopedic knowledge of breaks decorated De La's first three albums, which to this day stand as one of the most innovative bodies of work hip-hop has ever known. It's been a while since he’s been to Chicago, but the last time he was here he put on a set that covered everything from hip-hop and funk to deep house cuts and even a little classic rock. (J. Min)

6 p.m. at Museum of Contemporary Art; free
Local artist Paul Nudd leads this installment of the monthly free-form workshop for aspiring artists (as well as those of us with no artistic talent whatsoever). Materials and direction is provided. The imagination is up to you.

Perfume Genius, Sebastian Blanck
8 p.m. at Schubas; $10
Threaded about the audible foot-pedal thumps of Seattle-based singer-songwriter Perfume Genius are usually nothing more than his angelic – yet intensely raw – coo and maybe a scratchy synth line for warmth. But that's it. All that's left are some achingly tender anecdotes about writing letters to siblings and daughters holding their mothers, that float forever in the room like cathartic ghosts. New York baroque popster, Sebastian Blanck, and Chicago’s Mazes, open. (Gavin Paul)


Tall Ships Chicago
10 a.m.-9 p.m. at Navy Pier; $9-$20
A boarding ticket gets you on the pirate-like ships, with programs and activities for the kids. Or just hang out on the pier and watch the big ships come in all weekend (show runs until Sunday).

Pizza and Beer Pairing
7 p.m. at Sheffield’s, $30
Pair your favorite Sheffield’s brews with the unique pie selections from Ian’s Pizza just down the street.

7:30 p.m. at United Center; $20-$500
Look for the R&B sensation to perform a bunch from her upcoming, yet-untitled dance album, including the first single “Only Girl.” Don’t have tickets to the show? You can catch her after party at Vision Nightclub, starting at 10 p.m. ($20).


Single City is a twice-weekly blog about the Chicago dating scene written by Sun-Times Media Wire reporter Sally Ho. Got a question? Email her!

Locals often lament Chicago's winter cold is utterly bone-chilling, but “the summers make up for it.”

And while the list of things to love about and in a warm Second City is endless, a visit to the beautiful Museum of Contemporary Art is a must – if only for their beautiful outdoor space on Tuesday evenings (5:30-8 p.m.) through Sept. 28.

RICH MAN: Entry to “Tuesdays on the Terrace”
hosted by our impressive neighborhood art museum – one of the world’s largest for contemporary art – is just $22 a person. It is a steal considering you are treated to a jazz concert as you enjoy an internationally themed dinner buffet prepared by Wolfgang Puck catering, which uses locally-grown produce from the MCA’s own farmer’s market.

RSVP immediately for Tuesday’s night of fun featuring Brazilian cuisine, including grilled churrasco, chimichurri swordfish, grilled eggplant, rice and tomato salad, farmers market salad and dessert.

POOR MAN: So Wolfgang’s out of your league? That’s OK, because you can still enjoy the same jazz concert on a great summer night at MCA with the cuisine of ... a county fair (still romantic!). Bring a blanket and find a spot on the garden lawn, where a few bucks will buy you something from the outdoor grill (burgers, dogs) or drinks at the cash bar on the lower terrace. And while you’re, you know, at a fantastic art museum, walk around the sculpture garden too – all of this for free!


If you watched "Top Chef Masters" this season, you know that Marcus Samuelsson has some major grilling chops. Well, come June 26 and 27, you can learn from the master during the chef's second-annual BBQ Bootcamp at C-House.

Samuelsson (the owner), executive chef Nicole Pederson and pastry chef Toni Roberts will offer demonstrations of North Carolina, Texas and Tennessee styles on the restaurant's rooftop grills, as guests enjoy Goose Island beers, specialty Bacardi cocktails and light appetizers (you'll also get to taste some of the grilled fare). The event, which runs from noon-2 p.m. each day, costs $75. Purchase tickets by callling Bridget at (312) 787-3510 or emailing

Here are some recent Chicago restaurant (and bar) openings and closings.

Pour Drinks & Eats -- Joe Parra, the general manager of this Lakeview spot, took the garden concept up a notch with moody lighting, cozy seating, flat screens and a thought-out menu of affordable fare.
FreshBerry -- Yet another frozen-yogurt chain has set up shop in Chicago, this time in Streeterville.
Donatella Mediterranean Bistro -- Donatella Majore, owner of the now-closed La Cucina di Donatella, is back for more, opening this Mediterranean-inspired spot in Evanston.
Jimmy Green's Bar & Grill -- This self-described "all-American sports bar" serves up everything from pizza to hummus in the South Loop.
City Provisions Deli -- Gourmet catering company City Provisions (headquartered just up the street) offers up gourmet sandwiches, sides and a small selection of groceries at this shop.
Ojo de Agua Taqueria -- Get tacos, burritos and quesadillas on handmade tortillas at this taqueria on the border of Bucktown and Logan Square.
Kim & Scott's Cafe Twist -- The folks behind frozen-food brand Kim and Scott's Gourmet Pretzels now have a storefront restaurant to call their own.

Marche -- Got a steak frites craving? Better get there fast. The French West Loop spot plans to close its doors on June 13.

Martini Park -- No more adults will be playing at this River North lounge.
Sugar Syndicate -- One third of Lincoln Square's "Sweet Collective" has come down from its sugar high.
Purple Haze – The Northwestern-themed bar didn't last long in what seems to be a cursed space in Lakeview. The new inhabitant: Beer.
Shallots Bistro -- Apparently, gourmet kosher fare wasn't for everyone.
Shrimp Walk -- The Highwood Thai spot remains open for private parties.
Viet Bistro -- The Rogers Park restaurant stayed classy 'til the end.
En*Thai*Ce -- Andersonville just lost a favorite pad see eiw purveyor.

Check back here every week for more openings and closings, and be sure to check out Centerstage Chicago's lists of new restaurants and bars.

Beer + Food = Bliss

Food + Art = Alinea

Beer + Art = Pollock

Beer + Food + Art = ?

Find out the answer to that equation at the fourth annual Beerfly Alleyfight, taking place from noon-4 p.m. Saturday at the Rock Bottom Brewery. The competition, organized by the Drinking & Writing Brewery, challenges participants to create the best pairings of "homebrewed beer, home-cooked food and homegrown art"; dueling artists include Neo-Futurist Eliza Burmester and videographer Ren Valerde. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door.

Too White Crew represents on Saturday at Lakeview Mayfest

Lakeview Mayfest
Friday-Sunday at 3100 N. Ashland Ave.; $5
Kick off the festival season with this 17th annual event, held in a big tent on Ashland. Saturday afternoon features Kids Day America, where the tent area is turned into a big playground. Sunday is the Mayfest Pet Parade, featuring contests like "Best Looking," "Largest," and "Owner Look-A-Like." At night, the music takes over, as local festival staples Too White Crew, Hairbangers Ball (Saturday) and Mike & Joe (Sunday) hit the stage.

We're always keeping you posted on what to see and do in the city with our daily "3 Things" feature -- but there's so much going on, we sometimes fail to turn the spotlight on the awesome food and drink events occurring daily. Hope you saved some room, because here are a few extra helpings:

Ommegang Beer and BBQ
6-9 p.m. at Jake Melnick's Corner Tap; $25
Sample some craft Belgian-style ales (including Ommegang Witte, Hennepin, Belgian Pale Ale) along with some BBQ bites (mini brisket sandwiches, pulled pork, Memphis smoked chicken) at this all-you-can eat tasting event.

Maker's Mark Bourbon Dinner
7 p.m. at The Tasting Room; $50
Tonight's three-course meal at this West Loop hangout features pairings of bourbon cocktails with each dish. You'll begin with wattleseed-rubbed venison carpaccio with toasted pine nuts and aged balsamic vinegar (drink: Maker's Mark, Tahitian vianilla and wattleseed nectar with blood orange bitters and tupelo honey). Then comes the Pork Belly Smoker with red onion and piave au gratin and Riesling apple sauce (drink: Maker's Mark, cedar smoked key lime and fresh mint nectar, mint sprig muddle, ginger ale float). Finally, take on a bone-in ribeye served with a grilled shrimp skewer, blue cheese Maker's Mark demi-glace and crispy shallots (drink Maker's Mark, Georgia peach and tarrago nectar, honeysuckle bitters). For reservations, call (312) 942-1313.

Spring Wines
7-9 p.m. at Feast (Bucktown); $20
The Bucktown spot's final tasting of the season features spring wines like muscadet, pinot noir and zinfandel. Cleanse your palate and then enjoy some of the world-spanning cuisine that's helped the restaurant along to two (soon to be three) city locations.


Them Crooked Vultures
8 p.m. at Aragon Ballroom; $46.75
When this trio blew up the Metro last August with their secret Lolla midnight after-party, the only thing people had time to think about was how kick-ass the combined powers of John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl and Josh Homme could potentially be. Sadly, the marketing turned out to be more of a kick than the record that dropped later that winter; it was wily and full of knee-forward bombast, but by no means on par with the members' famed pasts (Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age). A new record is on the way, though, and the live show is sure to remain hair-raising.

Indie Incubator Film Fest
7:30 p.m. at The Original Mother's; free
Once again, you'll enjoy two hours of independent short films from local filmmakers at this Gold Coast bar, with a dance party to follow the rest of the night. New to the festivities this year are the 'Eye-Con' Awards and the Image Union Awards.

Zepaltas Wine Tasting
6-8:30 p.m. at Bistro 110; $25
Winemaker Ryan Zepaltas comes to this restaurant just off the Magnificent Mile for a special event that includes unlimited tastings and paired appetizers and small plates. Featured wines include a 2007 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, a 2007 Rose of Pinot Noir, a 2006 Rosella's Vineyard, Santa Luci Highland Syrah and more.

If you thought last month's Craft Brewers Conference was as good as it would get for Chicago beer geeks this year, think again. The first annual Chicago Craft Beer Week kicks off on Monday, with a whole lot of brew-centric events on the agenda. Too many, in fact, for us to run down here, but we'll point out a few that caught our eye (and you can check out the rest in the official schedule):

  • Monday, May 17: Kickoff Party at the Map Room. Given its already robust list of craft brews, we're betting that you'll be able to find a who's who of the craft-brewing world hanging out here to toast what should be a fun week.
  • Wednesday, May 19: Rare Chicago Beer Night at Small Bar Fullerton. If you think you're an expert in the local beer scene, you'll want to refresh your palate with these unusual brews from the likes of Three Floyds, Half Acre, Two Brothers and more.
  • Saturday, May 22: The Fourth Annual Beerfly Alleyfight at Rock Bottom Brewery. This pairing of homebrewed beer, home-cooked food and homegrown art (from the Drinking & Writing Brewery) is something to behold...and participate in. Buy tickets ($30) here.

3 Things To Do Today

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Ensemble Lipzodes: Shakespeare & the Bassano Family
12:15 p.m. at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (enclosed stage); free
Looking for something different to do during your lunch hour? This Early Music Festival event should do the trick. Inspired by the relationship between the Bard and the family of instrument makers and performers, this concert will include sonnets and quotations from "The Merchant of Venice."

Earth Day Dinner

5-10 p.m. at Markethouse; $49
Looking for a tasty way to celebrate the day? This eco-friendly restaurant in the Doubletree Hotel in Streeterville will offer a five-course, candlelit dinner including spring pea soup with morel mushroom, La Quercia and mint; nut- and spice-crusted yellowfin with pickled kumquats, hearts of palm and blood orange; salad with apricots, shaved fennel, Marcona almonds, endive and white balsamic vinaigrette; a Dietzler Farms filet with spring onions, morel mushroom and red wine sauce; and warm butterscotch bread pudding with coffee toffee ice cream. Find more Earth Day events.

Bordeaux MatchMaking
7:30-9:30 p.m. at Y Bar; free
What's your top criteria in finding a match? Height? Hair color? Level of education? How about taste in wine? This free event (part of a national tour) asks participants to fill out an online survey about the kind of wines they like, using those results to pair up people with similar tastes. You'll enjoy complimentary samples and hors d'oeuvres...and who knows, maybe you'll meet the palate of your dreams!

Hometown hero Hannibal Buress holds down Zanies all week. (photo:

Hannibal Buress
8:30 p.m. at Zanies; $23
The West Side native has come a long way from crashing open mics. Now a writer for "Saturday Night Live" and a featured performer on Comedy Central, the stand-up comedian is the toast of his hometown, so expect this five-night residency to be packed. Hannibal recently talked to the Sun-Times about his unorthodox sense of humor.

The Ruby Suns, Toro Y Moi
9 p.m. at Schubas; $10
Plucked from New Zealand to join the Sub Pop set, pop connoisseur Ryan McPhun gets wily with Kenya-sourced rhythms and chorus lines soaked up from some recent travels, though interpreted with a completely digital set-up. If you always thought Panda Bear's Person Pitch needed a bit more boogie, McPhun's got you covered. South Carolina’s Toro Y Moi, on the other hand, has been getting a lot of flak for riding the chillwave post-storm (Neon Indian, Washed Out, Memory Cassette). He's got more than lo-fi foot-dragging up his sleeve, however, teasing sets with some hip-friendly guitar jangles when the mood gets too fuzzy.

Firefighter Chili Cook-Off
6-8 p.m. at Rock Bottom Brewery; $5-$10
In honor of the release of Rock Bottom's Fire Chief Ale (available through April 4), the brewery's Chicago location hosts this 14th annual competition benefiting the Chicago Fire Department and related charities. Your admission fee gets you unlimited samples of 25 different chilis crafted by local firefighters; pay another $5 for your choice of beer in a souvenir pint glass.


I scream, you scream, we all scream ice cream.

That's right, today's Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's, where you can get a complimentary scoop from noon-8 p.m. today. The nearest participating area locations are at Navy Pier, The Glen in Northbrook and Oak Park (1025 W. Lake). Sorry travelers, the Midway location won't be participating.


The Very Best
8 p.m. at Bottom Lounge; $15
It may have started as a chance encounter at a thrift shop, but after a handful of successful remixes, collaborations and a highly touted full-length, the infectiously charming trio The Very Best (Esau Mwamwaya, Johan Hugo and DJ Tron) have established themselves as darlings of the global music scene. The London-based trio tastefully mixes traditional Malawi rhythms with modern-day hip-hop beats, reggae and, well, pretty much everything else to create the sunniest Afro-pop you'll hear. If you tried to catch them in October you probably were met with a disappointing cancellation notice, but don't let that deter you from this one because Esau Mwamwaya has officially cleared his visa and has promised to deliver a show that's well worth the wait.

Cabinet of Curiosities
6 p.m. at Museum of Contemporary Art (in Puck's Cafe); free
Non-profit art gallery threewalls curates this month's edition of the variety show series. The gallery has made a name for itself by showcasing all forms of media, so expect an eclectic evening.

Vintage Magic "Uncorked"
7:30 p.m. at In Fine Spirits Lounge; $13
Magician Sean Masterson performs a variety of parlor tricks in a private room at this Andersonville wine bar. Watch him make bottles disappear before your very eyes -- while you do the same to a classic cocktail from the extensive list.

Here are some recent restaurant/bar openings and closings.

M Burger - This burger-and-shake joint shares a kitchen with Tru in Streeterville.
Aldino's - The people behind Mia Francesca and The Purple Pig bring this Italian cafe/market to Little Italy.
Club Blujazz - Finally, a jazz lounge in Wicker Park -- with nightly performances!

Horan's Snug -- One of Forest Park's most comfortable pubs has turned into a place called Duck Fat Tavern & Grill.

Check back here every week for more openings and closings, and be sure to check out Centerstage Chicago's lists of new restaurants and bars.


Meet a real live leprechaun
As part of its week-long celebration, Timothy O’Toole’s will have a “real live leprechaun” (we’re guessing it’s just a short Irish dude in a green suit, but go with it) schmoozing the crowd and hosting the first of many green beer chugging contests.

The festivities start at 8 p.m. on Friday and continue until, well, pretty much next Thursday.

Try a Chocolate Guinness cupcake
Dessert haven More Cupcakes is behind this succulent treat, which is crafted to replicate the appearance of a Guinness-filled pint glass. It features a dark Guinness-chocolate cake topped with a light Guinness-muscovado brown sugar frosting.

Beer in cupcake form? Now we’re talking! If that’s not your bag, try the Irish Coffee cupcake – coffee cake topped with a Kahlua-Guinness frosting. Sweetened coffee soil - a crumbly mix of ground coffee, almond flour, cocoa powder and salt - is sprinkled on top.

Both are on sale at least through St. Patrick’s Day.

Make your own Irish toast
Learn a few authentic Gaelic toasts with the help of River North Irish pub Fado’s web site. Choose from three toasts, then upload your photo and … well, you’ll see.

Our fave:
Get it in
Get it out
Get it home
Get it washed

Simple, yet practical.

DJ Spooky closes out the second CIMM Fest on Sunday. (photo: MySpace)

Chicago International Movies and Music Festival
Thursday-Sunday around Chicago; $10-$40
Highlights of this four-day film fest include a retrospective of experimental filmmaker Marie Losier's work, performances from DJ Spooky (March 7 at Lincoln Hall), Robyn Hitchcock (March 5 at Schubas), Jon Langford (March 6 at Schubas), Grant Hart (Husker Du drummer, March 5 at St. Paul's Cultural Center) and many films.

Here are some recent restaurant/bar openings and closings.

Tao Ran Ju Restaurant - Get yer goose intestines and duck gizzards at this Chinatown restaurant.
Harry Caray's Tavern (Navy Pier) - It's a meeting of the minds for two of the biggest tourist attractions in the city.
Francesca's on Chestnut - The Italian empire-building continues with this Gold Coast outpost at the Seneca Hotel.

Houndstooth Saloon - After a brief closing, the beloved Lakeview bar is back on Thursday in a new, bigger space a block south of its old location. Watch for Dos Gringos Trailer Park in the old space in the next week or so.

A Mano - After a few years of serving up rustic Italian cuisine in the heart of downtown, John Caputo's restaurant will close its doors on Saturday, March 6.

Check back here every week for more openings and closings, and be sure to check out Centerstage Chicago's lists of new restaurants and bars.


Last weekend's Chicago WingFest turned out pretty well for Jake Melnick's Corner Tap. The Streeterville bar took home three prizes, including first place in the Hot category (for the XXX Hot Wings), second place in the Exotic category (for the Poncho's Wings) and the overall Best in Show award. To celebrate, Jake's will offer special $5 WingFest Flights featuring three of each variety from now through March 17.


Toast to Harry Caray
7:40 p.m. at Harry Caray's Tavern (Navy Pier); free
What better place to toast to the late Cubs announcer (he would've been 96 today) than at the latest addition to his bar/restaurant empire? Join his widow, Dutchie, plus Chicago celebrities like Ernie Banks, Bobby Hull, Ron Kittle, Rick Nielson, Bill Kurtis, Richard Roeper, Joe Piscopo and more for a special toast to a special man. It's just one of many events happening at the new location today, which celebrates its grand opening with a full schedule including a Mascot Toast, the unveiling of the Chicago Sports Museum and raffles and giveaways every half hour. WGN Radio will broadcast live from 4-9 p.m.

Common Threads World Festival
6-9 p.m. at Soldier Field; $250
Celebrate Art Smith's 50th birthday with the celebrity chef and dozens of his culinary superfriends at this annual charity event. Expect a wide array of food samples from the likes of Graham Elliot Bowles (Graham Elliot), Jimmy Bannos Sr. (Heaven on Seven, The Purple Pig), David Burke and Rick Gresh (David Burke's Primehouse), Christophe David (NoMI), Gale Gand (TRU), Stephanie Izard (The Girl & The Goat), Koren Grieveson (Avec) and more. The event benefits Smith's Common Threads foundation, which introduces low-income children to the world of cooking. A $500 VIP ticket gets you access to exclusive pre- and post-parties.

Jimmy Burns

9:30 p.m. at Buddy Guy's Legends; $10
The longtime host of The Jam is dealing with some sadness, as his wife, Dorothy, just passed away. That's just one more reason to go and support the Delmark stalwart who took a two-decade hiatus from his career to raise his family. He mounted a comeback in the late '90s with Leaving Here Walking, which won accolades for its explosive John Lee Hooker tightness and the Sunday-mass soul retained from his choirboy youth.

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