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Frolic Indoors!

Where to eat, drink, cavort, gawk, read, and jolly it up

(page 1 of 3)

Fly with the Culture Vultures

A karaoke microphone
Photo: istockphoto

1. Admire portrait vessels by the Moche civilization in the Native American gallery of the Art Institute of Chicago (111 S. Michigan Ave., 312-443-3600). “They are extraordinarily vivid and lifelike.” —Anthony Freud, general director of the Lyric Opera

2. Sing your guts out at Lincoln Karaoke (5526 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-895-2299) and Hidden Cove (5338 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-275-6711). —Joe Swanberg, filmmaker

3. Drink glogg at Simon’s Tavern (5210 N. Clark St., 773-878-0894). —Kirby Kerr, co-owner of Rotofugi toy store and gallery

4. Get a deep-tissue massage at Chicago Sweatlodge (3500 N. Cicero Ave., 773-202-1777). —Nick Cave, professor of fashion design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

5. Visit the Garfield Park Conservatory (300 N. Central Park Ave., 312-746-5100). “My kids and I used our iPhones and tried to record the sound of plants, which was a really funny challenge.” —Heidi Reitmaier, director of education at the Museum of Contemporary Art

6. Order the burger and fries at Rootstock (954 N. California Ave., 773-292-1616) in Humboldt Park. —Carlos Rolon, the artist known as Dzine

7. Catch the Hypocrites’ remount of The Mikado (the-hypocrites.com). “It’s absurd, silly fun that they make totally accessible. Family, kids, anyone can go.” —Allison Hendrix, associate artistic director at Kokandy Productions

8. See The Way of the Shovel at the Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E. Chicago Ave., 312-280-2660). —Laura Letinsky, photographer

9. Commune with fellow Blackhawks fans. “There’s something about knowing that, no matter how crappy the weather is, you’re gonna be with 20,000 people like you, screaming your heads off.” —Jim Coudal, founder of the creative agency Coudal Partners

 

Cook All Day Long

Stephanie Izard’s Never-Ending-Chicago-Winter Stew
Photo: Dan Goldberg

“It’s always nice to spend a cold winter day slow-cooking an afternoon supper.”
—Stephanie Izard, chef at Girl & the Goat (809 W. Randolph St., 312-492-6262)

Stephanie Izard’s Never-Ending-Chicago-Winter Stew

3 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
3 lb. Beef (chuck), cubed
  Salt and pepper
1 Small onion, diced small
3 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 Pear, peeled, cored, and diced
1 Pineapple, peeled, cored, and diced small
½ cup Red wine
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
¾ cup Fish sauce
¾ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. Sambal (Asian chili paste)
2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
16 oz. can Diced tomato
1 qt. Chicken stock
2 cups Apple cider

In a 5 qt. soup pot, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over high heat. Season half the beef with salt and pepper and add to the pot; brown and remove. Repeat with other half of the meat; set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium; cook the onion and garlic, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add fruit and wine and reduce liquid by half. Add remaining ingredients, including the browned beef. Bring to boil and lower heat. Cover and simmer for 2½ hours. Goes great with pasta, rice, or a giant hunk of bread. Serves 8.

 

Demolish That Foodie Checklist

Consider yourself a devoted follower of the city’s latest dining crazes? Add these five items to your list of must-eats:

Bang Bang Pie Shop’s Biscuit Sandwich

Bang Bang Pie Shop’s Biscuit Sandwich

Photo: Courtesy of Bang Bang Pie Shop

The popular bakery and café is now stuffing its legendary sour cream biscuits with candied bacon, smoky ham, creamy grits . . .
2051 N. California Ave., 773-276-8888
 

Dillman’s Pastrami on Rye

Dillman’s Pastrami on Rye

Photo: Kari Skaflen

Crazy-thick, spicy, succulent, house-cured hot pastrami piled between two slices of soft rye will clog your arteries and melt your heart.
354 W. Hubbard St., 312-988-0078
 

Honey Butter’s Fried Chicken

Honey Butter’s Fried Chicken

Photo: Anna Knott

The juicy and crispy main attraction at HBFC entered a crowded field in September and instantly became the city’s best (see our review).
3361 N. Elston Ave., 773-478-4000
 

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

Photo: Jeni’s Splendid Art and Design

The latest gourmet scoops purveyor on the scene is known for its inventive flavor combos. Middle West Whiskey Eggnog, anyone?
3404 N. Southport Ave., 773-348-7139
 

Longman & Eagle’s Doughnut

Longman & Eagle’s Doughnut

Photo: Clayton Hauck

The Logan Square resto-bar-B&B recently added ever-changing oversize doughnuts to its Sunday morning menu. Prepare to wait in line.
2657 N. Kedzie Ave., 773-276-7110
 

Beatrix’s Chocolate-Chip Cookie
Photo: Ratko Radojcic

BONUS! The chocolate-chip cookie at Beatrix. 519 N. Clark St., 312-284-1377

 

Pick Your Poison
 

Billy Sunday’s Box Lunch

Drink of the Season No. 1: Milk Punch

Billy Sunday’s Box Lunch
Photo: Matthias Merges

Make It

4 cups Whole milk
1 cup Half-and-half
1 ½ cups Brandy
1 cup Powdered sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
  Freshly grated nutmeg

In a pitcher, whisk together milk, half-and-half, brandy, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Freeze until slushy—at least 3 hours but not longer than 12. Stir to break up the ice before serving and pour into chilled glasses. Garnish with grated nutmeg. Serves 8.

Order It
Alex Bachman at Billy Sunday (3143 W. Logan Blvd., 773-661-2485) calls his twist on milk punch the Box Lunch and makes it with goat’s milk, génépi (a liqueur similar to absinthe), palo cortado (sherry), and oatmeal spices.

Recommended pairing: brownies

 

Sable’s Red Skull

Drink of the Season No. 2: Boulevardier

Sable’s Red Skull
Photo: Ratko Radojcic

Make It

2 oz. Rye or bourbon
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Sweet vermouth

Stir ingredients together in a mixing glass filled with ice. Strain into a stemmed cocktail glass or serve over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon or orange zest. Serves 1.

Order It
Mike Ryan at Sable Kitchen & Bar (505 N. State St., 312-755-9704) makes a version of a boulevardier called the Red Skull. He combines Ardbeg (a 10-year-old single-malt scotch), amaro (the Italian digestif), and Cocchi rosa (a fancy substitute for vermouth).

Recommended pairing: elk jerky

 

Hit the Museums

Catch these three new major exhibits:

1. Seasonal nuances of the sky projected onto a domed screen. Winter Sky Live at the Adler Planetarium.
Through Jan. 5

2. Mickey Mouse in the house. Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Museum of Science and Industry.
Through May 4

3. Revisit the mega-event that gave the world Juicy Fruit gum and the Ferris wheel. Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair at the Field Museum.
Through Sept. 7

 

Ride in Style

A Pullman Rail Journeys train
Photo: Courtesy of Pullman Rail Journeys

Earlier this year, the Old Town School of Folk Music forged a partnership with Pullman Rail Journeys to offer live music aboard luxuriously refurbished 1940s train cars that make a 19-hour trip from Chicago to New Orleans. In December, the service makes four trips to NOLA—on December 13, 20, 27, and 31. But only the New Year’s Eve trip features music from the Pickin’ Bubs, a rollicking country-and-blues string ensemble. Coming in April 2014: a new route from Chicago to New York City with tunes from the Jazz Age through the swing era. travelpullman.com

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