Best New Restaurants
By Dennis Ray Wheaton and Jeff Ruby
Twenty-one restaurants, countless thrills. Several of this year’s top new spots bend rules and influences; others give classic genres much-needed shots of adrenaline. Either way, all 21 of them loom large in a booming restaurant landscape where it’s getting harder and harder to do that.

The Show Goes On
by Marcia Froelke Coburn
Two years ago, Christopher Kennedy, the president of the Merchandise Mart, rescued the city’s leading art exhibition from a last-minute downfall. This spring, the expectations for the show and its satellite offerings are solidly world class.  

Plumbers Who Won’t Drain Your Wallet
by Robert Krughoff
Looking for the perfect plumber? Need tips for a quick repair or a big remodeling? Are you getting a massive migraine just thinking about it? Don’t fret. Use our list of 24 of the best Chicago-area plumbers as your guide. And then go relax. 

Towering Ambition
by Jay Pridmore
The Chicago Spire aims to be the tallest skyscraper in North America. But since its conception in 2002, the building has switched developers, has undergone numerous design changes, and has yet to secure a bank loan to finance the rest of the construction of its 1,200 luxury condominiums. Will it really get built?

Fashion: A Goddess by Night
by Stacey Jones
This spring, eveningwear—short and long—salutes the drape and flow of classic Grecian designs. Gladiator sandals complete the mythological look of the moment. And once again, women rise to the occasion and reign supreme.




PAGE TWO Cook County GOPs turn to the Web to find candidates; a what-if delegate scenario ARTS & CULTURE Sketchbook gives new playwrights a break; The Blip flies a kite; one film’s fall from grace; Clinton in Exile; Ashley Wheater shakes up the Joffrey; a Top Model contestant strikes a chord; books, music, more SERVICE DESK Got visitors? Put them up at one of these five charming neighborhood hotels and B & B’s for a taste of city living. Plus: Food prices growing STYLE Our guide to the local who’s who of hair; the best runway show in Chicago; Alessandra Branca turns a Gold Coast townhouse into an artful interior design shop. Plus: Sales Check

Bill Kim bares his Soul; the hottest spots; catch the spirit in Wrigleyville; gluten-free treats that actually taste good

by Sarah Preston
River North’s next top model; new places to drink in bar-starved Lake View

by David Murray
Kathy Savio Peterson, third wife of Bolingbrook ex-cop Drew Peterson, warned authorities she’d be killed. Why did no one heed her cries for help? 

Real Estate
by Dennis Rodkin
Will the lure of city living and an influx of international buyers rescue Chicago’s bloated condo market before it goes bust? 

Deal Estate
by Dennis Rodkin
Pricey house sales in Winnetka and Lincoln Park, and new condos in the city and suburbs


The Closer
by Jeff Ruby
The path to becoming a dining critic meanders past microwaved hot dog buns and Edith Piaf.

Chicago Guide®
Your handbook to what’s going on around town  Ministry takes a bow; Hunchback takes the stage; comics take over the MCA.

The definitive guide to Chicago’s top restaurants. Four new listings from West Town to St. Charles; Les Nomades gains; One Sixtyblue stumbles.