Best New Restaurants
by Dennis Ray Wheaton and Joanne Trestrail
It’s the year of odd names (Schwa), hard-to-find doorways (Copperblue), New York transplants (Il Mulino), and global ingredients used with inspired abandon (Alinea). Winners all, but so are their patrons.

Head of the Class
by Monica Ginsburg
Chicago’s eight “selective enrollment” public high schools are fielding some of the city’s top graduates, giving parents an attractive alternative to fleeing for the suburbs. But are these elite institutions draining the brains from the neighborhoods?

The World According to Chris Ware
by Cassie Walker
On the eve of a major exhibition of his work at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the shy Oak Park cartoonist offers his own introduction to the eerie realms of his graphic novels. Oh, and some friends weigh in, too.

Home Fires
by Rachel Shteir
What do you do when your housekeeper won’t clean? In an acclaimed new comedy about class and gender, Wilmette native Sarah Ruhl brings her brand of postmodern magical realism to the Goodman.

Where to Get Your Car Fixed
by Robert Krughoff
Is that rattling sound getting louder? That smell getting smellier? Before you (and your car) break down and go to the mechanic, check our list of 44 of the best Chicago-area auto repair shops.

Fashion: Heavy Metal
by Stacey Jones
Lighten up and look on the bright side this spring with reflective shades of bronze, silver, and gold. Ruffles, sequins, bags, bikinis, and scads of glowing beads are iridescent and even evanescent. Shine on.



John Keene’s poetic prose defies explanation; Chicago Sky forward Stacey Lovelace spills a few secrets about the WBNA; Prairie homeowners fling open their doors for a tour; 1906-style Sox mania; a T. rex sighting? Victoria Lautman chats up Aussie author Peter Carey; hip-hop plays; HGTV-worthy tips; the hottest color for spring; more. PLUS: The Shopper, Style Sheet, and Sales Check

How We Spend
by Clare La Plante
Kitchen and bathroom remodeling is popular in Chicago. PLUS: It’s easy not being green, judging by the local number of hybrid cars.

Real Estate | Under Seige
by Lee Scheier
Local hip-hop producer Rudy Acosta has ticked off his Independence Park neighbors with his plans to build a castlelike mansion in the community.

Show Business | Pitch Man
by Noah Isackson
Jay Lavender and his writing partner had a script in progress when they met with Vince Vaughn in L.A. The actor has other ideas. The result in The Break Up, Lavender’s first movie and an ode to the city of Chicago.

Business | Split Decision
by Judith Crown
First, the husband-and-wife team that helped build Alberto-Culver into a consumer-products power separated. Then they broke up the company.

Deal Estate
by Dennis Rodkin
A sales record for Water Tower Place, and a chance to buy Papa Bear’s den. PLUS: News from Lake Geneva, Mount Prospect, Streetervilles, and Lyons

by Sarah Preston
Chicago has become a hot spot for parties to launch products and build brand awareness-and the events have become nightlife happenings.


The Closer | Got Soul?
by Graham Meyer
After a DePaul student placed his eternal soul on Ebay, The Closer searched the site for a few locally based items that might lift his spirit.


Chicago Guide®
During May: Antiquity and its treasures are always fascinating, so the first traveling exhibition of artifacts meant to accompany King Tutankhamun into the afterlife drew record crowds. The show was hailed as a veritable blockbuster. History is repeating itself as another King Tut show, twice the size of the first, opens this month at the Field Museum.
Marquee: A preview of coming attractions

Food & Drink

The definitive guide to Chicago’s top restaurants
This month: Six new and updated listings, including Schwa and Michael
Dish: Ten hottest restaurants right now; gossip; and the coolest oven in town