The Dining Awards, by Dennis Ray Wheaton
Here, Chicago magazine’s definitive annual list, designed to end-or start-all arguments: This year, we celebrate Chicago’s meteoric rise to Great American Dining City by ranking its 20 finest restaurants.

Field of Pain, by Robert Sharoff
The renovation of Soldier Field is a chance for the architect Dirk Lohan, grandson of Ludwig Mies van der Rhoe, to leave his mark on the lakefront. But relentless derision has been the overriding response to the design.

Report from the Dark Side, by Lucia Mauro
Partly because of her own bumpy past, Chicago actress Kate Buddeke embraces the gritty roles-the mass murderer, the alcoholic, the wanton woman.

The Remains of Knife 33, by John Cook
In 1970, the air force declared two Chicago airmen dead following a helicopter crash in Laos. The men finally got a ceremonial military funeral last June-but the questions surrounding their deaths can’t be buried so easily.

Some Enchanted Evenings, by Stacey Jones
A fall dinner date is an invitation to stop traffic-to go dazzling and glam-in rich satins and silks, in soft velvets and wisps of flirty feathers.




Burlesque blows through; PR magnate Dan Edelman; neck-and-neck with fall’s hottest scarves; more

Style Sheet, by Stacy Wallace-Albert
Homespun accessories in knits and felt offer cozy comfort against the big chill.

Arts Beat
The CSO’s Henry Fogel strikes first; a rock group auctions itself on eBay; The Neo-Futurists write and drink; plus, Monet mania.

Real Lives | Voice of Reason, by Marcia Froelke Coburn
Julie Swieca is the only full-time female voice in Chicago sports radio. And she knows how to listen.

Society | Uncivil Liberties, by Lucinda Hahn
Abusive behavior, vulgarity, rudeness-too many people, says civil liberties expert Geovinella Gonthier, are giving at the office.

Reporter | Total Awareness, by Dennis Rodkin
Gregg Latterman, the founder of Aware Records, spots talented bands early on and sends them straight to the top.

Sports | Full Count, by Robert Kurson
He’s got the numbers, but so far Ron Santo has not made the cut for baseball’s Hall of Fame. This winter, he will probably get his last swing.

Deal Estate, by Dennis Rodkin
The boyhood home of Kenneth Goodman (as in “Theatre”), a getaway in Barrington Hills, and Lincoln Park’s priciest street-plus stunning new condo developments

Nightspotting, by Sarah Preston
A new Bucktown pub offers 27 beers in a can; tallying up the Green Tie Ball; grooving on a Monday night at Webster’s Wine Bar

The Closer, by Jeff Ruby
Over the years, the experience of riding the el has gotten better. And it has gotten worse.