The 2003 Dining Awards, by Dennis Ray Wheaton and Jeff Ruby
The list you’ve been waiting for-Chicago’s 20 finest restaurants-includes some surprises: We pick a new number one, officially crown the new King of Chefs, and gape at a balloon of mozzarella injected with tomato-water foam.

Govenor Sunshine, by Carol Felsenthal
Things could not be better for Rod Blagojevich. He loves politics, and he has won every election he has entered (with help from his father-in-law, a clout-heavy alderman). The governorship is his focus now, he insists, but this look at his personal history suggests he hopes for much, much more.

Music Man, by David Zivan
For 30 years, George’s Music Room in Lawndale has been a must stop for the likes of Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, and Lil’ Kim whenever they pass through town. They make the pilgrimage just for the privilege of hanging with George Daniels, the music business godfather of the West Side.

Fashion: Up Close and Personal, by Stacey Jones
The latest designs for women with different dimensions to their active lives-sexy and romantic, sporty and playful, haute business

2 Fast 2 Furious?, by Bryan Smith
Glamorized by Hollywood, the dangerous and illegal street-racing scene has taken off in Chicago. Now lawmakers hope tough new legislation will halt this trend before further fatal accidents occur.




Handbag designer Lindsey Berns; Stuart Dybeck’s new collection of stories; fancy dining, family style; Steppenwolf’s Tracy Letts; girl talkin’ with Megan Mullally of Will & Grace; the dirt on herbs; more

Style Sheet, by Stacy Wallace-Albert
Metal shines on in sharp accessories-a brand-new bag by Chicago designers, fragrance in an avant-garde bottle from Bulgari, cool leather cuffs by a local craftsman.

Real Lives | Getting Out Alive, by Marcia Froelke Coburn
In his latest book, Deep Survival, Chicago journalist Laurence Gonzales explores why some people come through disasters and others make all the wrong perilous moves.

How We Spend | The Beauty Math, by Clare La Plante
Everyone knows Chicago is the City of Big Shoulders. But it is also a town of primpers and preeners. A skin-deep look at the money we lavish on looking good

Business | Flight Delay, by Robert Reed
When the city and state offered fat tax breaks to lure Boeing, the move was hailed as a triumph. Is it time now for buyer’s remorse?

Reporter | A Safe Room, by Terry Sullivan
The grisly 1996 murder of a young Miami woman in a south suburban Chicago hotel spawned a lengthy lawsuit-and raises unsettling questions about hotel security procedures.

Politics | Urban Cowboy, by Steve Rhodes
As mayor of Milwaukee, John Norquist boosted the appeal of urban living. Now he is bringing his passion for old-time Main Streets-and his disdain for freeways-to Chicago.

Deal Estate, by Dennis Rodkin
A many-gabled gem in Midlothian, feng shui in Bucktown, a house hunters’ bus tour in Oak Park, and condo news from Highland Park, Kenwood, and the Gold Coast

Nightspotting, by Sarah Preston
Lincoln Park’s Maeve is a friendly place to sip and chat; Wrigleyville’s Tryst breaks the sports bar mold.

The Closer, by Jeff Ruby
The city is being overrun by tourists. This quiz can help you separate the real Chicagoans from those just passing through.

On the Town


Prime Time,
During October: The Merce Cunningham Dance Company celebrates its 50th anniversary at the finally finished Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance. It has the honor of being the first out-of-town troupe invited to perform there.

Food & Drink

The city’s definitive guide| This month: Two new listings, Tin Fish and Pili.Pili; 11 Another Helpings including Naha and NoMI

Short Takes,
Budget Beat| The meatless Thai dishes and colorful, slushy beverages of Dharma Garden.
Korean| Koryo, the best new spot proffering the city’s fastest spreading cuisine
Street Beat| The original fusion: France and its worldwide influence
Cafe| Introducing Chicago’s best restaurant/grocery store located in a former funeral parlor
New and Newer| Two promising, worldly restaurants drop anchor in unlikely places: Lake Zurich and Geneva