The 2004 Dining Awards, by Dennis Ray Wheaton and Jeff Ruby
Our critics combed the city to find the finest restaurants in town. They experienced spectacular rooms, pampering servers, and imaginative chefs offering everything from olive oil ice cream to prosciutto cotton candy. Our definitive top 20 list proves that Chicago restaurants are less content with pushing the envelope than with shredding it completely.

Crash Test, by Bryan Smith
As a rookie with the Chicago Bulls, Jay Williams showed signs of becoming a star someday. But in the off-season, the former college player of the year took a ride on his motorcycle and wrecked it, sustaining potentially career-ending injuries. In a long, excruciating recovery, he has had to break down scar tissue both physical and emotional.

Star Treatment, by Cassie Walker
Whether it’s a private gourmet chef, a fabulous painted portrait, a chance to shine onstage, or a deluxe quickie wedding, Chicago offers lots of high-priced indulgences for the well heeled. Shop around, though, and you will find plenty of less expensive alternatives. Whether you are loaded or lowly, here are 20 ways to enjoy the high life.

Fashion: A Sporting Chance, by Stacey Jones
A good hat deserves the proper tilt, and cropped jackets are the perfect complement for both slim-fitting pants and plaid skirts. Pull the look together with big jewelry and serious boots, and you’ got a ticket to ride.




Rising mezzo-soprano Guang Yang; test your Chicago IQ; a political fundraiser map; where to get Jackie Kennedy’s look. Plus: Sales Check and The Shopper

How We Spend, by Clare La Plante
Feeling the pinch of that mortgage or rent payment? By some measures Chicagoans don’t have it so bad. Plus: Carryout Thanksgiving feasts

Business | Dwindling Prophets, by Robert Reed
After flying high in the nineties, MBAs aren’t getting a lot of respect these days. Blame corporate scandals, outsourcing, and other business ills.

Excursions | Past Forward, by Anne Spiselman
Chicago’s East Village looms large as the next hip ‘hood.

Reporter | Stage Fight, by David Bernstein
Renovation of the Genesee Theatre was supposed to anchor downtown Waukegan’s renaissance. Instead, the process has created a drama all its own.

Theatre | Found in Translation, by Kelly Kleiman
Curt Columbus determines much of what appears on the city’s big stages, but his true calling keeps him behind the scenes, translating the classics.

Society | Genius Night, by Kevin McKeough
It’s Saturday night, and the Mensans are out on the town-sort of.

Crime | Test Patterns, by Marcia Froelke Coburn
When a Chicago lawyer discovered that evidence from 1,200 rape victims had gone untested, she devised a way to get the job done.

Deal Estate, by Dennis Rodkin
A doomed colonial, a record 2004 Chicago sale, and condo news

Nightspotting, by Sarah Preston
A sneak-peek at soon-to-open Motel, a hotel bar without the hotel.

The Closer, by Jeff Ruby
Inventions-unfettered by budgets or physics-the world really needs.

On the Town


During November: Bolshoi in Russian translates to big, which also defines the Bolshoi Ballet: big technique, big in bravura, and big in emotion. The entire company, with orchestra should fill the Chicago Theatre.
Marquee: A preview of coming attractions

Food & Drink

The city’s definitive guide| This month: Seven new updated listings, including Crofton on Wells and Spring
Dish: The ten hottest restaurants right now; Q&A with a celebrated new chef in town; openings; closings; funny quotes; and more