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After pledging my entire weekend to Pitchfork three years in a row, I consider myself a pro. I know where to set up camp and get the best sound. I know that you need to stuff Charmin in your satchel because the LepreCans run out on the first day. And I know that Pitchfork, in particular, is the best place to witness veritable street style. At one point during the weekend, a friend from New York even turned to me and said, totally unprompted, "Chicago has waaaaay more hipsters than New York." So true. Here were some of our favorites, photographed by Maria Bianco. PLUS: What the critics said

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Right before a restaurant opens, they usually throw a party for the media. Since our dining editors review eating establishments anonymously, they never show at these parties (waiting, instead, to dine there shortly after the opening so they won't be "outed"). But sometimes they get curious, and when they do, they send someone like me.

I was jazzed. Earlier this week, I was asked to check out Table Fifty-Two, the debut restaurant from Oprah Winfrey's chef and prolific cookbook author Art Smith...

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Q & A with Jose Garces

Chef Jose Garces is coming to Chicago. Who’s that? A James Beard–nominee you probably never heard of. After all, we don’t pay a bunch of attention to the Mid-Atlantic category. Maybe we should. Garces is a 35-year-old Chicago-born Kendall grad who owns two highly acclaimed restaurants in Philadelphia: Amada, an Andalusian tapas bar, and Tinto, a Basque-inspired wine bar. And he’s about to launch Chilango, a high-energy Mexican spot in Philly. That’s nice. But, even nicer, Garces plans to open Mercat early next year in the renovated Blackstone Hotel at 600 South Michigan Avenue. We had a few questions for the prodigal son...

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It’s a musical experiment on the grandest of scales: Tonight the Portland-based rock band The Decemberists sit down with 82 classical musicians from the Grant Park Orchestra to play an hour-long set in Millennium Park. Pre-concert, I chatted with The Decemberists’ lead singer, Colin Meloy, who collaborated with classical composer Sean
O'Loughlin on the arrangements.

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