Industry insiders tend to think of Fridays and Saturdays as "amateur nights": Only the uninitiated, the masses, go out on weekend nights. The really good stuff usually happens on Thursdays. Since a few readers have asked for recommendations, here are some of tonight’s top events, all of which are open to the public. This is just a sampling; post your own suggestions via the comment box below.

Cabaret: "Come celebrate the beginning of spring with Chicago’s newest Thursday night, with host Aldo Bottalla," reads this event’s e-mail invite. I don’t know who Aldo Bottalla is (and Google isn’t much help), but I do know it doesn’t feel anything like spring outside. In any case, those who RSVP (you can also call 312-245-3100) get in free before 11 p.m. and can toss back champagne on the house from 9 to 10:30 p.m.

Enclave: Nightlife promotions groups Surreal  and Global Adrenaline  have taken over Thursday night hosting duties at Enclave (we’ll miss you, Tony Macey), and tonight’s kick-off party features DJ Flipside, with Red on the mike and Miro on percussion. RSVP, and you’ll pay no cover before 11 p.m. and drink Ciroc vodka cocktails on the house between 10 and 11 p.m.

Reserve: Celebrity spinner DJ AM goes behind the turntables tonight, so you know what that means (um, major scene). To bypass the masses at the door, RSVP and you’ll get in free before 10:30 p.m.; otherwise, prepare to drop $20 bucks and wait. AM goes on at 11 p.m., and rumor has it that after he spins at Reserve, he’ll play a private party at the club owner’s house. Good luck getting invited to that.

Tokyo 21: For something a little less self-indulgent, the Y-ME national breast cancer organization hosts the Pink Streak Party 2007 tonight at Marc Bortz’s sushi restaurant in the Weed Street district. The bash runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and includes a cocktail reception and complimentary maki. Those who sign up to run with the Pink Streak group in the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon (October 7th) also receive a $20 Tokyo 21 gift certificate.

The Underground: Atlanta’s RareForm DJ Crew comes to town tonight to host Night Moves, a mashup of art and music and "general coolness," according to the e-mail invite. Expect live painting by Hebru Brand, a local urban artist, as well as a VIP paparazzi photo booth (not sure what that is, but it sounds like "general coolness"). The party gets going at 9 p.m., and you’d be wise to RSVP. There’s no cover before 10 p.m.

Opening this weekend: Cortland’s Garage, Tommy Leone’s new garage-themed bar, launches tomorrow (Friday the 6th) in the old Leopard Lounge space. Check back Monday for a full report, and read my Nightspotting column in the May issue of Chicago magazine (on newsstands April 19th) for more news on Leone and Co.’s NoChance Productions, also the parent company of Goodbar  and Spoon.