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Show: Elizabeth Cook "The title of the fifth and latest album by country singer Elizabeth Cook, Welder, reportedly refers both to the profession her father learned while serving hard time for running moonshine and to the way she likes to bring in elements from other genres," writes Peter Margasak. "Not to belabor a metaphor, but while seams are definitely visible, I like the hodgepodge."
Dinner: Los Moles "Vagabond chef Geno Bahena, one of Rick Bayless's most renowned (and elusive) disciples, has returned to ply mole in this modest Lakeview spot," writes Mike Sula. "Bahena—despite his past unpredictability—is still one the city's most talented chefs in this arena. I hope this time he hangs up his saddlebags and stays put."
3140 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-935-9620, losmoles.net
Show: Alon Goldstein Israeli pianist Alon Goldstein highlights the relationship of Brahms to Robert and Clara Schumann by including works by all three in this recital in honor of Robert’s 200th birthday.
6 PM, Bennett-Gordon Hall, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay and Lake Cook, Highland Park, 847-266-5100, $10.
Dinner: Prairie Grass Cafe It's no surprise that this suburban contemporary American room is always packed. Consider the roster-the executive chefs are Sarah Stegner, who used to cook at the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton, and George Bumbaris, who's worked with her for more than 20 years.
601 Skokie Blvd., 847-205-4433, prairiegrasscafe.com
Show: Vengeance "Director Johnnie To (Election) has a poetic, tightly choreographed style that emphasizes complex rhythms and small details (not the least of which are the cragged lines of Hallyday's face) and imbues the standard revenge drama with an almost Buddhist ephemerality: from the bursts of gunfire to the empty sky, nothing amounts to more than a ripple," writes Fred Camper.
Dinner: Cibo Matto "could pass as Spiaggia’s more playful, easygoing younger sibling," writes Mike Sula. "For every marquee item that delivered, I probably enjoyed two unheralded but quietly excellent dishes, beginning with a bowl of peppery bucatini carbonara with cured tomatoes, chiles, and a brilliant orb of duck yolk mixed in at the table—one of the greatest riffs on the classic I’ve ever had." One of the best new Chicago restaurants of 2009.
201 N. State St., 312-239-9500, cibomatto.therestaurantsatthewit.com
Show: Lebanon "Confusion, terror, shock, and remorse threaten to rip apart a four-man unit of inexperienced Israeli soldiers jammed inside a tank during the first war in Lebanon," writes Andrea Gronvall. "Samuel Maoz drew from his own war experiences to write and direct this searing drama, which ranks alongside Platoon and No Man's Land as an antiwar statement and recalls the claustrophobic despair of Das Boot."
Dinner: TAC Quick "Young Andy Aroonrasameruang, formerly of Banana Leaf, and his likable staff probably make it easier than anywhere else to get traditional stuff the way it's eaten in Thailand," writes Mike Sula. "Aside from the regular menu there's a clearly translated Thai menu available by request with almost 40 items you're not likely to encounter elsewhere without a working knowledge of the language—like a salad of shrimp, cashews, and fish maw, sort of a fishy pork rind that soaks up the flavor of the sauce like a crouton."
3930 N. Sheridan Rd., 773-327-5253