Show: Jenny Scheinman's Mischief & Mayhem If you've seen her with Robbie Fulks, you'd probably peg her as an Americana artist, but her roots are in jazz—and no matter what she plays, her sound is broad-minded and cosmopolitan. Her new jazz quartet, Mischief & Mayhem, makes music laced with rock, pop, and twang, and Scheinman's partners in the group are just as comfortable straddling genres as she is.
Dinner: Bistro Bordeaux Pascal Berthoumieux’s picture-perfect French bistro has light mustard walls covered with small framed posters, butcher-paper-topped tables, dark wood bar towards the back, and servers in black vests and long white aprons. The French classics are covered as well.
618 Church St., Evanston, 847-424-1483, lebistrobordeaux.com
Lit & Lectures
Show: The Malling of Chicago Featuring Reader staff writer Ben Joravsky, Preservation Chicago executive director Jonathan Fine, Chicago Plan Commission chair Linda Searl, architect John Lahey, and Jayne Thompson & Associates principal Chris Robling; cultural critic Edward Lifson moderates. Registration requested.
6-7:30 pm, Goose Island Brewpub, 3535 N. Clark St., 773-832-9040, free
Dinner: Socca is airy and spacious, with a menu of French and Italian country fare.
3301 N. Clark St., 773-248-1155, soccachicago.com
Show: Culinary Conversations AREA Chicago magazine founder Daniel Tucker discusses Farm Together Now, which gives full-color, coffee-table treatment to 20 progressive farms across the country. RSVP required.
Dinner: Henri New contemporary American restaurant and bar from the people behind the Gage. "If the food and drink at a place like this were to suck, we'd call it the whole thing antiquated, inauthentic, or even cynical. I'm going to call it neoclassical—and a pretty fun place to eat," writes Mike Sula.
18 S. Michigan Ave., 312-578-0763, henrichicago.com
Show: GasLand Most of America's enormous natural gas reserves were inaccessible until Halliburton devised an extraction method called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." This engineering miracle involves injecting zillions of gallons of "fracking liquid" deep into the ground, and this stuff ain't rosewater. Directed by Josh Fox, this muckraking documentary is terrifying but also very entertaining, raising good questions about the ecological implications of the process.
Dinner: Walnut Room It flies under the red star now, but the Walnut Room remains much as it was under the benign reign of Marshall Field's: there may be a new wine bar, but there's no forsaking the chicken potpie.
111 N. State St., 312-781-3125
Show: Sundance Institute 2010 Shorts Program Culled from the Sundance Film Festival, these nine shorts are eccentric, engaging, and mercifully free of commercial calculation.
Dinner: Sushi Mura Proximity to the Music Box helps keep this traditional Japanese restaurant full, and the clean, attractive room doesn’t hurt either. Sitting at the sushi bar is a fun way to study the art of maki rolling—the skillful chefs make a broad variety, from salmon skin with cucumber to more elaborate dragon and rainbow rolls.
3647 N. Southport Ave., 773-281-9155, sushimura.com