- Hearts all across Chicago were broken last January when Zephyr closed its doors. We walked past its former space a few days ago and wouldn't you know, construction workers were busy building what looked to be another restaurant. Alas, it won't be Zephyr 2.0 but rather an Irish-style bar and restaurant (pictured), opening in March 2008 (to their best estimate). The workers didn't know what it was going to be called.
- New York Times writer Alex Witchel waxes poetic about Gene and Georgetti, the estimable Chicago steakhouse. After recommending the garbage salad and fried meat ravioli, she contemplates her relationship with both the restaurant, and the city. "And that’s what Chicago is for me," she writes, "what Gene & Georgetti is, the grown-up realization of glamour mixed with the safety of childhood. My personal film noir in reassuring color."
- Yes, please! The Reader's Mike Sula discovers that Laristo's, a bar a few doors down from the New apartment Lounge, serves Crunk Punch. It is poured from gasoline containers kept behind the bar (pic). Sula reports, "[The bartender] tried to talk us out of one, but we couldn't be persuaded. What arrived was a painfully sweet concoction of pink lemonade and vodka, perfect for poisoning insects and rats (there was a blue version also)." Nothing we love more than a drink whose flavor is actually its color.
- Speaking of drinking, North Shore Distillery's Sonja Kassebaum mixes up a beverage that we'd like to try, the Harvest Mood. Her creation includes bourbon, Elderflower liqueur, orange juice, peach bitters and club soda.
- Finally, Sun-Times critic Pat Bruno goes truffle hunting in Italy (what a hard life, right?). Too bad he didn't stumble across this three-pound truffle—the largest ever found. It's worth a cool $9,000.