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Sep 22 2016

Chicago Neighborhood Profile: Logan Square

Most visitors to Chicago only make it outside of the Loop (our name for downtown) to head to the Southside for the Museum of Science and Industry, or maybe to head a little bit north to Wrigley Field; and that's a real shame, because our city is vibrant, diverse and full of incredible experiences, many of the best of which are outside the tourist hubs. If you want to escape the endless hordes of people on Michigan Avenue, hop the CTA Blue Line for twenty minutes and get off at either the California or Logan Square stops, and you'll find yourself in Logan Square, the most up-and-coming area in the city, jam-packed with award-winning bars and restaurants. Here are some of my favorite dining, drinking and shopping spots in my neighborhood. 

                        

                                     The signature dish at Logan Square's Fat Rice. Photo via Bon Appetit.

Dining. Some of the most exciting and unique dining experiences in the city reside in Logan Square. My favorite is Fat Rice, which serves Macau cuisine—Macau was a Portuguese trading outpost in China where many cultures blended, producing a one-of-a-kind fusion cuisine. You'll find dumplings and pork buns along with traditional Portuguese drinks such as caipirinhas, but the real star is the titular dish, the fat rice, which is a rice pot loaded with clams, prawns, a variety of sausages and porks, and hardboiled eggs (it'll feed two to four people). It's basically a treasure trove that you eat. Get a reservation, because I was once told on a Thursday evening that it was a two-and-a-half-hour wait for a party of two. (Tip: Fat Rice has a bakery next door where you can buy a wide variety of buns (they even have a Chicago-style hot dog bun, if you're feeling brave) and coffee and tea that's open during the day.)

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May 2 2016

A first peek into The Katharine Brasserie & Bar, the restaurant at Kimpton's latest hotel, The Cardinal

Category: Christine Norris @ 06:31

Last Thursday, I had the great privilege of attending the soft opening of The Katharine Brasserie & Bar, the restaurant that lies within The Cardinal, Kimpton Hotels' most newly opened property, located in Winston-Salem, NC. The hotel itself is, at a glance, gorgeous, with updated and restored art-deco accents everywhere in the lobby, and the facade of the historic R.J. Reynolds building (the model, on a much smaller scale, for the Empire State Building) has never looked better; but the restaurant is sure to be the standout here, since it combines those lovely details with excellent French-meets-Southern cuisine and serious date-night vibes. The Katharine celebrates its grand opening today; while you wait for dinner service to start, here are a few highlights from my first trip.

                                                     

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Feb 19 2016

The best places to cozy up in the Chicago winter

The Chicago winter can be brutal, but there are still plenty of fantastic things to see and do indoors, from viewing some of the world's best-known art to imbibing innovative and inventive cocktails! Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, find out how Chicagoans survive the cold by checking out some of these hot (seriously—actually warm) spots, guaranteed to warm your ears, your heart, and possibly your kidneys, too. In the third biggest city in the U.S., there are plenty of places to duck in and get out of the terrible weather, but these are a few of our favorites.

Scofflaw is a bustling bar in the trendier than ever Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago (where, despite the rapidly gentrifying environs, travelers can still find the hippest record stores and dive bars in the city). Its focus is on gin, and cocktails are recommended, but there are plenty of other drink options, and a food menu provides delicious plates large and small (the mac-and-cheese topped with harissa breadcrumbs was particularly tasty and comforting on a recent frigid Chicago evening). The setting in the large main room is cozy as can be, with a roaring fireplace, glittering chandeliers and comfy couch seating. Be sure to arrive early on in the evening on weekends if you want to avoid a line out the door.

                      

The main room at Scofflaw is heated by a beautiful fireplace and an always packed environment. Photo courtesy of RedEyeChicago.com.

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Jan 11 2012

The city doesn't sleep, and neither should you

Category: Destinations | Favorites | Nightlife | On The SceneChristine @ 05:17

There’s a reason that New York is known as the “city that never sleeps.” Because it really doesn’t—with so much to do in this city, sleeping is almost a waste of time. Many bars and nightclubs stay open until 4 am or later, and New York has more nightlife options than some towns have people. More...

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Oct 24 2011

Warm wishes in Boston

Coat weather seemed to sneak up on us in North Carolina, so I can only imagine how it feels in the rest of the country, but the falling temperatures don't have to restrict your vacation options. This winter, consider a visit to Boston: a historic U.S. city with a small-town feel built into a lively metropolis.More...

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