ML - Michigan Avenue

Michigan Avenue - 2017 - Issue 1 - Spring - Giuliana Rancic

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 118 of 139

TITLE: Executive Chef, Rockit Bar & Grill MY NEIGHBORHOOD: "South Loop. It's close to my family and to work, and I spend a lot of time in Chinatown. Plus it's far enough away from the [downtown] craziness that it's peaceful." FAVE NEW CHICAGO RESTAURANT: "Elske (1350 W. Randolph St., 312-733-1314; The fireplace and feel of the restaurant is warm, inviting, and feels like it's been around for years." GO-TO CHICAGO SPOT: "Le Bouchon (1958 N. Damen Ave., 773-862-6600; Great place to go for date night." HIDDEN GEM: "Billy Goat Tavern (430 N. Michigan Ave., 312- 222-1525; on Lower Michigan; it's a hangout where you can just feel the history." FAVORITE BUILDING: "The Rookery (209 S. LaSalle St.). It's turn of the century, Industrial Revolution, classic, and makes me feel like anything is possible." THREE THINGS EVERY CHICAGO VISITOR SHOULD DO: "Go to a Cubs game, have a drink at the Signature Lounge (875 N. Michigan Ave., 96th Fl., 312-787-9596;, and attend a street festival." ‒ Secret Source ‒ MIKE SHEERIN craft cocktails and creative American fare. INSIDER TIP: For a primo proposal location, book the Cupola, the hotel's exquisitely intimate indoor/outdoor space at the tippy-top of the hotel. 85 E. Upper Wacker Dr., 21st—23rd Fl., 312-357-1200; MASTRO'S This glitzy River North destination for steaks and sushi brings a little bit of Hollywood to the Windy City's carnivorous scene. The indulgent warm butter cake is one of the city's top desserts. INSIDER TIP: Catch live music from acts like three-man trio The Champagne Kings nightly in the lounge starting at 6:30. 520 N. Dearborn St., 312-521-5100; MERCADITO Mexican fare meets nightclub vibe at this River North hit, whose crowd-friendly menu boasts six kinds of guacamole and 11 taco varieties, plus creative drinks (try the mango-licious Smokey Pablo). INSIDER TIP: For a slinkier scene, head downstairs to La Mez lounge, which offers more than 80 rotating to Edgewater, from the smartly curated list of wines, sherries, beers, and ciders to the selection of wine-friendly plates, including bacalao, pâté, lamb meatballs, and Black Forest duck with spaetzle. 5959 N. Broadway, 773-897-9165; LEÑA BRAVA The Rick Bayless empire continues to expand with this always-packed Baja-style addition to Restaurant Row. Sip a Leña ice (mescal, yellow Chartreuse, lime, cucumber, and serrano pepper) while people watching over tempting plates of ceviche, black cod "al pastor," and 32-ounce Tomahawk steaks. 900 W. Randolph St., 312-733-1975; LH One of the city's hottest bars with a view, this tri-level rooftop hangout at the LondonHouse hotel scores with mezcals and a DJ on weekends. 108 W. Kinzie St., 312-329-9555; MORTON'S THE STEAKHOUSE A Chicago original since 1978, and still one of the city's absolute best places for steak. INSIDER TIP: Catch "Power Hour" in the bar M–F 5–8 pm for primo food and drink specials. 1050 N. State St., 312-266- 4820; 65 E. Wacker Pl., 312-201-0410; OCEAN CUT CHICAGO Sophisticated-yet-approachable seafood destination from Chicago Cut partners David Flom and Matt Moore. Chef and industry vet Dirk Flanigan (The Gage, Henri) crafts uber-fresh, flavorful fare like jungle curry mussels and swordfish au poivre. INSIDER TIP: Make tracks to the Shark Bar on Tuesdays during Happy Hour (4–7 pm) for a chance to take home a pair of Jimmy Choos. 20 W. Kinzie St., 312-280-8882; PELAGO It's all in the family at this lovely, intimate Raffaello Hotel destination, where Michelin-starred chef Mauro Mafrici crafts exquisite Italian fare— think delicate beef carpaccio with cremini mushrooms, and penne pasta with hen ragù and sage—in an elegant space designed by wife Kimberly Anguil Mafrici, an architect and interior designer. 201 E. Delaware Pl., 312-280-0700; ROCKIT From nightlife king Billy Dec and the squad at Rockit Ranch (Sunda, Bottlefork, Underground, Duck Inn), this was River North's first sports bar/ lounge/restaurant hybrid, and it's still the best. Smartly crafted bar fare includes everything from gourmet burgers and salads to addictive, pizza roll-esque Rockit Pockits. 22 W. Hubbard St., 312-645-6000; RPM STEAK Power couple Bill and Giuliana Belly up to the bar at Siena Tavern. MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 117

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