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Oct/Nov Issue: Chicago By The Numbers

Posted on October 1st, 2014 by

Whether you’re looking to see Chicago from 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile or to enjoy a meal at one of the city’s 20,039 restaurants, this issue of Concierge Preferred will give you the low-down on what to do around town… by the numbers.


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Chicago Concerts: La Roux, Fleetwood Mac, and Robert Plant

Posted on October 1st, 2014 by


Chicago has always been a major tour stop for up-and-coming to big-name artists and this week is no different with musicians that can appeal to all music lovers.

The name might not sound too familiar as it’s been a while since we heard from them, but once you hear the synth intro to La Roux’s “Bulletproof” then you’ll instantly recognize it and likely start dancing. La Roux is back after five years—down one member but with a new album, “Trouble in Paradise.” Without producer Ben Langmaid, who was part of the original duo, the UK’s Elly Jackson rose to the occasion to create another great dance album that feels much warmer than her debut album.
La Roux, Oct. 1, 7 p.m.
Concord Music Hall
2047 N. Milwaukee Ave.


Fleetwood Mac is definitely entrenched in the sounds of the late ’70s and they haven’t lost it as they’ve picked up touring in the past couple of years. Expect to hear all their great songs from their iconic “Rumours” album like “Go Your Own Way,” “Dreams,” and “Don’t Stop.” What makes this show different is that the original writer of “Don’t Stop” and integral member of Fleetwood Mac Christie McVie will be reuniting with the band after a 16-year hiatus.
Fleetwood Mac, Oct. 2, 8 p.m.
United Center
1901 W. Madison St.


For the definitive voice of the ’70s there is no argument that it is Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant. Although no longer with the legendary band, Plant’s pipes can still sustain some crazy notes. You can catch him with his new backing band the Sensational Space Shifters, and while they’re no Zeppelin they provide a great rhythm found in a lot of world music. In addition, if you love Zeppelin don’t be surprised if a few interpretations are included. The show might end up being sold out, so check trusted third-party ticket re-sellers for tickets.
Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Oct. 2, 8 p.m.
Riviera Theatre
4746 N. Racine Ave.

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Mario Batali and Paul Kahan present Taste Talks Chicago

Posted on September 30th, 2014 by


We know you’re sad that Chicago Gourmet is over, but Mario Batali and Paul Kahan are here to help. So get those stretchy pants out of the hamper, and enjoy some great food from all-star chefs along with great discussions at Taste Talks Chicago.

Batali’s culinary event that started last year in Brooklyn is coming to Chicago and is being curated by avec’s James Beard award-winning chef Paul Kahan. The must-attend events at Taste Talks are the Mother of Pearl event, where you can enjoy oysters and wine pairings before a multi-course sit-down dinner from great local chefs like Kinmont’s Duncan Biddulph and Fat Rice’s Abraham Conlon; the Dinner Lab, where ticket holders will be alerted 24 hours ahead of the unique location to enjoy a five-course meal from Trencherman’s Pat Sheerin.; and the All-Star Chef BBQ featuring chefs Kahan, Rick Bayless, Stephanie Izard, Mindy Segal, and more.

Taste Talks Brooklyn 2013

Make sure to take a break from all the food to attend the panels to learn about the city’s dining future and hidden gems. Get to know tomorrow’s great chefs at the Renegade: Reinventing the Underground Dining Experience panel like Sam McDermott of Buttermilk Bento, Jake Bickelhaupt of 42 Grams, and Philip Foss of El Ideas. If you want to wash down some of the food head to The Wildest Brews In Town panel and sample out of the ordinary beers from Off Color, Marz Brewing, and Goose Island.

Taste Talks Chicago runs Friday, Oct. 3 through Sunday, Oct. 5 at various restaurants and locations throughout the city. For more information on panels, events, and tickets visit

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Great Chicago Fire Festival

Posted on September 29th, 2014 by


The Chicago Fire of 1871 is dark spot in the city’s history, but overcome is an understatement when you look at what the city achieved after that period and how it has positively affected the world.

In honor of that moment Redmoon is putting on the first Great Chicago Fire Festival to celebrate the grit and success of the city following the fire with a bazzar, a river spectacle, music, food, drinks, and more.

Start your afternoon with a bazaar featuring local businesses, eateries, and artists across Upper Wacker Drive from 3 – 8 p.m. After that Jesse Spencer and Taylor Kinney from NBC’s “Chicago Fire” will lower the first of the 14 fiery cauldrons on to the river where there will be three large floating pre-1871-styled houses. The S.S. O’Leary will enter along with three mini-steamships and will light the houses to symbolize the 1871 fire. Those fires will be extinguished to reveal a symbolic inner core that represents the city’s triumph and it will end with a giant fireworks display.

Celebrate the city’s renewal at Great Chicago Fire Festival Saturday, Oct. 4 from 3 – 9 p.m. along the Chicago River from State Street to Columbus Drive. For more information visit


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Concierge Picks: David Bowie Is, Double Ten Parade, Connie’s Pizza

Posted on September 29th, 2014 by

wood fired pizza

Joyce Fong, our director of concierge relations and services, is this week’s concierge correspondent and shares her top three picks for things to do around town.

Opening last week to rave reviews, “David Bowie Is” presents an exhibit you have been waiting for. As the only venue in the United States to host David Bowie Is, this must see exhibit showcases over 300 pieces from original costumes and handwritten lyrics to rare performance materials. The exhibit focuses on his creative processes and collaborative work with artists and designers and how he has influenced art, design, music, and theater. The exhibit goes through Jan. 4, 2015 so seize the day and make plans to go before the holidays catch you off guard.
David Bowie Is at the Museum of Contemporary Art
220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL

If you like parades as much as I do then head to Chinatown this Saturday, Oct. 4 for the Double Ten Parade. It commemorates the start of the Wuchang uprising of Oct. 10, 1911, which led to the collapse of the Qing Dynasty in China and establishment of the Republic of China in 1912. As a result of the Chinese Civil War, the Government of the Republic of China lost control of mainland China and relocated to Taiwan in 1949. The parade starts at 1 p.m. so get to Chinatown early to dine at one of the many dim sum houses—Cai, Phoenix, Three Happiness, Ming Hin—or pick up your specialty ingredients or souvenirs at the one of the many stores.
Double Ten Parade at Chicago’s Chinatown
Along Wentworth St. starting at 24th St.

Connie’s Pizza has celebrated its first anniversary at their Gold Coast location. If you haven’t tried their pizza or been to their new location, the menu is the same as their Archer Ave. location with the addition of wonderfully crisp wood fired pizzas. Gluten free pizza is available and ideal for one person—be inventive and create your own combination if you like. With monitors at the bar, you can always catch a game. The dining room is open and inviting and perfect for your family. At the end of your meal, save some room for the gelato that can be scooped up on the way out. With over 50 years of experience they know how to treat you like family.
Connie’s Pizza Gold Coast
1030 N. State St., Chicago, IL

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Experience Chicago’s Only Floating Haunted House

Posted on September 29th, 2014 by


Think you have what it takes to step aboard Chicago’s only floating haunted house?  The Fear Haunted House returns to Navy Pier Oct. 2-Nov. 2 with the all-new attraction Zombie Containment.

Located on a barge in Lake Michigan just north of the Landshark Beer Garden on the Pier’s east end, Zombie Containment is produced by Zombie Army Productions, the producers of the famous Statesville Haunted Prison. Zombie Containment is a ground-breaking concept that incorporates a blend of horror and comedy as you slowly discover that zombies may not be quite as contained as you’re initially led to believe.

Following a zombie outbreak that devastated the nation, zombies are now held within a series of shipping containers on a barge where they are studied and researched by Merikorp Industries. In the interest of full transparency, Merikorp is inviting you to tour Zombie Containment, their facility and barge of the undead, right here in Chicago.

Before you come face to face with zombies, choose your tour based on your fear tolerance: nighttime High Scare (for ages 13 to adult) or daytime Low Scare (lights-on experience during the day).

High Scare (nighttime)

  • 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Thursdays & Sundays
  • 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays

Low Scare (daytime)

  • Noon – 5 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays & Columbus Day (Monday, October 13)

Tickets are now on sale and are $20 for the High Scare nighttime and $12 for Low Scare daytime and can be purchased through a link on a

-Sponsored post

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Bears v. Packers Rivalry Showdown

Posted on September 23rd, 2014 by


Soldier Field (JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s the Bears v. the Packers, the 4th Phase v. the Cheeseheads, Chicago v. Green Bay—it is one of the greatest rivalries in the NFL and it’s happening this Sunday at Soldier Field.

The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers is the NFL’s longest rivalry starting in 1921 with a total of 188 games played against each other. That’s 93 years of surprising wins, painful loses, and awkward hats. The Bears lead the rivalry 93 to 89 with 6 ties however, for the past four years the Packers have been dominating with seven wins including their last meeting.

With it only being week four of football season it’s hard to predict who will win this game. The Packers are 1-2 but lost to Super Bowl champions Seattle and a strong Detroit defense. The Bears squeaked in some wins against the 49ers and the Jets and surprisingly lost to the Buffalo Bills. So expect a contentious outing this week as both teams are trying to define their season.

The Chicago Bears face the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Sept. 26 at Soldier Field located at 1410 Museum Campus Dr. For tickets and more information visit

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Chicago Gourmet Returns for Seventh Year

Posted on September 22nd, 2014 by


Get your stretchy pants and liver ready as Chicago’s culinary holiday returns this weekend to Millennium Park.

Bon Appetit Presents Chicago Gourmet comes back bigger and better with 11 tasting pavilions, countless cooking demonstrations, panels, and almost 200 chefs that are largely local but increasingly national and international.

Like all other years this festival will be filled with the who’s who of the culinary world like chefs Rick Bayless, Masaharu Morimoto, Graham Elliot, Stephanie Izard, Andrew Zimmerman, and more. Many of these chefs will be part of 30-minute cooking demonstrations where the audience gets to try the food. A seminar you wont want to miss is Bon Appétit presents Fried Chicken featuring Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp of Honey Butter Fried Chicken, Paul Fehribach of Big Jones, and Joe Scroggs of The Roost. In addition, don’t miss the chef tasting pavilion’s featuring great restaurants like Embeya, The Purple Pig, and North Pond.

New this year will be a barbecue pavilion filled with the state’s best pit masters, sauce makers, grillers, and craft brewers all done with the help of the Illinois Barbecue Alliance.

Bon Appetit Presents Chicago Gourmet kicks off Sept. 26 – 28 at Millennium Park located at 201 E. Randolph Street. For tickets and more information visit


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‘Oktoberfest Beer, Brats, and Boats’ Cruise

Posted on September 22nd, 2014 by


Nothing defines the fall season quite like an Oktoberfest celebration  complete with bier, polka music, and wurst.

To give the old Bavarian tradition the full Chicago treatment it deserves, Shoreline Sightseeing will join forces with Paulina Market to host a special Oktoberfest Beer, Brats, and Boats cruise on Sept. 26 from 7 9 p.m.

The evening will feature a traditional German dinner prepared and served by the staff of Paulina Market paired with some wonderful Oktoberfest brews sponsored by Leinenkugel’s and Revolution Brewing. Passengers will also enjoy classic Oktoberfest atmosphere including the Shoreline fraulein bartenders with a souvenir Oktoberfest stein and the Euro-Express band providing live music and dancing. Festivities will take place on a starlit, two-hour cruise on Chicago’s waterways.

The cruise will depart from Polk Bros. Park at Navy Pier at 7 p.m. and will return at 9 p.m. Tickets are $49 (must be 21+), and include dinner and a drink in a souvenir Oktoberfest mug. A cash bar will also be available. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 312-222-9328 or visit Shoreline Sightseeing online.

-Sponsored post

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Shaw’s 26th Annual Oyster Fest Returns

Posted on September 18th, 2014 by

Shaws Oyster Fest 2014

Shaw’s Crab House’s favorite festival on the half shell returns Sept. 22-26 for a week-long celebration of its favorite mollusk. Their 26th Annual Oyster Fest will culminate with the famous Oyster Fest Block Party on Friday, Sept. 26th offering fest-goers incredible food, cocktails, and three live music acts including Andrew Diehl, Odessa, and headliner Brett Dennen.

Dig in on the celebration at both locations (Chicago and Schaumburg) with half- priced oysters on the half shell all week long available at both lunch and dinner at the Oyster Bar. For the remainder of Oyster Fest Week, diners can enjoy cold-water oysters for just $8/half dozen or $16/dozen in addition to hot oyster dishes like Fried Oysters, Oyster Po’ Boys, and Oysters Rockefeller.

The nightly Slurp-Off during the week invites participants to slurp down a dozen oysters as fast as they can, hands-free, with the goal to advance to Friday’s Grand Slurp-Off at the Oyster Fest Block Party for their chance to win a grand prize of $1,000. The Grand Slurp-Off will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 26.

Oyster Fest Block Party

oysterfestlivemusicThe Oyster Fest Block Party will take place on Friday, Sept. 26, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 560 W. Grand Ave. (Grand Avenue and the Chicago River). This annual bash $25 entry fee offers attendees the chance to enjoy the freshest oysters on the half shell and boat-loads of delicious food provided by Shaw’s in addition to beverages from Goose Island, Martin Codax Wines, Bridlewood Wines, Grey Goose, and Bacardi. Tickets are for admission only; food and beverage tickets are sold separately; the Oyster Fest Block Party is cash only and ATMs will be available at the venue.

Tickets are $25 per person. VIP tickets (includes an elevated viewing area, separate bathrooms and a full cash bar) are available for $75 per person. All tickets can be purchased at

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