Fashioned out of an old speakeasy, Paramount Room still exudes the weary cool of its jazz age predecessor. However, chef Stephen Dunne also keeps his kitchen refreshingly with the times, crafting a menu of pub-inspired seasonal eats that earned the restaurant a coveted Michelin Bib Gourmand rating and the praise of local gourmands at Chicago Magazine, Centerstage, and Daily Candy. Small plates of chilled oysters and steak tartare encourage socialable sharing, and entrees of cider-braised lamb shank, buttermilk fried chicken, and a bacon-wrapped filet embody new twists on old favorites. True to its origins, Paramount Room also houses a top-notch bar, where resident beverage manager Jacquie Armanetti and her team preside over a tap list of ever-rotating craft beers, suggest pairings from an extensive wine list and sling cocktails inspired by both Prohibition favorites and more modern mixology.
Toeing the line between corner bar and gourmet grill, The Point serves old-fashioned comfort food alongside vegan and gluten-free fare. The eclectic menu matches the decor, which effortlessly blends exposed brick and timeworn racing photos with sleek chrome light fixtures and sentient bar stools. Diners can plumb new depths with intriguing menu items such as the crab cake with caper remoulade, the vegan mushroom broth risotto, and the tilapia ceviche with orange and lime. Or they can rely on old standards such as the Point burger with cheddar and bacon or the chicken wings, which come in chipotle barbecue or gorgonzola-bacon. It's not all rib-sticking entrees, either. In her glowing review, the Chicago Reader's Julia Thiel praised the lineup of libations as well, saying, "The drinks menu is just as impressive as the food, offering a dozen beers on tap... another 20-odd in bottles and cans, plus a dozen wines by the glass, the same number of cocktails, and a good selection of spirits, particularly whiskey and tequila."
As a broadcast journalism student, Kimberly Refilek found time between lectures, internships at Kiss FM and NBC, and papers to pursue her other passions: sports and fitness. Somehow she found the time to study and work while scoring goals for the co-ed soccer team and training in boxing and muay thai.
Inspired by her after-work and between-class endeavors, Kimberly's colleagues began to ask her to help them train. She balked at first, saying she only knew how to train herself. But at their insistence, Kimberly began to help and slowly she came to the revelation that not only did she truly love fitness, but she also loved helping others reach their fitness goals.
After graduation, Kimberly switched careers, swapping her steno pad for kettle bells and her pencils for more kettle bells. At Moirai Health and Fitness, Kimberly provides many forms of personal training and nutritional counseling but also teaches fitness classes including Moirai Surfset, a workout that approximates the core-toning experience of surfing.
Metropoli-TAN Airbrush Tanning's licensed aesthetician simulates the sun's rays to counterfeit tans. As with any good counterfeit, creating an authentic-looking tan requires some artistic skill and the right resources. She starts with Norvell Tanning Solutions products, which she wields so capably that the product manufacturer certifies her skills. She then hand-applies the pigment-inducing spray with an airbrush, taking into account things such as the body's natural contours and whether or not your imaginary friend fell asleep on your stomach at the beach yesterday. The result is natural-looking, UV-free tans.
River West Fitness bottles up exercise routines inside a loft-style fitness studio with exposed brick walls and wooden beams. Dancer and personal trainer Heidi Milby inflects workouts with fluid movements rooted in Pilates, yoga, and gyrotonic sessions, which use pulley machines to strengthen and stretch muscles without jerky movements. Guests can chisel physiques during private lessons, wallop punching bags under the guidance of former professional boxer Johnny Higgins, or steal ab muscles by osmosis from others exercisers during group classes. Aching bodies can retreat to the massage table, where massage therapists soothe sores with the kneads of deep tissue, Thai, or Ashiatsu modalities.
Pet Stuff's staff stacks aisles with everything needed to pamper and nourish furry friends. Many offerings are organic, and because the store's motto is "your pets are personal to us," staff members will read pet diaries from cover to cover before recommending purchases.