I Wish Lessons’ professionally guided classes convene in various venues throughout Chicago, Boston, DC, and Detroit, uniting and educating like-minded learners in vibrant social settings. The company’s hundreds of teachers have educated countless learners while introducing them to new friends and planning private events, including birthday parties and baby showers. Classes broach a multitude of engaging, lighthearted subjects, such as beer and bacon pairing, scotch tasting, cupcake decorating, and sushi rolling.
Village Wine Shop, in business for more than 60 years, culls together hundreds of varietals from around the globe, augmented by sundry liquors and craft beers. Wines of all hues and tastes await aficionados along the venue’s walls and in aisles of crates that line the oblong, wood-floored shop. Every other Friday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., patrons file into the store for a free tasting and a chance to get a bottle of wine’s signature on a copy of The Grapes of Wrath.
Inside Small Plates’ villa of victuals, visitors discover appetite-sating secrets in a menu full of delicious tapas, pizza, and sandwiches. After observing the amber-colored walls and wood floors that lightly complement the browns of chairs and high-backed booths, unfold a miniature trampoline to bounce into a pile of veggie spring rolls served with hoisin, spicy mustard, and plum sauces ($8). Then, snag a Broadway baguette ($8), save the Boursin cheese and roma tomatoes for later, and force-feed yourself a plate of baby-back barbecue ribs with hand-cut fries ($15) or an eight-inch, thin-crust, brick-oven Italian sausage pizza with gorgonzola cheese and caramelized onions ($10). Once your stomach has gotten used to its new guests, sweeten your palate with the signature chocolate chunk cookie sandwich ($7), or with alternating nibbles of cheesecake ($7) and crème brulée ($6).
As the doors of Skybar Lounge’s wood-paneled elevator slide open, customers are immersed in a sleek atmosphere enlivened by driving bass beats and the icy rattle of the bartenders' shakers as they prepare 25 signature martinis. Moroccan-style lamps cast a warm glow over patrons sharing tapas plates of prime beef sky sliders and calamari with house sweet chili sauce in between enjoying panoramic views of the city skyline, flickering streetlights, and nannies flying back to England.