The rooftop garden and solar panels may be what cemented Simone’s status as a green certified restaurant, but the recycled pinball machines-turned light fixtures, bar top made of an old bowling alley, and bike-chain-chandeliers certainty didn’t hurt. Microbrews and craft cocktails complement the quality pub food at this eclectic spot.
Whose Line Is It Anyway? stars Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood tickle ribs in an evening of improvised comedy. Starting with suggestions form the audience, Mochrie and Sherwood fashion witty sketches that free guffaws from bellies and remind sad clowns what they've given up for their craft. Interactivity spices up the evening, with the comedic pair calling audience members to the stage to assist in chuckle-making scenes. The Hemmens Cultural Center ensconces guests in main-floor seats guaranteed to be within 100 feet of the stage, affording straight sightlines to onstage action and comfortable distance from the occasional gargoyle infestations of the balcony.
The spirit of rock 'n' roll is alive and well at 27 Live, a restaurant, lounge, and performance venue named to honor members of the 27 Club—rock stars such as Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison who died at age 27. The restaurant's seasonal menu puts a modern twist on American classics using local ingredients, hand-ground meats, and house-made breads and pastas. Upstairs in the whiskey lounge, craft brews pour from taps, and local bourbons are delivered to discerning palates. 27 Live's partnership with independent distillery and fellow Evanston culinary anchor FEW Spirits means the restaurant graces glasses with custom libations. If not eating at a table or clinking glasses in the lounge, patrons are relaxing in candlelight on leather sofas in the private VIP suites amid wooden beams and exposed-brick walls. In addition, 27 Live's stage and sound system host various musical performances, which guests can take in while sitting, dancing, or doing the coolest move of all—The Sitting Man.
The epicurean connoisseurs at Patron’s Hacienda ply palates with tender steaks, traditional Mexican entrees such as enchiladas and tamales, and 56 varieties of tequila. Hand-mashed guac slips onto tortilla chips as diners choose from half a dozen steaks weighing in at 10–20 ounces. Sauces such as the spicy habanero and veracruzana salsa dazzle tongues, especially when poured into the breathing tubes of snorkelers, and ambrosial waves of butter and lime juice conceal sautéed tilapia or jumbo shrimp. Fruit freshly wrung yields juice for the margaritas that fuel salsa dancers’ footwork on Monday nights, and the dining room’s 18 55-inch plasma televisions flicker with NFL games.
With a name that pays double homage to its proximity to the financial district and two iconic Chicago sports franchises, Bull & Bear is an ideal place for the downtown set to jet to after work and catch tip-off or a Monday-night kick-off. To save even more time, patrons can grab one of five booths equipped with tabletop beer taps.
In the heart of Wrigleyville, diners savor Raw Bar’s namesake plate—fresh, raw oysters amid 40s and 60s art deco. However, the eatery’s seafood offerings encompass cooked cuisine as well, such as clams, lobsters, Dungeness crab, and octopus. Grilled frogs’ legs complement the aquatic eats, along with alligator meat smothered in creamy Louisiana mushroom sauce, and ostrich, a lean red meat discovered by far-sighted farmers who mistook ostriches for chickens. Mediterranean and Persian offerings, such as hummus and Persian chicken potato salad, round out the menu, and diners can wash down their meals with pours from the oaken bar, such as beers and hand-crafted margaritas.