You don't expect to find world class dining in a strip mall, but there you have it. Five Forks is top notch in a town full of chain restaurants. This white linened dining spot is romantic, with candle lit tables, first class service, and a pretty good wine selection (including by the glass) for such a small place. The food is comparable to what you'd find in any big city establishment, very Wolfgang Puck. They feature trendy pizzas, beyond the ordinary salads, great fish dishes, and a flourless chocolate cake for desert that is comparable to eating a slice of chocolate truffle. The price per couple is about $50 for two for an appetizer, entree, and desert to share, well worth the money. It's not the most logical location for such a great dining experience, but there is plenty of parking!
What's old is new again, as can be seen in the red carpet runway forays of Hollywood starlets. You already knew old was cool, and this is a place that can supply your every whim. Find clothing, purses, costume jewelry, and other accessories from the 1950s to the 1970s era in this Lincoln Park store.
PROS: beautiful assortment of hipster garb
CONS: vintage can be costly when it's couture
Hubbard Street Dance now performs in the newly built Harris Theatre for Music and Dance in Millenium Park, and that is a very good thing. Now Chicago audiences will have an easy place to see this amazing company of dancers. Their quirky modern-jazz riff is unlike any traditional notion of dance. I went to a performance, where dancers selected audience members to perform with them on stage. Go see Hubbard,and you will be thinking outside the dance box.
PROS: wonderful company of modern dancers
CONS: tickets can be expensive but you'll have a night to remember
Located in the heart of Pilsen, this museum is for art lovers of any breed (and it's not a bad neighborhood for lan accompanying unch or dinner either). Here you will see the artists you have come to associate with great Mexican art--Diego Rivera and Frieda Khalo--and many who deserve to be better known. Check on museum activities, too. They often sponsor special events, such as Del Corazon, a performing arts festival.
PROS: amazing artwork
CONS: when was the last time you were in Pilsen?
This unusual place offers yoga classes for baby and mom, as well as pre-natal classes to help expectant moms with breathing and movement pre-labor. Can anyone really prepare? Well, this place at least helps moms-to-be relax and exercise in a supportive environment. Massages available here, too. Heaven for mom.
PROS: unusual yoga focus on moms and babies
CONS: why don't more people know about this place?
Ok, you've somehow damaged your favorite seude or leather jacket. Where do you take it? To the dry cleaners? Do they really know what they are doing? This is your answer; the store can mend, clean, restore, and otherwise return your leather item to the exact shape you remember. Now you didn't think this clothing repair would come cheap, did you?
PROS: hope for your hopelessly ruined leather jacket
CONS: you will pay
This cool store features modern furniture from a designer who works in higher end furniture, but wanted to create a more affordable line for those of us with much smaller budgets. It's not cheap, but it's unlike the quality you are likely to find in your typical furniture stores. The store holds examples, but you custom order. There are also some interesting accent pieces and rugs available.
PROS: awesome modern furniture
CONS: even though this is the "moderate" line, it is still a financial investment
This children's bookstore features an unbelievable selection of books, games, CDs, DVDs, and other materials all geared for the young ones. There are activity areas and a carpeted reading area, where storytime comes twice a week. Look for special events. Teachers get a 10% discount, too.
PROS: great fun for kids
CONS: they won't want to leave, and worse, they'll want everything in sight
The Lego Store is a highlight for kids...and their parents. Located throughout the mall where the store is located find amazing creations of legos: peoples, animals, scenes. Try your hand at creating something on one of the lego tables scattered throughout the mall and then be prepared to dish out the dough for these cheerful plastic pieces. Fun watches for purchase, too.
PROS: imagination takes off
CONS: you'll end up spending way more than you planned
You see them streaming from American Girl Place on a Satuday afternoon, eyes alive (parents with packages in hand). They've just seen the musical or had lunch or bought their favorite doll. This place does not come cheap, but these dolls and the store are beloved by little girls everywhere. You know these dolls, characters from American history, dressed in historical costume, each with her own name and story.
PROS: a paradise for little girls with its own musical
CONS: expensive toys