Chef Curtis Duffy is a Michelin three starred Chicago chef known for Randolph Street’s ‘Grace’, which closed its doors in 2017. After three years in the works, Duffy and his business partner, Michael Muser, opened their new Fulton Market restaurant, Ever, in July. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions and supply chain obstacles, Ever has pivoted into a new temporary concept called ‘Reve Burger’.
Ever started as a high end, contemporary concept with an 8-10 course tasting menu (starting at $285 per person) featuring seafood, seasonal vegetables, nuts, meats, seeds, and grains. The original menu consisted of ingredients like squab with guajillo, raspberry, and sorrel, hoja santa (also known as “root beer leaf”), and an earthy-looking wagyu beef with sunchoke, orange, and tat soi. However, COVID has made sourcing many of these ingredients much more difficult than usual. Between these supply chain obstacles and COVID-19 indoor dining restrictions, the restaurant’s offerings have changed considerably for the time being.
Ever’s Fulton Market space is currently being used for Reve, Duffy and Muser’s carryout concept. In addition to being “Ever” spelled backward, “Reve” also means “dream” in French. Reve offers gourmet burgers and American fare for delivery and pick up. The standard “Reve burger” consists of two, four-ounce beef patties, a few slices of American cheese, plus Vienna dill pickles, and special sauce between a brioche bun from Highland Baking Co, served with shoestring fries that supposedly get crunchier after they’re reheated. Reve chef du cuisine, Jason Selk, got his chops working at Culver’s in Wisconsin. Selk hopes eating the delicious burgers from Reve will invoke a feeling of nostalgia for the consumer.
Be sure to try Reve burger while it’s here for a limited time!
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Does the recent stay at home order have you wondering what this Thanksgiving will look like? Don’t fret! These downtown Chicago restaurants are offering incredible Thanksgiving dinners for carryout and delivery!
Aba – West Loop
Give your celebration a Mediterranean twist with Aba’s Thanksgiving dinner. For $48.95 per person, you’ll get pumpkin hummus, truffle baked orzo, grilled kababs, crispy Brussels sprouts, and creme brûlée, with an option to add a bottle of wine.
Duck Duck Goat – West Loop
In the spirit of everything this holiday season being somewhat…atypical…ditch the turkey and opt for duck! Renowned chef, Stephanie Izard’s Chinese inspired menu includes peking duck, soy-roasted sweet potatoes, green beans with black bean sauce, char siu bao buns, mashed potato spring rolls and veggie fried rice. Duck Duck Goat’s Thanksgiving menu starts at $175 for four people.
Maple and Ash – Gold Coast
If a decadent holiday meal is your thing, look no further. Maple and Ash’s package includes a whole turkey, lobster bisque, shrimp cocktail, plenty of sides and salads and apple pie, with an option to add the IDGAF add-on, which includes caviar, king crab, filet mignon, truffle jus and more, starting at $70 per person.
etta – Wicker Park and River North
Etta’s prix fixe menu features Thanksgiving favorites with an elevated touch (can you say, cacio e pepe mac and cheese?) For $85 per person you’ll also get a bottle of wine, focaccia, salad, turkey breast, bolognese stuffing, veggies and pumpkin cake with spiced cream cheese frosting.
Bang Bang Pies – Logan Square
Are you making dinner yourself but looking for an extra something? Bang Bang Pies is a Chicago favorite for Thanksgiving classics like pumpkin, apple, chocolate, pecan, and key lime pies. Call ahead to order! Their pies go quickly!
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Although we’re in the second half of the summer, there are still plenty of socially distant things to do in downtown Chicago! Here are some ways you can make the most of the rest of these Chicago summer nights!
Drive in Movie
The Davis Theater is hosting Chicago themed drive in movie nights (with flicks like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Blues Brothers) at Lincoln Yards in Lincoln Park. If you’re looking for things to do near the South Loop, head to Soldier Field for nightly entertainment including screenings of classic movies like Groundhog Day and Grease, live music, and singalongs. No car? Check out movies in the park at Navy Pier in Streeterville or a floating cinema September 9th-13th (location to be determined), where you and up to 7 friends can watch a “drive in” movie from your own small boat!
Whether you’re a born and raised Chicagoan, new to the city, or visiting from out of town, a boat tour on the Chicago River is a must, so we had to include it in our list of socially distant things to do. See the skyline from a new perspective while you catch some sunlight and learn some facts you can spout to sound more cultured at your al Fresca dining later. The Summer of George 90 minute boat tour, praised for having extremely knowledgable and personable guides, showcases all three branches of the Chicago River, northeast to Lake Michigan, south to Tom Ping park and the vertical bridge, and west past the Groupon building. Summer of George architectural boat tour boards from 900 South Wells St. by the Southbank development and asks that you bring a mask.
Have a Picnic
Downtown Chicago is chalk full of spacious, gorgeous public parks, which is rare for such a large city. Each neighborhood has its share of great picnic spots, but it’s hard to compete with Promontory Point. Promontory Point is a human made peninsula at Burnham Park that juts out into Lake Michigan, just south of downtown. Get some fresh air and take in the city and stunning lake views from a new perspective. If you’re looking for socially distant things to do near downtown Chicago, a picnic at Promontory Point is hard to beat!
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Streets throughout Chicago are being designated as “shared streets”, which means they are closed to auto traffic on weekends to maximize the space available for outdoor dining. In Lincoln Park, North Lincoln Avenue from West Fullerton Avenue to West Wrightwood Avenue has been designated as shared street space for outdoor dining on weekends. During the rest of the week, however, you can still head to these Lincoln Park favorites for outdoor dining.
Cafe Ba Ba Reeba – 2024 N. Halsted St.
Head to Cafe Ba Ba Reeba for tapas, pinxos, paella, and sangria. Their all seasons enclosed patio is open for up to 50% capacity. Reservations are required for patio dining due to the limited seating and availability. You can make your reservations on OpenTable or here. Not looking to dine out? Cafe Ba Ba Reeba also offering carryout including Spanish cocktail kits, like the popular Mezcal Mule.
Summer House Santa Monica – 1954 N. Halsted St.
Just up Halsted Street from Cafe Ba Ba Reeba is Summer House Santa Monica, a trendy spot serving California inspired fare with local and market driven ingredients. The front patio and Vitamin D room are now both open with 50% capacity and an all day menu.
The J Parker Rooftop at Hotel Lincoln – 1816 N. Clark St.
Enjoy stunning views of the lakefront, Lincoln Park, and the Chicago skyline from the J Parker rooftop. The J Parker, from Boka Restaurant Group, offers small plates, like spring rolls and elote hush puppies, as well as a few salads and burgers, but is best known for it’s unrivaled selection of signature cocktails.
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Illinois is now in phase 3 of reopening post COVID, meaning that infection rates are stable or declining, which allows residents to gather in groups of 10 or less and continue to wear a mask in public. Here’s an overview of what’s open and allowed in downtown Chicago as part of phase 3 of Illinois’ post COVID reopening plan.
Although restaurants have already been open for carryout, phase 3 allows restaurants to offer outdoor dining and drinking for groups of 6 or less with social distancing measures. Some restaurants that did not previously offer outdoor dining, like Smyth and The Loyalist of the West Loop, have made accommodations on the surrounding sidewalks and outdoor areas to offer outdoor seating.
As of June 17th, bars that do not serve food were allowed to open for outdoor seating as well.
If you’re looking for summer activities, many outdoor attractions in Chicago are reopening, if they haven’t already. Walking, biking, and hiking as well as boating with no more than 6 to 10 people (depending on boat size) are already allowed. Parks are open with 25% maximum capacity for indoor facilities. The Lakefront Trail is set to reopen on June 22nd with hours from 6am to 7pm, while other parks and beaches east of Lakeshore Drive as well as the 606 trail will remain closed. Pools, playgrounds, beaches, museums, theaters, and zoos are to remain closed for the time being as well.
For more information on what’s reopening near you, here’s a comprehensive list of what each phase means for each type of site and which phase your area is currently in by zip code.
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Not only can you enjoy some of your favorite River North restaurants during the stay at home order, many are even offering specials for curb side pick up and carry out. Here are some of our favorites!
Pacific Standard Time- 151 W. Erie St.
The best of California meets the best of the midwest at Pacific Standard Time. In addition to offering carry out for their traditional menu, Pacific Standard Time is offering a $40 option that feeds four people. It includes salad, cheese pizza, rigatoni with sausage, and chocolate chip cookies with gluten free options for pizza and pasta available upon request.
Siena Tavern- 51 W. Kinzie St.
Siena Tavern is another River North hot spot offering curb side pickup specials. If your order by calling their direct line at 312-595-1322 they will include a bottle of wine with your order. Orders over $150 also get a $25 gift card. Additionally, for just $40, you can order a pasta or pizza meal kit or a family style meal. Siena Tavern is a go-to if you’re looking for innovative takes on Italian fare, serving up dishes like squid ink linguine with lobster, truffle pizza, or the giant wagyu meatball with tomato sauce made for dipping (pictured).
Gene and Georgetti- 500 N. Franklin St.
As Chicago’s oldest steak house, Gene and Georgetti has been a neighborhood favorite since 1941. Order curb side carry out for menu staples like the Bibb lettuce salad with seared tuna, Italian sausage with peppers, baked clams, huge portions of pasta, and of course, steaks. For a limited time, receive a $25 gift card with every $100 you order for carry out.
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It’s going to be at least another month before fitness centers start to reopen, but that doesn’t mean you have to get off track with your health goals. If you’re looking for ways to get or stay healthy during the COVID-19 Shelter in Place Order, here are five fitness programs you can do from home for free with minimal equipment!
Although ClassPass is normally a paid membership, free fitness classes are available to all users for free through the app, including HIIT, yoga, pilates, and more.
If you’re already a ClassPass user, you can roll over an unlimited amount of credits for when in person classes resume or use your existing credits for livestream classes anytime.
Pure Barre is offering free live classes! Can’t make the live classes work with your schedule? Classes are recorded and uploaded to the Pure Barre Facebook page to watch anytime. Classes will call for some equipment, like hand weights, but feel free to get creative with household items! (Tip– a can of Bush’s beans weighs exactly 1 lb.)
Barry’s Bootcamp is streaming it’s HIIT workouts twice daily on IGTV. Check out the 20 minute work out sessions on the @Barrys Instagram account. Some of the sessions will call for equipment (like elastic bands).
Peloton’s on demand app offers an assortment of classes in their 30 day free trial, including yoga, running, strength training, outdoor workouts, meditation, and more, no bike required!
Corepower is making select online classes available for free during the coronavirus stay at home order. Choose from CPY favorites like C1, C1.5, C2, Hot Power Fusion, Yoga Sculpt, or guided breath meditations. You can also get unlimited access to all classes for $19.99 monthly.
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