Monthly Archives: July 2010

La Madia’s August Chef’s Table

La Madia Executive Chef / Owner Jonathan Fox’s Jonathan Fox’s passion for seasonal ingredients is demonstrated in his monthly Chef’s Table events.  Guests are invited to experience first-hand the artisan influences of the La Madia menu with a special five-course Chef’s Table the first Wednesday of each month.  The August Chef’s Table event will include Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta, Chicken Ragu over Housemade Pappardelle Pasta, and Seared Red Grouper with Summer Vegetables and more along with wine pairings.

Guests at the Chef’s Table are seated at the intimate pizza bar with a full view of the Chef’s work area and wood-burning oven.  They will watch as their menu samplings are hand-crafted, paired with wines and explained by Executive Chef Jonathan Fox.  Guests will experience the creative process as they are treated to tastes of seasonal samplings.

WHEN: Wednesday, August 4

COST: $39 per person excluding tax and gratuity, includes five-courses and wine pairings

RESERVE: Reservations required. Call 312.329.0400 (Seating is extremely limited so participants are encouraged to book early.

UPCOMING: Fall Chef’s Tables September 1 and October 6

59 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 329-0400

The Dailey Method Chicago Celebrates One Year in Bucktown with Special Package

The Dailey Method®, LLC, (, a leading exercise company headquartered in San Francisco, is celebrating its first year in Chicago with a special August offer for all clients.

Just in time for fall, the special 10-class package can be purchased for $140 at The Dailey Method in Bucktown from August 1 – August 15.  The package is available to Dailey Method’s existing and new clients (one package per client with a 3-month expiration date).

The Dailey Method opened its first location at the height of the dot-com boom in June 2000 in a small 1,000 square foot facility in San Francisco’s Marina District.  Since then, the company has grown nearly two thousand percent with 19 locations globally.  Thirteen of the studios are in the San Francisco Bay Area, with three in Illinois, one in Arizona, one in Vancouver, Canada and one in Paris, France.

The Dailey Method’s hallmark is its proprietary, challenging one-hour fitness class, which combines ballet barre work, core conditioning, stretching, and orthopedic exercises.  The classes effectively strengthen, tone, and lengthen the entire body while providing quick physical results.  The Dailey Method has developed a cult-like following amongst its clientele and more studio openings are in the works.

“What sets The Dailey Method apart is that while we have grown exponentially, we’ve remained intimate in our approach and paid a lot of attention to detail,” said Jill Dailey McIntosh, founder of the Dailey Method.  “We’ve seen a level of loyalty from clients to our business not found at other studios, and we’ve been able to attract teachers who are deeply passionate about what we do.  I teach classes weekly, and a number of clients from our first year still take classes with me.  I’ve loved seeing their progress over the years.”

She added, “I am proud of how our methodology has evolved and how we push ourselves for constant improvement. I am also proud that we have been able to keep the same pricing in place for the past decade and have made the healthful benefits of The Dailey Method accessible to as many people as possible.”

The Dailey Method®, LLC currently owns and operates three company-owned Dailey Method studios in the San Francisco Bay Area.  They have provided training and a brand license to 15 Dailey Method studios located throughout the greater Bay Area, in Arizona, Illinois, Canada and France.  The Dailey Method is owned by husband-and-wife team Jill Dailey McIntosh and Doug McIntosh.

The Dailey Method Chicago
1714 N. Damen Avenue

Il Poggiolo New Specials

Featuring Half Price Wine Wednesday and a Prix Fixe Lunch Special
Il Poggiolo will bring back their highly celebrated Half Price Wine nights beginning Wednesday, July 28.  In addition, they will unveil a special 3-course prix fixe lunch that will be available Monday through Friday and includes soup or salad, pasta and dessert for only $15.

Il Poggiolo’s daily specials are available Sunday through Wednesday.  Guests can enjoy Kids Eat Free on Sundays, Guest Bartending Mondays and Half Price Wine Wednesday.  Patrons can also take advantage of Il Poggiolo’s recently opened patio, which is dog friendly.

Kids Eat Free
Every Sunday from 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Up to 4 children per table.  Selections from Kids Menu only.

Guest Bartending Nights
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
No Cover
Specialty Cocktails from P.I.N.K Vodka, $6 (regularly $12)
Portion of proceeds are donated to guest bartender’s charity of choice

Half Price Wine
House selection of wine by the bottle at half price

Available Monday through Friday
Chef’s 3-course special includes soup or salad, pasta and dessert
*includes soft drink or tea

8 East First Street
Hinsdale, IL 60521

Carlucci Hum Mixology Event

Featuring Master Mixologist Adam Seger

Carlucci Restaurant in Downers Grove will host an exclusive Hum mixology event on Saturday, July 31 featuring samples of several Hum cocktails and a dinner buffet.  Hosted by mixologist Adam Seger, guests will learn how to make delicious drinks with the beautifully balanced spirit, Hum.  Hum Botanical Spirit is infused organic rum with fair trade hibiscus, organic ginger, green cardamom and kaffir lime.  The price to attend covers cocktail samples and small bites including Pizza Assortiti, Arancini and Crostini con Salmone.  

WHEN: Saturday, July 31 from 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

COST: $30 per person (plus tax and gratuity)

RESERVE: Reservations required. 630.512.0990

Carlucci Restaurant
1801 Butterfield Road
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Fine Dine Deal to Launch July 2010

Diners are invited to lose the coupon and dine in style

July 14, 2010 (Chicago) – FineDineDEAL is a revolutionary new concept in fine dining launching in the Chicago market this July at  As an online marketplace, FineDineDEAL connects restaurants striving to maximize revenue during off-peak hours with diners who crave a fine dining experience at an exceptional value.

By offering unique multi-course menus from premier restaurants, at accessible prices, FineDineDEAL is ideal for couples, corporate event planners, large celebratory groups and tourists looking for extraordinary dining options at market-driven prices.  A sample of current participating restaurants and deals in Chicago includes four courses at Sunda for $45, three courses at Le Colonial for $35, 4 courses at mk for $44, 4 courses at one sixtyblue for $40, 3 courses for $29 at Flatwater and three courses at Prosecco for $35.  Additional participating restaurants include N9NE Steakhouse, aria at the Fairmont, The Drawing Room, Bella Notte, and many more.

Highlights for Diners
Diners can choose from an array of celebrated restaurants offering multi-course menus with optional wine pairing upgrades, then book online.
With FineDineDEAL, diners are encouraged to enjoy first-rate culinary experiences at a fraction of the cost.  Restaurants are competing for their business, so diners win!
FineDineDEAL is great for large groups who prefer to know exactly how much they will spend in advance – they can even split the check ahead of time online.
Diners do not have to hold on to a coupon or use within a limited time; they follow their regular dining behavioral patterns and book the way they typically do – except instead of just getting a reservation, they also get a great deal.
Diners can taste Spicy Tuna Poke at The Drawing Room, Skirt Steak with Watermelon, Grilled Mustard Greens and Yucca at hotspot Elate, Grilled Salmon with Vermicelli Noodles and Ginger Lime Garlic Sauce at Gold Coast favorite Le Colonial, Lemongrass Beef Lollipops and Miso Bronzed Black Cod at Sunda and other delectable dishes at prices reduced up to 45%.

Highlights for Restaurants
FineDineDEAL empowers restaurants to fill seats during otherwise slow times with a trackable ROI and a more productive profit margin than other promotional programs.
Restaurants don’t compromise their brands while delivering value to their diners.
Restaurants can manage their pricing and offerings via real-time back-end controls based on supply and demand analytics.

Says Founder and CEO Rakesh Thakkar, “Restaurants have a very perishable item – a seat.  Once that seat stays unfilled for any time slot, it is lost forever.  FineDineDEAL gives restaurants a platform to fill that seat at a price diners are willing to pay.  Other industries such as airlines and hotels have evolved using real-time pricing platforms to maximize their efficiency and present value for consumers.  FineDineDEAL is here to lead the way for restaurants to do the same.  It’s now time for restaurants to evolve.”

The Founders
Rakesh Thakkar brings more than 14 years of hospitality experience and six years of hi-tech experience to his new venture as Founder and CEO of FineDineDEAL.  Rakesh started his career at Andersen Consulting and KPMG as a technology consultant helping Fortune 500 companies implement ERP solutions such as PeopleSoft.  After a several years of consulting, Rakesh’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to the hospitality industry where he has operated cutting edge restaurants and lounges in Chicago.  Rakesh holds a degree in Management Information Systems and Finance from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University-Bloomington.  When he’s not pursuing the next big deal, Rakesh enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids, travelling, yoga and playing tennis.  The idea behind FineDineDEAL was conceived while he was doing a headstand and thinking of creative ways to maximize revenue at the restaurant he was operating.

Nick Hira brings more than 10 years of business development & strategy/solutions consulting experience to his position as Co-Founder of FineDineDEAL.  Previously, Nick worked at WhittmanHart Consulting and CCC Information Services where he gained extensive knowledge in the creation and development of B2C, B2B & Business Intelligence solutions. Nick is also a licensed Illinois real estate agent with @properties and managing partner of Dome Investments LLC. Nick received his bachelors of science degree in Supply Chain Management from Michigan State University, Eli Broad College of Business.  He has lived in downtown Chicago since 1998

La Trattoria Del Merlo Announces New Menu

Small Plates, Authentic Tastes on Halsted

La Trattoria del Merlo, the newest addition to the Merlo family of restaurants, announces the launch of their exciting new menu concept featuring authentic Italian small plates, delicate handmade pastas and an accessible wine program to launch Wednesday, July 14, 2010.

Executive Chef/Owner Luisa Silvia Marani, has created a true Italian dining experience using age- traditional recipes from her native home of Bologna and the finest ingredients, many imported from Italy. “The goal,” says Marani of creating the new menu concept, “is to give our Lincoln Park neighbors the experience of the quintessential Italian neighborhood restaurant, with plenty of simple dishes perfect for sharing over a bottle of wine and conversation.” Marani’s commitment to tradition is firmly based on serving the highest quality ingredients and remaining consistent to her “slow food” philosophy.

The new menu features more than thirty small plates for sharing and sampling ranging from $6 to $18 each, around eight pastas hand-made fresh each day starting at just $9 and twenty-three Young & Emerging wines under $35 per bottle. La Trattoria del Merlo’s new menu brings the authentic taste of Bologna to Lincoln Park in an intimate 100-seat setting at extremely affordable prices.

Included on the new menu are small plates like Pizza fritta pomodorini, capperi, olive e Mozzarella di Bufala Campana (cherry tomatoes, capers, olives and Mozzarella di Bufala Campana on fried pizza crust) for $6, Brodetto nel vetro (tiger shrimp, heart of celery, red onion, green tomatoes, basil and red wine vinegar) served in a glass jar for $14 and Carciofi alla Romana alla menta (whole artichoke, E.V.O.O., parsley, garlic and mint) for $8.

Handmade pastas include Rigati di semola al ragu Bolognese (“Pasta Rigati” made of Semola di Grano Duro in Silvia’s traditional ragout Bolognese) for $12, Spaghetti di farro alla giuggiolona (farro flour spaghetti, pinenuts & fresh herbs in white wine with a touch of cream) for $9 and Spagolini cremolati, olio, aglio e acciughe (“Spagolini Pasta” made of semola and egg whites, with E.V.O.O., garlic and anchovy) for $9. Complete menu is below. Photos available upon request.

The Young and Emerging Wine Menu includes by-the-glass selections ranging from $7-$9 and twenty three wines and sparkling wines by the bottle for under $35. Selections include Pinot Grigio Sartori for $26 and Montepulciano Nobili for $25. Traditional and Reserve wines are also available upon request. The new menu also features a refreshing array summer cocktails. Complete wine list is below.

La Trattoria del Merlo

1967 N Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60614