The Sample Room

If you have difficulty making decisions, the Sample Room wants you. As the name implies, this brand-new, swank café bar is centered around sharable, nibbleworthy combination platters—3,500 possible combinations of veggie, meat, cheese, and seafood treats. That goes for wine too: Try a number of vintages with a flight of three 2-oz. glasses. Our entrees […]

Gardens of Salonica

“Greek food is arousing,” declared one of my table companions after a big bite of his spicy soutzokakia sandwich. The rest of us raised our eyebrows and waited for him to explain. He chose instead to blush and mumble that he “just meant intriguing.” But he’s right. All that garlic and olive oil, lemony ambelodolmades […]

Uptown Art Fair

Maybe this will be the year when you make that extra effort to actually find the art at the Uptown Art Festival. Sure, there are food booths, live music, games, and the general hubbub of another summer festival. And who can deny the cheap thrill of wandering around the middle of Lake Street slightly buzzed, […]

“Picasso: Prints in the 20th Century”

The word genius gets tossed around too often—I myself used it recently to praise a particularly delicious hamburger—but when you’re talking about Pablo Picasso, it’s the only thing to call him. “Guernica” aside, he worked in so many disciplines and reinvented his approach so many times, it’s easy to overlook just how profound and wide-ranging […]

Children’s Home Society 13th Annual Polo Classic

Sometimes we’re struck by the realization that most of the world’s problems would be solved if we simply paid attention to the right people. Children’s Home Society is one of the great institutions of a benevolent society, focusing on the only real hope we have for the future—our children. Dating back to the 19th century […]

Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival

There are few surer cures for a child-size case of crankiness than a sunny afternoon in Como Park; if you need a further excuse, this day’s-worth of traditional Japanese holiday fun is a sure bet. There’s plenty of visually spectacular entertainment to immerse them in, from taiko drumming by Theater Mu and martial arts to […]

“Sweltering Summer Noirish Nights,” “Cinema of Claustrophobia: The Films of Roman Polanski”

Here’s 18 reasons to stay out of the sun and revel in dark places and icy paranoia. We start with a couple of little-known Bogart flicks, High Sierra and Dead Reckoning , that might be of interest to Bogey fanatics but are mostly little-known for good reason. But the other four films are much better […]

Les Miserables

Victor Hugo’s sprawling, tragic novel was an instant sensation when it was first published in 1862, and its star has never really dimmed. It’s been put on film many times, as early as 1909. But its greatest popular success came in the 1980s, when Parisian songwriters Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg decided to break out […]

Cirque du Soleil’s “Alegria”

Sad, scruffy lions held at bay with whips, embarrassed elephants performing pratfalls for a peanut. Let’s face it, old-style circuses seem fairly tawdry these days. Not so with Cirque du Soleil, which breathes new life into the big top by focusing on its dazzling array of human stunt artists—aerial acrobatics and daring trapeze-work, leavened with […]

Guster

Okay, we’re playing a trick here. Guster actually plays warm-up to John Mayer, the singer/songwriter responsible for “No Such Thing”—an atrocious piece of bland, radio-friendly pablum you probably know as the “I-wanna run-through-the-halls-of-my-high school-and-scream-at-the-top-of-my-lungs” song. We can’t explain this ditty’s popularity, and we won’t hold it against the various local radio stations that insist on […]