5 New Spots to Grab a Cocktail in Chicago This Summer

Summertime Chi is a time of discovery and well, cocktails. We’ve combined the two to give you five of the newest bars to grab some cocktails in Chicago this summer – including one of the most talked about rooftop! From cocktail bars to social clubs, chances are there are some hot spots that will help you plan your next happy hours and Friday night benders. And if you’re gone every other weekend or spending the summer in Rome – we’ve covered some solid choices to put in your rotation for months to come. When you’re drinking and having a great time, you’ll definitely want to think about how you’re going to bar hop! I suggest organizing transportation ahead of time so you can focus more on the drinks and catching up, than on the logistics when you’re soaking up the sun. Click here for some suggestions. 

Z Bar

108 E Superior Street

This rooftop bar has an awesome location near the Magnificent Mile downtown. It just opened this June with a few evening parties with some of the hottest bloggers like Olivia Rink. It is often packed, especially during weekends, but the hand crafted cocktails are certainly worth the wait. Their cocktail menu is inspired by luxury travel around the world, and you’ll notice it in the quality of the drinks here. Plus, the rooftop terrace has unbeatable views of the city – am I right? 

80 Proof

1500 N Wells Street

You can find this new American bar in the Old Town near the North side of town. Their dishes are upscale comfort food with options like chorizo sloppy joes and spicy shrimp tacos. They have a DJ at their brunch which is the perfect way to start your weekend! There are a lot of photo opps – so if you missed 29 Rooms or Happy Place – you can still spice up your insta. 

Flight Club Darts Chicago

111 W Wacker Drive

Flight Club Darts Chicago is a social club with fun games and delicious food and drink options. It’s fun to play darts while socializing with friends – because sometimes we need another activity besides just drinking.  You can expect the usual bar food menu here. They even host fun events with magicians and other entertainment through the month.

The Gringo

1201 W Grand Avenue

When a taqueria meets a beer garden, you get The Gringo, and it’s as magical as it sounds. You can order elotes, margaritas (by the pitcher), and if that isn’t enough motivation to get you here, maybe the oreo churros will be! They play hip, indie music, and you have a variety of meat and salsa options to choose from.

Dutch & Doc’s

3600 N Clark St

This new restaurant in Lakeview is located right across the street from Wrigley Field, so it’s a perfect stop if you’re doing some sightseeing in the city or heading to a Cub’s game. They serve a variety of cuisines on their menu, and they make a mean homemade vanilla bean soft serve for that hot afternoon or if you’re starting early they have you set with fresh, bloody Mary drinks for brunch.

This is a sponsored post. 

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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Tortoise Supper Club Creates Cocktail For a Cause This April
River North Restaurant & Lounge Raising The Infant Welfare Society of Chicago During the Month of April 2017.

What if you could make the world a better place just by heading to a bar and ordering a drink?  Well, it’s a start.

Chicago’s Tortoise Supper Club (350 North State St. in Chicago, IL.  ) is helping diners do just that through their Cocktails for a Cause program.  Every month the metropolitan supper club, known for its steaks, chops and fresh seafood, partners with a Chicago non-profit to help raise awareness and funds for that organization.  The River North restaurant creates an original limited edition cocktail and donates $3 of every one sold to that month’s non-profit partner.

In April, Tortoise Supper Club is working to support The Angel Harvey Family Health Center – Infant Welfare Society of Chicago, a community health center that serves more than 13,000 patients from the city’s most vulnerable and medically underserved populations.  In honor of their April partnership, the team at TSC created Angel’s Elixir, a modern twist on the popular Brazilian Batida cocktail. This beverage combines Cachaça, Fresh Lime Juice and a housemade Strawberry Shrub (strawberry, apple cider vinegar and a touch of black pepper) to create a refreshing drink. The Angel’s Elixir is finished off with a sprig of aromatic Rosemary and some Candied Strawberry.

The Angel’s Elixir cocktail will be available through April 30th; $3 from every one sold will go directly to IWS.

Weekly Specials:

Weekly specials include Half Priced Signature Cocktails on Wednesdays, Sautéed Frog Legs and Buttermilk Battered Cod on Fridays, Northwoods Dry Rubbed Prime Rib on Saturdays and $1 Oysters / $1 Shrimp Cocktail from 4:30 – 6:30 pm on weekdays.

Happy Hour Cocktails:

Tortoise Supper Club does an awesome Happy Hour that includes $1 Oysters and $1 Shrimp Cocktail MondayFriday from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm.  They also offer Half-Priced Signature Cocktails on Wednesdays from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm.
Live Sinatra-style jazz music is played in the lounge every Friday and Saturday night.
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FashionBar Raises The Bar for Chicago Couture Fashion

Hello Gorgeous.

Paris Fashion Week was last week, but this weekend, Chicago has its own fashion scene.

Is Chicago a Fashion City?

FashionBar, a Chicago strategy and consulting company for Chicago designers, was founded by Tony Long to bridge the gap between the fashion scenes in LA and New York and allow Chicago to emerge as its own front runner fashion scene.

And there are beautiful clothes and stylish Chicago city girls even if their ensemble is under winter coats and soon-to-be spring coats.

Chicago’s fashion week is squeezed into weekend fashion shows. From March 18-20, 2016, FashionBar is presenting two premier Chicago fashion runway shows at some of Chicago’s ritziest hotels for a night of Chicago couture fashion and a spotlight on two Chicago-based designers and Chicago fashion boutiques.

2016 Chicago Couture Fashion Show at the Radisson Blu:

On Friday, March 18, 2016 is FashionBar’s 2016 Chicago Couture Fashion Show.  Chicago’s fashion runway show will feature debut collections from Chicago-based  designers, Prina Bagia and Anastasia Chatzka.

This exclusive event at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago will be limited to the first 100 guests.

Wear your best for the red carpet Chicago fashion event. Doors will open at 6:30 pm for photos on the red carpet immediately following a cocktail hour with live entertainment beginning at 7:00 pm. The Chicago fashion show begins at 8:15 pm.

The best part is that while you are supporting Chicago couture fashion designers, a portion of ticket sales will also benefit Avanse, a nonprofit organization for children in poverty.

Click here for tickets to the Friday night Chicago Couture Fashion Show.

Annual Portfolio Chicago Fashion Show at The Drake:

On Sunday, March 20, 2016, FashionBar will be presenting another group of Chicago designer’s work for the Fall and Winter 2016 Portfolio Show at The Drake Hotel. FashionBar’s annual fashion show is a collaboration between FashionBar’s clients who are working towards transforming Chicago into a fashion city.

The fashion show will take place from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm with a red carpet and cocktail hour, with the Chicago fashion show beginning at 7:15 pm.

Featured Chicago Designers:

  • Christopher DiGiorgio
  • Humane Envy
  • Laura Daili Vilnius
  • Kristina Giedra
  • Nadia Dovidi Designs

Again, the best part is that while you are supporting Chicago couture fashion designers and Chicago fashion boutiques, a portion of ticket sales will also benefit Avanse, a nonprofit organization for children in poverty.

Click here for tickets to the Annual Portfolio Chicago Fashion Show at The Drake Hotel on Chicago’s iconic Michigan Ave.

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FashionBar provided the below bios for the designers in the Chicago fashion show:

Christopher DiGiorgio – “Fashion is life to me. Fashion is the expression of the archetypal symbols of existence. My designs help free me from space and time. My sincerest hope is to make a success and impact on the world via my artistic statement in sartorial style.” (2015)

Humane Envy – Jennifer Stecher is thrilled to be the designer for Humane Envy. The brand is a socially conscience clothing line that provides excellent quality products for women of different sizes, shapes and backgrounds. She has not undergone the typical route to become a fashion designer. Jennifer decided to use clothing design as a creative release from other stressors in her life. As a veterinarian in Chicago, she knew that the journey to begin a clothing line would be challenging. However with a lot of passion and determination, the dream of starting her own clothing line became a reality. Humane Envy provides women the opportunity to not only dress to reflect their personality and sense of style, but also reflect their morals. A portion of Humane Envy’s profits will be donated to local animal rescue organizations and cancer-support organizations. Also, Humane Envy strives to allow all women to feel beautiful and confident in complimentary designs, fabrics and overall clothing structure.

Laura Dailivilnius Designs – Daili label represents professional fashion designer Laura Daili who has an international acknowledgement in fashion industry. This designer, showcases her collections through prestigious fashion shows worldwide in fashion capitals such as Tokyo, New York, Philadelphia, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Berlin, Riga, Lviv and Vilnius. Laura Daili established her own designer house in Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, called “Laura Daili Vilnius” Label “Daili” is for a modern woman that respects quality and embraces originality. Her statement: “fashion is delicate like glass and infinite like time”

Kristina Giedra – Fashion designer Kristina Giedra was born in Lithuanian. For over 20 years her design and innovation has earned her a following in women’s fashion. Kristina’s vitality and free spirit is seen in her design work which is known for bringing glamour, an exciting flair to women’s wear. She has lent her design expertise to custom projects for her exclusive clientele in custom fit apparel. In addition to clothing, the designer expanded her brand into other directions to include custom accessories, handbags, hats, and wedding wear. Her foray into fashion began in Lithuania and then she moved to the US with big dreams of becoming a designer. In later years, when she moved to the United States, she launched her own boutique business doing custom fashion design and alterations. With her talent and success, she recently launched her own signature collection of evening wear, dresses and suits for women. Kristina Giedra lives in Bloomingdale, Illinois with her husband, and her son.

Nadia Dovidi Designs – Nadia Dovydi is a Russian born Fashion Designer with 30 years pattern making, draping and garment creation of women’s wear apparel. Nadia’s dolls were the beneficiaries of her earliest childhood sewing experience and design expertise. Nadia began to realize her design capabilities unfolding before her very eyes in this world of fashion. sewing, materials and is inspired by people who wear fashionable attire. After completing her early schooling and without hesitation she immediately enrolled in Polytechnic Sewing Institute because she knew exactly what was going to her strengths which was garment creation. Upon completion of the Polytechnic Sewing Institute, life’s winds of change directed her to live in Lithuania where she experienced countless opportunities and design knowledge with a wide variety of materials, places, people and studios. This field of fashion and garment creation is what drives Nadia’s passion and love, because this is her life calling!

 

 

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Romantic Valentine’s Day Plans for the Chicago Foodie

In the time when a date usually is meeting for coffee or drinks, a dinner date has become kind of special.

For instance, that time a guy took me out on a first date for drinks, and then halfway through decided to step up his game and buy me dinner, I used it as a cocktail party story because I felt so special. It was simple really, he bought a small pizza for us to share—Papa John’s, but those were just details.

While my taste in men is still developing, I do adore good food.

Windy City Cosmo has rounded up some cute spots to have dinner or brunch. Of course, there are also some other treats if you want to make a romantic Valentine’s date extra special.

Bowl:

King’s Bowl (1500 N. Clybourn) in Lincoln Park’s new plaza, New City, is hosting a special weekend for you and your valentine. The dinner includes a special Valentine’s Day dessert, and, of course, specialty cocktails like the Love Potion #9 and the Stubborn Heart. A DJ will top off your perfectly romantic evening.

Date: Thursday, February 11 – 14, 2016

Reservation: Book Online

Expand Your Palate With Wine Pairings:

Wine is the new water, so why not learn to properly pair it?

Pinstripes: Bistro, Bowling, Bocce in River East is hosting a more traditional romantic evening for Valentine’s Day. The Italian restaurant and upscale entertainment venue is partnering with Milbrant Vineyards for an interactive four-course wine dinner featuring perfectly-paired wines. Guided by a Milbrant expert and Pinstripes Bistro chef, the evening will be both delicious and educational as they demonstrate how each pairing enhances the dining experience.

Menu:

Reception: Stuffed Dates Gorgonzola, Applewood Smoked Bacon / 2013 Riesling, Evergreen Vineyard, Columbia Valley, Washington

Pasta: Butternut Squash Raviolo Brown Butter & Sage, Honey Spiced Pumpkin Seeds / 2014 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, Washington

Main: Rain Crow Ranch Bone in Short Rib American Grass-Fed Beef, White Grits, Cajun Shrimp / 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Wahluke Slope, Washington

Sweet: Housemade Truffles Assortment of Chef’s Artisanal Hand-Rolled Chocolates / 2012 Red Wine, Brothers’ Blend, Columbia Valley, Washington

Date: Friday, February 12, 2016, at 7:00 pm

Reservation: $45/person

Get Medieval:

Dine with royalty (besides yourself).

Chivalry is not dead at Medieval Times Dinner and Entertainment. Harken back to the romance-filled days of yesteryear and treat your prince or princess to a Valentine’s Day themed dinner & show experience unlike any other at a castle—an actual castle.

The special $110 package includes admission for two, a couples’ photo, a four-course meal, two cheering flags, a light-up sweetheart rose, and two glasses of champagne with which to toast your budding—or established—romance.

Date: Thursday, February 4 – 15, 2016

Reservation: $110 package, Use Code: VDAYWEB16

Get Chocolate Covered:

Katherine Anne Confections (2745 W. Armitage Ave.) in Logan Square is offering a special treat for you and your sweetie.

Make your own truffles, add some champagne and have a fun night out. You’ll create classic hand-rolled truffles with Katherine Anne.

I went to one of her truffle making classes and it was an amazing experience to smell and taste new ingredients. At the end of the night, after measuring, chilling, scooping, and rolling your truffles, you  will leave with a sampling of the truffles everyone created (approximately 10).

truffle

Katherine Anne’s Truffle Making Class for Valentine’s Day 2016 Photo: Amanda Elliott

Date: Friday, February 12, 2016, 6:00 p.m.

Reservation: $70/person

Make Dinner Together:

Don’t worry, you don’t have to impress him with your cooking skills. You can cook together. Bake425 is a bake at home, farm to crust pizza concept. They are located right in Evanston and deliver (4:00 pm – 7:45 pm) to your Chicago front door. Bake425 has a variety of veggie topped pizzas as well as meat lover options for your man.

I love that you can make healthy choices while eating pizza. For the sides, add Caesar Salad and even cookie dough to complete your meal. All of the food is pre-packaged and includes clear directions on top of each dish that read more like a letter than directions.

I made the Omnivore pizza with a friend. It was something that got us in the kitchen and turned your standard take-out into a fun little dinner party.

As a Valentine’s Day special, Bake425 is offering a special, custom heart-shaped pizza. All you have to do is choose up to three ingredients and the chef will work on the heart-shaped part.

P.S. it is one of the freshest pizza’s you will ever eat—it even tastes better than some Chicago restaurant pizza. Bake425 sources food from Midwest farms and they focus on organic foods like their artisanal pizza crust and organic tomato puree.  Plus, Bake425 doesn’t use GMOs. It is truly a farm fresh experience that reminded me of this time.

Date: Valentine’s Day weekend or future dates

Reservation: Call 1 (847) 425-1000

Make Reservations for Two:

There is always the simple, more respected option to be picked up with red roses, go to dinner and a movie and stay up all night telling each other how much you love them.

For more traditional Valentine’s Day plans, there’s Valentine’s Day Dinner of Valentine’s Day Brunch.

Valentine’s Day Dinner:

  • Miku Sushi (4514 N. Lincoln Avenue)

Miku Sushi continues to celebrate its 1st anniversary in February by offering half off their Lincoln Square Classic Maki and Traditional Maki rolls, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Saturday until February 29.

Start off with an Asian-inspired cocktail, such as the Red Octopus with Effen’s vodka, triple sec, Rose’s lime juice, and pomegranate juice (a known aphrodisiac).

Date: Sunday – Saturday until February 29, 2016

Reservation: call 773-654-1277 or book online

  • Osteria La Madia (59 W. Grand Ave.)

Osteria La Madia offers traditional Italian cuisine, featuring housemade pastas, anti pasti, salumi and prosciutto, formaggio, salads, and a full entrée selection. There are more than 75 wines by the glass, as well as bottled wine and craft cocktails.

Date: February 12-14, 2016

Reservation: Three Course: $47, With wine pairings $65, Four Course: $57 (with Pizzetta Selection), With wine pairing $79

Anti Pasti 

Yellow Tail Bruschetta

Foie Gras Ravioli

Spinach and Taleggio Fondue

Chopped Italian Greens, Creamy Herb Dressing, burnt Caramel bacon

Entrées

Orecchiette, Chicken Sausage, Tomato Conserva, Roast Eggplant, Green Olives

Casoncelli, Butternut Squash Filled Pasta, Brown Butter & Pistachio

Pan Seared Steak Florentine

Wild River Salmon, Fennel, Blood Orange

Desserts

Chocolate Tortino

Berries with Sweet Mascarpone Cream

Zeppoli, Bitter Chocolate Gelato

Poached Eggs 300 Coal seared beef carpaccio300Pizza 3 300

Valentine’s Day Brunch:

  • Bella Bacinos Chicago (75 E. Wacker Drive)

Bella Bacinos is offering a special Valentine’s Day brunch for you and your valentine. I hear mimosas are in future because brunch comes with a complimentary glass of bubbly. Cheers to you and your love.

Bella Bacinos has more than 600 wines from around the world, with more than 20 wines by the glass.

Specials include:  Make Your Own Omelets ($12),
Very Berry Strawberry Waffle and Chantilli Cream ($8.50), Crème Brulee French Toast ($8.50), Ricotta  Stuffed French Toast ($12), and Heart-Shaped Frittata ($13).

Explore Bella Bacino’s full menu here.

Date: February 13 – 14, 2016, 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

Reservation: Book online 

 

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Who to Follow on Snapchat: Chicago Food and Lifestyle Bloggers

You liked their post on Instagram. You may have even added the Chicago restaurant they visited to your Chicago bucket list.

Rather then fill your Instagram feed with their adventures, Chicago food bloggers and lifestyle bloggers have a story for you, a Snapchat story.

I’ve reached out to some of my favorite Chicago food bloggers and Chicago lifestyle bloggers to ask them who they follow on Snapchat.

Below is a list of everyone you ever wanted to have dinner with in Chicago (because the food is guaranteed to be good).

Side note: yes, you can go to l Chicago restaurant and have terrible food. Head to 312food Chicago’s Instagram, where she finds Chicago neighborhood restaurants with really good food or search under the hashtag #312food where Chicagoans tag their favorite neighborhood restaurant. You would be surprised by the amazing Chicago restaurants in your neighborhood that you pass everyday and never noticed.

Full disclosure, some of these Chicago food bloggers I have met in real life and other Chicago lifestyle bloggers I have simply met online. Maybe we’ll have a cosmo one day and I’ll be part of their Snapchat story. Maybe.

Chicago Food Bloggers to Follow on Snapchat:

Whether you like to eat or see how much other people can eat, these are the Snapchat channels to follow for Chicago foodies.

P.S. Their names or Chicago food blog names link to their Instagram pictures.

adamsoko

I either can’t stop laughing or I am watching too much food porn with Adam Soko. Adam is an established Chicago food blogger. Find his still lifes via hashtag: #sokophoto. I met him over a few rounds of Bloody Mary’s at The Violet Hour.  He captures dripping egg yolks and craft cocktails at Earl’s, Baffo, etc. all over Chicago, and this January he has been spotted in San Diego, LA, San Francisco, Miami, and New Orleans. His life and Snapchats are more than just food. He throws in the selfie, rap song, or ostrich every now and then.

P.S. He’s always on.

vansventures

My friend and Chicago foodie, Van, is most known for her love of Ramen. I thought of her the first time I tried Ramen this year. We met at a magazine launch for FW:Chicago, a resource about the lifestyles and careers of fellow Chicago women who live, work, and play in the city. Ever since then, we show love on Instagram.

everythingerica

Everythingerica will either be eating, making food so that she can eat, or liking your Chicago Instagram pic. Seriously, I don’t know how she does it, but she always likes my photos right away. P.S. Thank you. Erica Eckman is funny because she’s real. Her current status is Chicago blogger and future mommy. She’s bffs with 312Food. And this pair, though petite, has an appetite any Chicago foodie can appreciate.

 

312food

I could write a book about Erin from 312Food. But, it would be a picture book because her pictures are flawless. I met Erin through Instagram, and you can read the full story here. She’s a superstar in your own right, and she’ll make you want to go to Sweet Mandy B’s for cookie dough stuffed cookies or eat a heart-shaped pepperoni pizza from Bar Siena. She got started on Instagram in the summer of 2015. This girl is a game changer.

ChicagoFoodAuthority

Samantha Roby has a way with food. She makes table settings and food look beautiful all through placement. She showed off her skills this past summer at a Chicago blogger event with Bell Brands.

Chicago Lifestyle Bloggers to Follow on Snapchat:

I get hooked into the lives of fellow Chicago lifestyle bloggers.

P.S. Their names or their Chicago lifestlye blog names link to their Instagram pictures.

oliviamaeromano

You can usually catch Olivia with her bff, Adam Soko, making face masks or homemade rice krispie treats. She’s random. She’s a lawyer? She’ll make everyday funny, and sometimes we need just that.

drunkonshoes

This one is new to me. Drunkonshoes came recommended to me by my friend and past co-worker, Porchea Londone.

porchea_londone

I met Porchea when I worked a shift manager at Ann Taylor at Water Tower Place. Fast-forward to 2015, and we ran into each other at a Chicago fashion event her company, The Frock Shop, was hosting in Pilsen with America’s Next Top Model and make-up artists and stylists. She most recently appeared on WCIU You And Me This Morning.

chelsias

This one is new to me. Chelsias came recommended by my friend and Chicago foodie, Van, most known for her love of Ramen.

chicagocheapass

Maddy Osman tells it like it is. Her blog is Chicago Cheap Ass. But don’t let the name fool you, every time I have cocktails at Drumbar or Bub City with this social media God send, I leave enriched. For my savvy Chicago city girls looking for a good (and sometimes off the cuff) time on a budget, check-in with Maddy.

 

ihadabiglunch

Lauren Lehocky may have a big lunch, but she’s also training to be a fitness instructor and works at Lululemon. She believes that to be healthy you don’t have to count the number of almonds and have a green smoothie (though she’s not opposed to either). I met Lehocky at a cheese event when I introduced her to Milagro tequila. She is as much about the fitness as she is about the fun.

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Lostgirlvintage

Lost Girl Vintage is a vintage boutique shop in Pilsen. The owner’s adventures are usually not in the shop, they are all over Chicago. She’s also friends with Adam Soko, and we met the same night over Bloody Mary’s at Violet Hour.

 

Of course, don’t forget to follow your favorite Chicago city girl, Windy City Cosmo!

 

P.S. If you want to get away from Chicago, follow these travel bloggers. Their Snapchat stories will take you to Santa Claus’ home and the beach, where I would like to be most days during Chicago winters (It’s getting sunnier, though). Drew Binsky is my favorite to follow and he’s the one who wrote the article. I like writers, I guess. 🙂

Personal Branding from Chicago Bloggers:

Love watching Chicago food and lifestyle bloggers create content? Why not try to create your own personal brand? Learn from the best bloggers in this article, “How Bloggers and Brands Create Authenticity on Social Media,” inspired by Social Media Week Chicago 2015.

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