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CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS – PORTAGE PARK, LOOP, GOLD COAST, LAKEVIEW, OAK PARK

PORTAGE PARK

On Wednesday, February 29, at Mayfair Public Library starting at 6pm RSVP for a spot to learn more about Chicago Bungalow Initiative.  If you've ever wondered about the history of your house or been curious about the development of your neighborhood, join Carla Bruni, Architectural Historian and Historic Preservation consultant, to get the tools necessary to uncover the history of the places that matter to you. You will also learn what it takes to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the benefits associated with that distinction.

LOOP

RPM Italian - a glamorous hotbed of pasta and Negronis - is a new location from Style Network stars Bill and Giuliana Rancic and an assorted cast of Melman siblings.  After passing the big spotlights under the awning, you'll look around approvingly. Handsome, yet understated - as you'd expect when one of the principals is a red-carpet reporter. There's a private "Board Room" decked out with a crystal chandelier ready for your next wrap party.  If you're keeping the evening light, we suggest hanging with chief mixologist Paul McGee (late of the Whistler) shaking your Lower Door (his gin-soaked spin on the Corpse Reviver).  And the entire menu of lobster caprese, prime beef meatballs and duck agnolotti will be at your disposal.

GOLD COAST

Enjoy Allium at the Four Seasons, the plush, romantic successor to Seasons in the Four Seasons hotel, which opened last Wednesday.  Basically, it's still the Four Seasons you know and respect, but it's loosened its tie a bit. Contemporary furniture. Sleek lines. Cheetah-print sofas in front of a roaring fire.  The dining room is standing by to be whatever you need it to be. A place for after-work Wagyu sliders and beer: grab a cushy sofa in the corner. Treating clients to the Chicago steakhouse experience: order the 23-ounce bone-in rib eye in the menu's "From the Meat Locker" section.

LAKEVIEW

Time to check out Big Bricks, a massively scaled pizza/ribs/beer joint recently opened.  There's a basement smoker so massive, they needed to cut a hole in the first floor and build the rest of the place around it. It can handle 200 slabs of tangy ribs, or smoke a duck for quesadillas, or just the bacon and ham for The Ditka - a huge pizza loaded with every kind of meat in the house.  This location is a newer, bigger, smokier version of the Lincoln Park original and keeps the pizza menu substantially the same.

OAK PARK

The Oak Park Village Board voted unanimously Tuesday to expand the current boundaries of the Frank Lloyd Wright-Prairie School of Architecture Historic District.  The designation should go into effect immediately but should take a few days to catch up on lists and maps.  The Historic District was first designated in 1972 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012 8:46 AM by Dean's Team

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