Monday, December 21, 2009

Dinner & A Show: Monday, 12/21

Posted By on 12.21.09 at 01:07 PM

Netherfriends Shawn Rosenblatt
  • Netherfriends
Music
Show: Netherfriends "Shawn Rosenblatt, the sole steady member of local psych-pop project Netherfriends, is 23 years old, and he says he figures he's got a few years before he hits his musical stride," writes Ann Sterzinger. "But on 'Friends With Lofts,' from the band's most recent EP, Calling You Out (Emergency Umbrella), the suburban Philadelphia native sounds like he's the perfect age to capture the contrast between the lovely idea of an artsy kid moving to the big vibrant city and the reality of that kid's band playing loft shows for '50 drunk people who barely listen.'"

9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600, free.

Dinner: Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar The main attraction at Humboldt Park's Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar, not surprisingly, is the intriguing list of small-batch beverages put together by a trio of Webster's Wine Bar vets. One of the best new restaurants of 2009, honorable mention.

954 N. California, 773-292-1616

Movies

Show: Sundance Shorts 2009 Ten superb shorts from this year's Sundance Film Festival. The best of the bunch is Don Hertzfeldt's hand-drawn animation I Am So Proud of You (2008), the hilariously bleak saga of a stick-figure everyman with some serious family baggage.

5pm, 7:20pm, 9:45pmMusic Box, 3733 N. Southport, 773-871-6604

Dinner: Julius Meinl Cafe A classy place for those of moderate means, this is the first American outpost for Viennese coffee purveyor Julius Meinl. The coffee is made from beans roasted in Austria; strong but not acidic, it's superb.

3601 N. Southport, (773) 868-1857


Show: Broken Embraces "Another Pedro Almodovar movie, another blast of critical hyperbole hailing his Cukor-style alchemy with star Penelope Cruz," writes J.R. Jones. "Normally I would just cover my head and wait for it all to blow over, but this melancholy romance is the first Almodovar feature I've ever really liked, an expertly fashioned melodrama that steers mercifully clear of his usual puckishness and star-mongering."

Dinner: If you're going to...

Landmark's Century Centre (5pm, 7pm, 8:30pm, 9:50pm, 2828 N. Clark, 773-509-4949):

Buffet Palace In terms of size, variety, decor, and crab leg quotient, Buffet Palace triumphs above the mostly mediocre Asian and American all-you-can-eat pack.

3026 N. Ashland, 773-868-1888

Century 12 and CineArts6 (5:40pm, 8:40pm, 10:10pm, 1715 Maple Avenue, 800-FANDANGO 942#):

The Stained Glass Bistro High ceilings and a wall of windows make for a wide-open dining room at this contemporary American restaurant, recipient of a coveted Wine Spectator award for excellence.

1735 Benson Avenue, 847-864-8600


Performing Arts

Show: Blue Nativity Now in its eighth annual incarnation, this stripped-down traveling Nativity play uses music and ten-foot-tall puppets with crescent-moon faces to evoke something even more ancient than the birth of Jesus: the primal theogony that lurks deep in the DNA of all religion.

St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church, 806 Ridge, Evanston, 312-458-0895

Dinner: Campagnola Chef-owner Michael Altenberg has moved on to other projects, but under chef Vincent DiBattista, Campagnola's sophisticated Italian fare retains his signature focus on organic and sustainably raised meat and produce.

815 Chicago, 847-475-6100

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