Happy New Year, Chicago!
We hope you had a safe and restful end-of-year holiday season despite the wintry weather and travel chaos. After a few weeks off we’re back in action, looking forward to conquering our New Year’s resolutions in 2023.
If your resolution is to explore unique cuisine and happenings in Chicagoland, you’re in luck! This week we have reporting on dance shows and music concerts coming to the city this winter, a review of a Black woman-owned smokehouse in the Pullman neighborhood and a story on the pioneering Chicago-based Sno-Gophers Ski Club.
Enjoy the weekend. We’ll see you back here next week.
— Lauryn Azu, deputy senior editor
Tribune critic Nick Kindelsperger compiles 12 dishes that encapsulate the 2022 dining scene in Chicago, amid the shifting pandemic response and simmering trends. Shrimp and ground pork egg rolls and New York-style pizza made the list. Want to see what else did too? Read more here.
There’s so much more dance to see on stage this winter, even after “The Nutcracker” holiday wave, including Chicago Tap Theatre’s 20th-anniversary show and the New York City-based Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on tour. Read more and find out how to get your tickets here.
At Lexington Betty Smokehouse, Chicago-style barbecue is warmly embraced, which means rib tips are on the menu — and ribs aren’t.
“I just want to continue to push the narrative that Chicago is worth talking about when it comes to barbecue,” owner and chef Dominique Leach told food critic Louisa Chu. Read more here.
New from TV critic Nina Metz is a roundup of her top picks for shows on streaming and network TV premiering this winter for your cozy indoor viewing pleasure. Read on here.
Qahwah House, the Dearborn, Michigan-based coffee chain, expanded to suburban Lombard last year. Owner Ibrahim Alhasbani said he wants to introduce Yemeni coffee and its rich culture and history to a wider community. The coffee spot serves five styles of Yemeni coffee and tea in steaming glass teapots and pastries too, which you can read about here.
The new Netflix heist drama “Kaleidoscope” stars Giancarlo Esposito and has a nonlinear storyline. Viewers can choose their own order to watch the series leading up to the final episode, which shows the actual heist. While Esposito performs well, “there’s just not enough story or character development here to warrant eight episodes, let alone eight episodes that are juggling a gimmick,” writes critic Nina Metz. Read more of her take here.
Two Logan Square restaurants that were reinvented during the pandemic are a case study in Nick Kindelsperger’s latest review. Dorothy’s Bistro, which was formerly named Flat & Point, and Second Generation, which was Mini Mott, both changed their menus and service styles. Read what they have to offer now here.
While starring actor Naomi Ackie doesn’t resemble or exactly match the voice of Whitney Houston in the biopic “Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” these directorial choices don’t make the movie any less enjoyable, critic Michael Phillips writes. With audiences hungry for biopics on music legends like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” satisfies the appetite. Read his other thoughts here.
Founded in 1965, the Sno-Gophers Ski Club is still working to expose Chicago’s Black youth to skiing, a sport with barriers including expensive equipment and resort pass costs and a lack of diversity. Read more about trips and activities the organization is doing to provide mentorship and get kids outdoors in winter here.
“Her Story,” a Chicago Symphony co-commission at Orchestra Hall this coming weekend, intertwines pre-suffrage texts by Abigail Adams and Sojourner Truth with snippets from contemporary media coverage of the movement for a level of representation of women that’s practically unheard of at the CSO, writes music critic Hannah Edgar. Read about how the show came together and what it means for the industry here.