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style & culture

february/march 2010

CHEF JEAN JOHO

LOVING MICHIGAN MATTO AND NOT-SO-MATTO ITALIAN FOOD

visitshoremagazine.com THE TIMES

nwi.com

4.95

INCLUDING Jane Dunne Goes to CULINARY SCHOOL Jim Jackson Drives in for a HAMBURGER Jane Ammeson Talks PEANUT BUTTER


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contents

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

166

The Ubiquitous, Unstoppable Chef Jean Joho

BY PAT COLANDER

With a restaurant empire stretching from Boston to Chicago to Las Vegas and a portfolio that extends around the world, Chef Jean Joho sometimes would just rather be in Michigan.

photograph by RICHARD HELLYER

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Around the Globe, Around the Corner

BY MARK LOEHRKE

How international fusion on a local level starts at the market, pauses at the table and keeps on going after that.

56 59 62

The Italian Package BY PAT COLANDER

The Chicago Italian voyage here and there and back again with Chef Todd Stein, plus notes on newbies and stalwarts of a much-lauded cuisine.

A Gourmet Tribute BY PAT COLANDER

How a group of intrepid Shore readers and JW Marriott fans got together to cook and eat a splendid repast, upon the death of a magazine that was only about the highest-level eating and drinking experiences possible.

Beer People vs. Wine People BY RICK KAEMPFER

An expert examination of the classic beer vs. wine philosophical battle. Like the Cubs vs. the Sox, liars are the only ones who profess to be both.

VISITSHOREMAGAZINE.COM

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Folks in Jobs = Food on the Table BY TERRI G ORDON

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Delicious Diversity BY JANE DUNNE

A culinary program in Benton Harbor creates job options for those who are willing to plunge into food as a second life.

The Secchia Institute for Culinary Education and Koeze peanut butter makers in Grand Rapids take local-gone-global to new heights.

PHOTOGRAPHER RICHARD HELLYER ART DIRECTION Joe Durk STYLIST Shirley Myers LOCATION Round Barn Winery, Baroda, Michigan

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contents

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FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

84

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28 CLICKS 38 40 41 42 43 44 45 46

KIA Art Auction Silver Lining Gala Center for History Dinner Nazareth Home Gala Harvest Feast Celebration Weizmann Institute Gala Balagio Open House Citadel Dance Center Reception 47 Kitchen Walk

SHORELINES 19

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VISITSHOREMAGAZINE.COM

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INTRO

A certified cornmiller runs a gristmill powered by a windmill at Windmill Island.

LISTEN

Stage veterans offer sensible advice about playing an open-mic night. Hint: It’s not as easy as it sounds.

SHAW THOUGHTS

It’s not about the money . . . advocacy can be fun, and there’s nothing wrong with putting on a few pounds.

HOUSE & GROUNDS 30

MOTORING

At $109,000 the electric Tesla may be pricey, but experts agree it is the perfect roadster for a spin over to Redamak’s.

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Wordmaster Michael J. Sheehan has a few choice things to say about the English language.

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CULTURE NUT

Robert Indiana went from New Castle to New York with LOVE and HOPE; Chicago playwright Rebecca Gilman dramatizes the Johnstown Flood; Horseshoe Casino gets its own limited reserve cabernet, and a Michigan artist makes great stuff from junk.

INTERVIEW

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WHERE TO GO

Perception, reality and revitalization in downtown Michigan City, Indiana.

HEALTH CLUB

Beth Warren at Spa Reverie introduces a 5,000-year-old healing technique for the head; and eco-friendly tees preach positive thinking.

HAUTE PROPERTIES

The hot new trend in interior design is knotty pine? No kidding.

BY JULIE DEAN KESSLER

An expanded family from the city takes on a big space with a transitional design.

LAST RESORT 96

GREEN NOTES

Just because Tina Buck is an expert maker of luxurious chocolate ganache doesn’t mean she can’t be green too.

Wide Open Spaces

Movie Love

BY KATHLEEN QUILLIGAN

Words of advice about the meaning of romance and the dramatic moment.

HOTSPOTS 50 76 88 94

Essential Events Bite & Sip Shore Things Shorecast

8 Publisher’s Letter 10 Editor’s Letter

photography courtesy of [clockwise, from top left] MICHAEL J. SHEEHAN, HORSESHOE CASINO, STEPHEN MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHY, THE CHOCOLATE GARDEN, JIM JACKSON

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publisher’s

letter

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his issue focuses on good eating, which is something I can relate to. I love to cook and I love to eat. My preference has always been a dish that is simple and straightforward, easy to prepare and tastes good. last month Julie and I had a chance to enjoy some truly authentic Italian food as guests to dine with Benito and Hilda Gamba. Oh, I’ve been to Gamba’s many times and have never been disappointed, but this was different. I had no control of the menu! Benito did the ordering as we sampled many dishes from various regions of Italy. I didn’t always know what I was eating, but it was one of the most memorable meals I have had. So if you like adventure and you can spare a few hours, contact Benny and have him decide the lunch or dinner menu for you. trust me, you will not be disappointed.

visitshoremagazine.com

I absolutely love grilled allbeef hot dogs at a ball game, a generous wedge of fresh iceberg lettuce is my idea of a great salad, and when I go out to eat I expect the portions to be generous—that’s why I’m going out to eat. But lately I’ve noticed that either progress is catching up with me or I was ahead of my time all along. For instance, I am a firm believer in eating what you kill and very accomplished at letting go. Without a doubt I have returned many more fish to the sea than home to my dinner table. And I am a true believer in outdoor sports. I love to hunt and fish several times a year and would go out more often if I had the chance. So I was looking my dinner in the eye way before Gordon Ramsay made it fashionable to raise your own pigs in your backyard farm. And before anyone was thinking global, I was eating local. One of our best nearby resources for dairy products is Fair Oaks Farms, about 45 minutes straight south from the Lake Michigan coast on Interstate 65. Everyone goes for the show—there are about 80 calves born at Fair Oaks every day—and watching a working farm in action is honestly fun for the entire family. But no one leaves without milk, cheese, cream or ice cream, which is so delicious. And that includes our daughter Michelle who, along with her

husband David and grandkids Christian, Anna and Joshua, spent the entire day there with grandma Julie this past summer. While food trends may have caught up with me, I have made progress in trying to catch up when it comes to personal electronics. Not only am I a member of social networks in my own world, I indulged in the occasional live blog during football season and I am so happy to have an iPhone. (I honestly do not know how I lived for so long without a phone that is smarter than average.) If you are a fan of Shore magazine on Facebook like I am, you will be getting updates on the Chicago Auto Show this year—it opens with First Look for Charity on Thursday, February 11—via our Shorelines e-newsletter and twittering editors and contributors like our fabulous “Motoring” columnist Jim Jackson. I foresee a slight conflict of interest coming up though; my wife Julie may be spending Valentine’s Day weekend trying out the sync features of the hottest hybrid on the floor. In the next issue, coming out in March, it will be time to go green, start the spring cleaning and get ready for Northwest Indiana’s biggest and best garage sale ever. BILL MASTERSON, JR.

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editor’s

letter

I

n this year of our discontent and the purging of the superfluous, the sloppily excessive and the unhealthy fat from money spent for eating out as well as eating in, there is still much to celebrate in the world of good eating. For the restaurant-starved folks of Duneland, Bartlett’s appeared in the woods along U.S. Highway 12 just before Christmas 2008 and has served a steady stream of customers 12 hours a day ever since. two new creative and innovative restaurants opened at the end of last year—Abstract Café in Portage and Schererville’s new Ciao Bella—and are poised to have a great 2010. And we saw a shift to expanded menus with more economical selections even as the quality of the food improved. (Have you noticed how easy it is to get fresh seafood?) Gamba ristorante, Miller Bakery, Gino’s, Asparagus, Binion’s Steak House and Balagio are just a few that have preserved the core, while adding and renovating (sometimes quite literally) around the edges.

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Throughout Michigan wine country it was a banner year of summer weekends and great tasting releases bolstered by the Epicurean Classic’s move [from left to right] to St. Joseph, Pat Colander, Margaux Drake, Lisa Rose Starner, George Aquino, Tommy Allen and Wes MacAllister Michigan. (The superstar of that show was, head soup was the best acciof course, our cover subject, dental video ever made. Celebrity Chef Jean Joho. By the end of this issue, you Of course, Chef Joho will will be thoroughly tired of argue that it is the fabulous hearing about this, but I am crop and the variety of fruits quite proud of my stint as a and vegetables produced in guest chef at the JW Marriott Southwest Michigan that are last fall. This is largely based the real stars here.) on the fact that I was just I was lucky enough to taste hoping to get through the the latest from Tabor Hill, night of the Gourmet Tribute Round Barn, Domaine Berdinner without embarassing rien and Wyncroft this year, myself or poisoning anyone. all better than I remembered. Not only was I able to avoid Another lucky break was getanything negative, I actually ting to take a culinary tour learned enough about making of Grand Rapids during the chocolate truffles that I semifirst ArtPrize weekend. Under successfully—using a recipe the expert guidance of Sally concocted from Julee Rosso’s Zarafonetis, I visited San Chez, New Basics cookbook and the Art of the Table, Bloom, what I learned firsthand from Corez, the Green Well, Bistro Margaux Drake—made myself Bella Vita and Martha’s a double batch the weekend Vineyard. And although before Christmas. Not only will I have plenty of experience I continue trying to perfect my with Amway Grand’s 1913 technique, but I am looking Room and six.one.six at the forward to the next Tribute JW Marriott, it was very endinner—maybe I can try an lightening to take a back-end appetizer this time. tour of the expansive kitchen operation with 1913 Executive Pat Colander Chef Josef Huber. The pig’s


style & culture

Publisher Bill Masterson, Jr. Director of Product Development Christopher Loretto 219.933.3243 cloretto@nwitimes.com Senior Account Executive Lisa Tavoletti Illinois/Indiana/Michigan 219.933.4182 ltavoletti@nwitimes.com Account Executive Mary Sorensen Michigan 616.451.3006 msorensen@nwitimes.com Traffic Manager Tom Kacius Pre-press Specialists Maureen Benak Rhonda Fancher Tracy Hanson Advertising Designers Dave Annable Ryan Berry Mark Fortney Jeff Olejnik Kathleen Stein

Published by Lee Enterprises The Times of Northwest Indiana Niche Division 601 W 45th Street Munster, Indiana 46321 219.933.3200 Michigan/Indiana Sales 1111 Glendale Boulevard Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 219.462.5151

New Subscriptions, Renewals, Inquiries and Changes of Address: Shore Magazine Circulation Dept., 601 W 45th St, Munster, IN 46321, or 800.589.2802, or visitshoremagazine.com Reprints and Permissions: You must have permission before reproducing material from Shore magazine.

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Single copy price is $4.95. One-year subscriptions $20 (8 issues) Two-year subscriptions $25 (16 issues) Three-year subscriptions $35 (24 issues)

volume 6 / number 1

Editor / Associate Publisher Pat Colander 219.933.3225 pcolander@nwitimes.com Art Director Joe Durk 219.933.3277 jdurk@nwitimes.com Managing Editor Julia Perla 219.933.3353 jperla@nwitimes.com Assistant Managing Editor Kathryn MacNeil 219.933.3264 kmacneil@nwitimes.com Designers April Burford, Matt Huss Online Editor Ashley Boyer Contributing Editors Jane Ammeson Heather Augustyn Lois Berger Sue Bero Robert Blaszkiewicz Christy Bonstell Claire Bushey John Cain Laura Caldwell Donna M. Chavez Tom Chmielewski Juli Doshan Jane Dunne Rob Earnshaw Jeremy Gantz Terri Gordon Dave Hoekstra Seth “tower� Hurd Jim Jackson Rick Kaempfer Lauri Harvey Keagle Julie Dean Kessler Mark Loehrke Joey Marburger Sherry Miller Virginia Mullin Andy Shaw Fran Smith Megan Swoyer Sharon Biggs Waller Contributing Artists and Photographers Lloyd DeGrane Jennifer Feeney Richard Hellyer Callie Lipkin David Mosele Johnny Quirin Gregg Rizzo Christina Somers Robert Wray

Shore magazine invites readers and writers to submit ideas, comments and feedback through email at feedback@visitshoremagazine.com or the post office at Shore Magazine, 601 W 45th St, Munster, IN 46321, or 1111 Glendale Blvd, Valparaiso, IN 46383.


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Being unable to sing and play guitar at the same time gave CHRIS KELLER a new appreciation for those who do it—in some cases—night in and night out around the area. But talking to those who see music as not just entertainment, but as a way of communication (page 20), gave Keller the inspiration to give it a try, albeit in the safe environment of his apartment—much to the chagrin of his neighbors. Keller is the news editor for nwi.com, and his musical claim to fame is getting to interview Pat McDonald, he of the late 80s hit, “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.” KATHLEEN QUILLIGAN is The Times’ self-proclaimed pop culture expert when she’s not covering the City of Crown Point for the newspaper. She cofounded The Times’ pop culture blog “I Know, Right?” in 2009 after discovering that she needed an outlet for all of her pop culture-related thoughts. She graduated from Indiana University Bloomington majoring in journalism and sociology and has been interested in people and their relationships since she first discovered the joy of peoplewatching. Like most hopeless romantics, Quilligan has always been fascinated with how two people fall in love and enjoyed researching the effects of movies on the process. See Quilligan’s story about movie love on page 96. There’s nothing more depressing than a shuttered downtown, so when freelance writer RICK A. RICHARDS saw all of the work taking place in his hometown of Michigan City, he had to ask some questions. (See his story about the Michigan City revival on page 32.) Richards has more than three decades of newspaper writing and reporting experience and has won numerous awards. He believes that the best living American writer today is Elmore Leonard. Aside from writing, he’s a fan of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bears and avidly follows auto racing. He and his wife, Mary Ann, have two daughters, Erika and Meredith.

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JOYCE RUSSELL has been a newspaper reporter for more than 30 years. She joined The Times in 1995, covering local municipal government and education. Russell covers anything in her community, from City Council and School Board meetings, to in-depth pieces on issues affecting residents, to slice-of-life features about the people who make the Region unique. A graduate of Purdue University and a lifelong resident of Northwest Indiana, Russell says the best part of her job still is getting to sit down and talk with a wide variety of people and tell their stories to readers. That’s why she enjoyed her conversation with Malinda Dickens, featured on page 27.

correction On the cover of the December 2009/January 2010 issue, we misspelled Joe Paolucci’s name. We regret the error.


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shorelines listen | shaw thoughts | culture nut | motoring | interview | where to go | green notes | health club | haute properties

>> intro <<

Alisa Crawford Michigan’s Master Miller

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PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF FOOD FOR THOUGHT MAGAZINE

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

unning out of flour while preparing cookies on a wood-burning stove, 17-year-old Alisa Crawford did what any young girl might have done two hundred years ago: she walked over to where a miller was grinding grain into flour at a water-powered gristmill. But Crawford wasn’t living two centuries ago. She was a costumed interpreter at Crossroads Village just north of Flint. Walking into the clouds of ground flour and inhaling the nutty smell of wheat was a nirvana of sorts for Crawford. “As a baker I was just enthralled, because I got to take it to the next step in cooking and use flour from the mill for my baking,” she recalls. Long gone are the days of small mills dotting the countryside where farmers gathered to exchange stories as their grain was turned into flour and meal. Now most of us are far removed from the source of the flour we use. But Crawford, who wrote her master’s thesis based on the journal of an early 19thcentury miller, remains dedicated to grinding flour from West Michigan soft white wheat grown at nearby farms. Thus it makes sense that she oversees one of the few wind-powered gristmills in the country, the 249-year-old De Zwaan windmill at Windmill Island Gardens in Holland, Michigan. Crawford recently was certified as a journeyman miller from the Netherlands’ Professional Cornmillers Association, an arduous process that necessitated years of studying Dutch documents and taking the test in Dutch. Despite this, Crawford, who describes herself as able to speak “milling Dutch, but nothing else,” graduated number one out of sixteen. She is the only Dutch certified miller in the Americas and the only woman certified by the association anywhere. It’s a job that requires her to hoist 100-pound bags of grain and climb the precarious-looking mill blades to hoist sails. But none of this deters Crawford who, as she did all those years ago, bakes cookies—and breads and much more—on a woodburning stove. Only now the stove is in her home kitchen . . . and she’s ground the flour herself. –JANE AMMESON


shorelines So You’re Gonna Play an Open-mic . . . >> listen <<

Now, more than ever, music is everywhere. As 25-year-old blues guitarist Ben Haley puts it, while it’s great that we have iPods, CDs, MP3s— all these ways to enjoy music—there is no comparison to hearing that music in person.

A

nd for many, there is no comparison to being the one standing on a bar stage playing an open-mic. But what should firsttimers expect as they approach the microphone? Many stage veterans have similar advice:

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YOU MAY BE READY TO TAKE GREEN DAY’S “GOOD RIDDANCE (TIME OF YOUR LIFE)” TO THE COFFEEHOUSE DOWN THE STREET, BUT OTHERS ARE BOUND TO HAVE NAILED IT, TOO. Black hair hanging down, James Saqui unpacks his guitar and makes his way to the Cornucopia Coffee Company’s stage. The part-time law student at Valparaiso University takes his place behind the microphone and says, “This is a song by Bon Jovi. It might be about leaving New Jersey.” With that introduction, the 38year-old launches into the opening bars of “Runaway,” a 1980s hit by the pop rock band. The tune is one of many from the eighties that Saqui breaks out on openmic nights throughout Northwest Indiana. Now a regular on the scene, Saqui knows that just down the road—be it a complete

stranger or a friend in waiting—someone could be strumming away on the same song. This is why his bag of tricks is packed with tunes that you don’t think of as open-mic favorites. “I’d see people playing guitar at openmics and would often hear the same songs,” he says. “I grew up in the eighties, so I play songs that weren’t meant to be played on acoustic guitar: Pat Benatar, Madonna, a lot of hair metal stuff too that people know, like Def Leppard, Bon Jovi. “You just don’t hear people play those songs.”

that happen when you are performing. I wanted to encourage that in other people.” And from that encouraging and nurturing environment, a lot of different people have come to take the Livery’s stage, which Sekema calls one the country’s great venues. “I think that is what is always exciting. I try to get to know each of the performers. There are really wonderful songs and [someone’s] delivery doesn’t have to be perfect. You’re just looking for the expression of a person’s soul or being.”

“MY NAME IS JIM AND I PLAY OPENMICS.” For musicians, open-mics offer a deeper experience than just playing their favorites in front of an audience. And helping to foster that sense of community is Venitia Sekema, a veteran musician who hosts an open-mic at the Livery in Benton Harbor, Michigan. “If you are going to express yourself, you should be prepared to listen to others,” she says. “There’s definitely a friendly element and a way of showing respect for each other. “I feel like one of the things that is kind of my mission in life is to help people express themselves. From that, I have met so many wonderful people. Music is more than people or the other things

BE PREPARED AND CONFIDENT. Sunday nights set the tone for Haley, who frequents an open-mic at Molly Malone’s on Madison Street in Forest Park. For the admittedly shy musician, playing the openmic isn’t about just playing guitar, because he could do that alone all day long. Rather it’s about being part of a community and confronting something inside. “When I was called on [in class] I would get nervous and couldn’t take any kind of attention,” Haley says. “There was a fear of the attention, when everyone’s eyes are on you, wanting something, looking for something. That’s what I come to openmics for. I come here to jump off the edge and confront that fear. “You realize you are not just practicing


–CHRIS KELLER

TEAZERS BAR & GRILLE

FRONT PORCH MUSIC

LOG CABIN LOUNGE

BLUE ROOM CAFÉ

819 Ottawa Ave Grand Rapids, Mich. 616.459.2481 teazersbar.com Open-mic night: 9pm Mon

2401 S Division Ave Grand Rapids, Mich. 616.245.4394 Open-mic night: 9:30pm Tue

BILLY’S LOUNGE

505 E Lincolnway Valparaiso, Ind. 219.464.4700 frontporchmusic.com Open-mic night: 7:30pm Thu 5246 Hohman Ave Hammond, Ind. 219.933.8124 thebrcafe.com Open-mic night: 7pm Tue

LAROSA PIZZERIA

1437 Wealthy SE Grand Rapids, Mich. 616.459.5757 billyslounge.com Open-mic night: 9pm Mon

6817 Indianapolis Blvd Hammond, Ind. 219.844.1000 Open-jam night: 9pm Wed and Sun

BUOY’S GRILL

THE LIVERY

100 Main St. St Joseph, Mich. Open-mic night: 8pm Wed

BARNEY’S BOATHOUSE 600 Fisherman’s Rd St. Joseph, Mich. Open-mic night: 7pm Wed

THE STRUTT COFFEEHOUSE 773 W Michigan Ave Kalamazoo, Mich. 269.492.7200 Open-mic night: 8pm Tue

QUINN AND TUITE’S IRISH PUB 1535 Plainfield Ave NE Grand Rapids, Mich. 616.363.8380 quinnandtuites.com Open-mic night: 9pm Fri

SAZERAC LOUNGE

1418 Plainfield Ave NE Grand Rapids, Mich. 616.451.0010 myspace.com/sazeraclounge Open-mic night: 9:30pm Wed

Z’S GRILLE AND BAR

168 Louis Campau Pr NW Grand Rapids, Mich. 616.454.3141 zsbar.com Open-mic night: 10:30pm Mon

BROUGHTON MUSIC

1381 S Drake Rd, Ste D Kalamazoo, Mich. 269.375.2808 broughtonmusiccenter.com Open-mic night: 8pm first and third Tue

190 5th St Benton Harbor, Mich. 269.925.8760 liverybrew.com Open-mic night: 7pm Mon

BUDDY & PALS PLACE 10685 Randolph St Crown Point, Ind. 219.661.0088. Open-mic night: 7pm Tue

LEROY’S HOT STUFF

333 W US Hwy 20 Porter, Ind. 219.926.6211 Open-jam night: 8:30pm Sun

SEMENTO’S NAPOLI CAFE 1200 West St Valparaiso, Ind. 219.548.9046 sementos.com Open mic night: 9pm Thu

CORNUCOPIA COFFEE CO. 210 E Lincolnway Valparaiso, Ind. 219.477.1000 cornucopiacoffee.net Open-mic night: 8pm Thu

DUFFY’S PLACE

1154 Axe Ave Valparaiso, Ind. 219.462.1057 Open-jam night: 9pm Thu

FINNEGAN’S PUB

1074 Joliet St. Dyer, Ind. 219.865.9896 Open-mic night: 10pm Wed

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

TWENTY MINUTES AT 7:45 P.M. DOESN’T MEAN 90 MINUTES AT 8:30 P.M. Terry Klema has hosted and performed at numerous open-mics over the years. He’s seen a lot of hosts and has developed his own loose-knit style to overseeing the music. Regardless, it’s important for the players to know the structure going in. Some have 20 minutes. Some have a three-song limit. Others still are flexible, depending on the number of players waiting. But don’t settle into a 90-minute set without the okay from the host. Then there is the sign-up process. Some have a sheet of paper. Some pull names out of a hat or the host just polls the crowd and arranges players. Others—like the Cornucopia Coffee Company—have an online signup. Klema uses an informal structure to decide the playing order. He also chats up the crowd to see who is there and to get to know the audience. “If I had a nickel for every time someone said, ‘Yeah, I do play, but I don’t have a guitar with me.’” If you run into Saqui, who hosts an open-mic at Semento’s in Valparaiso every Thursday that begins with him or another featured performer playing for 60 to 90 minutes, he might oblige and let you use his blue Takamine acoustic guitar, just as he did for a few people that night at Cornucopia Coffee. Saqui, who grew up in Lakes of the Four Seasons and now lives in Valparaiso, says as a host he tries to be encouraging. “Not that long ago that was me,” he says. “It might be a terrifying experience, but they come back to it. And that’s the joy of being a host or a bar owner with an openmic; you see people grow and evolve.”

OPEN-MIC OPTIONS

21

your skill, but your ability to play for people. All an open-mic is, is a place for aspiring players to come and practice.” Nerves aren’t always a bad thing, Saqui says. “You are going to do better if you are nervous, and then have a couple of songs where you know you can nail it,” he says. “That’s why practicing at home is so important.” Sekema’s first time on the stage came as a 15-year-old in Valparaiso at a place called the Court. Looking back, she remembers being quite nervous, especially when it hit her that she would be playing in front of fellow musicians. “But what you come to find out is they are very supportive,” she says. “No matter what, they support you.”


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shorelines >> shaw thoughts <<

Questions from the Peanut Gallery I live in a fishbowl. Maybe guppy pond is a better metaphor, since we’re talking about Chicago and Bridgman, not New York, Washington or L.A. • But you get the point: people I don’t know know me. From years of delivering political stories to their homes and offices. A kind of virtual milkman for the Age of Technology. • So now that I’ve traded political reporting on ABC 7 in Chicago for a nonprofit, anti-corruption civic watchdog called the Better Government Association—I’ve been running it since June—it’s time to answer the questions I get on both sides of the lake.

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o Andy, do you miss your old job? I do. I miss colleagues, competitors, the rogues and rascals I covered, and the fun of telling stories on TV. But I don’t miss the unrelenting pressure and the rat race, which is why I got out in the first place. I began to feel like a high-paid hamster on a big visible wheel. I had to get off. And I’m glad I did.

What’s the biggest change from political reporting to advocacy work? The paycheck. Just kidding—I knew I’d be working for peanuts compared to my old job. In fact, the only thing ABC and BGA have in common is a well-respected three-letter acronym. They’re rich and powerful. We’re struggling. But the real difference to me is advocacy—the ability to speak out loudly and forcefully against waste, fraud and corruption in an attempt to actually change political behavior by keeping the pressure on. I call it “civic engagement”; it’s spelled out on our website (bettergov.org), and I honestly believe it represents a real formula for change. TV reporting is important, but it demands a fairness and objectivity that reduces most controversies to “he said-she said” and “stay tuned for further developments.” Enough was eventually enough.

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Do people treat you differently? Some yes, some no. I mean, on the bus or walking Downtown—even shopping at Harding’s or going to the Vickers—people nod in recognition because they know my face, or they talk about the news because they don’t realize I moved on. In fact, I probably tell a couple of people a day I’m not “that news guy” anymore and I have a new gig that requires their support. So here’s a new card. And check out the website. There’s also a new world of friends, allies and competitors who treat me differently because the job involves fundraising, partnerships, advocacy work and organizational development—all new to me. I need them more than they need me, and that’s a role reversal. And hey—I’m a boss for the first time. So I have to manage a small but growing staff of misfits and iconoclasts with their inherent quirks and quibbles. It’s daunting

and challenging but incredibly rewarding, because they all want to make a difference. What about giving up the glamour and the big bucks? You mean, what kind of fool takes an 80 percent pay cut to run a struggling nonprofit in the middle of a recession? Andrew C. Shaw, that’s who. And even though I tell people making money is easier than raising it, I have no second thoughts because, as Barack Obama said during last year’s campaign, “This is our moment, this is our time.” The cause is righteous and the timing is right. Robert Frost wrote about the road not traveled making all the difference. Amen. How long do you expect to run the Government Association? Long enough to rebuild the BGA so it’s equipped to lead the reform fight efficiently and effectively with 2010 tools. We’re off to a great start, but to borrow another line from Frost, we have miles to go before we sleep. Do you think you’ll ever go back into broadcasting? Maybe. I hope to develop regular radio and TV shows that focus on “the good, the bad and the ugly” in government, because that, along with a new interactive website we’re building—a virtual “Good Government Town Hall”—offers the best vehicle for pushing civic engagement. After that it might be fun to host a news or public affairs show. But will it ever happen? Stay tuned. (Couldn’t resist the line.) What do your wife and kids think about the new gig? They’re extremely supportive. Mary’s only complaint is that I’m working harder than we expected when I “retired” from ABC. But she’s glad I gained a few pounds after discovering the “business lunch.” She laughingly tells people what an awful lunch companion I was during the broadcasting years, when the highpressure rush toward afternoon broadcasts made it impossible to relax or stop looking at my watch. Now I lunch several times a week with influential people—that’s how you do business. And even though I eat salads, the calories add up faster than a piece of fruit or a yogurt—the old lunch staples. My family likes the extra pounds. But I’m not so sure. In fact, the spare tire may drive me back into broadcasting faster than the frustrations of the new job. Really? No. —ANDY SHAW

ILLUSTRATION BY DAVID MOSELE


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>> culture nut <<

Robert Indiana

POP ART’S ENDURING CAMPAIGNER the diners where his mother worked, would have a lasting visual impact on the young Indiana. At 17, Indiana enlisted in the Air Force before attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on the G.I. Bill. In 1954 the artist moved to New York, and within eight years the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) would purchase its first Indiana work, launching his career. The American public’s embrace of Robert Indiana’s work, arguably unprecedented in the history of contemporary art, began with his proverbial LOVE series. Indiana created his first LOVE image with conté crayon in 1964 as Christmas cards for friends. A year later, MoMA asked him to create its holiday obert Indiana rose to international card, and LOVE was the answer. Paintings and serigraphs of prominence over four decades ago as the nascent emblem followed. In 1970 Indiana completed his a seminal figure of the sixties Pop Art inaugural towering steel LOVE sculpture, which toured the East movement. Partly a reaction against Coast before being permanently installed at the Indianapolis Abstract Expressionism’s perceived selfMuseum of Art. By 1973 the U.S. Postal Service capitalized on absorption, Pop utilized quintessential the image’s appeal, selling over 330 million LOVE stamps. Americana—mass advertising, celebrity, the Like all iconic art, LOVE distilled a current U.S. flag—with the intention of creating culture and then transcended it. This art easily understood by—and accessible seemingly straightforward yet provocative to—everyone. It was during this time that work became a symbol of the peace Indiana formed deep artistic bonds with Close to home, Shore movement during the Vietnam era. In the other rising stars, including Jasper Johns, readers may view Robert Indiana’s work in ensuing years, Indiana spoke about the Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly and, the following collections: delicately perched O as symbolic of the most importantly, Ellsworth Kelly. Indiana precariousness of everyman’s story. In a considered Kelly and his work, with its The Art Institute of Chicago recent interview, Allison Unruh, assistant sharp, industrial lines and flat, bold, curator of contemporary art at the saturated color, as the greatest influence Indianapolis Museum of Art Indianapolis Museum of Art, said, “Indiana’s on his early career. Smart Museum of Art legacy lies in the unique way he combines Born Robert Clark in New Castle, Ind., at the University of Chicago the power of word and image, and the in 1928, the artist changed his name in DePaul University Museum way his works [wed] universal themes with homage to his home state. Broken by Detroit Institute of Arts very personal elements of autobiography. the Depression, Indiana’s father worked Kresge Art Museum Indiana is one of the most important pumping gas at Phillips 66 before at Michigan State University American artists of his generation.” deserting his young family. Commercial Turman Gallery signage, whether at the gas station or at –JENNIFER A. MORAN at Indiana State University

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photograph [this page] courtesy of INDIANAPOLIS MUSEUM OF ART, [opposite page, clockwise from top left] MALINDA DICKENS, GOODMAN THEATRE, TERLATO WINES INTERNATIONAL

The epic narrative of the 2008 presidential election had a dark horse chapter titled “Indiana.” Ubiquitously covered by the media was the state’s historic blue binge. For the first time since 1964, Indiana voted Democratic in a national race, with Barack Obama winning Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties by 60 percent. The acclaimed artist Robert Indiana, a native son, lent his now emblematic HOPE imagery in support of the Obama campaign, raising more than $1 million for the candidate.


When Malinda Dickens wants to unwind, she gets crafty. The busy wife, mother of four and nursing student decompresses by handmaking semiprecious gemstone-beaded jewelry and creating wind chimes and lamps out of found objects from antique stores and rummage sales. “It’s my hobby. It’s my play time. I have to have my housework done, my homework done, before I can play,” says Dickens of Lawrence, Michigan. Dickens began beading as a hobby back in 2001. Then she spotted a wind chime made from an old coffee pot and silverware. The chime cost $65, more than Dickens was willing to pay. She made her first wind chime in 2004. Then she went a step further, turning an old colander into a one-of-a-kind lamp. So far, she’s created eighteen unique lamps. Dickens displays and sells her wares at the Bead Nook at Grace’s Place, 927 East Michigan Avenue, in Paw Paw, Mich. She also sells her jewelry, chimes and lamps on her website at malindadickens.etsy.com. –JOYCE RUSSELL

An International Partnership

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hicago playwright Rebecca Gilman’s work usually tackles provocative contemporary themes: Spinning into Butter (racism), Boy Gets Girl (stalking), and her latest play The Crowd You’re In With (brooding about babies). Her new play tells all in the title: A True History of the Johnstown Flood, directed by Goodman Theatre artistic director Robert Falls. “Well, not entirely true. The flood really happened in 1889, but it serves as the background for my fictionalized characters, the Baxter Theatre Troupe, who were to perform at a luxurious resort next to a beautiful man-made lake in the Pennsylvania mountains, which completely flooded the resort,” Gilman explains. The violent rainstorm unleashed a torrent of 20 million tons of water, killing over 2,000 people, causing the first major disaster relief effort handled by the new American Red Cross. Why write about a flood that happened so long ago? “I had read David McCullough’s book The Johnstown Flood years ago and was fascinated by a section describing a theatre troupe trapped in a train car,” Gilman replies. “It seems these artists were composed amidst the turbulence of the ensuing flood. In fact, McCullough described the A TRUE HIST women calmly pinning up their JOHNST ORY OF THE OWN FL OOD skirts in the event they would Mar 1 Goodman2-Apr 18 have to run.” Theatre, The characters in the play Chicago 312 react to the unforeseen goodman .443.3800 th eatre.org obliteration of the city of Johnstown, depicting some tragic inequities of the rigid class system of that era. The action portrays the before-and-after consequences of the flood. “Of course, what brought back my fascination with this legendary devastation was Hurricane Katrina. That flood was the catalyst for my writing this play.” We were curious about the set for the play. Will there be water? Flooding the stage seems the way to go. Gilman laughs, “I didn’t specify flooding, but I know there will be rain.” –LOIS BERGER

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In an effort to rebrand themselves as a premier destination in the region, the Horseshoe Casino has partnered with Terlato Wines International to offer an exquisite private label wine. Kevin Kline, vice president and assistant general manager at Horseshoe Casino, says the partnership came after a quest to enhance their new $500 million expansion. “The concept came out of a desire to integrate other parts of our new casino, such as with our steakhouse and wine bar,” Kline says. “We had people from Terlato Wines come out and talked about what we wanted to do. Terlato is based in Lake Bluff, Illinois, and they were focused on the same thing we are: attracting the local market,” Kline says. Because the wines would be offered primarily in Jack Binion’s Steak House and the Vintage 51 wine bar, they chose two varieties of a cabernet for their private label—both a limited reserve, served in their Seven Stars Lounge, and a regular reserve, served in the steak house and wine bar. “What’s really special about these wines,” Kline says, “is that they complement the experiences we’re trying to create here at the casino.” –HEATHER AUGUSTYN

STORMS ONSTAGE WITH A WORLD PREMIERE

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OLD BECOMES NEW

REBECCA GILMAN


shorelines Traveling the Electric Highway A Burger Quest

How far would you travel for a good hamburger? More than likely, it would depend on your available time and how you’d get there. For me, the choice was clear—unplug the car and head for Redamak’s.

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his particular Sunday is the closest I’ve been to being a “time traveler.” My time machine is the electric powered 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport. The destination? Redamak’s: since 1946—“the hamburger that made New Buffalo, Michigan, famous.” Add the garnish of historic Red Arrow Highway and I have the makings of a classic day-long road trip. My co-driver Rick Cotta, managing editor for Consumer Guide Automotive, and I arranged to drive the two-seat Tesla sports car from Tesla Motors at 1053 West Grand Avenue in Chicago’s West Loop to our eastern terminus in New Buffalo, 76 miles away. As Redamak’s is unique in the burger world, Tesla is separated from other car companies with its pure-electric approach to personal transportation. With Tesla, there is no engine, no exhaust, no emissions and no trips to the gas station—ever. Tesla is not a hybrid, but a plug-in electric car with energy gathered from common household 120 or 240 volt current. A 24-hour charge is required with 120 volt use for a “full tank.” The recharge period is one-third that time with 240 volt access. Travel range tops out at 244 miles with either application. Tesla Roadster Sport’s energy is stored in a lithium-ion battery pack housed in the trunk that generates an electrical output that builds 288 horsepower—capable of eclipsing 0-60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds. By comparison, the 638-hp 2009 Corvette ZR1 makes the trip from 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds. Equally surprising, Tesla’s trunk also has room for a set of clubs. Our hamburger quest takes us across real-world driving scenarios from pounding big city streets to smooth rural hamlet blacktop—connected by the fast pace of the interstate, where we whisk the Tesla along the Borman Expressway to our first stop at Rag TESLA MOTORS Tops Auto Museum in Michigan City. There, owner Dennis 1053 W Grand Ave Moran gives us a tour of the sheet metal emporium. Chicago, Ill. “We’ve got a little bit of everything in this convertible 312.733.9780 collection,” he says. “However, there’s a certain sentiment teslamotors.com toward Mopar (Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth) brands.” RAG TOPS MUSEUM A short trip up U.S. Highway 12 ushers us to Red 209 W Hwy 12 Arrow Highway, where the hands of time turn back to a Michigan City, Ind. homespun era left behind by fast-paced interstate travel. 219.878.1514 ragtopsmuseum.com Here, family-owned businesses still exist in the shadows of prosperity that once lit neon signs to REDAMAK’S beckon travelers off the then bustling highway. 616 E Buffalo St Ahead in the distance is Redamak’s. New Buffalo, Mich. 269.469.4522 Our hosts, the Maroney family, invite us to redamaks.com “bite into a legend” as Cotta and I order a Note: Redamak’s is closed Redamak’s double cheeseburger and side of for the winter season and onion rings. But don’t expect lettuce or tomato reopens March 1.

on that burger. None is offered. The only green allowed is cash—no credit cards are accepted. A steady ebb of patrons flows through this nostalgic family-oriented eatery during our lunchtime visit. Priced for family budgets, we rate Redamak’s ambience and burgers “exceptional.” A side trip to the dunes in New Buffalo draws a handful of curious onlookers interested in seeing the electric car. With the exception of a faint whine of the electric motor, Tesla operates in absolute silence, with only rolling tire noise and the wind slap on the car’s canvas targa top to stir the silence under full operation. With 65 percent of charge left, we turn our attention to the return trip to Chicago. The Tesla performs remarkably well with regenerative braking helping to recharge the batteries when the accelerator is lifted or when the brake is applied. Acceleration is instantaneous and seat-pinning at any speed. Our 176.5-mile round trip averages over 100 miles per gallon with a 10 percent charge left in the battery pack when we hand the key back to Tesla sales advisor, Seneca Giese. The bottom line for America’s only productionbuilt electric car is pricey. Base cost for the California-made Tesla Roadster is $109,000. Add $19,500 for the Sport options that include a larger electric motor, adjustable suspension, forged alloy wheels and competition tires. A federal tax credit of $7,500 is applicable to reduce the base price to $101,500. –JIM JACKSON

photography [this page] courtesy of JIM JACKSON; [opposite page, left] courtesy of JIM JACKSON, [opposite page, right] courtesy of PORSCHE CARS NORTH AMERICA

>> motoring <<


Porsche’s Power of Four DOING THE MATH The Tesla Roadster Sport was recharged the day following our Chicago to New Buffalo round trip. The recharge consumed 55 kilowatthours (kWh) and took 8 hours, 22 minutes at 240 volts/30 amps. At the national average of 10 cents per kWh, the recharge cost $5.50. During that same time, premium gasoline averaged $3.00 per gallon. With that, spending $5.50 would buy 1.83 gallons of gasoline. To travel 176.5 miles on 1.83 gallons yields 96.45 miles per gallon. At the Chicago rate of 9.3 cents per kWh, our trip with the 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport acquired the cost equivalent of 103.8 mpg. –RICK COTTA

After 60 years, the German automaker known for building high-performance sports cars adds two more doors and a new model with the arrival of the 2010 Porsche Panamera. Panamera, named after a world-class auto race in the 1950s, is Porsche’s first four-door car. Exterior styling reflects the f amily resemblance of Porsche 911 in Panamera’s front end followed by a hint of Porsche Cayman in the tail lamps and hips of the rear quarters. And because the interior has to keep what the exterior promises, form follows function with plush quad

seating split by a classy full-length center console. Porsche’s newcomer arrives in three front-engine models: Panamera S rear-wheel drive and 4S all-wheel drive, powered by a 4.8-liter V-8 engine to deliver 400 horsepower priced at $89,800 and $93,800 respectively. Panamera Turbo is infused with a 500-hp twin-turbocharged 4.8 L V-8 and all-wheel drive for $132,600. A seven-speed double-clutch transmission with steering wheel shift controls governs Panamera’s dynamic driving experience. –JIM JACKSON

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Now, everybody can go along for the ride across town or crosscountry in a sports car for four.


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hat’s the strangest question you have had? A guy said his grandfather used the phrase “by your copperosity,” meaning “with your permission.” I thought I’d never figure that out. I went on Google putting in “copperosity” and damn if I didn’t get copperosity.com. Out west in the late 1800s it was considered clever to make up high-sounding words like “copperosity” and “absquatulate,” which allegedly meant to sneak away in the middle of the night. So here are these western types using these con ated words. Then it worked its way into the Uncle Remus stories, where it caught on.

MICHAEL J. SHEEHAN

Michigan’s Favorite Word Nerd

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A native of Chicago’s South Side, Michael J. Sheehan has been a teen gang member, a monk and prolific writer. He taught English for twenty-six years in the City Colleges of Chicago and now hosts the Words to the Wise linguistic radio show on WTCM-AM (580) in Traverse City, Michigan. • He has seen the ways of the word. • Earlier this year Sheehan released More Words to the Wise—A Lighthearted Look at the English Language. It is a fascinating 194-page paperback compilation of questions and answers h eard on his radio show that debuted in 2000. People with time on their hands inquire, “Shouldn’t there be a word ‘overneath’ to act as opposite to underneath?” In 2004 Sheehan released Words to the Wise on Arbutus Press. • Sheehan, 70, is from the streetwise Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. His father Mortimer was a meat cutter in the stockyards. Sheehan was trained in Latin, Greek and theology while spending thirteen years in a monastery north of Saugatuck, Mich. We recently fired off a few questions to the wise author.

What was the first book you read? The Boxcar Children, a little novel which I loved because the kids had no parents, they lived in a boxcar and ran their own lives. I was in 4th grade at Our Lady of Solace grammar school on the South Side of Chicago. I was living a strict life in an immigrant neighborhood taught by German Franciscan nuns who were trained in submarine warfare for all I know. The idea of children having freedom was stunning. You began teaching college English in 1969 and retired in 1995. How did language change in that period? The biggest change came with the computer, text messaging and so on. The computer has made language and writing so much easier. You save time. But Ernest Hemingway wrote longhand standing up on the mantle of his fireplace. Using pencil, from what I heard. Secondly, there is speed in which new words enter the language, especially slang terms and instant messaging conventions. Are you good at Scrabble? I’m very good at Scrabble, but not unbeatable. There’s always a strong element of chance in drawing the tiles; my son has won a friendly game a number of times. What is your favorite word? I like the word

photograph courtesy of MICHAEL J. SHEEHAN

>> interview <<

You mention Google. Do you still use a paper dictionary? I’m looking at three unabridged dictionaries right now. Then on my desk is The American Heritage Dictionary, Fourth Edition. I have the Century Dictionary encyclopedia, which was around 1911. It was the American version of the Oxford. I have 200 specialty dictionaries: military, cowboy, law dictionaries. I have The F-Word dictionary [with more than 4,000 quotations edited by Jesse Sheidlower of the Oxford English Dictionary]. And I have a subscription to the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary.


Enjoy the Views Experience the Luxury “marmalade” because of the way it sounds. You almost caress the word. “Marmah—laid.” What is the future of language in America as we become a more culturally diverse society? About 40 years ago I would have predicted that primarily because of television, the accents, word choice and cadence of sentences would become uniform as people watched the same basic broadcasting. The reality, as I found out from the American Dialect Society, is that pockets of dialects still exist. We know accents haven’t changed. You can tell somebody from Boston as opposed to Georgia. My listeners have the most trouble with change. They don’t realize language is a living system. It is over 1,500 years old. If it doesn’t change it dies. It becomes Latin, which is utterly predicable, but utterly dead. People say we’ve lost the word “gay.” It used to mean “happy,” now it is something else. Or “decimate.” When I was in fourth grade it meant to take onetenth of the legion. Now it means “everybody.” Language changes. Everything changes. It’s like the human body.

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I complain about people who write “needless to say.” Why are you saying it if it is needless? It is filler. In conversation we are trying to think ahead. The only virtue is that it is better than “uh, uh, uh . . .” There are others, like “as it were,” or “what I mean to say is . . .” They serve no purpose than to give us a bit of time. What do you think of Norm Crosby [The Borscht Belt comedian who speaks from his “diagram” and drinks “decapitated” coffee]? I love Norm Crosby. He was funny as hell. No one has asked me that question. King of malapropos. Just fantastic. George Carlin also had some brilliant things about language. –DAVE HOEKSTRA

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Words to the Wise can be heard between 9 and 10 a.m. (EST) every Tuesday on The Ron Jolly Show at WTCM-AM (580). Podcast versions of the word show can be obtained 24 hours a day by clicking on The Ron Jolly Show (wtcmradio.com). Sheehan also has a language blog at verbmall.blogspot.com.


>> where to go <<

Downtown Michigan City

REVIVAL OF THE FITTEST Tourism officials have described Lighthouse Place outlet mall, the Washington Park Beach and Blue Chip Casino near downtown Michigan City as a golden triangle.

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ens of thousands of people visit annually, but it’s the area in the middle that has locals concerned. Instead of a golden triangle, they call the six-block area of downtown along Franklin Street the hole in the middle of a doughnut. They recall the days when J.C. Penney and Sears anchored a bustling downtown, but those stores left three decades ago when Marquette Mall opened at the south edge of the city. Since then, the city has pushed another mile south, adding big box stores like Meijer, Walmart, Menards and Lowe’s. Downtown withered and for more than two decades, empty storefronts dominated. But in the last two years, the doughnut hole has started to fill, thanks

to visionary entrepreneurs who have invested more than $2 million in half a dozen projects. Mike Howard owns Station 801, a restaurant at Eighth and Franklin Streets. With partner Jerry Peters, he purchased the former Argabright Communications next door, remodeled it and opened the Cedar Sub Shop and Peters Dairy Bar. “One of the reasons we bought the building is that we were seeing things happening downtown,” Howard says. For Peters, the son of the owners of the former Peters Dairy Bar at 1015 Michigan Boulevard, it’s a return to his roots. The new Peters Dairy Bar, which sells ice cream, shakes and malts, has the original store’s 1950s signage and much of its original glassware. “I’ve heard so many people say disparaging things about downtown, but I think they’re wrong,” Peters says. Furniture designer Christopher Groh purchased a portion of the former Don Jones Building Maintenance office at 607 Franklin Street four years ago, and has been converting it into a studio and gallery downstairs, and two loft apartments upstairs. Groh, who grew up in LaPorte but now lives in his building, says downtown Michigan City has a perception problem. “When I tell people I’m living downtown, they shake their heads,” Groh says. “I tell them this is a great opportunity.” One such opportunist is Pearl “P.J.”

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photography [this page] by MONICA Z. PHOTOGRAPHY; [opposite page] by RICK A. RICHARDS

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In partnership with HealthLinc, NIEF has remodeled a building at 710 Franklin Street to include a Fagen Pharmacy, dental clinic, HealthLinc offices and the Open Door Health Clinic. Work has been going on for more than 18 months, but Laramore says that’s because NIEF wanted to maintain the architectural integrity of the buildings. That meant research to find the right kind of glass block, the right kind of tile and the right kind of material to match the original wood trim. “One of the things we kept asking ourselves is, ‘How can we help Michigan City?’” Laramore says.

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ut by far the single biggest step is taking place on the south end, where Mort purchased the former Canterbury Theatre at Franklin and Ninth Streets. The building, which has been vacant for more than a decade, will become headquarters for Virtuous Events, a full-service event planning company that specializes in weddings, receptions, luncheons and other large gatherings. The building was built in 1867 as a church, and is a city landmark. Mort says once he looked inside, he knew the building could be rehabilitated. Even before the paperwork was signed, workers had begun clearing vines and debris from outside the building and from a small interior courtyard. “The basic church structure is very sound,” says Mort, who points out that the walls are five bricks thick. Mort says that when he tours a potential property he visualizes the end result. “I think that once we get this building back in shape, you’re going to see some big changes in downtown over

the next three years.” Mort is part of a trend of entrepreneurs snapping up Franklin Street property. At least six major projects between Fourth and Tenth Streets are in various stages of completion. Those projects, which range from art galleries to an ice cream shop and business and professional offices, have pumped more than $2 million in improvements into downtown, not including the $225,000 purchase price of the former Canterbury Theatre. Virtuous Events, based in Hobart, is owned by Tasha Raylene and Lauren Revelle, who have been planning and organizing events around Northwest Indiana since 2003. Raylene and Revelle say they, too, saw potential in the building. “We were on board the minute we saw the building,” Raylene says. As a theater, there was seating for 356 people, but as an event center, there will be room for about 275 people. With some new wallboard, flooring, paint and lots of cleaning, Raylene says the building will be ideal for weddings and receptions. –RICK A. RICHARDS

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This community has everything you need. What needs to happen now is for people to start thinking that Franklin Street is the place to be.

Exterior restoration work is nearly complete at Fagen Pharmacy, 710 Franklin St. The building is owned by Northern Indiana Education Foundation.

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Mort, who converted the former Brinckmann building at 622 and 624 Franklin Street into a spectacular art gallery downstairs and four condo-like apartments upstairs, all of which are rented. Mort, who lives in Monterey, Indiana, says he fell in love with downtown Michigan City when he first saw it twenty years ago. His business, P.J. Mort Woodworking, builds homes and art-quality furniture. “This community has everything you need. What needs to happen now is for people to start thinking that Franklin Street is the place to be,” Mort says. At the north end of Franklin Street, the 400 block is being transformed by the Northern Indiana Education Foundation, which opened in 1987, says executive director Mary A. Laramore. NIEF was founded by Dr. Robert E. McBride, a retired pathologist. It opened in a portion of the former Ideal Paint building that was erected in 1881. At the time, the remainder of the building was occupied by the George Balady Barber Shop and B&A Hobby Shop. When Balady died, those stores closed and remained vacant for years. Both had reached such a state of disrepair that city officials wanted them torn down, but NIEF acquired and restored them. Now, 2,000 square feet of professional office space is available, and a loft apartment is being finished. Across the parking lot, NIEF acquired the former Jarosz Printing building. For now, its exterior and front office have been stabilized, and work will resume once other NIEF projects are completed.


>> green notes <<

The Chocolate Garden Tina Buck has an enviable life

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uck, the owner of the Chocolate Garden in Coloma, Michigan, works from home, making incomparable chocolate truffles from her commercial kitchen and tasting each batch of the rich ganache at the heart of the business. “I wanted to be able to get up, put on my fuzzy slippers, pad around and have a nice little existence,” she says. Buck, a native of North Adams, Mich., was introduced to the industry in 1984 when she landed her first job at an ad agency in Chicago, fresh from graduation at Michigan State University. Her first assignment was Sara Lee’s “sweet goods” products. While researching chocolate for the account, Buck read an article that described truffles as “the absolute royalty of the chocolate world.” Buck decided to make truffles for holiday corporate gifts and pored over recipes, taking a little bit from each and experimenting with ingredient ratios and techniques. “Every year, people said, ‘I’m a connoisseur of chocolate . . . I know what I’m talking about and these are absolutely fabulous,’” she says. Buck describes her truffles as “extremely creamy, unusually sumptuous.” Her truffles do not have a hard, waxy chocolate shell like some others on the market. You don’t bite into them—your teeth pass through them as the flavors melt in your mouth. “They are intensely chocolatey, very creamy and I like to take that to the ‘nth degree,’” she says. “It’s the extreme chocolate experience.” She was encouraged over the years to market the treats and in the fall of 1998, decided to give it a try. Her background in

branding for the ad agency led her to conduct a test market launch of the product at Chicago Place Mall on Michigan Avenue from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. “In the thirty-four days I was there, I saw firsthand how well people responded and decided it wasn’t the dumbest idea I’d ever had in my life,” Buck says. “I knew this was what I was going to do.” Next came choosing a location. “Part of what I wanted was to be surrounded by greenery and farmland like I was when I was growing up.” She settled in Coloma so she could be close to family in St. Joseph. At first, the company only accepted online orders. “We were only producing what was ordered, so there was no waste,” she says. “We didn’t have to turn the lights on if we weren’t working.” That was working fine, until they were discovered by the Food Network and THE CH featured on the show Food Finds. “Now OCOLAT all of a sudden everyone wanted to come GARDENE 2 6 9 1 F riday Rd here, but there was nothing to see.” 269.468 Coloma, Mich. So, she built a small shop but realized .YUMM (9866) chocolate quickly that it wasn’t enough. Buck Open 10a garden.com doubled the size of the store and the m-6pm d aily parking lot and now has a 600-squarefoot shop and 750-square-foot commercial kitchen. Until last spring, she personally made—and tasted—every batch of ganache used in her truffles by hand. With Buck serving as sole ganache-maker, she realized she was “limiting our ability to grow.” Recently, she taught one of her ten employees the technique and recipe. Ingredients include Rosa d���amore wine from Contessa Wine Cellars next door (used in the Lago Rosso truffles) and Solera Cream Sherry from St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw in the Solera Double Gold truffles. “We can’t always use local ingredients, but we do it whenever we can,” she explains. Other flavors include White Chocolate Strawberry, which boasts freeze-dried powdered strawberries for a fresh, intense flavor. The latest addition to the truffle palette, introduced in 2009, is Lemon Drop, a white chocolate truffle infused with pure lemon. While she does run a green business—using local products, providing biodegradable bags and using recycled content in packaging—she doesn’t scream it from the rooftops. “Every chocolatier has their own philosophy,” she says. “Some are so focused on the green or organic or fair-trade aspects that they lose the focus of what they’re doing. Isn’t this supposed to be delicious and fun? “My focus is I want the expression on their faces [when they taste the truffles] and I get it. If I can do that and be socially conscious and be eco-friendly, I do it.”

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–LAURI HARVEY KEAGLE

GREEN GROCERIES

Want to be a green gourmet? Buy locally. Farmers’ markets and roadside stands reduce transportation needs, thereby limiting auto emissions that create ozone. Buying fresh versus prepackaged, frozen or canned also cuts down on waste, reducing your impact on the environment. –LAURI HARVEY KEAGLE

photograph courtesy of THE CHOCOLATE GARDEN

shorelines


>> health club <<

In the recent health care debate, there’s a word that’s been thrown around a lot: wellness. It’s a relatively new word in the American lexicon. After years and years of dealing with a health care system focused on treatment rather than prevention, we Americans have accepted the “we’ll-fix-it-later” mentality as the norm.

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technicians on East Indian head massage, as well as other modalities that the spa already practices (an herbal foot soak and a facial are two of the many Ayurvedic services available there). According to Bhamra, “Ayurveda is the most ancient medical system, but it’s still relevant today. The head massage helps with stress, anxiety and depression,” three REVERIE SPA household names in RETREAT any doctor’s office today. 3634 N 700 W And treatment of LaPorte, Ind. these conditions is 219.861.0814 especially important spareverie.com to Beth Warren, Reverie’s owner. “We really are trying to help people have more balance in life—emotionally, spiritually and physically,” she says. “Ayurveda addresses all three.” Reverie is one of the only spas in the Midwest to feature Ayurvedic massage. “I’m drawn to the East Indian way of healing the body through nature,” Warren says. “I think we’re finally ready to embrace that concept in the Midwest.” –JULIA PERLA

With all the talk about the bad economy in the past year, our culture has become quite a pessimistic one. It seems easier than ever to get caught up in the can’ts, shouldn’ts and have-nots.

But one company is trying to change that. Tees for Change is an independently owned apparel company whose T-shirts proclaim messages of hope—with phrases such as “Laugh Often,” “Chase Dreams” and “Practice Kindness.” The simple sayings are a reminder not only for the person wearing the tee, but also for those who cross their path. Andreea Ayers, owner of Tees for Change, came up with the idea for the company when she was pregnant with her first child in 2007. She and her husband had chosen to have a home birth, but they received a number of negative comments from others regarding their decision to do so. So Andreea created a T-shirt with the phrase “Be Courageous” printed on it. She wore the shirt during the birth of her son, and shortly thereafter, her business was also born. Aside from the uplifting messages, the apparel is also ecofriendly, in more ways than one. Not only are the shirts sweatshopfree and made with bamboo and organic cotton, but with every tee that’s purchased, Tees for Change will plant a tree through their partnership with Trees for the Future. So far, more than 10,000 trees have been planted as a result of this partnership. Styles are available for both men and women at teesforchange.com. –JULIA PERLA

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

photograph courtesy of TEES FOR CHANGE

e’re now learning that this way of thinking is a bit backward— and that practicing wellness from the get-go is the best way to get and stay healthy. But this concept is by no means new. It’s been practiced in India for the past 5,000 years. In fact, India’s whole medical system revolves around the principles of Ayurveda, which literally translates to “the knowledge of life.” In other words, Ayurveda is an awareness of the connection between mind, body and soul. The belief is that if we take care of all three parts on a consistent basis, we remain healthy. Ayurvedic medicine takes on many forms, one of which is massage. And last fall, the staff at Reverie Spa Retreat in LaPorte was treated to Ayurvedic massage training by one of the world’s leading experts, Amarjeet S. Bhamra, author of Indian Head Massage—A Practical Approach. In Bhamra’s four-day visit, he instructed

Tees for Change

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The Healing Power of Ayurveda


shorelines >> haute properties <<

Knotty Pine IT’S NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE Think of knotty pine. What comes to mind? Old cabins and lodges? Your grandparents’ basement? Maybe you’re thinking paint, as in, “Let’s update that old knotty pine paneling by priming and painting it.”

was a gas station, the shop showcases a variety of home décor vignettes. Its “bedroom” boasts three knotty pine walls. “Knotty pine creates a warm and cozy atmosphere,” says shop co-owner Deborah Gershbein, who lives in both Chicago and South Haven. Many of the shop’s wares echo the colors of the sea and sea glass, Gershbein explains. Bedroom quilts, furniture, lamps, throws, rugs and other goods complement knotty pine paneling. For Gershbein, knotty pine is reminiscent of childhood memories. “We had it when I was a girl,” she recalls. A few years ago, when she built her current South Haven cottage, she noted there were not many home décor shops in the area. “So I opened one. The knotty pine was already a part of the building,” she recalls of the naturally stained pine. “It was a main attraction for me.”

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nterior designer Janet Harrington got just the look she wanted when she went the knotty pine route for the new Lighthouse Restaurant in Cedar Lake, Indiana. Working with Merrillville, Indiana’s WPM Construction, Harrington says the builders and design team opted for a knotty pine interior to evoke an old, nautical theme. “Part of the restaurant is supposed to look like the inside of a boathouse,” Harrington explains. Knotty pine paneling and ceiling beams were just the ticket. “It warms up the whole atmosphere.” –MEGAN SWOYER

photography courtesy of HEARTHWOODS COTTAGE DESIGN

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hatever your thoughts and from wherever they come, knotty pine—wood from a pine tree that is cut so that the knots form a decorative pattern—evokes nostalgic musings. Several Midwest designers and woodworkers report that today, knotty pine takes on several looks, whether reclaimed, updated, natural, or awash with a new finish. For woodworker Andrew Brown, knotty pine offers dozens of opportunities. He and his wife, Mary, of Lakeside, Michigan (they are transplants from Detroit and Chicago, respectively), use knotty pine in several projects. For their home addition, Brown used antique reclaimed knotty pine from Virginia-based Mountain Lumber Co. The couple, who own Hearthwoods Cottage Design on Red Arrow Highway in Lakeside, sell furniture and floors made from reclaimed knotty pine. Recently, Brown fabricated a wide-plank knotty pine floor that features 9-, 11-, 13- and 15-inch-wide planks. “It’s really cool,” he says of the character-rich flooring. Interior designer Sally Matak of MATAKdesign in Birmingham, Mich., concurs with Brown. “Knotty pine floors, especially wide-plank flooring, can be stunning,” Matak says. Originally from Canada, Matak has designed interiors for everything from vacation homes to offices to main residences. “If you want to update knotty pine cabinets,” Matak says, “you can do some prep work and paint them, and also change out the hardware.” Or, you can get a more reclaimed look. “For a raw look,” Matak suggests, “strip off the layers of the varnish/polyurethane topcoat, which typically yellows over the years.” That technique is exactly what interior designer David Weston, co-owner of Think Design Studio in Grand Rapids, Mich., recommends. “Generally, people like to refurbish their knotty pine by stripping it down and putting a lighter glaze on it or a wash of color so you can see the grain of wood coming through,” says Weston, who’s committed to eco-friendly treatments. “You want to preserve the knotty pine character, especially for cottages, but make it lighter and brighter, as cabins are more sophisticated these days. It used to be that walking into a cottage was like going into a cave.” Weston designs interiors for both residences and offices, many of which are in Saugatuck and Douglas. “Reclaimed knotty pine is great,” he says, “because it’s been refinished and doesn’t look like that orangey, old knotty pine of the past.” A nostalgic look at knotty pine can be seen at Sea Glass Cottage, a lovely, 5-year-old shop in South Haven, Mich. Located in a 1930s space that originally


kia art auction, kalamazoo • silver lining gala, chicago • center for history dinner, south bend • nazareth home gala, hammond • harvest feast celebration, three oaks • weizmann institute gala, chicago • balagio open house, homewood • citadel dance center reception, benton harbor • kitchen walk, sawyer 1

winning bids kia art auction kalamazoo

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photography by gregg rizzo

A special evening of socializing, fine dining and art buying in support of Kalamazoo Institute of Arts raised almost $100,000 for KIA operations. Guests bid on silent, super silent and live auction items, with a private yacht trip receiving the highest bid. Dinner was catered by the Park Club.

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1 Mickey and Sharon Seelye of Portage 2 Mark and Jennifer Chadwick of Richland 3 Erick and Kim Miles of Kalamazoo 4 Jodi Milks of Portage with Steve and Tara East of Augusta 5 Joisan Decker of Mattawan and Harold Decker of Kalamazoo

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6 Meredith Parfet of Kalamazoo

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7 Mary Mellema of Hickory Corners, Kris Charles of Kalamazoo and Michelle Halley of Richland 8 Courtney Vandermolen of Hickory Corners and Shayne Plemmons of Kalamazoo

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9 Scott and Trisha Pierson of Richland

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all clicks compiled by sue bero


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worthy cause

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silver lining gala chicago photography by kevin devick

A Silver Lining Foundation drew some 300 guests, raising more than $170,000 at the annual black tie gala hosted by the breast cancer advocacy organization at Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. Attendees enjoyed appetizers and cocktails, a live and silent auction and the vocal stylings of famed cabaret singer Nan Mason.

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1 Sue Warmuskerken, J. Mori Johnson and Robb Gipson 2 Kim Kirchherr and Bryan Janssen 3 Francine Spacek and Jeremy Mates

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4 Dr. Henry Meares and Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares

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5 Stephen and Molly Bowater 6 Keith and Char Wenckowski 7 Sean Casey and Dean Konick 8 Kevin Dailey, Robin Ryan and Josh Mondie 9 Dennis and Moire Conroy with Billy Atwell

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10 McKenzie Smith and Anthony Elwood

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civic pride

T U M M Y

T U C K

center for history dinner | south bend photography by gregg rizzo

Some 425 attendees were on hand when the Center for History honored leaders Nancy and Najeeb Khan with a philanthropy award. Guests mingled in the historical garden and toured new exhibits and Oliver Mansion before dinner, which was served in the gardens of Copshaholm.

1 Wendra Johnson of Niles 2 Georgie Compton of South Bend and Lois Poynter of Granger

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3 Janellyn and Glen Borden of Ft. Wayne

Chicago’s “absolute leading surgeon” -Dr. Phil

4 Linda Doshi with Jerry and Donna Thacker, all of Mishawaka 5 Chris and Kelly Craft of South Bend

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6 Kath and Bill Stoler of Cassopolis

Go her Go e e for de d tailis

BEFORE

AFTER

www.ccosmediccclinic.com

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This procedure removes excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and tightens the abdominal muscles. This reduces a protruding abdomen. Consultation will involve a thorough 6

discussion of the risks and benefits of the procedure as well as an exam, which will aid in Dr. Platis informing

Dr. Platis

you how he will perform your procedure.

Dr. Platis has also been featured on: 20/20. NBC5 Chicago, WBBM Fox News Chicago and WGN

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

210 East 86th Place | Merrillville, IN 46410 | P: 219-795-1255 58 East Walton | Chicago, IL 60611 | P: 312-377-3333 www.cosmedicclinic.com

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caring hearts

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nazareth home gala hammond photography by gregg rizzo

Guests sampled fare prepared by eight chefs and nine restaurant venues at the 7th annual Nazareth Home gala at the Hammond Federal Courthouse. The Billy Foster Trio played and bidders vied for live and silent auction getaways and sports packages. The Nazareth Home serves medically compromised children up to age 6.

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1 State Rep. Mara Candelaria-Reardon with John and Robin Salzeider, all of Munster 2 Dan Smith and Kelli Hein of Crown Point

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3 Mary Anne and Elden Lattayne of Hammond 4 Ashley Archer of Chicago, Joshua Barth of Hammond, Bill Gormley of Kansas City and Michael Zubay of Highland 5 Mario and Melissa Orueta of Schererville 6 Courtney Hilbrich of Crown Point and Dan Markovich of Munster 7 Peggy Guernsey of Ogden Dunes with Joni Mola of Crown Point and Judy Schlosser of Portage

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8 Nick Avgerinos and Barbara Bernacke of Munster

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farm flair

harvest feast celebration | three oaks PHOTOGRAPHY BY GREGG RIZZO

An evening under the stars helped raise more than $22,000 for Support Local Agriculture. Guests savored a seven-course dinner prepared by local chefs. The event saluted area farmers and featured music and a live auction. ABC news anchor Janet Davies served as mistress ofc eremonies.

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1 Ron and Elise Magers of Chicago

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2 Phyllis and Mark Joseph of Valparaiso

First. Best. In Local News.

3 John Lang and Bonnie Marx of Chicago 4 Aaron and Leslie Kaminski of Union Pier

M E D I A

5 Paul and Kim Landeck of St. Joseph

C O M P A N Y

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6 JP VerHage of St. Joseph

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mission in motion

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weizmann institute gala chicago photography by mitchell canoff

Some 625 guests attended this sumptuous event that kicked off with a cocktail party followed by a seated dinner in the Imperial Ballroom at the Fairmont Chicago. The gala honored civic leaders Jerry Reinsdorf and Rocky Wirtz and raised $875,000 to support research at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.

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1 Marshall Levin of New York with Alison Zirn and Scott Greenberg of Highland Park 2 Courtney and Andrew Berlin of Glencoe

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3 Lee and Norma Stern of Chicago 4 Judi and Dick Stone of Highland Park with Sylvia Margolies of Winnetka 5 Dan Gross and Coco Soodek, both of Chicago

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6 Matt and Heather Goldhaber of Highland Park 7 Leah and Ron Sklare 8 William Marovitz, Christie Hefner and Rocky Wirtz

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9 Gerald and Michelle Gordon of Evanston with Larry Gordon of Wilmette

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savory samples balagio open house | homewood photography by robert wray

The creative flair of Balagio Ristorante owner Mike Galderio and acclaimed chef Russell Bry proved to be the perfect pairing at Balagioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s open house. Some 400 guests mingled amid twinkling lights, sipping complimentary wine and champagne and sampling offerings from the new menu.

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1 Rose Hohava of Flossmoor

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2 Nikki and Mike Galderio 3 Susan and Robert Camerano of Dyer 4 Jamie Nelson of Chicago, Olivia Miller of Matteson and Ashley Hooks of Homewood 5 Barbara and Lisa Aprati, both of Chicago Heights

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6 Russell Bry of Hinsdale

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letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dance

citadel dance center reception benton harbor 3

photography by gregg rizzo

Dance performances and a string quartet helped guests celebrate the fusion of dance and music at the Citadel Dance and Music Center open house. Attendees watched dance classes and lessons in progress, enjoyed hors dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;oeuvres prepared by the Generous Table and samplings from Round Barn Winery.

1 Dave Krock of St. Joseph and Dana Siewert of Stevensville 2 Jeanne Simpson of St. Joseph and Ann Miller of Stevensville 3 Tyanna Weller of St. Joseph, Suz Schalon of Grand Rapids and Sue Rue of Stevensville 4 Barbara Bell of Benton Harbor and Cindy Richey of St. Joseph 5 Nancy Bowes of St. Joseph and Nicole Moon of Benton Harbor

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helping hands kitchen walk | sawyer photography by robert wray

The 2009 Kitchen Walk culminated with a “wine down” reception and silent auction. Some 300 guests bid on silent auction items, raising $46,000 for Designs for Dignity, which provides pro bono interior design service to nonprofits. Janet Davies was honorary chair and attendees sampled food and wine. 1 Dennis and Iris Bailen of Libertyville

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2 Nan Griffiths of Stevensville 3 Penny Tanis and Marco Alexondra of Union Pier 4 Jen Sobecki of Vernon Hills with Bruce Murphy, Susan Weller and Leslie Whittet, all of Chicago 5 Patty, John and Kristen Hartmann of Elmhurst and Union Pier

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LOOKING FOR SOMETHING FUN TO DO THIS WEEKEND? 4

Shore’s own Joe Durk and Julia Perla talk about what’s going on in the Lake Michigan area, in the Shore Weekender video every Thursday. visitshoremagazine.com / nwi.com

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with joe & julia

february/march 2010

WEEKENDER


essential EVENTS

HAPPENINGS HAPPENINGS 52 EXHIBITIONS 50 EXHIBITIONS 55 FILM 51 56 FILM 52 PERFORMANCE PERFORMANCE 56 52 INTEREST 58

Feb 27-28 2010 IKC Dog Show

8am-5pm, McCormick Place, 2301 S Martin Luther King Dr, Chicago ikcdogshow.com More than 60,000 visitors will get the chance to see approximately 10,000 purebred dogs from 161 breeds demonstrate their ability in a variety of competitions. New to the event this year are Earth Dog demonstrations and Dancing with Your Dog contests. Children 12 and under can attend this show—which also features dogrelated retail, nonprofit booths, educational seminars and dog-themed entertainment— at no charge.

CALENDAR COMPILED BY JULI DOSHAN

happenings Indiana

Ongoing 4th Friday Arts, 6-9pm, every 4th Fri, Crown Point town square. 219.662.3290. 4thfridayarts.com. The historical downtown square of Crown Point is alive and active with the arts. Stroll through the town square and visit the local businesses that turn into artistic sanctuaries every 4th Friday of the month. See website or call for specific events. Jan 23 7th Annual Gardening Show, 9am-4pm, Porter County Expo Center, 215 E Division Rd, Valparaiso. 219.465.3555 ext 21. pcgarden.info. Sponsored by the Porter County Master Gardeners Association, this show features presentations by regional and local gardening experts, a seed and bulb exchange, a gardening photo contest, a juried plant show, more than 50 exhibitors and vendors of gardening products, and more.

michianahumanesociety.org. Animal-lovers can enjoy food, music, an array of artwork donated by local artists and a silent auction while helping to raise money for the care of homeless pets at the Michiana Humane Society. Mar 6-7 Maple Sugar Weekend, noon-4pm, International Friendship Gardens, 2055 US Hwy 12, Michigan City. 219.878.9885. friendshipgardens. org. This free event features a sugar-making camp, demonstrations, nature hikes and plenty of sweet treats. Pets on a leash are welcome.

Grand Rapids. 616.447.2860. showspan.com. This popular show features more than 300 new vehicles and soon-to-be-released models, representing more than 36 car manufacturers from around the world. Feb 5-7 Ice Breaker Festival 2010, downtown South Haven. 269.637.5252. southhaven.org. Celebrate “The Four Seasons of South Haven” and South Haven’s downtown winter wonderland with pro and amateur chili cook-offs, an ice sculpting competition, a Mardi Gras dinner, kids’ crafts, wagon rides, open skating and a fish fry.

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Jan 15-17 6th Annual Hunter Ice Festival, downtown Niles. 269.687.4332. nilesmainstreet. org. This popular event pays tribute to the Hunter Brothers Ice and Ice Cream Company. The festival features ice sculptures, world-class ice-carvers, an ice cream-tasting tent, kids’ activities and more.

Feb 6 DTE Energy Foundation Ethnic Heritage Festival, 9am-5pm, Grand Rapids Public Museum, 272 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids. 616.456.3977. grmuseum.org. This colorful celebration of diversity is free to the public, who will be able to experience all sorts of music, dance, crafts, displays, clothing and food representing various ethnic groups that call West Michigan home.

Jan 23-24 26th Annual Hammond Outdoor Sports Show, 9am-5pm Sat, 9am-4pm Sun, Jean Shepherd Community Center, 3031 J.F. Mahoney Dr, Hammond. 219.554.0155. gohammond.com. This popular event includes vendors, chainsaw woodcarving demonstrations, a trout pond, minnow races and bobber pond for children, and free seminars given by nationally known outdoorsmen.

Jan 23-24 Orchid Show, orchid sales 9am-5pm, displays noon-5pm, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, 1000 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids. 888.957.1580. meijergardens.org. This annual event, hosted by the Grand Valley Orchid Society, features orchid displays, floral arrangements, collectibles, orchid plants and supplies, and even lectures for beginning orchid growers.

Feb 12-14 6th Annual Magical Ice Celebration, various times and locations, downtown St. Joseph. sjtoday.org. This annual three-day festival of winter fun has activities for sweethearts, families, children and adults. The weekend includes both team and individual ice carver competitions, and spectators can also enjoy warming stations, shopping, dining, dancing, kids’ activities and more.

Feb 12-14 Home & Garden Expo, 10am-6pm, Marquette Mall, 450 St John Rd, Michigan City. 219.326.0624. balc.org. The latest in home improvement ideas and products for the home and garden will be on display at this free expo, sponsored by the Builder’s Association of LaPorte County. Builders, contractors and suppliers will be on hand to answer questions about home remodeling, building and maintenance.

Jan 29 Wine pARTy! 5:30-7pm, Fernwood Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve, 13988 Range Line Rd, Niles. 269.695.6491. fernwoodbotanical. org. Wine connoisseur and artist Whitney Ferre will share four wines to compare to the creative process while she discusses her book, The Artist Within—A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit. Also Jan 28: Artist Within workshop.

Feb 26 The Great Wine & Food Symposium, 7:30-10:30pm, The Grand Rapids Public Museum, 272 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids. 800.442.2771. wgvu.org. At West Michigan’s premier wine-tasting event, guests can enjoy more than 300 wines and beers from around the world, gourmet selections and classical music.

Mar 6 Spring Fling, 6pm, Blue Chip Casino, 777 Blue Chip Dr, Michigan City. 219.872.4499.

Michigan

Feb 4-7 Michigan International Auto Show, 3-10pm Thu, 11am-10pm Fri, 10am-10pm Sat, 10am-6pm Sun, DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave NW,

Mar 4-7 2010 West Michigan Home and Garden Show, 3-9pm Thu, noon-9:30pm Fri, 10am-9:30pm Sat, 11am-6pm Sun, DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids. 800.326.6550. grhomeshow.

photograph courtesy of INTERNATIONAL KENNEL CLUB OF CHICAGO

The information presented in Essential Events is accurate as of press time, but readers are encouraged to call ahead to verify the dates and times. Please note that Illinois and most Indiana events adhere to central time, and Michigan events are eastern time.


Mar 31 GLLKA Mackinac Bridge Raffle, noon, Great Lake Lighthouse Keepers Association, 707 N Huron Ave, Mackinaw City. 231.436.5580. gllka.com/bridgeraffle. htm. The Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, a not-for-profit lighthouse preservation organization, is offering the chance for two people to ride the elevator to the top of the Mackinac Bridge this summer. The view from 550 feet above lake level is one of the most breathtaking in the Great Lakes area. Tickets are $5 or five for $20 and participants need not be present to win.

Illinois

Through Jan 17 Chicago Boat, RV & Outdoors Show, 2-9pm Wed, 11am-9pm Thu-Fri, 10am-9pm Sat, 10am-5pm Sun, McCormick Place—North Building, 2301 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago. chicagoboatshow. com. Now in its 80th year, the largest show in the Midwest features more than 350,000 square feet of the latest models and accessories. Highlights include a Power Boat Docking Challenge, a 40-foot-long Texas Bass Tank, Discover Boating Center, Huck Finn Trout Pond for children and an accessories pavilion. Through Feb 7 Winter on the Green, 1-3pm Sun, Breidert Green, White & Kansas Sts, downtown Frankfort. 815.469.2177 ext 243. villageoffrankfort.com. Enjoy

winter activities every Sunday in downtown Frankfort. Jan 17: Winter Carnival; Jan 24: Snow-ology with KidsWork Children’s Museum explores the science of snow with hands-on activities and crafts; Jan 31: Chili Cook-Off; Feb 7: Superbowl/Valentine’s Day Weekend, featuring free horse-drawn carriages, an Elvis impersonator and pet Valentine’s Day costume contest. Jan 28-31 15th Annual Strictly Sail Chicago, 11am-8pm Thu-Fri, 9am-7pm Sat, 9am-4pm Sun, Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago. 312.595.5700. strictlysail. com. More than 20,000 sailing enthusiasts are expected at the largest indoor sailboat show in the country, which features the latest sailboats, gear and accessories, as well as seminars, interactive displays and special events. Feb 1 Fame Fantasy Food Adventure Auction, 5:30pm, The Peninsula, 108 E Superior St, Chicago. 312.443.3811 ext 586. goodmantheatre.org. Guests at this auction, facilitated by ABC-7 news anchor Kathy Brock, can bid to win exotic vacations to London, Russia, Tokyo and Shanghai, or dinner for ten in the private home of celebrity chef Art Smith. Silent auction items will include Chicago Bulls penthouse suite tickets, a walk-on role in the Goodman’s 33rd production of A Christmas Carol and more. Feb 6 2nd Annual Art Sharks, 6pm, John G. Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago. 312.692.2713. sheddaquarium. org. This unique event returns for its second year to help raise funds for the Shedd

Aquarium’s educational programs. Guests will enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while admiring an amazing display of art from all over the country and taking notes on which piece they would like to “swim away” with. After dinner, one name will be called every ten seconds, giving people just a short time to claim the artwork they had their eye on. Feb 11-21 Chicago Auto Show, First Look for Charity, 6:30-10:30pm Feb 11; 10am-10pm Feb 12-20; 10am-8pm Feb 21, McCormick Place, 2301 S Martin Luther King Dr, Chicago. chicagoautoshow.com. Auto enthusiasts trek to this annual convention— celebrating its 102nd anniversary this year—of more than 1,000 of the newest cars, trucks, SUVs and concept cars, all displayed within the colossal confines of McCormick Place. Feb 26 6th Annual Mid-Winter Benefit, Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N Clark St, Chicago. 312.742.2163. lpzoo.org. The historic and elegant Café Brauer will be the setting for one of the hippest young professionals’ parties of the season, featuring dining and dancing. The proceeds from the cocktail evening go to support the Conservation and Science Department and Lincoln Park Zoo, which conducts significant research and field conservation programs all over the world. Mar 6-14 16th Annual Chicago Flower & Garden Show, 10am-8pm Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm Sun, Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago. chicagoflower.com. New to the colorful event this year will be a plant varieties exhibit, which will feature new impatiens, the latest in drought-resistant

plants, new vegetable and fruit hybrids, and more. Returning attractions include the horticulture competitions, theme gardens, seminars, a marketplace, cooking demonstrations and much more.

exhibitions Indiana

Through Feb 7 The Elvis Tribute Show—A Diamond Jubilee, The Center for Visual & Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Rd, Munster. 219.836.1839. southshoreartsonline.org. In preparation for the 75th anniversary of the birth of Elvis Presley, South Shore Arts is featuring 33 never-before-seen photos from the CBS archives of the legendary musician, his friends and imitators. Through Feb 25 Wildlife—Wood and Bronze, Fire Arts, Inc., 305 E Colfax Ave, South Bend. 574.282.2787. fireartsinc. com. Wildlife sculptor Wayne Andrews is an avid bird watcher and it shows in his work. Specializing in sculptures of birds of prey, Andrews has worked with clay, wood and cast bronze. Through Mar 7 Markings—Koo Kyung Sook, Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame. 574.631.5466. nd.edu/~sniteart. The work of Korean artist Koo Kyung Sook comes to the Snite Museum of Art, showing off his markings on mulberry paper. Also, Jan 17-Feb 28: The World of Piranesi. Through Mar 21 Thomas H. Kapsalis—

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com. Visitors will find a myriad of exhibitions for home products and services, interior/ exterior design and remodeling, gardens and seminars for home improvement, gardening and cooking.


essential EVENTS Artist’s House Paintings and Sculpture, 1947-2008, Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University Center for the Arts, 1709 Chapel Dr, Valparaiso. 219.464.5365. valpo.edu/artmuseum. Thomas Kapsalis has become one of Chicago’s great abstractionists after graduating from the School of the Art Institute in the late 1940s. Jan 30-Apr 18 The New Moderns— In Search of Form, Lubeznik Center for the Arts, 101 W 2nd St, Michigan City. 219.874.4900. lubeznikcenter.org. Works by seven internationally known artists, including Tom Brand, Eleanor Himmelfarb and Richard Lange, will be on view at the Lubeznik Center. Each piece is done in an abstract manner in the artists’ exploration of form. Also, Jan 30-Apr 18: Seeing the Light.

Michigan

Through Feb 21 The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo. 269.349.7775. kiarts.org. Featuring such recognizable characters as Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird and the Tasmanian Devil, this exhibit consists of more than 160 drawings, paintings, “cels” and related art objects used to make the classic cartoons since the 1930s. Although they might not be thought of as “art” at first glance, this exhibit strives to show the development of all the characters and a step-by-step breakdown of how animations are created. Also, Jan 23-Apr 18: Woodcuts in Modern China, 1937-2008—Towards a Universal Pictorial Language. Through Mar 1 Micro/Macro—Fresh Views of Saugatuck & Douglas, Bertha Krueger Reid Exhibition Hall, Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver St, Saugatuck. 269.857.2399. sc4a.org. Saugatuck and Douglas are shown in new ways at this event, which features stunning aerial views of the landscape alongside close-ups from the same spaces. Feb 26-Apr 25 Abstract Organic— Ceramic Sculptures by Yumiko Goto, Gallery III, Krasl Art Center, 707 Lake Blvd, St. Joseph. 269.983.0271. krasl.org. Drawing upon a childhood connection with nature, Yumiko Goto creates ambiguous and abstracted organic ceramics. Her unique artwork evokes transcendence, beauty and softness. Also, through Feb 21: Supporting Artists—Krasl Art Center Members’ Exhibition; Feb 26-Apr 25: Grand Valley State University Ceramics Exhibition—Instructors, Students & Alumni.

Illinois

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Through Feb 2 The House Beautiful— Arts and Crafts Architecture, Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago. 317.443.3600. artic.edu/ aic. Exploring how the Arts and Crafts movement has influenced architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, this exhibit will feature books and photographs from the Ryerson and Burnham libraries. Also, through Jan 31: Apostles of Beauty—Arts and Crafts from Britain to Chicago; through Apr 18: Heart and Soul—Art from Coretta Scott King Award Books, 2006-2009; through Jun 30: 500 Ways of Looking at Modern. Through Feb 14 Italics—Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution, 1968-2008, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago. 312.280.2660. mcachicago.org. This groundbreaking exhibition strives to examine the revolutionary art production and experimentation of more than 80

artists who have worked to create thoughtprovoking dialogues across generations and cultures. Also, through Jan 31: Daria Martin—Minotaur. Through Mar 28 The Nature of Diamonds, The Field Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago. 312.922.9410. fieldmuseum.org. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but men and women alike will be able to examine the unique properties of this gem in its natural state. Ancient manuscripts, compelling multimedia and evocative exhibits will help visitors explore the many facets of diamonds and be dazzled by breathtaking pieces from Cartier, Fulco di Verdura and works from Tiffany & Co. designed by Frank Gehry and Elsa Peretti. Also, through Feb 28: Bunce Island—A British Slave Castle in Sierra Leone.

film Indiana

Cinemark at Valparaiso, 700 Porter’s Vale Blvd, Valparaiso. 219.464.0260. cinemark. com. This brand new theater has 12 screens and digital sound. The all-stadium seating has comfortable chairs that rock to your comfort. Experience box office hits in this theater that opened in May 2008. Portage 16 IMAX, 6550 US Hwy 6, Portage. 219.764.7569. portage16imax. com. The brand-new Portage 16 IMAX showcases blockbusters as well as electrifying 3D films that are uniquely suited to the IMAX format. With projected images up to eight stories high and a spectacular, wraparound digital surroundsound system, this theater offers a totalimmersion moviegoing experience. The Town Theatre, 8616 Kennedy Ave, Highland. 219.838.1222. towntheatre. net. This charming movie house in downtown Highland has been screening fine American, independent and foreign films since 1946. Filmgoers in the 425-seat vintage theater—complete with bright red seats—are offered the opportunity to stretch their legs during the unique intermission, at which time they are encouraged to discuss the film and savor a free treat.

Michigan

The Vickers Theatre, 6 N Elm St, Three Oaks. 269.756.3522. vickerstheatre.com. Home of the annual “Sound of Silents Film Festival,” this painstakingly restored turn-of-the-century art house screens a variety of notable independent films. A lofty, two-story gallery space, showcasing the works of Midwestern artists, is open to the public before and between shows. Further enhancing its art-house cachet, the Vickers hosts live music, performance art and poetry readings on its stage.

Illinois

The Gene Siskel Film Center, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 164 N State St, Chicago. 312.846.2600. siskelfilmcenter. org. This film center—renamed in 2000 for its most passionate supporter, the late film critic Gene Siskel—has been exhibiting critically acclaimed, as well as entertaining “motion picture art” in its state-of-theart facilities since its inception in 1972. Presenting more than 100 films each month, the center showcases cutting-edge, independent features and classic revivals, as well as premieres of new American and foreign films. From hosting the “Annual Festival of Films from Iran” to The Grapes of Wrath, the diverse offerings have

quality in common. A focus on education is supported by guest lecturers, discussions and courses, and film-related exhibits can be viewed at the on-site gallery/café.

performance Indiana

Blue Chip Casino, 777 Blue Chip Dr, Michigan City. 219.879.7711, 888.879.7711. bluechipcasino.com. The Stardust Event Center at Blue Chip Casino, with its 1,200 seating capacity, is perfect for concerts and theatre productions, while its two lounges showcase local bands and performers from across the country in a more relaxed, casual environment. Feb 6: Blake Shelton. Chicago Street Theater, 154 W Chicago St, Valparaiso. 219.464.1636. ctgonline. org. Now in its 55th season of bringing live theatrical entertainment to the greater Northwest Indiana region, the CST presents a variety of plays and musicals each season, in addition to regularly scheduled theater classes for both adults and children. Jan 28-Feb 13: The Pillowman; Feb 26-Mar 7: Ascension Day. DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame Campus. 574.631.2800. performingarts. nd.edu. The state-of-the-art, 150,000-square-foot facility, newly opened in 2004, is host to some of the world’s most celebrated artists. In addition, its stages showcase student, faculty and community performers, as well as the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, Southold Dance, the Notre Dame Symphony, the South Bend Civic Theatre and more. Jan 21-23: L.A. Theatre Works presents RFK— The Journey to Justice; Jan 27-29: Romeo & Juliet; Feb 4-6: Richard Alston Dance Company; Feb 7, 14: Verdi; Feb 12: Notre Dame Symphony Winter 2010 Concert— Musical Valentines; Feb 23-28: Eric Coble’s Natural Selection; Mar 14: South Bend Symphony Orchestra—Viennese Vignettes; Mar 19: Notre Dame Glee Club Spring 2010 Concert; Mar 20: Danú; Mar 27: Kronos Quartet and Wu Man. Footlight Players, 1705 Franklin St, Michigan City. 219.874.4035. footlightplayers.org. This community theater group has been entertaining audiences in Michigan City for more than 50 years with its productions of dramas, comedies and musicals. Feb 5-7, 12-14, 19-21: Closer Than Ever. Front Porch Music, 505 E Lincolnway, Valparaiso. 219.464.4700. frontporchmusic.com. This self-proclaimed “Picker’s Paradise” is the mecca for guitar and string instrument players in Northwest Indiana, offering instrument sales, repair, instruction and a coffee house for frequent live performances. Jan 30: Chris Proctor. Horseshoe Casino, 777 Casino Center Dr, Hammond. 866.711.7463. horseshoehammond.com. World-class gambling and top-name entertainment combine to create an unprecedented experience at this 350,000-squarefoot casino. The Venue, the casino’s 90,000-square-foot entertainment facility, hosts some of the hottest Chicagoland entertainment. Jan 22: Carlos Mencia; Jan 29: Human Nature; Feb 12: Air Supply; Feb 19: The Music of Led Zeppelin; Feb 25: Aaron Lewis of Staind. LaPorte County Symphony Orchestra, performances in LaPorte and Michigan City, 614 Lincolnway, LaPorte. 219.362.9020. lcso.net. This exciting

orchestra offers a variety of concerts throughout the season—including classical, pops, chamber, children’s and family. Mar 7: Symphonic Scenes. The Memorial Opera House, 104 E Indiana Ave, Valparaiso. 219.548.9137. memorialoperahouse.com. As the name suggests, this renovated, 364-seat building—with red, white and blue stained-glass windows—was built as a living memorial to the Civil War veterans of Porter County. Built in 1893, the theater has a rich history as a venue for musical and dramatic performances, including appearances by John Philip Sousa and the Marx Brothers. Feb 5-7, 12-14, 19-21: The Andrews Brothers. The Morris Performing Arts Center, 211 N Michigan St, South Bend. 574.235.9190, 800.537.6415. morriscenter.org. The home of the Broadway Theatre League, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and the Southold Dance Theater, the 2,560seat Morris Performing Arts Center has enraptured audiences in the heart of downtown South Bend for more than 75 years. Jan 22-24: Menopause—The Musical; Jan 29-30: The Drowsy Chaperone; Feb 5: Ron White; Feb 13: South Bend Symphony Pops presents “Broadway Rocks”; Feb 14: Sinbad; Feb 25: Brian Regan; Mar 12-13: RAIN—A Tribute to the Beatles; Mar 21: Celtic Woman; Mar 27: South Bend Symphony Pops presents “Benny Goodman Tribute.” Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, various venues. 219.836.0525. nwisymphony.org. Conducted by the charismatic Kirk Muspratt, this professional orchestra performs concerts that range in atmosphere from the whimsical pops series to the edifying and inspirational maestro series, many of which offer pre-concert discussions with the conductor an hour before the concert. Feb 13: Romantic Rhythms; Mar 20: War & Peace. Star Plaza Theatre, I-65 & US 30, Merrillville. 219.769.6600. starplazatheatre.com. With 3,400 seats arranged in two intimate seating levels, the theater consistently hosts premier performers year-round. With its convenient location in the heart of Northwest Indiana’s shopping and dining district and its proximity to the adjoining Radisson Hotel, the Star Plaza offers a total entertainment package to area theatergoers. Jan 30: Salute to the 60s; Feb 13: The Dramatics, the Chi-Lites, the Delfonics, with special guest Billy Paul; Mar 6: Chi-Town Blues Festival; Mar 26: Mitzi Gaynor; Mar 27: George Thorogood & the Destroyers with special guests, the Fabulous Thunderbirds. The Theatre at the Center, Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Rd, Munster. 219.836.3255. theatreatthecenter.com. This theater, just 35 minutes from downtown Chicago, has the distinction of being the only professional equity theater in Northwest Indiana, and showcases the artistry of professional actors, musicians and designers from throughout the Midwest. Feb 19-Mar 21: Noises Off. Towle Community Theater, 5205 Hohman Ave, Hammond. 219.937.8780. towletheater.org. To honor its mission of nurturing and celebrating local talent in the arts, the Towle Community Theater presents exhibitions, theatrical productions and musical performances in the heart of downtown Hammond. Feb 12-13: Indiana Ballet Theater/IU Northwest Dance Company; Feb 26-28, Mar 5-7, 11-14: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.


Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids. 616.454.9451 ext 4. grsymphony.org. Recognized as one of America’s leading regional orchestras, this Grammy-nominated symphony provides the orchestra for Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. The orchestra’s eight concert series with performances designed for young children through adults feature a wide range of repertoire. Jan 28-30: Voices of Light; Feb 2: The Music of Elton John with Jeans ’n’ Classics; Feb 5-6: Beethoven Violin Concerto; Feb 19-20: A Night of Romance; Feb 27: Symphony with Soul—Too Hot to Handel; Mar 12-14: Rodgers and Hammerstein at the Movies; Mar 1920: Monteverdi Vespers; Mar 26-27: Storytelling, with Midori. The Howard Performing Arts Center, Andrews University, Berrien Springs. 269.471.3560. howard.andrews.edu. This $14 million acoustically superior auditorium provides a spectacular performance venue for university orchestras and choirs, community music groups and visiting musicians. Jan 30: Jaci Velasquez; Mar 2: Soweto Gospel Choir; Mar 6: Pianist Chi Yong Yun. Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, various venues. 269.349.7759. kalamazoosymphony.com. Founded in 1921, this outstanding ensemble entertains the Kalamazoo area with a classical subscription series, annual holiday presentations, chamber orchestra concerts, free summer park concerts and various educational programs. Jan 29-30: Winter Evening; Feb 5: The Music of Queen; Feb 19: Celebrating Strings; Feb 28: Peter and the Wolf; Mar 19-20: Spring Evening; Mar 27-28: Gershwin & Ellington. The Livery, 190 5th St, Benton Harbor. 269.925.8760. liverybrew.com. As its name suggests, the Livery is a former horse stable, residing in the Arts District of downtown Benton Harbor. Not content to just offer its twelve taps of microbrew, an outdoor beer garden, an appetizing soup and sandwich menu, and a coffee bar, the Livery is also a venue for an eclectic variety of musical performances. Jan 23: Whitey Morgan & the 78s; Jan 31: April Verch; Feb 5: Acoustic Café; Feb 19: SMSO Around Town Series; Feb 26: Red Sea Pedestrians; Mar 20: Brooks Williams with Beaucoup Blue. Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver St, Saugatuck. 269.857.2399. sc4a.org. This not-for-profit arts center hosts high quality arts programming year-round. Activities and events include art exhibits, classes and workshops for adults and children, and both intimate smaller performances for up to 50 people in their performance studio and larger performances in the Bertha Krueger Reid Theatre. With 412 seats arranged in only 13 rows, it retains the intimacy of a small venue. Jan 30: Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus.

Van Andel Arena, 130 W Fulton, Grand Rapids. 616.742.6600. vanandelarena.

West Michigan Symphony, Frauenthal Center for Performing Arts, 425 W Western Ave, Muskegon. 231.727.8001. westmichigansymphony.org. With eight pairs of concerts a year, the West Michigan Symphony has played a leading role in the region’s cultural community for almost 70 years. It has helped bring a renewed vitality and life to the center of Muskegon and with it, the historic Frauenthal Theater, a 1,729-seat venue with extraordinary beauty, excellent acoustics and sight lines. Feb 26-27: Beethoven & Blue Jeans, “Catch a Rising Star”; Mar 2627: Broadway Pops, “The Three Phantoms in Concert.”

Illinois

Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E Parkway, Chicago. 312.902.1500. auditoriumtheatre.org. A National Historic Landmark and a mainstay of Chicago architecture and theater since 1889, the Auditorium continues to provide unparalleled ballet performances and a variety of artistic productions. Jan 16-17: Too Hot to Handel—The Jazz-Gospel Messiah; Jan 19-24: Annie; Feb 17-28: Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella; Mar 2-3: Further; Mar 13-14: Ballet Folklorico; Mar 20-21: Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty; Mar 24-28: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Broadway in Chicago, various venues, Chicago. 800.775.2000. broadwayinchicago.com. A joint venture between the two largest commercial theater producers and owner/operators in the U.S., Broadway in Chicago offers the finest of professional stage productions in multiple theaters, most residing in Chicago’s lively Loop. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E Parkway. Jan 19-24: Annie. Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W Randolph. Jan 19-31: Dreamgirls; Feb 2-14: August—Osage County; Feb 16-28: The 101 Dalmatians Musical; Mar 2-7: An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin; Mar 23-Apr 4: Beauty and the Beast. Ford Center for the Performing Arts/Oriental Theatre, 24 W Randolph. Beginning Mar 18: Billy Elliot the Musical. Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N River Rd, Rosemont. Jan 19-24: Mamma Mia! The Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University, 1 University Pkwy, University Park. 708.235.2222. centertickets.net. The Center for Performing Arts is celebrating 11 years of promoting cultural enhancement on the South Side of Chicago through worldclass performing arts productions and arts education. Jan 17: Teatro Lirico D’Europa presents Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus; Jan 23: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago; Jan 30: Harmonious Wail; Feb 13: John Mueller’s Winter Dance Party, a Tribute to Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens; Feb 20: Aries Spears; Feb 27: Rachael Price; Mar 14: Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway; Mar 20: Los Lobos; Mar 27: The Millers. Centre East, 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie. 847.679.9501. centreeast.org. The Centre East presents an outstandingly diverse selection of multi-genre entertainment for audiences of all ages in its state-of-theart facility. Jan 21-24: The Capitol Steps;

Jan 30: Bob Woodward; Feb 5: Paula Poundstone; Feb 13: Frank Sinatra, Jr.; Feb 20: The Second City 50th Anniversary Tour; Mar 13: Randy Cohen. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier, 800 E Grand Ave, Chicago. 312.595.5600. chicagoshakes.com. Prominently located on Navy Pier in Chicago, this venue mounts renowned productions of the plays of William Shakespeare, as well as works from distinguished American and international playwrights and directors. The theater’s mission to reach out to younger audiences is well accomplished with its offerings of children’s productions and student matinees. The architecturally dynamic structure, new in 1999, houses both an engaging 500-seat courtyard theater and a 200-seat black box theater. Through Mar 7: Private Lives; Jan 23-Mar 7: Short Shakespeare; Mar 17-21: Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Chicago Sinfonietta, Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, 2205 S Michigan Ave, Chicago. chicagosinfonietta.org. In its pursuit of “Musical Excellence through Diversity,” the Chicago Sinfonietta—the official orchestra of the Joffrey Ballet— presents compelling, innovative works, often by composers and soloists of color. Jan 17-18: A Dream Unfolds—Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Mar 28-29: Las Américas. The Chicago Theatre, 175 N State St, Chicago. 312.462.6300. thechicagotheatre.com. The Chicago Theatre has been a prototype for area theaters since 1921. With its lavish architecture and an elegant stage, the Chicago Theatre seats 3,600 and stands seven stories high. Jan 29-31: Jim Gaffigan; Feb 12: An Evening with Lewis Black; Mar 18: Experience Hendrix. The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, 1306 S Michigan Ave, Chicago. 312.344.8300. colum.edu/dance_center. One of Chicago’s leading showcases for national and international contemporary dance, and home of Chicago’s longestrunning modern dance company, the Dance Center also focuses on challenging Chicago and the Midwest with guest artists, instruction and community outreach. Jan 22-23: Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan; Feb 4-6: Koosil-ja/ danceKUMIKO; Feb18-20: JUMP RHYTHM Jazz Project; Mar 4-6: Troika Ranch; Mar 18: Wayne McGregor, Random Dance. The Goodman Theatre, 170 N Dearborn St, Chicago. 312.443.3800. goodmantheatre.org. Since 1925, the Goodman Theatre has provided entertainment to the Chicago area; however, a new, state-of-the-art twotheater complex was completed in 2000— 75 years to the day after the dedication of the original—and resides in the vibrant North Loop Theater District within walking distance of fine hotels and restaurants. Jan 16-Feb 24: Hughie/Krapp’s Last Tape; Mar 13-Apr 18: A True History of the Johnstown Flood. Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph, Chicago. 312.704.8414. harristheaterchicago.org. Now in its fifth season at its home in the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park, this modern state-of-theart theater guarantees that the audience will enjoy a wide variety of performances in an intimate setting. Jan 22-23: The Dance Center of Columbia College presents Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan, “Moon Water”; Jan 27: Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo; Jan 30: New Millennium Orchestra, “DJ Beethoven”;

Feb 12-13: River North Chicago Dance Company, 20th Anniversary Valentine’s Weekend Engagement; Feb 20: Chicago Premiere of Cross That River, Mar 1: Handel and the Royals; Mar 6: Sharon Isbin and Mark O’Connor; Mar 29: Monteverdi Vespers of 1610; Mar 31: Double Play—Bach, Mozart, Haydn. Lyric Opera of Chicago, Civic Opera House, Madison & Wacker, Chicago. 312.332.2244 ext 5600. lyricopera.org. The world-class Lyric Opera enraptures audiences with its spectacular artistry, performing in one of the most unique theaters in the world. The recently refurbished Civic Open House not only is an elaborate treasure on the inside, but it is architecturally distinctive as well, shaped like a throne facing the Chicago River. Through Jan 29: Tosca; Jan 23-Feb 22: The Elixir of Love; Feb 6: Fantasy at the Opera; Feb 20-Mar 17: The Damnation of Faust; Feb 28-Mar 27: The Marriage of Figaro; Mar 7, 14, 21: Guild Board Backstage Tours. The Paramount Theatre, 23 E Galena Blvd, Aurora. 630.896.6666. paramountarts.com. The Paramount Theatre is an opulent historical landmark that boasts superior acoustics and luxurious seating, and offers an array of celebrity entertainers, world-class Broadway shows, challenging cutting-edge performances, and respected comedians. Feb 6: The Drowsy Chaperone; Feb 7: Moscow Circus; Feb 11-21: Cocktails with Larry Miller; Feb 12-13: Kenny Rogers; Feb 21: Ailey II; Mar 5: Joan Rivers; Mar 18: Tchaikovsky Ballet Spectacular; Mar 20: The Wedding Singer; Mar 27: The Second City 50th Anniversary Tour. Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E Main St, St Charles. 630.584.6342. pheasantrun.com. Acclaimed throughout Chicago and the Midwest for its entertainment, Pheasant Run Resort features theater at its new Mainstage and Studio theaters, comedy at Zanies Comedy Club, and live music, entertainment, art exhibits and shopping at its own version of Bourbon Street. Jan 2223: Mike Toomey’s TV & Me; Feb 4-Mar 28: Over the Tavern; Mar 13: Flanagan’s Wake. Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N Halsted, Chicago. 312.335.1650. steppenwolf.org. The Chicago-based cast—recently joined by William Petersen—is an internationally renowned group of 42 artists, committed to the art of ensemble collaboration. Now in its 34th season, Steppenwolf continues to fulfill its mission by offering intriguing performances and taking artistic risks. Through Feb 14: American Buffalo; Jan 21-May 23: The Brother/Sister Plays; Feb 18-Apr 25: Garage Rep (Merle Reskin Garage Theatre, 1624 N Halsted); Mar 13: Joe Frank in Is There Something Wrong? An Evening of Spoken Word and Music. Victory Gardens Theater, various venues. 773.871.3000. victorygardens.org. As one of the country’s most respected midsized professional theater companies, this Tony Award-winning theater is dedicated to serving playwrights and producing world premiere plays. Programs include five mainstage productions with emphasis placed on the development of an ethnically and culturally diverse community of arts. Jan 22-Feb 28: Blue Door; Mar 19-Apr 25: The Lost Boys of Sudan. For more events and destinations, please go to visitshoremagazine.com.

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, various venues. 269.982.4030. smso.org. This versatile orchestra offers a traditional Mendel Mainstage Series, small ensemble works in the Around Town Series, and the Performing Artists series, which showcases a wide range of styles with guest artists. Feb 13: 50 Years of Motown; Feb 19: Selections from Rent; Mar 20: American Creativity.

com. Ranked second on Billboard Magazine’s 2003 Top 10 Arena Venues for its size, this $75 million 12,000-plus capacity arena offers world-class family shows, concerts and sporting events to the increasingly popular Grand Rapids area. Jan 23: Brad Paisley with special guests Miranda Lambert and Justin Moore; Feb 26: Jeff Dunham; Feb 27: Tim McGraw.

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n the cold, harsh Many an aspiring foodie has fluorescent light of the bought into the epicurean kitchen, of course, reality fantasy at one time or another. often looks a lot less like Start with one remarkable reality TV. Not only does restaurant meal, stir in a one come to a greater generous helping appreciation of the skill and creativity needed of encouraging to craft those wonderful meals, but on a far more culinary media, practical level, the trouble of tracking down all of add a bit of the necessary ingredients and equipment to bring inflated selfa certain dish to life itself often proves too daunting confidence and a hurdle to clear. a pinch of bold Perhaps nowhere is this particular culinary coimpetuousness, nundrum more pronounced than when attempting and voila—you’ve to re-create an at-home version of a favorite ethnic just cooked up dish. After all, most mainstream supermarkets the belief that aren’t stocking imported Manchego next to the you might be able American cheese slices or asking Uncle Ben to share shelf space with Dubraj rice from India. But as to replicate that the population of quality ethnic restaurants continevening’s gourmet ues to expand along the Lake Michigan shoreline magic at home. and its surrounding environs, many area patrons are indeed beginning to see the creative cuisine of some amazingly talented chefs as a jumping-off point for ethnic experiments of their own.

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STIRRING THE MELTING POT Fortunately, those willing to seek out the authentic necessities needed to pursue this newfound passion will find a number of intriguing options that go worlds beyond the afterthought corners of massproduced fare that long constituted the full range of ethnic offerings at many local supermarkets. Throughout Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan, a small but vibrant band of ethnic food retailers is helping to serve a growing demand for the specialty spices, produce and meats—not to mention some of the unique cookware and accessories—needed to bring the flavors of the globe into home kitchens. “Thirty years ago, you would have had to really go looking to find anything imported,” says Carlos Rivero, the chef and owner of 25-year-old Spanish mainstay Don Quijote restaurant in Valparaiso, Indiana. “Now it’s around almost every corner.” In many ways, neither the burgeoning popularity of more globally adventurous home cooking nor the growing local availability of authentic ethnic ingredients should come as much of a surprise. For many, the allure of ethnic cooking is rooted, in fact, in their roots, and the Lake Michigan area has long been home to a variety of robust immigrant populations. With its vibrant, decades-old Polish and Hispanic enclaves joined in more recent times by several strong Asian communities, many third- and fourth-generation family members on this rich cultural palette share a desire to simply recapture and carry forward the culinary traditions and comforts of their own upbringings. Other aspiring ethnic home chefs, mean-

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with having impeccable culinary skills or working with the most advanced equipment or exotic ingredients, but rather just approaching things with an open mind. In other words, maybe there’s something to be said for the “everyone can do it” philosophy so prevalent in today’s culinary zeitgeist, and maybe that dream of re-creating a great ethnic meal at home needn’t be such a dream after all.

REDEFINING “TAKEOUT” Whatever the motivation, these ambitious cooks are all fanning out in search of specific spices and ingredients that most of the megastores just don’t carry. The growing interest of many of his customers to try and re-create authentic ethnic dishes at home, in fact, was one of the inspirations for Rivero to expand the reach of his Spanish mini-empire in Valpo by opening a small retail store adjacent to his fine dining landmark. Now patrons who have just enjoyed Rivero’s take on classic paella at Don Quijote can wander over after the meal to pick up the rice, seasonings and other ingredients needed to tackle the national dish of Spain in their own kitchens. Rivero doesn’t mind the potential “competition” from home chefs in the least—in fact he encourages it, often making himself available to help coach buyers through a particular recipe or technique over the phone. “I love to get people cooking,” he says. “Some people are familiar with Spanish food and will have a definite idea about what they’re looking for when they come BERRIEN SPRINGS into the shop, but a lot of people will just ORIENTAL SUPERMARKET wander in and find new things.” 116 E Ferry St

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THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT Overall, the two chefs agree that the key to successful ethnic cooking has less to do

Berrien Springs, Mich. 269.471.5744

761 Indian Boundary Rd Chesterton, Ind. 219.983.9401 mollybeas.com

Not an ethnic store, but certainly stocked with enough just-off-the-beaten-path odds and ends—like Mung beans and dried mangos— to help round out plenty of specialty recipes.

The large foreign student population at Andrews University has given rise to a number of specialty food retailers in the area, including this go-to stop for Chef Tim Sizer.

OLD WORLD MARKET

DEROSA IMPORTS

If you happen to have any Euros left in your pocket after a trip through the artisan breads, meats and cheeses at this impressively stocked market, you should be able to find a great bottle of imported wine to wash it all down.

After almost half a century as an East Chicago institution, the DeRosa family has been going strong in Griffith for the past 35 years, adding Hungarian, Greek and Turkish specialties to round out its abundant selection of Italian meats, cheeses and oils.

PIATAK MEATS

118 N Broad St Griffith, Ind. 219.924.9552 derosaimports.com

DON QUIJOTE SPANISH IMPORTS

121 E Lincolnway Valparaiso, Ind. 219.548.2313 donquijoterestaurantandimports.com/imports With a wide array of Spanish decorations and accessories, this inviting neighbor to Don Quijote restaurant is a popular afterdinner draw for many browsers. But for those hoping to practice their paella at home, the array of spices and ingredients is a must.

76 S Washington St Valparaiso, Ind. 219.476.0700 oldworldmarketonline.com

6200 Broadway Merrillville, Ind. 219.980.3520 piatakmeats.com

Need a specialty sausage or pierogi? You’ll be hard-pressed to come up with a request that this old-school Polish butcher shop can’t cover.

TED’S IMPORTED FOODS 349 W 80th Pl Merrillville, Ind. 219.736.1069

Proprietor Chris Pavlow carries on the tradition of his family’s original Glen Park store with this sprawling emporium, which features a grocery, deli and coffee shop highlighting a variety of Greek, Bulgarian, Italian and Eastern European items.

TO MARKET, TO MARKET Local cooks trying to bring the flavors of the world to their own tables can choose from a few more local options than they might have found in the past. From spices and oils to meats and cheeses, the niche of ethnic cuisine is growing far beyond its little niche.

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BUILDING THE FOUNDATION im Sizer believes that sampling and experimentation are two of the keys for those new to Asian cooking as well. The chef and proprietor of both Timothy’s in Union Pier and the fast-Asian concept Tim’s Too in St. Joseph, Michigan, Sizer thinks that most diners these days are pretty comfortable with a variety of Asian dishes and flavors, but perhaps haven’t really tried to replicate those meals in their own kitchens. He recommends cobbling together a small pantry of Asian staples as a foundation—soy sauce, ginger, chili paste, fish oil, sesame oil, etc.—and then playing around with different recipes and spices to see what works best before expanding into more complex creations. “It’s probably a lot easier to master than most cuisines,” Sizer says. “It’s really just a matter of getting more familiar with some of the tastes and flavors and figuring out what you like best.”

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while, are just gastronomic tourists, taking inspiration from a particularly memorable restaurant meal or influential cooking show.


One of the mightiest virtues of American immigration has always been the culinary result. The grandmother throwing salt and tomatoes and oregano into a big pot or hanging noodles across delicate pieces of string, but mostly stirring, scraping, stirring the sauce with the peppers and the beef. Generation, assimilation and education conspired to lure women of Italian background out of the kitchen just enough to create the big cultural gap, the crying-out-loud need for the gigantic multilayered lasagna, the all-day project spaghetti sauce, the ďŹ&#x201A;avor-baked pizza with the crispy edges that only an oven with the size and intensity of a furnace will produce.

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TOO MANY CHOICES AND OTHER DEFINING MOMENTS OF EXECUTIVE CHEF TODD STEIN


Executive Chef Todd Stein, in charge of food at the Wit hotel in downtown Chicago—this is three restaurants including State and Lake, Roof and Cibo Matto—grew up in Chicago and always wanted to have a restaurant like Cibo Matto. “Food was always something,” he says of his Highland Park upbringing, so when he ended up at Kendall College in Evanston at the time and going to work as the lowliest of the low at Gordon at age 20, he was not surprised at all. “This is my life,” he says. “I went to Chez Paul when I was in 5th grade, one day, duh, this is what I wanted to do.” At Gordon Sinclair’s legendary restaurant (closed New Year’s Eve 1999 after 24 years) the professional die was cast for Stein. He met Keith Korn, Michael Kornick and David Burke (who became celebrity chefs) in the Gordon years before the food explosion. “Charlie [Trotter] was doing very well here and there were a handful of chefs that everyone knew about, but it was before people were What is the food like at Cibo Matto? The food I cook here is modern Italian. Bologna, Italy, has always been a part of my cooking and this is my interpretation of that. This is what Vivo Italian was, but not to this level. Cibo Matto means crazy Italian food—kind of tongue-in-cheek. In Chicago Italian cooking you can have spaghetti and meatballs, or at the other end you can go to Spiaggia. What we are doing here is using simple ingredients like cream, olive oil and cheese and we may put a duck egg on top and highlight three different mozzarellas. We have buffalo mozzarella, apples and fall ingredients like prosciutto and dates. What do you like best about your job? I like teaching my sous chefs and like teaching my cooks, being a part of watching younger people under me grow.

Did you anticipate the wild success of the Wit? Nobody expected this: it was a pleasant surprise to have a hotel in this area doing as well as it is. You can come to the building and never leave, it’s kind of cool. The owners of the hotel found my company and we first started talking a little more than a year ago [October 2008]. The food needs to speak of the room and speak of the city, and it ended up being exactly what I thought it would be. The room is beautifully designed; were you involved? A company in Atlanta, Johnson Studio, did the design. They also did Tru. The wood, the beautiful ambrosia and the communal tables. This is called a chef’s table, but it is a nonformal setting. You are watching the kitchen, the sausage and cheese cases, so you can have a communal dinner at this table [near the kitchen]. The [similar] table by the wine cellar functions in some different ways. As you can see, mozzarella is important here. Also, we have great pasta; all the pastas are made here. Those

are the two things I really focus on: our pasta and great commitment to cheese. How many people can you seat at Cibo Matto? 130 people total. What’s the best thing about your job? The quality of product and I want to thank the people who demanded those products. Because Susie Homemaker has demanded that we all have access to this quality we do. And the people who work here. We have three restaurants and all my sous chefs have worked for me before. And it’s a small staff: myself, four sous chefs, the Roof chef. The State and Lake chef has three sous chefs under him. State and Lake serves seven days a week, three meals a day. Here, we are open for lunch and dinner except Monday and serve dinner and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Who is your clientele? You talk about price points, we want for all of them to be everyday restaurants. We want quality ingredients and want Cibo Matto

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Has Mario Batali helped? Without a doubt. Spaghetti and roasted shitake mushroom salad has been on the Babbo menu since day one and that’s always on my mind.

getting into it the way they do now,” he explains. “I just wanted to be around food. I was done at work at midnight, out until 3 a.m. and back to work at 10 a.m. the next morning. The job was slaving on a line and enduring the heat and being very mechanical.” Though he did move up from a cook, graduated to sous chef and then chef and then ended up running a multimillion-dollar kitchen—like he did at the Venetian in Las Vegas for David Burke. Awhile before that, Todd had picked up on the fact that you had to know about finances to be a successful executive chef, something he was picking up in Chicago at Spruce, at Vivo and eventually at MK, where he was head chef for the stellar Michael Kornick. Todd Stein was in Atlanta when he started a discussion with the folks who opened the phenomenon that is the Wit hotel last spring. Cibo Matto is the restaurant he says he always wanted to open. I asked him a bunch of questions.

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here are more people than you might imagine who are walking around right now, thinking about Italian food. Like me: the sausage sandwich on homemade Italian bread covered with sweet peppers that in 40 years I have never been able to get out of my head. By the way, it has never been duplicated, either. So, anyway, it is not surprising when you live where we live that Italian restaurants never cease and never reach a saturation point. Just when you think you have had the greatest linguini in clam sauce possible, Chef Somebody comes along with a twist to the dish that makes you feel like you’ve been reborn.


Italian Newbies CIBO MATTO at the Wit Hotel Chicago

Chef Todd Stein’s newest restaurant on the second floor of this hot boutique hotel is the best place I have been for lunch in a decade. The selections range from simple soups, salads and sandwiches to more complicated rigatoni pasta, roasted Lake Superior whitefish and pancetta soft scrambled eggs (on top of a salad). The wine list is not complicated at all—just straightforward and right on. For dinner, the short ribs served with ricottacreamed spinach are recommended. And the desserts look mouthwatering, though I cannot say from firsthand experience that panna cotta latticello citrus mint salad, prosecco zabaglione and tarragon crisp is as good as it sounds, but it probably is. Valet parking is $10 for lunch and probably not a lot more for dinner.

CIAO BELLA Ristorante, Pizzeria and Wine Bar Schererville

Award-winning restaurateur Joe Scalzo opened this intimate bistro on U.S. Highway 41 last November and is already creating a buzz in Northwest Indiana using simple ingredients and contemporary takes on family recipes to serve authentic Italian meals. Though the menu has three risottos and more than a dozen pasta dishes, there is no denying the appeal of a hearty veal (Marsala or Piccata); grilled sweet and hot sausages over peperonata with mashed potatoes and spinach; or the innovative sautéed sea bass wrapped in eggplant, served with leeks in Chianti sauce with apples

and apricots. The wine list is captivating and you can easily make a meal out of the antipasti selections, which include carpaccio beef, tuna or octopus; fresh mozzarellastuffed prosciutto or lightly fried calamari, shrimp and vegetables in a fresh, spicy tomato sauce.

ing and delicious and the classical European entrées like spaghetti rigati alla carbonara (pancetta, green onions, parmiggiano and eggs) and ravioli prelibati (filled with veal breast and fennel) are unforgettable and cannot be duplicated anywhere else.

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This restaurant is known for such superlative steaks that the house-made minestrone and signature marinated peppers are sometimes forgotten. The menu may not have as wide a range, but focus on the staples has gained this pair of family-owned and -operated bistros a strong reputation for doing the basics well, including marinara sauce and a dynamite and possibly irresistible tiramisu. This ristorante has an outstanding selection of wines by the glass and is the perfect spot to start an evening with an appetizer or end with a nightcap, coffee and dessert.

ITALIAN STALWARTS BALAGIO RISTORANTE Homewood

Chef Mike Galderio’s traditional specialties have been updated and expanded with the recent grand reopening in a newer, larger space. The chicken scallopini, sautéed in white wine, and sausage with roasted red peppers are two of the most popular dinners, but I am a fan of the family’s chopped salad with chicken, hearts of palm and chunks of salami with a seasoning combination I love but have not been able to completely identify. (It’s probably a family secret.) Parking is abundant and free and convenient. This is the kind of restaurant you can go to once a week, always have something different and be totally happy. Of course, there are regulars who go much more often than that.

GAMBA RISTORANTE Merrillville

Benny and Hilda Gamba have built an architectural and culinary masterpiece in Northwest Indiana. The menu is a roster of dishes that are memorable, distinctive and you are not likely to find anywhere else. This is the perfect spot for an unforgettable experience. The pan-seared foie gras is amaz-

GINO’S Merrillville, Dyer

GIOVANNI’S Munster

This is another family-owned and -operated eatery that was also one of the first restaurants to innovate, hold ingredients to a higher standard and pair food and beverages succinctly. I have never had a salad that matched the crab cake salad using Bibb lettuce with a light, creamy house dressing served here, and I challenge any restaurant anywhere in the world to create a garlic-cheese-and-butter-infused and -encrusted dinner roll that is as irresistible as the rolls served to you warm right after you are seated. There are so many items that are extra special here, including the cappuccino, the strips of eggplant baked into the parmesan and the tiny meatballs in the traditional Italian wedding zuppa. The details are perfect.

particularly to be open to everybody. We don’t want it to be a special occasion restaurant. What other restaurants do you like? Blackbird. Even though I worked at Gordon, an exemplary restaurant for 23 years, Blackbird is amazing. It has great food, a great chef and it is just a wonderful room. The Bristol at Damen and Webster in Bucktown. In the South Loop, Eleven City Diner feels like an old deli in a modern sense and it’s great to see that coming back. Are you ever disappointed? We have high expectations of restaurants and grocery stores; even sports teams do lose sometimes and it’s hard. It’s like weather. The secret to success is good employees and you have to have a good time. If you forget that, then you can’t ever be a great restaurant. If you want to work hard and have fun—please don’t get into this business if you just want to be Emeril, if you’re not into it—this business has a lot of perks. What’s your favorite vegetable? Celery. It’s the most underutilized vegetable in America. It makes a great relish, in a salad, shaved with radishes. It works well with something with a little bit of taste, capers and olive oil. What’s the riskiest item you ever put on the menu? People in Chicago are great diners and I think they know what they want, so in that sense it is very easy to cook in Chicago. But I put octopus on the menu at MK. It was a best-selling dish and it is still on the menu there. And it’s on the menu here. And MK is a great Chicago restaurant, no matter who is cooking in the kitchen. It is a comfortable room and the service is topnotch, always. You are so young and you’ve been to so many great kitchens. Do you ever feel like there have been times when there are too many opportunities? No doubt. We work hard. This is it for a while. Do you think you have been unfairly criticized? Sure. When critics write, they write of their experience on an evening. Not that I think I’m the only one who is right, but you want the type of criticism that makes you, that allows you to rethink things.


6 CELEBRITIES AND 1 PROFESSIONAL TAKE THE SPICE ROUTE AT THE J.W. MARRIOTT The start of The Spice Route—A Gourmet Magazine Tribute Dinner, which eventually took place at six.one.six restaurant in the Grand Rapids JW Marriott the Thursday before Thanksgiving, November 19th, was when Lisa Rose Starner, a “kitchen alchemist” then unknown to me, was lamenting the sudden demise of Gourmet magazine to JW General Manager George Aquino. Somehow the proposal for a tribute dinner came out of that conversation and then George and Lisa started contacting their friends who they thought would want to be guest chefs at the dinner. |

photography by ROBERT WRAY

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ne of the reasons that no one has ever asked me to be a chef is probably because I’m not much of a cook— my husband is a great cook—so when George Aquino asked me to be a guest chef it took a second of contemplation. I was stymied about what my contribution would be, but thought I could be helpful with the literature, the stories in Gourmet magazine and by writers who occasionally wrote for the food magazine, but were really known for their other work: people like E. Annie Proulx (The Shipping News, Brokeback Mountain); George Plimpton (Edie, Paper Lion); Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Women) and Ruth Reichl (Comfort Me with Apples, Garlic and Sapphires). Before the first meeting of the illustrious guest chefs— which had expanded to include Tommy Allen, an event producer and online contributor at rapidgrowthmedia.com; Margaux Drake, an interior designer and well-known foodie; Wes MacAllister, an engineer with Cascade who is very famous for his ability to make sauces and me, George and Lisa—my mind went to foie gras and French. Like most of the rest of the world, I free-associated Gourmet with eating and travel, which had become its niche. (Other magazines like Bon Appetit were more based on eating experiences for the time-starved consumer.) The big leap made at the first meeting was that we would do an aromatic dinner focused on the cuisine of the Middle East and Asia, bringing in the rich spices and flavors of those other worlds. Great idea. And there was plenty of literature to bolster the theme: an account of a hillside Arabian picnic, a stay at a Tibetan monastery during World War II and an article about the childhood comfort food in India. Most of these stories included massive quantities of bread, poultry and meat from goats and lambs. By the second meeting JW Executive Chef Andrew Voss was injecting sanity and reality into the discussion and ended up directing and contributing to the professional execution of the menu that was settled once and for all at the third meeting.

Chef Andrew’s handiwork included an amuse bouche, a miniature spring roll with asparagus and other fresh veggies and an amazing entrée of Moroccan Lamb Tagine, served with couscous, orange-cranberry relish and cilantro-mint chutney, in a stacked metal container that often doubles as a lunch box and eating bowl in places like Singapore. The real chef also ran interference for more emergencies than even Gordon Ramsay could have anticipated with the amateur chefs who were more or less responsible for the spiced butternut squash soup, the shaved beets and bitter greens salad with garlic balsamic vinaigrette and the Spice Route truffles. George Aquino, the only other true expert in the room, made the major decisions on the beverages: guests were given a sweet and savory spicy ginger cocktail to start, in the alcoholic (vodka) or nonalcoholic versions. The wines were shockingly good and completely unavailable in most other settings. The first was a Wyncroft Chardonnay 2005, made in very limited quantities by a family vineyard in Buchanan, Michigan, with a strong, dry and smooth flavor that manages to be brilliant and translucent at the same time. Amazing wine that you should taste if you ever get the chance. The Chateau Musar 2000, which comes from a winery in Lebanon that was founded 3,000 years ago using vines from France, has an unusual earthy and ancient flavor flowing right through a rich, deep and delicious red. This wine felt like a privilege to drink and know about. Back to the food preparation, which inevitably takes on the hustle and dodge of an athletic contest in a kitchen like the one in the JW. Several of the chefs who were able came and did prep work for the Thursday meal on Wednesday. Lisa worked with vegetables like the squash for the soup, which had to be baked and scooped, while Margaux made the ganache for the truffles and giant loaves of bread—part of her vision about the meal. There were three types of ganache that had been chilling overnight, including wine-infused and a spice-infused chocolate, that now had to be hand-rolled with layers of cocoa pow-


[this page, clockwise from left] Chutney for tribute dinner; celebrity chefs George Aquino, Margaux Drake, Lisa Rose Starner, Tommy Allen, Pat Colander and Wes MacAllister; JW Executive Chef Andrew Voss plates amuse bouche (chef’s surprise); JW Food & Beverage Director Darin Jemison watches Margaux Drake roll out chocolate ganache for truffle dessert.

nd I discovered in my research one of the great contributions that MacAusland made and Ruth Reichl noted as she edited a collection of work from articles in the For the recipes that inspired the monthly magazine over 60 JW Marriott Gourmet Tribute years. MacAusland hired a PulitDinner “The Spice Route,” go to visitshoremagazine.com. zer-winning poet named Robert Coffin to write about food where he lived and experienced it on the Northeast coast of the U.S. And so I concluded with this short passage from “Night of Venison”: “We threw knives and forks aside, seized the meat up in our hands, and bit into it. Charred black on its crust, it was tender and juicy inside. And Fred thought to upholster it with strips of bacon. We ate like three wolves. It must have been hard on towards midnight now. We were starving. We smeared the butter over the hot biscuits, bit into them. It must have been twelve below zero. First a mouthful of meat, then a mouthful of biscuit that melted like warm snow, then the third mouthful, the whisky. We ate, ate, drank; ate, ate, drank. It was the sweetest eating I have ever done, maybe, in my life.” [Then they sing. Hours go by.] “The world was so quiet, we noticed it and fell quiet, too. We sat there together, hot and alive in the midst of the vast, cold death of sky and night, and the cold, vast death of the ocean touched our feet, but could not touch us at all.”

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Sy Newhouse, in 1983. Newhouse pulled the plug in November. Though it would be hard to imagine the depths of conviction it must have taken MacAusland to build and sustain his readership before the Food Network, or Julia Child, I have a lot of respect for the pioneer foodies.

february/march 2010

der and other exterior touches into about 120 balls the size of radishes. In spite of my lack of knowledge about anything going on, I realized I could probably handle this dough-rolling. The oldest of six children, I had experience making chocolate chip cookies. Margaux fortunately agreed that she could use help, as rank an amateur as I am. I was saved from standing around with nothing to do. Though I wildly underestimated how long this ganache rolling could take, there was enough extra time that Margaux and I could pick fresh lavender from the garden on the terrace of six.one.six, clean it, chop it and mix it with cocoa to roll onto a batch of truffles. This, I believe, was our greatest triumph, the lavender-cocoa truffle with sea salt on the top. The sea salt was Chef Andrew’s suggestion, when Margaux realized the truffle needed something. Collaboration in the kitchen is essential, after all. The food and wine were fantastic, of course, and George Aquino is such a genius he figured it out so the chefs didn’t have to do much presenting other than verbally. And we got to sit at the tables and eat with our friends. Chef Tommy Allen was the master of ceremonies and he introduced each one of us and we all gave little speeches about various things. Margaux’s was the most interesting, but she probably had the most material to work with since it was the history of the Spice Route, which is at least 1,000 years old. (Even though Marco Polo didn’t start writing about his adventures and his friend Kublai Khan until the 13th century. And nobody would have read his journal if it had not been for the fact that Gutenberg invented the printing press right around the same time.) My talk was about Gourmet’s eccentric founder Earle MacAusland, who started “a magazine of good living” on the eve of WWII. MacAusland was the editor and publisher of Gourmet from 1941 until he died in 1980, and the magazine was sold to Conde Nast, a group owned by another New York City original,

[previous page, clockwise from left] Lisa Rose Starner prepares beet slices for presentation; JW kitchen staff plates crab cake; mushrooms for soup; Tommy Allen prepares cream sauce; Wyncroft Chardonnay 2005 from Buchanan, Michigan; and Margaux Drake’s truffles ready for service.


Beer and wine are America’s #1 and #2 alcoholic beverages. Although we’ve been a beer nation ever since our largely Anglo and Germanic ancestors settled in the New World, wine has been making inroads in recent years, with consumption increasing 5 percent over the past decade.

Beer People vs. Wine People BY RICK KAEMPFER

Most of us have preconceived notions of the typical beer and wine drinker. Beer drinkers tend to be men; slightly unsophisticated, regular folk. Wine drinkers tend to be women; more sophisticated and refined. Beer drinkers rarely drink wine, and wine drinkers rarely drink beer. But are those notions correct? We talked to beer drinkers and beer experts, wine drinkers and wine experts, to find out.

Beer drinker

“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.” —Dave Barry

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On a purely statistical basis, we’re still a beer nation. The average American drinks 25 gallons of beer a year, compared to only 2 gallons of wine. Survey after survey also confirms that a majority of men prefer beer to wine. So far, so good. Our stereotype is safe. Paper salesman/beer lover Dave Stern furthers the cause. He sees his fellow beer lovers through a pair of fairly heroic beer

goggles. “The beer drinker is everyman,” Stern says. “He works for a living. He’s the backbone of this great nation. There’s a reason they call him ‘Joe Six-pack’ and not ‘Joe Sauvignon.’” Ah, but not so fast. While stereotypes are often based in reality, sometimes scratching beneath the surface exposes a more complex truth. For former home-brewer Scott Placko it’s less about the image. For Placko, beer is the love of his life, and the two have no intention of breaking up anytime soon. “I am a beer person because it is one of the few things alive that rarely lets me down.” Placko’s connection is emotional. Still others love beer with a level of sophistication most often associated with wine people. Author Kim Strickland lives with such a man: “There’s the cliché of beer people being down-to-earth, regular folks and wine people being froofy snobs, but I don’t see that hold


Wine drinker

That’s why they call them stereotypes

It turns out that our preconceived notions aren’t holding up to scrutiny at all. There are beer snobs and wine pounders, wine snobs and beer pounders, men who drink wine, and yes, women who drink beer. Jill Sites has noticed the trend at her wine shop. “My business is also so beer based. Generally speaking, the men are the purchasers, but woman are definitely coming around.” Our final stereotype—that wine people stick with wine, and beer people stick with beer—is also a fallacy. More and more people are crossing over. There’s even a term for it now in the business: cross-drinkers. Mike Medina is a cross-drinker: a proud beer and wine snob. “Both beer and wine have an inexhaustible variety of goodtasting brands,” he explains. “I like to enjoy flavorful beverages when I drink.” That seems like the bottom line for lovers of beer, lovers of wine, and lovers of both, whether they are men or women, rich or poor, sophisticated or not. How does it taste? If it tastes good, enjoy.

But honey, beer is actually good for me because . . . In December of 1999, The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that found moderate beer drinking decreased the risk of stroke by 20 percent. It’s also more nutritious than wine (B-vitamins and minerals), reduces heart disease if consumed moderately (according to a 2001 Czech study), and increases the good cholesterol. Also, unlike wine, there are lowcalorie alternatives.

But honey, wine is actually good for me because . . . Wine drinkers live longer (according to a 2000 Danish study), have lower cancer rates (attributed to the resveratrol in the skin of grapes), and eat better and healthier food (according to several studies, most recently a 2005 study by the Danish Institute of Health). Also, according to a British study, a glass of wine a day reduces the risk of infection by 11 percent, and in a recent University of Michigan study, a red wine compound helped kill ovarian cancer cells in a test tube.

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“Wino Forever” (formerly “Winona Forever”) —Johnny Depp’s tattoo In one recent study, 70 percent of American women said they preferred wine to beer. And though the average American only consumes about two gallons of wine a year, 88 percent of that wine is consumed by only 11 percent of the wine drinkers. Does that mean women wine lovers guzzle it like stereotypical male beer pounders? Not exactly, but it does introduce us to a type of wine drinker that doesn’t fit the stereotype. Author Kim Strickland certainly has earned her wine credentials. Her novel Wish Club [Three Rivers Press, 2007] is about a group of female wine lovers that meet every month for a book club. Nevertheless, Kim also has a slight confession to make: “While my palate for wine has developed over the years, I still buy Charles Shaw by the case and have been known to sometimes (gasp!) keep a box of Franzia chardonnay in the basement fridge.” Steve Albrecht is a wine lover on the other end of the spectrum. Albrecht buys and sells wine as a hobby, and loves talking about it: “Wine is complex and thoughtprovoking. It reflects the personality of the winemaker. The same grape from the same plot of land can produce wildly different

wines simply by the interaction of the winemaker. To me, wine has passion.” But Albrecht also doesn’t fit the wine lover stereotype. He’s a regular guy, who likes to hang out at the bar with his buddies. Do they mock him for his love of the froufrou beverage? “The bars we usually hang out at are not known for having nice wines, so I drink beer. If we do go to a place with nice wines, I am drinking wine and they don’t say a word.” To settle what constitutes the typical wine drinker once and for all, we summoned an expert. Jill Sites is the owner of the Wine Shop at the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks. Does she think that the wine lover stereotype is more or less accurate? “Not really,” she says. “I would say that wine buyers honestly vary. More often, these days, I see men buying wines by the case, women by the bottle. As for the experts vs. novices, it is a tough thing to tell. It is my opinion that often experts don’t let you know they are experts—they either test me or keep to themselves. Novices are often very open about it, and ask for help immediately. They are the customers that come in and say, ‘I like red wines, and I’d like to spend no more than $20.’ And I can always find them something.”

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up too often. My husband Jeff is the biggest beer snob, ever. Won’t drink his Chimay unless he has the appropriate glass.” To settle what constitutes the typical beer drinker once and for all, we summoned an expert. Chris Moersch and his family own the Round Barn Winery in Baroda, Michigan. A few years ago, Round Barn introduced several styles of beer in addition to their highly acclaimed wine. At first the beer was available only at Round Barn wedding banquets, but the reaction of wedding guests was so encouraging, Round Barn decided to brew their beers yearround. Now they have wine-tasting rooms and beer-tasting rooms, which makes Chris uniquely qualified to pass judgment on the accuracy of our stereotypes. “I really think of beer drinkers in two different categories,” he says. “Domestic beer pounders and microbrew beer drinkers, those looking for high gravity beers. Believe it or not, there are just as many beer snobs as wine snobs, actually maybe even more.”


Coloma, Michigan, resident Chris Admave, 30, knows all about the uncertainty of the job market. A factory worker, he was riding a seeming roller coaster of employment—and unemployment. “I kept getting laid off,” he says. The economy was hitting him hard. • He didn’t know it, but he was about to trade in his jobsearching for a new career.

words And pHoTogrApHy By TerrI gordon

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dmave heard about the culinary arts program offered at Heartland Alliance’s Opportunity Center in Benton Harbor and decided to give it a try. He has not looked back since. “It totally gave me direction about what I want to do,” he says. After graduating the program, Admave landed a job as chef for the prestigious Harbor Shores’ new Jack Nicklaus golf course, in Benton Harbor. In golf’s off-season, Admave works part-time with the Opportunity Center. He also cooks for the Berrien County Juvenile Center. Food service fits his personality. He likes its creative aspects and the fast pace. Admave especially likes the interaction with people. “You’re not at the side of a machine all day,” he says. At the Opportunity Center, Admave’s story is not unique. After twentyfive years in construction, Patrick Chandler, 51, had had his fill of the dust and the lifting. Signing up for class, he told his brother, “I’m not going to lift anything heavier than a chicken from now on.” After graduating and serving his apprenticeship in the Opportunity Center kitchen, he came on board as an employee, where he helps train new students. “I’m where I want to be,” he says. “I’m doing what I like to do. This class helped me get there.” Marci Dixon attributes her success to the culinary arts program, too. She secured a job in an assisted living facility after graduating the cooking school. She also works part-time at the Phoenix Café, a popular eatery in Benton Harbor’s Arts District. “At the Phoenix, I help cook and serve. We make our own scones and croissants,” she says. “It’s a family-type thing. They know everybody’s name and what they like. I like being in that atmosphere.” Dixon credits the program with honing her cooking skills and upgrading her job opportunities. “I wouldn’t have the two jobs I have if it wasn’t for the Opportunity Center,” she says. She volunteers at the center when she can. According to director Rose Hunt, the culinary arts program is the “premier program” of the Opportunity Center. Hunt, with Michigan Works! and Heartland Alliance, created the center as a way to ready area residents for the local job market. The center also offers a landscaping and construction program, academic instruction, and the individual consultation and support needed for workplace success. “We have a good success rate with people staying on the job, because we offer support services,” Hunt says. “We follow up.” Program director Barbara Bell cites 233 students who have gone through the culinary arts program since its inception in July 2007. During the fourteen-week session, modeled after Heartland Alliance’s Inspirational Café in Chicago, students spend time in the classroom learning cooking terminology, food safety and work readiness—from how to read pay stubs to professional decorum. In the kitchen, they apply classroom knowledge, calculate and follow recipes, and learn technical skills like slicing and dicing, baking and frying. Finally, students learn “front-of-the-house skills,” through the Generous Table Café and Catering, where they serve lunch daily and provide occasional catering services. Graduates of the program complete a six-week internship, a win-win situation for local employers and for students. “It gives area employers an opportunity to scope


out the potential employee, and it gives the intern hands-on experience in the restaurant environment,” Bell says. A placement coordinator works to find employment for the program’s graduates. Joining the program just this year, Chef Damon Donald directs students in the kitchen and classroom. While teaching is a new experience for him, cooking is not. “I’ve been in the kitchen since I was little,” he says, “with my grandmothers and my mother, asking questions, trying to help. I always loved cooking.” Donald’s first job was at popular Henry’s Hamburgers. In the fifteen years since, he has attended cooking school and worked in area restaurants. He feels well-prepared for the work at hand. “I’ve done all the positions,” he says, “from dishwashing to line cook to head chef. I’ve got a little bit of all of it under my belt. Teaching refreshes my memory. I like it. I get to sit down and actually talk with students. Overall, it’s a great experience.”

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By Terri Gordon When that aha! moment happens and people decide to turn passion into product, they are often unprepared for the bureaucracy that accompanies starting a business.

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ucy Bland, of Fair Food Matters in Kalamazoo, learned the obstacles firsthand when someone approached her looking for a commercial kitchen they could use. When she couldn’t find one, she began working to start one. The result is the Can-do Kitchen. “The Can-do Kitchen is an incubator kitchen,” she explains, “a kitchen facility paired with services to help people start up a food business, so their food can legally be sold to the public.” The kitchen serves cooks, bakers, cooking class teachers and caterers. denise and Kara Steely are perfect examples of the kitchen’s clientele. A mother-daughter venture, they use the kitchen for baking. it’s something they kind of stumbled into, thanks to an old family recipe. “dad” Steely had his great-grandmother’s recipe for oatmeal bread. denise says they decided to “tweak” it. They added whole wheat and flaxseed meal and tinkered until they had a healthier loaf of bread that tasted great, too. denise recognized her daughter’s aptitude for baking and encouraged it. At first, they made the bread for friends and family, but before long, they were selling “Karabread” to small cafés and coffee shops. Then, they moved from their home in Wisconsin to a new one in richland, Michigan. not only did they lose their market, they lost their kitchen. denise looked and looked, and had virtually given up on the idea, when Bland phoned to say she had a kitchen. Were they still interested? “All this time, in my head, i was saying, ‘no,’ but when she asked, i said, ‘Sure!’ it was just the right time.” So Karabread is back in business, producing oatmeal breads, asiago and black pepper rolls, brownies and nutrition bars. The Can-do Kitchen is one of many ways Fair Food Matters is encouraging Kalamazoo to eat—and produce—local foods.

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atering has created some of the more exciting moments for participants in the culinary arts program. The class has worked Artoberfest in the Arts District two years in a row, and has helped the Livery and the Citadel Dance and Music Center with various functions. The biggest thrill probably occurred last May, when Chef Jean Joho—owner of Everest and Brasserie Jo, both in Chicago—helped the class cater a fundraiser for Heartland Alliance at his Southwest Michigan home. He gave the students two intense days of what he calls “a fine dining experience.” The lessons culminated in catering the event. Admave was one of the students to work with Joho. “That was a great experience,” he says. “He’s a big-time chef. He’s known all over the world. To have a cooking class with him was just [awesome].” The experience left an impression on Joho, too. “It’s wonderful to see,” he says. “They want to learn and they want to be successful in life. I was happy to do it for the school. It’s a wonderful program they have there.” The culinary arts program is popular—with its participants and with employers. The Opportunity Center has had to start a waiting list. While others wait, current students keep learning and growing and dreaming. Vanity Swift, halfway through her session, already knows what she’d like to do. “There’s a lady who tastes food on the travel network,” she says. “She goes different places. That’d be my dream job.”

The Can-Do Kitchen

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[left] Chef Damon Donald (second from right) checks on students as they deep-fry catfish for the noon meal served in the Generous Table. [below] In the classroom, students learn about cooking, the food service industry, and how to navigate the workplace environment.


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The smile is something you can’t miss and will always remember about Chef Jean Joho. He smiles and laughs frequently—partly it’s his natural enthusiastic reaction to being alive, but it is also a secret weapon he uses to make sure that you are infected and having a good time in the conversation.


“I come to Chicago in 1984. I don’t speak a word of English. I have some family, people I know, and a friend of mine took me out for dinner with the family. I see over on the cadenza, six-seven bowls, side dishes. I think they are side dishes for the main courses. And the people start dipping into the dishes. I had never seen this. We don’t have dips in France. This is rude.”

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he eyebrows are up, Chef Joho is re-creating his incredulousness. I start laughing. But he is just warming up, “. . . and when I come here, people eat this corn. French people don’t eat corn! It was tough. I was shocked at what I saw when I came here. People wanted me to pass them my plate, my dish! I don’t pass you my plate when I have my dish! I’m still shocked by the size of portions, the big hunks of meat. I’m still shocked to see a container of popcorn.” I am convulsed; he takes the drama up a notch. “I saw a guy eating in the car. I thought he was homeless. The poor man, he has to eat in a car.” I try not to spit my drink of water all over Chicago’s biggest celebrity chef. “In

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Europe, we sit down at a table like this to eat. We have a conversation. This is a whole different culture. My God, what were they doing? That’s what I saw when I came here, so the evolution, how much the consumer knows today, the appreciation of food is at a whole different level. People are traveling so much more, you didn’t have the stores you have now 25 years ago. “Everyone dipping in at the same time, it’s disgusting!” Chef Joho is shaking his head in dismay. He has never been exposed to Lipton’s powdered French onion soup with dehydrated noodles. Now I am feeling really good and having a great time in this conversation because one of the only subjects I possibly know more about than he does, is bad food. Chicagoans, NWI Regionaires, Southwest Michigan folks, all of us, have come further than Chef Joho will probably ever know. We learned quickly, we changed, we evolved. I am proud and happy just thinking about this metamorphosis. And that is exactly what Chef Joho is after when he is telling me this story. I am having a great time. He wants all the people around him to be having a great time every minute they are near him. He has nailed it. Again. This, more than any of his many skills, talents and accomplishments, is what makes him a genuine superstar. I am in a fairly typical situation in relation to Chef Jean Joho: he affected my life long before I knew who he was. It was the early ’90s. I was divorced and dating a guy I absolutely knew would take me to any restaurant in the world I wanted to go to, so of course I picked Everest, at the top of the still fairly recently built Chicago Board Options Exchange. I remember every single detail about that night: the view, what I wore, what I ate and drank. At this point in my life, I was not exactly out of it, either. I had been to all the requisite high-end places—Arnie’s, Zorine’s, Morton’s, Chez Paul, Jovan’s, Le Perroquet, the Pump Room, Gordon, George’s, Tango, Sage’s East, the Cape Cod Room, Avanzare, Rosebud (very hot at that time)—but after you get past who I was with, I can’t remember much about the food or the atmosphere at all. So I had my first real unforgettable French restaurant dining experience because of Chef Joho. Of course, I got to know him other ways too, before I met him. I learned about his visual sense by going to the Corner Bakery, where there were stacks of fresh bread and cookies piled to the ceiling with spotlights on them. I learned that he was charming and fun by going to Brasserie Jo when he was having a ladies’ hat day and everybody was trying to look like Audrey Hepburn or Coco Chanel. Brasserie Jo is, was, and always will be the gold standard in Chicago for bistros. Luckily, I have been there a dozen times. The detail in the glass on the bathroom doors was as perfect when the restaurant opened as it was a month ago. Chef Joho had been in Michigan for a few years before I knew about him specifically being there. And the reason I started hearing about him was because he did so much for local charities and arts organizations. The KitchenAid (Whirlpool) people in St. Joe, Michigan, would ask him to do things from time to time, and he likes their products so much he does. (I didn’t ask and there is no reason to believe there is a more formal arrangement between the chef


To get to Michigan, he had to first get to Chicago, where the story really begins. Born in Alsace, near the Austrian border, Joho began his career at a French restaurant when he was 13 years old. He actually had formal training later, but he was also working at a younger age at a family-owned restaurant. “I had my picture taken in a chef uniform when I was eight years old. My aunt owned a restaurant and when the other kids went to camp, I was spending time in the kitchen. In Alsace, where I was for many years, I learned to cook first.” Chef Joho had three sisters and one brother and he grew up in the middle. “My father was a successful businessman,” he explains. “And he always had to entertain, sometimes at home. So I learned very early how to be polite, how to take a customer out in a restaurant. When we made food at home, it was regional cooking. I learned that you always want to give your customer the best, this is very important.” On top of the training at home, he got a rigorous food education outside, too. He learned baking, pastry-making, butchering and cheese-making and finally went to hotel school in Strasbourg and business school. “All this learning was to get more experience, because in this business you have to know

ean Joho began working full-time when he was 13 as an apprentice for Paul Haeberlin of L’Auberge de L’Ill in Alsace. “You start an apprenticeship at age 12 to 14 at the bottom of the line,” he explains, because “you have to build yourself up through experience to be a chef after so many years in a profession.” And it is good that Chef Joho started early, because he ended up an executive chef of a Michelin 2-star restaurant running a 35-person staff when he was 23 years old. That has to be some kind of record, but at least it explains why he is way younger than the grand old man you are expecting when you finally meet him. (He is also very humble, but that has nothing to do with lack of experience.) Did he ever feel like he was missing out on his youth? Didn’t he want to be off sometimes when everyone else was off having fun? “You are in a profession to serve,” he says. “You don’t enter this profession otherwise. To be a chef and own restaurants you have so many satisfactions. You are here to serve them and you want them to eat and you want them to smile.” After France, Chef Joho worked in Germany, Switzerland and Italy for almost 10 years. “I ended up with this big back-

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photography courtesy of LETTUCE ENTERTAIN YOU

CHEF JEAN JOHO

so many different things. You have to know how a hotel runs, you have to work in a butcher shop. It’s important for me to know and touch bases with the winemakers. I never considered myself a winemaker, but I have spent a lot of time in wine cellars—that’s the fun part of the hotel and restaurant business.”

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and the appliance people. If there was, it wouldn’t matter, because Chef Joho would never speak up about a product he didn’t use and totally believe in, anyway.) Would the KitchenAid mixer that comes in a multitude of colors still have been the A-list gift of the moment for the holidays in 2009 if Chef Joho had not used it to make a pastry dish from fresh Michigan peaches at the Epicurean Classic in St. Joe last October? Probably, but we will never know for sure. We know what he was after, though. He was there to promote Michigan peaches, because that’s part of his basic mission in life. He loves Michigan peaches. He loves pretty much everything about Michigan, but that’s getting ahead of the story.


wines from Domaine Berrien.) “Many of the good ones [winemakers] are my personal friends,” Chef Joho explains. “Each one is an individual who makes what he likes. They stay humble for what they do and they have nice selections. They specialize in somewhat different areas and have good choices.”

WHY MICHIGAN The way he remembers it, Chef Joho first heard about Michigan in 1985, from the Uptons who own Tabor Hill. (David Upton died almost two years ago now.) “So I drove one day to meet a winemaker and that was the first time I realized how close we were to wine and how nice it was to see a vineyard only an hour’s drive away.” He soon met Jim Lester, the owner and winemaker at Wyncroft. “Wow, they make pretty good stuff here,” Joho discovered. “The best way to know a country every place you go is to go outside.” And so the chef had no problem meeting people. “The whole area of the Lake Michigan shore has wonderful people growing asparagus, peas, fresh fruit, beets, potatoes. I have a very good friend, Christine Ferber, and she’s one of the top jam makers in the world. She comes in here in the beginning of July and we do jams together. Bit of Swiss is one of the top five bakeries in the country.” And regarding the French artisanal cheeses, the Camembert, he says, “You cannot find any better in France. This wonderful little region is real small and it is so great to have this.” Chef Joho knows the history of the Midwest and the story of the agricultural riches and the diversity: “You have not just one kind of blueberry in Michigan, you have many. You have the best kind and that is just the beginning. There’s spinach, peaches, pumpkins, squash and walnuts. “It’s about making people happy, and that’s why the ingredients are a key point. Creating is a big word, even if you are creating a soup. Edison didn’t create electricity overnight, it happens because of an involvement on your daily work. It’s something new—it’s an evolution of your daily practice of what you are doing. If I have bad ingredients I can make no food. “Southwest Michigan is so close to Chicago, but it changes when you go to Michigan between the seaside and the countryside. There is so much going on in agriculture. I could never live somewhere where nothing grows and there are no farmers.” We all complain about the weather, but Chef Joho does not. (And this is a person who goes to Las Vegas twice a

photography courtesy of LETTUCE ENTERTAIN YOU

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ground in Italian food. That region is so different. It’s all about home-cooking,” he says. He came to Chicago for the opportunity to reopen (you would probably say rebrand nowadays) Maxim’s of Paris in Chicago in 1985. That project was then part of the empire of entrepreneur George Badonsky, back in the days when restaurateurs had real marquee value. Over the course of a few months Jean Joho brought five chefs with him from France and was able to achieve a new level in fine dining in the city. “I was the first person to have a seven-course meal that you could just come in and order. No one had a tasting menu then.” So the New York Times restaurant critic Craig Claiborne writes about Chef Joho and Maxim’s on the front page of the food section. (Joho couldn’t read English at the time enough to know what Claiborne was saying in the article, but one of his points was that Joho made the best risotto in the country.) That was a huge unexpected surprise. So then one night Rich Melman (Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, a company started in 1971 that now owns, partners with or manages 75 important restaurants, some of the biggest brand names in the business) came to eat at Maxim’s. As Chef Joho recalls, Melman probably came there more than once, actually. But one day he decided it was time to leave Maxim’s and he became partners with Melman to launch Everest in 1986 and eventually the Corner Bakery, Brasserie Jo (in Chicago and Boston) and Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas. Joho and Melman have a 25-year plan for success, he explains. And they are on target. “I brought the five chefs because I knew I could not be successful without them. The big handicap in Chicago at the time was where to find all this food. We had to get produce shipped from California and somebody to fly in fish every day. In Europe I was really spoiled. The ingredients were easy to get. Here at first I had to search to find a wonderful organic farm that raised chicken. But I did.” Cheese was pretty much the same story. In 1986, there were two companies making all the cheese and he didn’t like either one that much. He kept searching and other cheese-makers came along. Chef Joho sounds very ho-hum about these life changes, and when I question the lack of drama he says simply, “I like challenge in life and challenging is risky.” Chasing winemakers brought him to Michigan not long after he got to Chicago. (Though there is no Michigan wine on the list at Brasserie Jo, Wyncroft Chardonnay from Buchanan is on his list at Everest. Chef Joho also loves whites from Round Barn, Hickory Creek Chardonnay and the

“You are in a profession to serve, you don’t enter this profession otherwise. To be a chef and own restaurants you have so many satisfactions. You are here to serve them and you want them to eat and you want them to smile.”


month.) The weather, he says, makes the crop diversity possible, lots of different trees, lots of different grains. “I like seasons, springtime, and then harvest time you drive around and see the grapes.” Anyway, he is used to it. Latitude 47 degrees in Southwest Michigan is the same as Alsace. “Yes we have a winter, nothing wrong to have a season and I want a season to cycle. This is happiness,” he explains. “The summer is coming, you get happy. You get more relaxed in winter, sitting by the fireplace and reading a book, spending more time and sharing with other people.” The sharing part I get; somehow I can’t imagine Chef Jean Joho sitting around reading a book—maybe a computer screen, maybe his iPhone. (He is already on his second iPhone; the battery life is giving him problems. He checks the euro at least three times a day. He shakes his head—it’s up today, a tough market, he says.)

SHOW BIZ Several months ago, Chef Joho was a judge, along with Hubert Keller and Joel Bouchon, on a Frenchthemed Top Chef, the one show in the entire series that I think everyone in our world has seen. Of course, he was exactly the same on the show as he is in person. Cocked eyebrow, excellent shag haircut (Keller ought to get the number of Joho’s stylist), gorgeous smile and criticism that hit it right on. When Joho answered first, the others just couldn’t add much. Chef Joho liked being on the show because it got him together with other world-class chefs, something he can’t do that often. He is a member of a few prestigious clubs: the Relais Chateaux/Relais Gourmand, Le Grand Table Du Monde Traditions & Qualité and Maitre Cuisiniers de France, small, elite clubs of 120 great chefs from all over the world. Chef Joho attends the meetings when he can. I have a feeling it would be a fun game to spend all day naming cities and having Chef Joho tell you the best restaurant in that city. What a great iPhone app that would make. Now we are talking about Ratatouille (the movie) and getting sentimental. “I just couldn’t get over the rats, though,” Chef Joho shakes his head sadly. “But it’s true that once you have the sensation of a great dish, you want to experience it again. That’s the same reason it will never be the same or better. It is something sentimental, you remember where you ate, you can’t compare home-cooking. “I have a dish in my head for the longest time. I was only 3 or 4 years old and my grandmother made scrambled eggs—it had eggs, cream, salt, pepper and chives, and she was at a woodstove, stirring to get a certain consistency. Do I have the same ingredients, the cream, the chive, everything? Of course. But I do not know how much love she puts in the eggs. The smell no matter how you try you cannot produce it, you cannot get the emotional part.” (He loves to collect movies about food and wine.) He likes to do promotions, but has to be very picky about which ones. He was happy to appear at the Epicurean Classic in St. Joe last fall, because “it was great for Southwest Michigan to promote what’s happening there. It was part of the education. When you have all this food and beverage and entertaining and people don’t know about it, you have

to do more of that.” And that reminds him of another reason Michigan is like Alsace. “In Alsace you go see the winemakers and always taste the wine and you know how it ages. And we do the tastings in Michigan like that. [The winemakers] take the right approach; they know where they are and what they can do. Drinking Michigan wine is different than drinking a wine made 10,000 miles away. Diversity always brings life, change, culture and combinations. “I am healthy. I have a good family. I am happily married, I have a great daughter and it’s true. I have everything.” Chef Joho doesn’t have quite everything yet. He is actually about to get a new stove from KitchenAid that has a steam oven for his Michigan house. He loves to cook there when he is home, which he rarely is. He also has a pizza oven in the finished barn, where there is dining room table space for twentyfour. “My wife is great about stuff like that!” he says. “You just have to accept yourself, and you have to organize yourself. You have to make sure you spend some time with your daughter, even though you can never spend enough. There is so much you have to do in life that is so difficult that if you have a chance to do what you want to do, you just have to do it.”

Great Thoughts FROM Chef Joho Julia Child was a “fabulous teacher for the audience” and “Jacques Pepin was a perfect technician.” A wonderful combination. At Everest, Chef Joho says, he always wears his “whites.” It is a different atmosphere and feeling. His advice is to stay positive and “work it out for yourself to make it worthwhile.” Chef Joho likes to pair rich and poor: like eggs with white truffle; cabbage soup with sturgeon caviar; and turnips and foie gras. “I don’t do politics. I have never found a great chef who is a politician. And I’m still looking for a politician that has a fabulous restaurant.” “I believe the person has to eat what they like to eat. It’s nutrition, but it’s also enjoyment about what you like to do. If you are in the mood to eat barnacles, then you have to eat barnacles.”


bite & sip

food feature

By Jane Dunne

Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a city full of happy surprises for a food writer. An emerging wellspring of innovative dining options, wine and food specialty shops and farmers’ markets, it is also the home of one of the finest culinary schools in the country.

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On a crisp late September morning, I walk into the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College and shake the hand of Randy Sahajdack, the school’s genial program director who is to be my tour guide. As we begin our walk, I can’t help gawking at the sheer size and scope of the multimillion-dollar facility. Randy tells me that the Culinary Arts Program at GRCC has been awarded American Culinary Federation accreditation for three consecutive sevenyear cycles—one of only two in the nation to have earned this distinction. Pretty impressive, I think, as we walk toward that lovely, singular aroma that promises freshly baked bread ahead. On the way to the bakery, we pause for a quick look through the window of the refrigerated icing area off the pastry department, where several students wearing heavy jackets are decorating cakes. A double door swings open and I am in the center of the bread-baking area, the domain of the very welcoming Chef/ Professor Robert Garlough and a group of his students in chefs’ whites, most of whom have been at it since early morning. The bakery is the daily supplier for the Institute’s two in-house, open-to-the-public restaurants, the Heritage, a 120-seat fine dining venue offering lunch and dinner, and Art & Bev’s Bistro, a 60-seat retail deli-bakery. There is also the

off-premises McCabe-Marlowe House, a restored Victorian catering and conference center. The variety and volume of breads and rolls baked that morning is amazing—baguettes, loaves of wheat and rye, country-style rounds, perfectly baked tiny dinner rolls, and heartier buns for sandwiches are only a few examples. Enveloped in that great yeasty aroma, I can do nothing but breathe it all in as I look around at all that activity, now beginning to wind down after the busy morning’s work. Randy explains that for over 20 years, Robert Garlough had been founding director of the Institute’s Hospitality Education Department, overseeing curricular as well as operational responsibilities. In 2000, he happily returned to the classroom, assuming the position of professor of food and beverage and coordinator of HED international studies. With colleague Angus Campbell he coauthored Modern Garde Manager—A Global Perspective. My head is spinning with details of this talented individual, and also because along one side of the room, some of the students are frying and sugaring donuts. I am literally saved by the bell. Then it is off to another impeccable world-class kitchen/ classroom to meet Chef/Associate Professor Kevin Dunn, a faculty member since 2003 and an expert in vegetarian cuisine. His first-year students are honing knife skills as groups slice, dice, feather and flute vegetables, cook ethnic grains and learn firsthand about hydroponic farming. There is an air of quiet concentration in the room. Chef Dunn is a CIAHyde Park graduate and past professor at the New England Culinary Institute of Vermont. He was also the executive chef for Kellogg, and author of a vegan cookbook. He directs the Advance Food Production class that overseas the dinner service at the Heritage restaurant—the menu an eclectic blend of classic cuisine and vegetarian alternative offerings. Walking the halls again and full of questions, I learn from Randy there are eleven fully equipped kitchen/classrooms, an auditorium for larger cooking demonstrations or gatherings, board rooms for faculty meetings or for the planning of


photography courtesy of GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE

student-directed ethnic dinners in which ambience is given equal consideration (I peeked in on one such planning session). Then there are the administrative offices, student and faculty lounges, and, of course, the two restaurants and their corresponding kitchens. There is also an area out by the loading dock where ice sculpting is perfected. Secchia Institute is an enthusiastic participant and sometime winner of the National Ice Carving Association Championship. There is nothing these people don’t do!

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he student body numbers 600, with 70 percent studying to be chefs, 20 percent culinary management/ front of the house and the final 10 percent pastry. To complete the course takes 2-1/4 years and each student must spend 240 hours as an intern in the industry. Often these internships are in such restaurants as Roxanne’s or Millennium in San Francisco, the White Barn Inn on the coast of Maine, the famous Gleneagles in Scotland, and other restaurants in Maui, Oregon, and, of course, Chicago.

Through another set of double doors and I am in a totally different environment—that of a professional restaurant kitchen. Students in their “whites” have been prepping for lunch under the guidance of the very engaging Chef/Professor Angus Campbell, Culinary Arts Program faculty member for the last 16 years. Chef Angus was born and educated in Glasgow, earning the professional certifications of City and Guilds—Master Chef. With over 29 years of culinary experience, working as commis chef to executive chef in many prestigious hotel restaurants in Scotland, he emigrated to the Bahamas Hotel Training College in Nassau, where he became department chair for their Culinary Arts Department before moving to Grand Rapids. He is also chef-instructor in the Heritage Restaurant for lunch service. Chef Angus is a local Grand Rapids celebrity, having hosted his own Cooking with Angus television show on PBS. He has been a coleader on several international culinary study tours and is a popular presenter of many Institute for Culinary Enthusiasts workshops. And, of course, there is that book he coauthored with Chef Garlough. The level of energy in the kitchen is palpable and, again, the aromas are tantalizing. Best to get out of the way, we think, so it’s through yet another set of double doors into the


bite & sip

The level of energy in the kitchen is palpable and, again, the aromas are tantalizing.

Heritage dining room, an elegant upscale restaurant with sweeping views, a terrace for alfresco dining in warmer weather, and very professional student front-of-the-house personnel.

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he bountiful lunch menu at the Heritage is separated into small plates (appetizers and soups), luncheon salads that are also offered in welcome half-sizes, a choice of five main dishes and an array of desserts. Those lovely rolls from the bakery are offered, still warm and yeasty. To begin, I choose an intriguing-sounding soup called Coffee and Cream, finished with a froth of orange cream. The sweet/hot flavors of the rich soup blending with its citrus topping is wonderful. My main course—the Bahian-style tilapia served with the

manioc polenta, crispy black bean cake, passion fruit caviar and haricot vert—is a wink and a nod, I suspect, to Chef Angus’ time in the Bahamas. Everything is impeccable. As we finish lunch, Randy shows me the dinner menu, a more sophisticated “take” with tableside service, Continental cuisine and food and wine matchups. We make our way back to the kitchen and virtually applaud the culinary talent that made our lunch so memorable. Lots of smiles all around. I leave for my hotel reflecting on this rich experience. I realize I have met only a fraction of the faculty. Could they all be as talented and dedicated as the three I met? Apparently so. Randy Sahajdack’s enthusiasm and his pride in the Secchia Institute is certainly well-founded. I think about the students who are inspired to work up to their potential and I relish the idea of their successful futures. Some will stay in Grand Rapids, becoming members of its vibrant dining scene, adding more threads to the culinary fabric of this dynamic area of Michigan. Secchia Institute for Culinary Education Grand Rapids Community College 616.234.3690. grcc.edu/sice

photography courtesy of GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE

food feature


Coffee and Cream Soup (ten 6-ounce servings) This elegant soup, based on a very rich chicken broth polished with mascarpone cheese, has delicate flavors of coffee and cinnamon and is finished with frothed orange cream. The soup base must be made at least 24 hours in advance so its flavors may mature in the refrigerator. For the Soup Base

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1½ teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger ½ cup finely diced onions 1 vanilla pod, scraped, with seeds reserved 1/2 cinnamon stick, crushed 1½ teaspoons finely grated orange rind 1/2 can coconut milk 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee 1/2 ounce sweet soy sauce 1/2 cup heavy cream Chicken velouté (*see recipe below) To Make Chicken Velouté

6 cups rich chicken stock 8 tablespoons unsalted butter 12 tablespoons all-purpose flour Salt and pepper to taste

Bring stock just to a simmer in a large saucepan. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat and gradually whisk in the flour. Raise the heat to medium and whisk the butter and flour together for 1½ to 2 minutes so the flour loses its raw taste but does not brown. Whisk in the simmering stock. When the stock begins to simmer again, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Sauce should have the consistency of extra heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Set sauce aside while finishing the soup base. To Make the Soup Base

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat and add garlic, ginger, onions and vanilla pod (reserving seeds). Cook, covered, until onion is very soft (5 to 7 minutes). Add the cinnamon and orange zest and cook, covered, for another 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk, coffee, sweet soy sauce, cream and the chicken velouté. Taste and add salt and pepper, if necessary. Puree the soup base in a blender and cool quickly over an ice bath. Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours. To Finish the Soup

photograph courtesy of KOEZE COMPANY

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tablespoons good quality instant coffee powder cup room-temperature mascarpone cheese The reserved seeds from the vanilla bean Salt, pepper and (optional) a few drops of hot sauce

Remove soup base from the refrigerator and pass through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan or soup pot, discarding any solids. Heat soup until boiling. Remove from heat and beat in 2 tablespoons very good instant coffee powder and (gradually) 1 cup room-temperature mascarpone cheese, until smooth. Taste, add seasoning and keep warm. Serve soup in warm bowls. Top each serving with a dollop of orange cream and dust with cocoa powder. Orange Cream

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Zest and juice of 2 oranges ounces sugar cup cold whipping cream Cocoa powder for dusting

In a small saucepan boil the orange zest, juice and sugar until reduced by half. Cool in refrigerator. Whip cream to soft peaks and gently fold in the cool orange mixture.

The Peanut Butter Factory By Jane Ammeson

The 1940s peanut butter making machines at Koeze Company, a century-old family business in Grand Rapids, Michigan, can turn out about a thousand pounds of their Cream-Nut peanut butter an hour. “A big manufacturer can do 5,000 to 10,000 pounds an hour,” says Jeff Koeze, whose grandfather Sibbele Koeze got into the food business in 1910 and started making peanut butter in 1925. That may be why you won’t find mass-produced peanut butter at such gourmet food Meccas as Dean & Deluca, Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor and Chicago’s Fox & Obel. But Cream-Nut—Koeze isn’t sure where his grandfather got that name—is on the shelves of those stores as well as about 300 other specialty food shops in the U.S. Despite being located in the Midwest, their biggest markets are New York City and San Francisco. The Virginia peanuts used for Cream-Nut and the Spanish peanuts that go into their organic brand, Sweet Ella’s, are slowroasted using a restored vintage roaster, capable of roasting only 300 pounds at a time. “It’s the same type of roasting process you’d use for good coffee beans,” says Koeze, looking dapper with his bow tie, despite the paper hat and white smock necessitated by state laws, as he takes visitors on a tour of the plant. While he talks, workers sort out burnt nuts by hand and toss them aside before sending the remaining nuts to an old-fashioned blancher that removes the skins which can give peanut butter a bitter taste. Nearby, ribbons

of peanut butter stream into glass jars before being capped with a 1940s-style screw cap. It’s all old fashion here, from the caramel, chocolates, and peanut and cashew brittle made in copper kettles and spread by hand to the showroom where visitors can stock up on nuts, butters and candies like Koeze’s dangerously yummy CreamNut Fine Chocolates. Here, interspersed between products are such antiques as a steamdriven popcorn wagon and a Koeze delivery truck, both from the early 1900s. A collector of old peanut butter containers, Koeze has a variety of tins and pails, some of which still hold peanut butter from the early to mid 1900s, including one idea that thankfully never went national—a combination of peanut butter and ham mixed together from a manufacturer in Virginia. But don’t look for that kind of fancy here. “All that’s in our peanut butter are nuts and sea salt,” Koeze says. “It’s as simple as that. If my grandfather were here, things wouldn’t look that different—from the machines that we use to the way we make it—from when he was running the company.” Koeze Company 2555 Burlingame Ave SW Grand Rapids, Mich. 800.555.3909 koeze.com


bite & SIP Lucrezia

428 Calumet Rd, Chesterton, Indiana. 219.926.5829. 302 S Main St, Crown Point, Indiana. 219.661.5829. lucreziacafe.com. 11am-10pm Sun-Thu, 11am-11pm Fri-Sat. Lucrezia has been a Northern Italian favorite since owners Michael and Nada Karas first opened it in the mid-nineties, in a historic downtown Chesterton building. Several years later, the couple renovated the William Barringer Brown Mansion just off the downtown square in Crown Point, continuing their fine dining tradition. (In fact, Lucrezia won a 2006 and 2008 ROSE Award for “Putting Porter County on the Map.”) Signature dishes include slow cooked Chicken Vesuvio, slow cooked chicken served in a rosemary garlic sauce with roasted potatoes and fresh vegetables, and roasted lamb shank braised in its own juices accompanied with roasted potatoes and braised red cabbage. Specials include veal medallions with mustard and mushrooms topped with a roasted brandy cream sauce. Not to be missed is the zuccotto, a sinful domed-shaped chocolate sponge cake filled with white chocolate mousse and pistachios and sauced with both chocolate and raspberry. Lunch entrées average $20, dinner $30.

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ABSTRACT CAFÉ 3365 Willowcreek Rd, Portage. 219.762.8466. abstractcafe.net. Lunch is served 11:30am-4pm Mon-Sat; dinner 4-9pm Mon-Thu, 4-10pm Fri-Sat. Chef/owner Ted Zych, a graduate of the Culinary and Hospitality Institute of Chicago where he earned the President’s Award, has created a menu whose influence is French American cuisine with a global finesse. “I use as many local producers as possible and when we can we also use organic,” Zych says. Specialties include pancetta-wrapped Diver scallops served with brown butter lobster risotto and accompanied with seasonal vegetables, and a classic Beef Wellington— filet mignon topped with mushroom herb tapenade wrapped in puff pastry and served with a wild mushroom au jus. All desserts are made in house. Zych creates a cake of the day such as his white chiffon layered cake with pomegranate and blueberry filling covered with a Chantilly whipped cream icing. Not to be missed is the bourbon pecan nut tart in a linzer cookie dough cookie.

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ASPARAGUS 7876 Broadway, Merrillville. 219.794.0000. asparagusrestaurant.com. Food is served 11am9:30pm Mon-Thu, 11am-10:30pm Fri-Sat, noon9pm Sun. Interpreting the flavors of Thailand and Vietnam with a French flair, chef/owner Tammy Pham has created an extensive menu at Asparagus, named 2008 Restaurant of the Year by the South Shore Convention & Visitors Authority. Luncheon items are extensive and range from the Satay Bar, which offers, among others, skewers of Street Hawker—lightly grilled prime rib-eye seasoned with Chinese fivespice seasonings—or Bangkok Boar, grilled pork with a sweet-hot sauce. Noon entrées include five-spice duck, chicken fricassee with figs and pork sauce, and the Asparagus lunch special served with the soup of the day and a Thai chicken eggroll. The dinner menu options, as creative as what’s for lunch, also include the Satay Bar and a selection of curries as well as their signature Fish Cake Delight appetizer— seasoned Chilean sea bass, salmon, swordfish and

served with greens and grand mustard sauce and signature entrée—lobster, shrimp, mango, asparagus, peapod and onion in a gingered soy sauce. There’s an extensive wine list as well as port, cognac, imported and microbrewed beers, and a creative selection of martinis, many with an Asian touch. Lunch entrées, curries and noodle dishes range from $12 to $26; dinner items are slightly higher. Carryout is available. Not to be missed are the Chocolate Truffle Eggrolls. BARTLETT’S GOURMET GRILL & TAVERN 131 E Dunes Hwy 12, Beverly Shores. 219.879.3081. eatatbartletts.com. Lunch and dinner served 11am10pm Mon-Sun. Bartlett’s is a new gourmet grill by husband-and-wife team Gary Sanders and Nicole Bissonnette-Sanders. Located in the heart of the National Lakeshore, Bartlett’s has a cozy but very modern ambience. The menu is an exceptionally creative take on upscale roadhouse-type food. Starting off the meal are appetizers such as andouille sausage corndogs and surf & turf potstickers, as well as family style offerings like Low Country spiced boiled peanuts and smoked venison sticks. Entrées include 5-hour pot roast, whitefish fillet and linguine bolognese, ranging in price from $10 to $20. The wine list is modest but well-crafted. BISTRO 157 157 W Lincolnway, Valparaiso. 219.462.0992. bistro157.net. Lunch is served 11am-2pm Tue-Fri; dinner 5-9pm Tue-Thu, 5-10pm Fri-Sat, 4-8pm Sun. Trained in Paris at Le Cordon Bleu, chef and owner Nicole Bissonnette-Sanders has created a menu of classics—like a decadent sautéed veal and gulf shrimp, a pork rib chop with apple horseradish ham, and an herb-rubbed roasted half chicken—combined with her own creative takes on nouvelle cuisine with a number of fresh fish selections. Desserts include black chocolate-infused confections that have become standard for fine dining, and also sorbets and ice cream made from fresh fruit. There are some treasures on the extensive list of bottle wines, and many solid choices by the glass.

BON FEMME CAFÉ 66 W Lincolnway, Valparaiso. 219.531.0612. bonfemme.com. Lunch and dinner are served 11:30am-9pm Mon-Thu, 11:30am-10pm Fri, 4-10pm Sat. Available Sun for special functions. The word “cafe” may be misleading for this full-service restaurant. While the emphasis is on daily fresh seafood and pasta selections, Chef Eddie Luick has created an extensive menu he calls “American food with a fresh accent.” Set in a turn-of-the-century storefront in downtown historic Valparaiso, Bon Femme has an elegant but comfortable interior with a warm, inviting bar that’s stocked with a variety of Scotches and other fine spirits. The musts on the menu include crab cakes and oyster Rockefeller, and the pork chop is in the running for the best in the area. Vegetarian items are found throughout the menu, and seafood specials make Bon Femme Café—which was voted Best Small Fine Dining Restaurant in Northwest Indiana—a destination. BUTTERFINGERS DESSERT SHOP 2552 45th St, Highland. 219.924.6464. 921D Ridge Rd, Munster. 219.836.4202. Food is served 9am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm Sat. Every day, Butterfingers prepares a selection of ready-to-heat-and-eat entrées, along with freshly baked breads and salads, all without preservatives. Butterfingers’ two pastry chefs, whose training hails from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, and Johnson and Wales in Rhode Island, create an array of desserts, which includes beautifully decorated and delicious cakes, and an assortment of cookies and brownies, all of which have been satisfying dessert lovers for nearly twenty-five years. CIAO BELLA 1514 US 41, Schererville. 219.322.6800. ciaobellaonline.com. Food is served 11am-10pm Mon-Thu, 11am-11pm Fri-Sat, 10am-10pm Sun. The cuisines of three different regions of Italy are featured at the newly opened Ciao Bella, a ristorante, pizzeria and wine bar. Patrons can sample a 12-inch gourmet pizza with a creative array of toppings like the Pizza Quattro Stagioni—tomatoes, artichokes, prosciutto and black olives—or the sauceless Pizza Al Fichi

photograph courtesy of LUCREZIA

The information presented in Bite & Sip is accurate as of press time, but readers are encouraged to call ahead to verify restaurant hours. Please note that Illinois and most Indiana restaurants adhere to central time, and Michigan restaurants are eastern time.


bite & SIP topped with goat cheese, figs and onions and drizzled with a balsamic glaze. For those who like more traditional pies, there are thin-crust options with toppings such as sausage, fresh garlic, salami and jalapeños. Or try such entries as Ciao Bella’s signature dishes, Rigatoni Boscaiola—spicy Italian sausage and rigatoni noodles topped with a tomato cream sauce— and the Chicken Pollo Ala Romana, a chicken breast sautéed in a white wine sauce with roasted tri-color peppers and then sauced in a tomato cream. There’s also a great selection of seafood, pork and beef. Desserts change frequently, but the tiramisu is always on the menu. The extensive wine list focuses on European and Californian wines. Delivery and take-out available.

tions of beers make the Flat Rock Tap a must stop. Menu options include wings, pizza, a veggie burger and creative patties such as Wild West—a burger topped with barbeque sauce, cheddar cheese and fried onion rings or one loaded with bacon, cheddar cheese and ranch dressing. Also popular are the BLTs, a hearty meal with a pound of bacon (and some lettuce and tomato) served on Texas toast. As for the brew—well, the list is definitely diverse, going from Abita Purple Haze to Victory HopDevil. There are the traditional brews, such as several Sam Adams and Heinekens, and the more unique—Unibroue Éphémère and New Belgium Fat Tire. Enjoy the daily specials like Sunday’s half-priced Bloody Mary and Free Bears Halftime Buffet.

DON QUIJOTE 119 E Lincolnway, Valparaiso. 219.462.7976. Lunch is served 11am-2pm Mon-Fri; dinner 5-9pm Mon-Thu, 5-10:30pm Fri-Sat. Proprietor Carlos Rivero’s authentic Spanish cuisine, lively and friendly atmosphere, and conviviality with his return customers make this downtown Valparaiso restaurant a destination for Chicagoans and Michigan residents alike. The exciting menu features dozens of small courses, including a well-known classic paella with saffron rice and fresh-grilled seafood chunks. Grilled steaks and lamb and veal chops are abundant and cooked according to family recipes handed down for generations. The house specialty is a flan-textured vanilla cake. Lunch entrées average $15, dinner $25.

GAMBA RISTORANTE 455 E 84th Ave, Merrillville. 219.736.5000. gambaristorante.com. Lunch is served 11:30am-2:30pm Mon-Sat; dinner 5-9pm Mon-Thu, 5-10:30pm Fri-Sat. The former owners of the Venezia Bar & Grill and Venezia Café, Benito and Hilda Gamba, have combined their efforts into the grand Gamba Ristorante. Located in Merrillville, this restaurant is housed in an architectural masterpiece, which is hard to miss with its circular design and copper roof. Modeled after upscale restaurants in exotic European locations, the menu offers classic Italian cuisine. The risotto alla Milanese features Arborio rice with saffron, “just like in Milan,” and the wine room boasts storage space for 1,000 bottles. A banquet hall holds up to 200 people and looks out onto an open courtyard.

FLAT ROCK TAP 6732 Calumet Ave, Hammond. 219.852.5262. myspace.com/flatrocktap. Lunch and dinner served 11am-3am Mon-Sat, noon-midnight Sun. Live music, big burgers and 65 selec-

GAUCHO’S 597 US Hwy 30, Valparaiso. 219.759.1100.

gauchosvalpo.com. Food is served 4-10pm Mon-Thu, 4-11pm Fri-Sat, noon-9pm Sun. The Twisted Martini lounge is open 4pmmidnight Tue and Thu, 4pm-1am Wed, 4pm-2am Fri-Sat. At Gaucho’s, diners enjoy delicious and unique cuisine invented by the Gaucho cowboys of southern Brazil, who provided meats for the people of Brazil with their famous “Churrasco” barbecue. At Gaucho’s, this centuries-old traditional feast is created tableside as servers bring such offerings as filet mignon wrapped in bacon, chicken parmesan, pork sausage, garlicroasted turkey breast, merlot-marinated leg of lamb, and a variety of other meats, during Gaucho’s traditional Brazilian-style dinner experience for $34.95. Seafood selections on Wednesday and Friday—just $29.95—include crab legs, shrimp, tilapia, perch, tuna, mahimahi, salmon and clam strips, or add the meat selections for $45.95. All dinners include a 30-item salad bar, Brazilian mashed potatoes, and fried bananas. The lunch menu offers a large selection of sandwiches and salads. Start or finish dinner in the Twisted Martini Lounge for cocktails, cigars and live entertainment in a modern, intimate setting. GINO’S STEAK HOUSE 1259 W Joliet St, Dyer. 219.865.3854. 600 E 81st Ave, Merrillville. 219.769.4466. ginossteakhouse.com. Dyer: 4-10pm MonThu, 4-11pm Fri-Sat, 11am-8pm Sun. Merrillville: 11am-10pm Mon-Thu, 11am-11pm Fri-Sat, 11am-8pm Sun. The chefs at Gino’s, who have more than thirty years of combined experience, use only the freshest ingredients in their homestyle cuisine. Starters include traditional minestrone soup from a family recipe, salads with fresh, locally grown pro-

duce, and crusty bread with crocks of butter. The nine-ounce prime steak tops the menu and is itself topped with Roquefort cheese in its most popular rendition. All main dishes are served with the restaurant’s signature marinated peppers, and entrées include fish and lobster delivered daily. The dessert menu features créme brûlée and various cheesecakes, but the housemade tiramisu is the highlight—a rich blend of coffee, chocolate and cream cheese flavors. A premium selection of wine, beer and cocktails is available at the full-service bar, and there is a special children’s menu so the entire family can enjoy the dining experience. GIOVANNI’S 603 Ridge Rd, Munster. 219.836.6220. Lunch is served 11am-11pm Mon-Thu; dinner 5-11pm Mon-Fri, 5-11:30pm Sat. This classic upscale Italian bistro is a local favorite, with charm, gracious service and an extensive menu. Innovative selections include a variety of appetizers, and specials are paired with recommended wine by the glass. A crab cake salad with fresh mozzarella and Bibb lettuce is a staple for lunch, and all entrées are accompanied by hot and crusty garlic Parmesan cheese rolls. You can indulge in a traditional multi-course Italian dinner or order by the item. For lighter fare, soups, salads and inventive individual pizzas are served with cheerful dispatch. Sumptuous dinners include a renowned veal rollatini with Parmesan, mozzarella and pine nuts, and grilled pork medallions in a sherry-wine sauce. The wine list is extensive but educational, and the desserts range from classic tiramisu to real Italian gelato. The cocktail menu is imaginative and ample. Lunch entrées average about $12, while dinners cost $18 to $25.

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HARBOR GRILL 12 on the Lake, Michigan City. 219.874.2469. harborgrill.net. Food is served Wed-Thu 4-9pm, Fri 4-10pm, Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-8pm. Proprietor Ed Arnold, who spent a half million renovating the former Michigan City Yacht Club, considers Harbor Grill primarily a seafood restaurant, but also offers a selection of steak, chicken and pork items. The signature dish is oversized shrimp encrusted in Parmesan with a citrus wine reduction sauce. Other featured items include cedar-planked salmon and sautéed Zander perch, which is larger and meatier than lake perch. The renovated facility has a full bar and can handle a banquet for up to 250, and it is the only restaurant in the region that will fix your fresh catch by special permission of the state and health department. This is now the only public lakefront restaurant between Chicago and Benton Harbor. Entrée prices range from $18-$25 for casual fine dining and there is an extensive wine list. Arnold has added authentic nautical artifacts and says, “It’s almost like eating in a museum.” IT’S ALL GOOD CAFÉ 1600 119th St, Whiting. 219.655.5039. Open 7am-9pm Mon-Fri, 7am-10pm Sat. Thursdays are particularly busy at this bustling, recently opened café. That’s when kitchen manager Jim Dombrowski serves the day’s special—lamb sandwiches. “I take a boneless leg of lamb, marinate it overnight with garlic and seasonings and then slow roast it for five to six hours,” Dombrowski says. “It cooks until the meat falls apart and then we put it on Gonnella brand Italian bread.” Dombrowski uses all his own recipes for housemade items, which include the marinara sauce on the hot Italian meatball sandwiches topped with mozzarella cheese (Friday’s special sandwich) as well as soups and grilled chicken salad. For breakfast, order a specialty coffee and freshly made pastry. And be sure to save room for Dombrowski’s cookies such as chocolate chip, toffee crunch, peanut butter chunks and oatmeal raisin. The $6 price of a sandwich also includes pickle, chips and fountain drink. JACK BINION’S STEAK HOUSE at HORSESHOE CASINO 777 Casino Center Dr, Hammond. 866.711.7463. horseshoehammond.com. Restaurant is open 4-10:30pm Mon-Thu, Sun, 4-11:30pm Fri-Sat. The Horseshoe facility, a slice of Las Vegas on Lake Michigan, prides itself on customer service and consistently ranks first in every category, including fine dining. The tiered tables and luxurious booths at Jack Binion’s overlook an expansive, panoramic lake view, where the impeccably attired waitstaff helps you choose between the Australian lobster, pan-seared sea scallops and rich thick filets that just make you wonder if Dr. Atkins would really be all right with this. Pick the decadent cheesecake for dessert if you want the best of everything. It is more fun, though, to opt for a post-dinner cocktail and go play. Entrées are $35 on average. LIGHTHOUSE RESTAURANT 7501 Constitution Ave, Cedar Lake. 219.374.WAVE. cedarlakelighthouse.com. Dinner is served 4-10pm Mon-Thurs, 4-11pm Fri-Sat, 3-8pm Sun. Stunning water views through floor-to-ceiling windows is perfect for sunset aficionados and is just one more reason to stop at this recently opened restaurant nestled on the eastern shoreline of Cedar Lake. Executive Chef Ken McRae draws upon his 25 years of culinary experience in creating a menu with such signature dishes as steaks—offered blackened or Cajun style upon request and served at a sizzling 500 degrees for the ultimate in flavor—plus lake perch and Chilean sea bass. For more casual fare, offerings include burgers, salads and pastas. There’s an emphasis on local products from nearby farms and ice cream from Fair Oaks Dairy Farm. Bottles of wine are half price on No Whine Wednesdays.

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MILLER BAKERY CAFÉ 555 S Lake St, Gary. 219.938.2229. Lunch is served 11:30am-2pm Tue-Fri; dinner 5-10pm Tue-Sat, 4-8pm Sun. For two decades this famous stop on the Lake Michigan shore has introduced the gateway community to the beach, and to the versatile and eclectic menu. Part European, part New Orleans, and all clever. The lightly sautéed crab cakes and the signature molded polenta and pepper appetizer; wood-grilled steak with peppercorn sauce; salmon coated with a sweet tangy glaze; rack of lamb over garlic smashed


bite & SIP potatoes; and cafe chocolate, a slab that tastes like the center of a truffle, are always on the menu. Selections of wines by the glass are as creative, and the waitstaff are connoisseurs of food and drink by hobby as well as trade. The bar has a complete martini and cocktail menu and frequently hosts live jazz on weekend nights. For a special occasion or telling secrets, reserve the very private table in the glass-enclosed wine cellar. A two-course lunch averages $18, dinner entrées $25.

of quirky memorabilia. The menu features sandwiches made from bread supplied by the Stevensville, Michigan, award-winning bakery, Bit of Swiss, and includes pulled pork simmered in housemade barbeque sauce, pizzas, burgers and salads. Besides the wine and beer offerings, there are also such specialty drinks as Long Beach Iced Tea and Vodka Lemo.

STRONGBOW INN 2405 E US 30, Valparaiso. 800.462.5121. strongbowinn. com. Food is served 11am-9pm Mon-Thu, 11am-10pm Fri-Sat, 10:30am-8pm Sun. Bakery hours are 7:30am-7pm Mon-Fri, 7:30am-6pm Sat, 10am-5pm Sun. The menu at this classic institution still includes a wide variety of turkey selections, but with daily specials that include barbecued pork ribs, seafood choices, prime rib and other comfort foods, one would never guess that the bakery and restaurant started as a sandwich stand during the Depression. Many families have had Thanksgiving catered by Strongbow—the meticulously prepared traditional meal that can be ordered as take-out is virtually indistinguishable from that produced by a family team working in the kitchen for ten hours. Also, the bakery has exploded with a range of treats created daily, including cinnamon rolls, cakes, pies, brownies, fruit tarts, truffles, crème brûlée and strawberry napoleons. Lunch entrées average $8, and dinner is $18.

THE 1913 ROOM and CYGNUS 27 at AMWAY GRAND PLAZA HOTEL Pearl & Monroe Sts, Grand Rapids. 1913 Room: 616.776.6450. Cygnus 27: 877.668.1675. amwaygrand. com. Lunch at 1913 is served 11:30am-2pm Mon-Fri; dinner 5:30-10:30pm Mon-Sat. Cygnus 27 serves dinner 5:30-10pm Tue-Sat; Sunday brunch 10:30am-2pm. The 1913 Room is the only restaurant to earn the coveted AAA 5-Diamond rating in the state of Michigan for its classic service, a fine list of wines, cordials and liqueurs, top quality steaks, baked goods and numerous specials. Creative menu-planning results in a daily lunch buffet of hearty soup, comforting vegetable and potato sides, beef, turkey and salmon on the carving block, and a sideboard of a wide-ranging cheese selection with smoked fish and garden vegetables for accompaniment. At the top of the hotel, the newly renovated Cygnus 27 features a breathtaking river view, an expanded “ice” bar, and an unusual dropped ceiling lit with rectangular boxes. Chef Werner Absenger’s menu is as innovative as ever, with wine and food pairings and off-beat contrasting flavors—a small plate of baby iceberg lettuce comes with green goddess dressing and Michigan cherry bread croutons, and a dozen escargot are served enveloped in a light, buttery sauce packaged in pastry. Featured main courses include a salmon Wellington, veal meatballs with pasta, smoked pork tenderloin, and marinated grilled chicken. Have dessert of chocolate cake with apricot glaze, apple cinnamon tiramisu or pecan pie à la mode served parfaitstyle, or adjourn to the mahogany and leather cocoon of the Lumber Baron Bar downstairs. There are more than 1,000 bottles in the Amway wine collection and dozens of port, cognac and dessert wine selections. Lunch entrées average $18 and dinner entrées $25.

T-BONES PIER 11 1111 Lakeside, LaPorte. 219.362.5077. pleastshore.com. Dinner only is served 3:30pm daily. This Italian steakhouse is carefully tucked into a cove of scenic Pine Lake, the newer of the two restaurants that are traditionally very popular with guests at the inn as well as the summer folks who make LaPorte a home away from home. The spacious dining room is reminiscent of a traditional supper club, but a terrace overlooks the harbor and instead of being at a roadhouse, you are on the beach. As expected, the seafood hits a high standard; some of the recommended starters ($9) are sautéed blue crab and shrimp cakes, plump snails baked with Pernod garlic butter, oversized shrimp served martini-style, and deepfried calamari and mussels steamed in white wine. A range of salads, pizzas and pasta selections ($10) round out the lighter supper fare, but if boating, water-skiing and swimming make you hungry, this is the place to indulge in a T-bone, New York strip, filet mignon or flat iron steak grilled over a wood fire. Choice of sauces include Gorgonzola cheese, whiskey peppercorn, wild mushroom brandy or blueberry port. Likewise, the fish selections—which can be grilled or sautéed—include scallops, red snapper, salmon, swordfish, mahimahi, walleye and even a lobster tail that can be served with lemon dill butter, warm mango chutney or tomato garlic sauce. If you prefer ordering house specialties you can pick from sautéed beef medallions, duck breast, Chicken Roman, Chicken Saltimbocca, pan-seared Veal Limone or a slowcooked Italian pot roast (average price $15). A light dinner will probably cost under $20 and a complete 4-to-6 courses will vary from $25 to $35. THEO’S STEAK & SEAFOOD 9144 Indianapolis Blvd, Highland. 219.838.8000. theoshighland.com. Lunch is served 11am-3:30pm Mon-Sat; dinner 3:30-10pm Mon-Thurs, 3:30-11pm FriSat, dinner all day noon-9pm Sun. A classic steak and seafood house, Theo’s also offers a great selection of chicken, pasta and veal dishes as well as such timeless culinary favorites as shrimp de jonghe, steak Diane, veal Oscar and oysters Rockefeller. Helping round out the menu are several Greek favorites such as saganaki (Greek cheese doused with brandy and flambéed tableside), a Greek country salad piled high with kalamati olives, feta, tomatoes and more, and grilled lamb chops marinated in kalamati olive oil and seasoned with oregano, garlic and lemon. For dessert, disregard the calories and go with the Death by Chocolate, layers of chocolate cake with a decadent mousse filling.

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TREE HOUSE RESTAURANT 3103 E US Hwy 12, Michigan City. 219.872.2877. treehouselongbeach.com. Lunch and dinner served daily 11:30am-9:30pm. With its beach-like appeal and games for both adults and children, the Treehouse Restaurant and Barefoot Bar is the perfect summer hangout as well as a place to rekindle that warm weather atmosphere we so long for during winter’s gray days. The family-owned eatery earns its name because the bar is centered around an expansive tree. The atmosphere is total fun, with a softball field, sand box and volleyball court out back, old fashioned arcade games like Ms. Pac Man inside, and accented with all sorts

Michigan

JIMMY’S BAR & GRILL 18529 LaPorte Rd, New Buffalo. 269.469.2100. jimmysbarandgrill.net. Lunch and dinner served 11:30am-10 pm Tue-Thu, Sun, 11:30am-11pm FriSat. Both the food and the atmosphere at Jimmy’s Bar & Grill are designed with the intent of providing a relaxing atmosphere for its guests. The restaurant’s dark woods, soft Italian lighting, star-lit ceiling and waterfall behind the bar offer a soothing ambiance. The menu consists of diverse and flavorful foods. For starters, the portabella mushrooms—sliced and beer-battered and served with a garlic feta dressing—are a tasty option, or try the provolone cheese sticks triple-dipped in garlic butter breading and served with a marinara sauce. There are plenty of salads and sandwiches, also Italian beef, buffalo chicken wraps, burgers and homemade thin-crust pizzas. For dinner, the Italian sausage served with sautéed green peppers, onions, artichoke hearts and portabellas is covered in marinara and mozzarella cheese and baked until golden brown. Also, try the lobster ravioli topped with a homemade vodka sauce or the homemade Louisiana crab cakes served with blackberry merlot sauce and Tracy’s Creole sauce. A kid’s menu is also available, as well as daily specials such as Mahi-Mahi or Chilean Seabass and drink specials. PORT 412 412 State St, St. Joseph. 269.982.0412. port412.com. Open for lunch and dinner 11am-10pm Sun-Thu, 11-2am Fri-Sat. Port 412 features two stories, including a rooftop patio with a view of Lake Michigan. The first floor is characterized by a lively bar atmosphere, while upstairs is a lounge with couches and brick interior. The top floor is also available for parties, wedding rehearsal dinners, and corporate events. “There’s nothing like it in St. Joe,” says Ryan Van Arkel, concierge manager. Lunches include starters like hearty crab bisque or spring greens and duck breast with orange ginger vinaigrette. Enjoy a Mediterranean portabella wrap or Cuban pork tenderloin sandwich served with homemade chips, fresh fruit, redskin potato salad, or coleslaw. Pizzas and small dishes such as crab cakes and antipasto are also featured. Dinner entrées include pan-roasted tomato ragu, duck breast with sweet plum glaze and stir-fry veggies, and pork tenderloin brochettes with soy ginger glaze. Steaks, chicken and seafood dishes round out the menu. Dessert selections include crème brûlée, chocolate Saint Germaine, and Black Star


SALT OF THE EARTH 112-114 E Main St, Fennville. 269.561.7258. saltoftheearthfennville. com. Open for breakfast and lunch 7am4pm every day; dinner 5-10pm Tue-Thu, 5pm-midnight Fri-Sat, 4-10pm Sun. Rustic American cooking—using local produce and meat from the farmlands dotting Western Michigan—reflects the food philosophy of the recently opened Salt of the Earth, which is located in Fennville, a tiny town with a serious food presence. “Our style is to keep a core menu and do a fresh board daily with seasonal and regional dishes, many of which are cooked in our wood-burning oven,” says owner Mark Schrock who, with his partner Steve Darpel, opened the restaurant in the space formerly occupied by the Journeyman, a popular farm-to-table restaurant that closed last year. The partners hired Executive Chef Matthew Pietsch, formerly of Detroit’s Roast, who carries on the traditions of that restaurant, such as hand-cutting some of the meats and fish. Pietsch also adds his interpretation of pork bellies, one of the mainstays of the Journeyman, by glazing them in Dijon mustard and maple syrup with apple mash and pickled sweet corn accompaniments. Also not to be missed is the Wood Fired All Natural Chicken stuffed with the restaurant’s artisan seedy salt bread along with apples and pork sausage and served with onion gravy. Michigan craft beers are on tap and the wine list includes Michigan wines as well. Even if you can’t stay to eat, stop by to pick up freshly made bread and a selection of cheeses. Live music is offered on Friday nights. SCHU’S BAR & GRILL 501 Pleasant St, St. Joseph. 269.983.7248. schulersrest.com. Food is served 11am10pm Mon-Thu, 11am-11pm Fri-Sat, 11am-9pm Sun. The restaurant tradition of Schuler’s goes back four generations in Michigan and continues with Schu’s Bar & Grill in St. Joe. Diners can enjoy a breathtaking view of Lake Michigan and cozy up to the hand-crafted fieldstone fireplace. Good conversation and good food are all part of the experience at Schu’s, where the start of a tasty night includes Schu’s potato soup—the restaurant’s famous original soup served with cheddar cheese, bacon bits and diced scallions. Gumbos and a selection of distinctive salads, like the sweet chili shrimp salad, also make great starters before the hearty portions of pasta or a sizzlin’ rib eye steak. Also, try the terrific fall-off-the-bone barbeque ribs presented on a wooden plank with tangy molasses sauce served with crispy French fries. Schu’s is also a great place to stop for lunch. A homemade egg salad sandwich is made exceptional with shallots and a touch of tarragon topped with lettuce and tomato, or devour the salmon B.L.T. made with a generous sixounce portion of grilled salmon with crisp bacon, mixed greens and fresh tomatoes, topped with tarragon Dijon sauce and served with housemade chips.

TABOR HILL WINERY & RESTAURANT 185 Mt Tabor Rd, Buchanan. 800.283.3363. taborhill.com. Lunch is served 11:30am-3pm Wed-Sat; dinner 5-10pm Wed-Sat, noon-9pm Sun. Tabor Hill Winery’s restaurant is all at once elegant, urbane and semi-casual. Its windows afford ample, rolling vineyard views; the menu is sophisticated. Chef JohnPaul VerHage, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, gives a modified California-cuisine touch to signature dishes like raspberry chicken and the salmon wrapped in grape leaves. The extensive appetizer menu includes items like mini Morel Mushroom Pizzas and Kobe Beef Carpaccio. Though the restaurant is easy to find—just a half hour north of South Bend and 20 minutes east of New Buffalo—it’s not always easy to get in. Reservations are suggested—but those who wander in unannounced can sip at the complimentary wine bar or purchase a glass and enjoy it on the stone terrace overlooking the vines. Tabor Hill produces a wonderful variety of awardwinning wines, but for those who desire a harder libation, a full bar awaits. TIM’S TOO ASIAN GRILL 511 Pleasant St, St. Joseph. 269.985.0094. timstoo.com. Lunch and dinner are served 11am-9pm Mon-Thu, 11am-10pm Sat, noon-9pm Sun. Tim Sizer’s new restaurant is a definite departure from Timothy’s in Union Pier, his legendary, swank seafood emporium along the beach at the Gordon Inn, though the collection of Asian-inspired selections have plenty of fresh fish that the chef proprietor is already so famous for in Harbor Country. The basic program to order stir-fry: you

february/march 2010

SIX ONE SIX at JW MARRIOTT HOTEL 235 Louis Campau Promenade NW, Grand Rapids. 616.242.1500. ilovethejw.com/ dining. Breakfast is served 6:30am-noon Sat-Sun; lunch 11:30am-2pm MonFri, noon-2pm Sat-Sun; dinner 5-11pm daily. Bringing the best through the door on the front end is the hallmark of this brand-new luxury hotel, located in this Michigan town on a growth trajectory.

The menu is simple, and Executive Chef John State—trained at Chicago’s Washburne School and a veteran of the legendary Lake Creek Inn in San Francisco wine country and the California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Florida—uses a light touch on the high-quality, mostly local goods. Size, freshness and outstanding taste characterize the seafood. The mussels, oysters, salmon, tuna and scallops are cooked flawlessly and served in a variety of ways, including raw, grilled and poached in herb and broth combinations that coax out and mix perfect flavors. Locally produced poultry, particularly the duck breast, gets an excellent treatment with specially designed, hand-cut vegetable sides. Steaks, chops and filets are held to a high standard, and the wine pairings exceed expectations, even when the JW gets together with an executive chef who has worked in Napa. But the extras make the entire experience so memorable: the perfect martini with a choice of olives; spiced butter and cheese selections served with a variety of fresh-baked crackers and breads; a cheese plate presented with separate garnishes for each type and slice; and housemade desserts, including a thick, rich and dense crème brûlée in multiple flavors. Even the coffee is a treat, especially when complemented by an aged Porto. The architecture, spacious interior design, orchestrated and technically perfect lighting, and impeccable service combine to create an atmosphere that enhances the experience. Entrées average $25-$35. The specialty drink (the bar features a wall of blue Skyy Vodka bottles) and the wine list, like the menu, are high-quality and carefully chosen. Reservations are a very good idea; while the restaurant, Mixology bar and the atrium lounge fill the vast expanse of the first floor, at certain times on the weekends every seat is taken, and there may be a short wait.

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Farms sirius pear, along with ice wines and ports. The cocktail menu includes a generous selection of martinis, regional and international beers, whiskeys and scotch, and a full wine list.


bite & SIP pick the vegetables, meat and noodles and the chef fries them together. The main course is creatively priced at $8.99 for lunch, and a second trip will only cost you $3 more. Dinner is $13.99 and $4 for a second trip. The house-prepared appetizers are where the buzz is right now, with favorites like sugarcane shrimp, wonton shrimp, and vegetable spring rolls. You can choose from 21 sauces to go with your meal, which are easily combined. (The menu suggests complementary pairings.) Also available are vegetarian and gluten-free foods and sauces. Must-have desserts include warm chocolate lava cake and assorted cheesecakes. Your choice for $7. Tim’s Too now has a full liquor license, and proclaims the largest Asian beer collection in St. Joseph. WHEATBERRY RESTAURANT & TAVERN 15212 N Red Bud Tr, Buchanan. 269.697.0043. wheatberrytavern.com. Lunch and dinner 11:30am-10pm Thu, 11:30am-11pm Fri-Sat, 11:30am-9pm Sun, dinner 5-10pm Wed. Nestled on a bend of the slow-moving St. Joseph River just north of Buchanan—a town transforming into trendiness with its historic downtown filled with eclectic shops—the owners of the recently opened Wheatberry Restaurant & Tavern see their place as a gathering spot for lovers of regional American cuisine. “We cook everything from scratch,” says Mike Hoyland, one of the restaurant’s owners. Besides a dedication to using the best of local farms and food producers, there’s also an emphasis on the smoked ribs, pork and chicken that come out of the large Southern Pride Smoker in the back of the restaurant. Other entrées include prime sliced sirloin topped with Wisconsin’s wonderful Mindoro blue cheese, basil

and toasted pine nut butter, as well as cedarplanked salmon and wood-roasted chicken Vesuvio. Soups, sandwiches, salads and killer hamburgers, thick and juicy and cooked to order, are also on the menu. Dessert specialties include Texas sheet cake—a dense, rich brownie-like cake—and Key lime pie. WILD DOG GRILLE 24 W Center St, Douglas. 269.857.2519. 5-9:30pm Tue-Thu, 11:30am-10:30pm FriSat, noon-9:30pm Sun. Sam Kendall, coowner of the Wild Dog Grille, says their Italian-inspired cuisine, with a new-age twist, has been delighting the public ever since they opened their doors in June 2007. Start out with fresh spring rolls stuffed with crab meat and wrapped in a thin rice paper, or try the crab cake served with three dollops of Creole remoulade for a flavor enhancement. Another tasty option is the pesto spinach cheese dip served with flat breads fired fresh in the stone oven. Their trademark stone oven pizzas are fired in the best stone oven on the market for an old-world, thin-crust flavor. Fresh-cut steaks, such as the popular filet mignon and New York strip, are exceptional. Finish the meal with a vanilla panna cotta made from scratch from the chef’s family recipe, the Oregon berry cobbler or a key lime tart. The restaurant has a liquor license, and the owners pride themselves on offering a laid-back atmosphere with the quality of high-end restaurants. Prices go up to $25.95 for the filet mignon, with most selections under $20.

Illinois

33 CLUB 1419 N Wells St, Chicago. 312.664.1419.

33clubchicago.com. Food is served 11ammidnight Sun-Mon, 11am-1am Tue, 11am2am Wed-Fri, 11am-3am Sat. Set in the middle of Chicago’s Old Town, Jerry Kleiner’s new, stylish 33 Club evokes a post-Prohibition dining parlor. Revolving doors lead into a paneled ceiling and noisy bar area, but beyond is a soaring, considerably quieter mahogany-paneled dining room with a towering wall of glass shelves, tufted red banquettes, geometric light boxes and flocked fabric (and comfortable) chairs that pop up in all Kleiner’s restaurants. There is also a grand staircase leading up to an open upper dining level. Chef Daniel Kelly’s straightforward menu is loaded with classics such as shrimp cocktail, oysters Rockefeller and Caesar salad. A hands-down winner is the light, crispy fried calamari, set off with French fried lemon slices and two dipping sauces. There is a memorable miso-glazed Chilean sea bass with five-grain rice, braised veal with morels served over a bed of egg noodles—and plenty of steak choices in a very large menu. Simple, reasonable desserts. Great service. Dinner nightly. Reservations necessary. 200 EAST SUPPER CLUB at the SENECA HOTEL 200 E Chestnut, Chicago. 312.266.4500. 200eastchestnut.com. Dinner is served 4-10pm Sun-Thu, 4-11pm Fri-Sat; order from the bar menu 4pm-midnight daily. Live entertainment 7-11pm Tue, 8:30pm-1am Wed-Sat. Located on a quiet corner of the Gold Coast residential area, this retro supper club has quickly established itself as a neighborhood hangout that doubles as a destination for out-of-towners who stay at the posh hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton and the Raffaello across the street. The menu is the

creation of chef/owner Tony Navarro and his extended family, who have owned and operated Pasta Vino in Schiller Park for 30 years. Signature dishes from the family’s recipe collection include appetizers Melrose peppers stuffed with housemade Italian sausage and fresh assorted cheeses and its inside-out version called sausage Caprese; two special salads with sweet and savory combinations of marinated tenderloin, gorgonzola, fruit and caramelized walnuts and “Nonni Theresa’s Italian Wedding Soup.” Rounding out the entrée specialty menu are linguini and clam, calamari and mussel sauce, an artichoke chicken and pasta dish, Italian sausage with sautéed tomatoes and vegetables cooked “Giambotta” style, special edition Rigatoni and Eggplant Parmigiana, and “Brickhouse Chicken,” a whole de-boned pan-seared chicken, seasoned and cooked under a brick. (This is a specialty designed for the late, great broadcaster.) Prices are very reasonable and average less than $10 for appetizers, soups, salad and sandwiches on the bar menu and less than $20 per average entrée. The wine list is a work of art with excellent choices at every level, from a satisfying Beaulieu Merlot for $8.50 per glass to a $95 bottle of Franciscan Magnificat Meritage or $100 Far Niente Chardonnay. Of course, there is an extensive classic cocktail menu and homemade tiramisu, but would you expect anything less? BALAGIO RISTORANTE 17501 Dixie Hwy, Homewood. 708.957.1650. balagio-restaurant.com. Lunch is served 11am-4pm Mon-Fri, noon to 4pm Sun; dinner 4-9pm Mon-Thu, 4-10pm Fri-Sat, 4-8pm Sun. Now in a new location, this popular Italian restaurant has changed its menu offerings, with many entrée prices now under

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CIBO MATTO at THE WIT HOTEL 201 N State St, Chicago. 312.239.9500. cibomatto.therestaurantsatthewit.com. Lunch is served 11:30am-2pm Tue-Fri; dinner 5:30-11pm Mon-Sat. At the corner of State and Lake, in the heart of the Loop, a new and beautiful fine-dining restaurant offers sophisticated traditional Italian dining with a twist. Cibo Matto means “Crazy Food” but there is nothing off the wall here—just plenty of innovation by Chef Todd Stein in a setting with many seating options: a 12-seat counter-height chef’s table overlooking the kitchen, cozy leather booths, or freestanding tables with views of the 2,000 bottle glass-enclosed wine tower. There are window tables with a western view and, above, a 30-foot ceiling fresco by prominent artist Todd Murphy. Start with a rabbit terrine served in two pancettawrapped slices over orange and white pureed carrots. Try the short ribs topped with gremolata and served with a flavorful ricotta-creamed spinach, or the perfectly grilled veal tenderloin. Fish, pastas and desserts are all amazing. Dinner nightly, reservations necessary. THE COURTYARD BISTRO 21 S White St, Frankfort. 815.464.1404. Food is served 11am-10pm Tue-Thu, 11am-11pm Fri-Sat. The ambitious menu is inspired by the cooking of Italy, France and the American Southwest, but this south suburban bistro adeptly meets the challenge of its own making while getting results that delight both newcomers and regulars. Signature dishes include Santa Fe lasagna and artichoke ravioli on the Neapolitan side, and onion tart and gorgonzola-seared beef tenderloin are straight out of a sidewalk café near the River Seine in Paris. The martini menu is as innovative as the food, and the wine list is better than average with interesting possibilities for complementing the entrées. The seafood is very fresh and wellprepared with garnishes and light sauces, and main dishes are economical in the $9-$15 range. The atmosphere is always friendly and can range from celebratory for special luncheons on the weekends to cozy, romantic couple dinners in the evening. But it is the attention to detail at every level from customer comfort to the dessert selections and coffee service at the end of the meal that gets the repeat customers.

JENNY’S STEAKHOUSE 20 Kansas St, Frankfort. 815.464.2685. 11041 S Menard Ave, Chicago Ridge. 708.229.2272. jennyssteakhouse.com. Lunch is served 11am-3pm Mon-Fri; early bird dinner 3-5pm Mon-Fri; dinner 5-10pm Mon-Sat, 5-9pm Sun. The Courtright family has an impressive history and credentials in the culinary world of South Chicago and the nearby suburbs, and the Frankfort location is just the most recent addition to the roster. The menu has scores of familiar and comforting staples like classic chicken Parmesan and a legendary Gambriliano Italiano with sautéed sausage, chicken breast, Vesuvio potatoes, peppers, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and white wine over fettuccine. The signature steak is an 8-ounce filet with garlic and bleu cheese, and you can have it with Jack Daniels sauce for an extra $2.50. Meals always include soup, potato, vegetable, bread and bruschetta, and the wine list is impressive and right on. Soup, early-bird and homemade specials change daily, but even the regular selections are imaginative. Jenny’s will even text you drink special information if you register. Prices average less than $10 for appetizers, soups, salads, wraps and sandwiches on the lunch menu, and the median price for steak is $20. An 8- to 9-ounce prime rib at $10.95, a half slab of ribs at $9.95, and braised ox tails at $8.95 are just a few of the bargains on the early-bird menu. SIAM MARINA THAI CUISINE 80 River Oaks Center Dr, Calumet City. 708.862.3438. 1669 Sibley Blvd, Calumet City. 708.868.0560. Food is served 11am-10pm Sun-Thu, 11am-11pm FriSat. Chef-proprietor Tammy Pham has evolved into a legend for her mastery of a full men with dozens of vegetarian options as well as traditionally spiced and marinated poultry dishes. The spring rolls and peanut sauce are prepared in-house daily, along with special soups. The authentic pad Thai has a loyal following, and fresh coconut works in many of the dishes, including dessert. A multi-course lunch averages $12, dinner $15.

february/march 2010

GIBSON’S STEAKHOUSE 1028 N Rush St, Chicago. 312.266.8999. gibsonssteakhouse.com. Food is served 11am-midnight daily; bar 11am-2am. The traditional fresh seafood and aged steak restaurant’s reputation for quality and service never varies, and the clientele is often as famous as the food. If you are going to have a martini once in your life, the front-room bar would be the right place. (You can also select food from a special bar menu or the dinner menu.) The same can be said for the mammoth

portions of layer cake or à la mode desserts that are as daunting visually as they are gastronomically. Start the diet tomorrow, live like a rock star today—you can even choose which rock star from the autographed photos plastered all over the staircase walls. Though the Rush Street location is the flagship and standard bearer, there is another Gibson’s in Rosemont and related hotspots next door (Hugo’s Frog Bar) and a couple of blocks away at RL (Ralph Lauren), where a similar menu is the staple. Reservations are a must, unless you want to hang out in the crowd, which is plenty of fun too. The array of choices for wine and cocktails is dizzying and so are the portions; be prepared. Entrées average about $35, but you can go much higher. Be prepared to valet park—it just makes sense.

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$12.95. Some of the specialties created by chef/owner Mike Galderio include chicken scaloppini—thin breast cutlets quickly sautéed with white wine—Italian sausage and roasted red peppers served with braised escarole, and a salmon club sandwich with broiled salmon, crisp bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato. There are also Galderio traditional family recipes like the chopped salad with chicken, salami and hearts of palm, housemade marinara sauce and spaghetti and meatballs. There’s an extensive wine list as well as live entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings. Private dining is available for any group from 10 to 200, either family style or custom designed.


house&

GROUNDS The Munster-area couple credits Triad Design Associates with helping them bring together a whole new collection of furniture for their 3,600-square-foot home. When closed, the curved cabinet in the living room conceals a large TV; shelves on either side hold favorite pieces old and new, bathed in lots of natural light. A wet bar [opposite] in the lower level draws extra attention with rustic lanterns of varying sizes and hanging lengths over the bar. No ordinary basement, the area is designed with formal touches but is familyfriendly and comfortable.

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wide

open

spaces

Making rooM for the whole faMily

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by julie dean kessler | photography by stephen martin photography

february/march 2010

It was goodbye to Chicago’s bright lights and back home to Indiana— but could an upscale suburban house satisfy these city folk? Turns out one couple’s new, Munster-area home is even brighter, and a whole lot roomier. • What drew the couple to Northwest Indiana were deep family roots and good schools for their children, ages 7 and 10. An essential design element in the home, built in 1999, was open space, “particularly for raising a family,” the couple explains. “Open spaces give a comfortable feel.”


i

house&

GROUNDS

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Interior designer Valerie Rietveld adds, “The clients wanted a space which incorporated warmth and color, yet was also functional.” Rietveld and senior design associate Michael Smith, both of Triad Design Associates, agree the couple’s style is eclectic. The homeowners say that moving from their much smaller quarters in Chicago meant selecting a lot of new furniture, “a daunting task. We have to give Michael and Valerie a lot of credit for being an extension of our thoughts and feelings; they are astute listeners.” “To present one cohesive look, we started with an example photo of a room to pin down the general feel,” Rietveld says. “Then we carried it out with the use of varying textures and accent pieces. There are many styles rolled together which create spaces where a viewer’s eye doesn’t concentrate on any one particular piece. Although there are some traditional elements, the home embodies a rustic modern feel.” But the brass finish hardware throughout the home suggested a Traditional style designed space—not quite the theme the couple was seeking. Rietveld and Smith combined existing furniture and accessories with new ones, creating one consistent flow into a Transitional style instead. Defining the spaces is the cathedral ceiling in the great room. Rietveld says, “It has a profound impact, making it the focal room of the house. The addition of the white painted faux beams with corbels lend themselves as a timeless backdrop,” the corbel feature dating back centuries as an architectural support. The couple loves to entertain, so the wet bar in the great room includes two small refrigerators and built-in wine racks on either side. When open, a curved cabinet on the far wall reveals the television; when closed, side shelves display the family’s favorite bibelots. A large, remote-controlled shade provides privacy at night, filtered light by day. Five windows here are a joy, as are the frosted-glass windows in the foyer: “In the city,” the homeowners recall, “we had a dark entryway, so we really enjoy all the light pouring in here.” White painted trim throughout, as with the cathedral ceiling beams, kicks up the light factor even more. Warm colors and comfortable furniture provide a comfy atmosphere; a penchant for elegance is satisfied with formal window treatments, with soffits and classic drapery materials adding importance to the rooms. A formal dining room features a modified bay window, and here, as in other areas of the home, a twelvelamp chandelier provides softer lighting. The formal dining room was a must, yet the couple still muses over whether the generous seating off the kitchen might have been enough; the lady of the house confesses to being a big reader, and a library might have been nice, she concedes. But she has a favorite spot for reading in “the piano room,” where a rug in warm colors and a fireplace invite an afternoon perusing the latest best-seller. Ceramic tile in the kitchen area makes it a transition area for the children coming back in through the double


doors from the pool, sparing the oak flooring throughout the home. The couple wanted plenty of family photos displayed; Rietveld and Smith had Hoosier Highlander reframe many of them “to tie together the new décor,” Rietveld says. other artwork chosen by Triad includes a trio of bright-colored abstracts in the lower level, an area with plenty of its own elegance. Draperies are formal here, too, all custom-created by the area’s Jelena petrovic. Rietveld’s inspiration: over another wet bar, seven lanterns in various sizes hanging overhead add interest to the area. even in the main-floor powder room, a deepred, woven leather-look wallcovering speaks to the couple’s—and Triad’s— attention to detail.

t

Twelve-lamp chandeliers [upper left] are favorite fixtures throughout the home, providing the subtler lighting the couple prefers. Here in the formal dining room the effect is amplified in a mirror at right. In the piano room [far left], a formal window treatment is softened with an earth-tone patterned rug and comfortable seating that invites leisurely reading. The main-floor powder room [above] features a woven leather-look wallcovering, melding nicely with the couple’s preference for an overall feel of elegance in the home.

The home’s 3,600 square feet include three full baths and four bedrooms upstairs, with one reserved for guests. Window seats in the children’s rooms add places for colorful pillows and small talk with friends. An ingenious extra is the pocket door in the daughter’s room: slide it aside and there’s a windowed play area that doubles as a catch-all for toys. The couple’s discerning taste didn’t mean over-thetop expenditures. “Lots of the items for the kids, and some other areas, came from Hobby Lobby,” they explain. “You can find all kinds of things there that work just great.” The homeowners note their busy lives and two active children mean their whole home needs to work just great—and thankfully, they say, it does.


shore THINGS Kitchen West

10-1/2 Blue Star Hwy, Douglas, Michigan. 269.857.8880. kitchenwest.com. Mon-Thu 9am-5pm, Fri 9am-4pm, or by appointment. Kitchen West features cabinetry and interior design for the kitchen, bath, bar, and any other space that requires cabinetry. This award-winning company partners with the country’s top cabinetry and appliance manufacturers to create a sophisticated and functional space. Owner Marilyn Nagelkirk’s designs have been featured in a number of renowned publications, including Better Homes and Gardens. Every project is customized, but Kitchen West’s new, fully equipped studio features a number of innovative displays that might offer clients ideas best suited to their own needs.

build Indiana

MARUSZCZAK APPLIANCE 7809 W Lincoln Hwy, Schererville. 219.865.0555. Mon, Thu 8:30am-8pm, Tue, Wed, Fri 8:30am-5pm, Sat 8:30am-3pm. For nineteen years, Maruszczak has been selling and servicing major home appliances in the Munster area. Its broad inventory includes fridges, stoves, dishwashers, washer/dryers and more, made by virtually every brand in the market. The company is also factory-authorized to service everything it sells. SQUARE 1 BUILDERS INC. 56199 Parkway Ave, Ste 1, Elkhart. 574.389.8010. dreambuildlive.net. This company specializes in the building of lake homes, plus lakefront renovations, additions, teardowns and construction of outer buildings. Square 1’s lakefront home models can be viewed at the Baldwin Landing development. TRAINOR GLASS COMPANY 202 N Dixie Way, South Bend. 574.855.2380. trainorglass.com. Mon-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm. Since 1953, Trainor Glass has specialized in commercial glass and glazing. Their state-of-the-art glass can be installed just about anywhere, from partitions, walls and doors, to the shower and bath. Trainor serves all of Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan.

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Michigan

THE RENTAL BRANCH 3848 Niles Rd, St. Joseph. 269.429.3116. therentalbranch.com. What started as an equipmentrental company is now expanding into the realm of decorative concrete. The staff here are trained to handcraft a variety of interior and exterior applications including vertical wall finishes, countertops, walkways, stamped concrete and stone wine cellars. Do-it-yourself workshops are also an option. WATER PLACE 188 W US 12, Ste 3, New Buffalo. 269.231.5153. Mon-Fri 9am-3pm, Sat 10am-3pm. The Water Place is

a decorative plumbing and hardware products superstore. With whirlpools, faucets and cabinets, this has “everything you need for plumbing services.”

Illinois

BLINK APPLIANCES & KITCHENS 2717 Glenwood-Lansing Rd, Lynwood. 708.889.1860. blink.homeappliances.com. Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-3pm or by appointment. Specializing in sales, service, installation and parts for forty-nine years, Blink Appliances is affiliated with Brand Source, one of the largest buying groups in the nation. The knowledgeable sales staff has won national awards for its service and installation of quality appliances and cabinetry. M&M Locations in Crete, Downers Grove, Mokena, and Crown Point, Indiana. 800.830.2284. m-mcorp.com. This family-owned company is known for its roofing services but now offers residential interior remodeling, particularly for kitchens and baths and room additions. M&M offers a range of services, customizable to a client’s needs.

design Indiana

BANTER FLOORS & MORE 12937 S Wicker Ave, Cedar Lake. 219.374.7360. banterfloors.com. Mon, Wed, Fri 9am-6pm, Tue, Thu 9am-8pm. For more than 20 years, Banter has specialized in residential and commercial flooring sales and installation. Materials include hardwood, laminate, vinyl, natural stone, slate, marble and carpet, as well as cabinetry and countertops. Other services available are carpet cleaning, tile and grout cleaning and interior design assistance. THE BEACH HOUSE 619 E 3rd St, Hobart. 219.942.0783. Tue-Fri noon5pm, Sat 10am-2pm. The 1,000-square-foot showroom at the Beach House features “beachy,” cottagestyle home furnishing and accessories in the store’s

lower level. Custom orders are accepted. The store began as and still houses an upscale showroom of very current, high-quality, pre-owned furniture. FULL CIRCLE ART 1405 119th St, Whiting. 219.659.0901. Mon-Sat 10:30am-5pm. Artists and antiquers alike will appreciate the many features of Full Circle Art, including custom framing, fine art supplies, posters and a wide array of antiques. Art classes are also available, taught by owner Kathy Winsberg and other members of Whiting’s 119th Street Artists. HECHTS LANDSCAPING INC. 219.322.5296. hechtslandscaping.com. One of Northwest Indiana’s largest landscaping companies, Hechts has expanded their services to include landscape renovation, new home landscape construction, retaining walls, paver brick walks, patios and borders, irrigation, and more. Free estimates are available. HERITAGE DRAPERIES 2224 US Hwy 41, Schererville. 219.322.8585. 18112 Torrence Ave, Lansing, Ill. 708.418.1177. heritage-draperies.com. Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm. Heritage Draperies is Northwest Indiana’s first retail showroom featuring custom window treatments. Patrons of Heritage can see full-size working displays, rather than having to guess from a sketch. The inventory here includes fabrics, trimmings, hardware, hard coverings and shutters. NATURALLY WOOD FURNITURE CENTER 1106 E US Hwy 20, Michigan City. 219.872.6501. naturallywoodfurniturecenter.com. Mon-Thu 9:30am6pm, Fri 9:30am-8pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun noon-4pm. For more than 30 years, Naturally Wood Furniture has been selling quality furniture and accessories. A full Flexsteel Signature Gallery features more than 2,000 fabrics and leathers, lake and cottage styles from Capris Upholstery, and selections from Ashley and Millennium. The largest selection of lake/cottage accessories in the area—together with personal friendly service—makes Naturally Wood Furniture a destination store.

photograph courtesy of KITCHEN WEST

The information presented in Shore Things is accurate as of press time, but readers are encouraged to call ahead to verify store hours. Please note that Illinois and most Indiana businesses adhere to central time, and Michigan businesses are eastern time.


TRIAD DESIGN ASSOCIATES 110 N Broad St, Griffith. 219.924.9755. triaddesignassociates.com. This design firm specializes primarily in commercial design, with services including space planning, furnishings, lighting and project management. Designers and space planners on staff have been professionally trained and are experienced in the latest technology.

Michigan

BAYBERRY COTTAGE 510 Phoenix Rd, South Haven. 269.639.9615. Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-4pm. One of South Haven’s most well-known shops, Gwen DeBruyn’s Bayberry Cottage features home furnishings and accessories which include furniture, wall décor, rugs, florals and bath and body products. Interior design services are also available, and items can be special ordered if not in stock. CUSTOMS IMPORTS 430 S Whittaker St, New Buffalo. 269.469.9180. customsimports.com. MonSat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm. This exotic gallery hosts a large, distinguished inventory of global art, furniture and antiques from India,

Indonesia, China, Morocco and Vietnam. Dee Dee Duhn’s new showroom features teak root benches, textiles, Indonesian pottery, unique new furniture and an extensive mirror gallery. Claudia Labao’s Global Dreams jewelry—popular with the stars of Desperate Housewives— can also be found here. FORM 210 State St, St. Joseph. 269.982.7025. bretbortnerdesign.com. Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun noon-5pm. Gifts and decorative accessories can be found here, including table lamps, framed art, candles, clocks, picture frames and glassware. This unique shop is also home to two studios featuring the works of owner and artist Bret Bortner. The product design studio features Bortner’s white porcelain dinnerware and tabletop accessories, and his clay designs are displayed at the Pottery Shop. FRONT 207 E Front St, Buchanan. 269.695.0230. Fri noon-6pm, Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 11am-5pm, or by appointment. This eclectic boutique offers bright and colorful tabletop accessories, home furnishings, paintings, sculptures, fashion, jewelry and books with a classic, modern viewpoint. Owner Joseph Paolucci handpicks the merchandise, which comes from all over Europe. NATURE’S WAY LANDSCAPING 1113 John Beers Rd, Stevensville. 269.429.1694. natureswayinc.com. Since 1976, this well-renowned, award-winning company has specialized in landscape design, construction and maintenance. Nature’s Way can also design and install walks, patios, driveways, retaining walls, waterfalls and lighting.

OLD WORLD CHARM 269.556.1803 or 269.208.7108. Artisan David Pierce Bennethum specializes in decorative finishes and custom painting techniques for both private and commercial clients. All materials are imported from Italy, and Bennethum uses primarily Italian techniques in his work, for the optimally elegant look. SAWYER HOME & GARDEN CENTER 5865 Sawyer Rd, Sawyer. 269.426.8810. sawyergardencenter.com. Open daily 9am7pm. The Sawyer Garden Center offers a large inventory of items for the garden, including annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees, plus a variety of high-quality lawn accessories. A large gift shop and gourmet shop—featuring produce, breads, sauces and cheeses—are also on site. SEA GLASS COTTAGE 402 Eagle St, South Haven. 269.639.1200. seaglasscottage.com. As its name suggests, this specialty shop features hundreds of collected sea glass items, along with a tasteful collection of beach-inspired home furniture and décor. Purses, jewelry, sunglasses and other accessories are also available here. TUSCAN POT 321 Water St, Saugatuck. 269.857.5550. tuscanpot.com. Mon-Thu 11am-5pm, Fri-Sun 11am-6pm. Artist Rachael Hirt creates custom handmade and handpainted Italian Majolica tiles for the kitchen, bath, garden and anywhere else a client desires. Hirt’s extensive inventory includes custom tiles, mosaics, tile and mosaic murals and dinnerware. Tuscan Pot also offers how-to classes, as well as a selection of goods imported from Italy.

Illinois

ART 4 SOUL 18135 Harwood, Homewood. 708.206.1026. art4soul.com. Mon-Wed 10am-6pm, Thu-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-5pm. Patrons love the one-stop-shop factor of this eclectic store, which offers jewelry, hand-crafted home décor items and personalized gifts, plus a paintyour-own ceramic studio and bead shop where customers can make their own jewelry.

drive Indiana

DORMAN GARAGE, INC. 1317 Lake St, LaPorte. 219.324.7646. dormangarage.com. With more than twenty years of experience, Dorman Garage specializes in classic car restoration. Aside from offering restoration services, there is also a large inventory of restored classic automobiles for sale. LEXUS OF MERRILLVILLE 3957 US Hwy 30, Merrillville. 219.769.4545. lexusofmerrillville.com. Mon-Fri 9am-9pm, Sat 9am-5:30pm. Lexus vehicles and customer-service focused sales teams can be found at this dealership, which features new and pre-owned vehicles—including luxury and sport sedans, SUVs and convertibles. Financing, vehicle services and parts and accessories are also available. MAXIM POWER SPORTS 5901 E 81st Ave, Merrillville. 219.942.0548. maximpowersports.com. Mon, Wed, Fri 9am6pm, Tue, Thu 9am-8pm, Sat 9am-3pm. This showroom, which spans more than 30,000 square feet, includes brands like Kawasaki,

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

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SUN CATCHERS 1348 119th St, Whiting. 219.659.6666. Tue, Thu 10am-8pm, Wed, Fri, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun noon-5pm. As its name suggests, Sun Catchers is the place to go for stained glass. A large variety of stained glass décor items are available—either readymade or customdesigned—as well as florals, candles, and high-end bath and body products by CaswellMassey. The staff at Sun Catchers also host and teach occasional stained glass classes.


shore THINGS Polaris, Yamaha and Suzuki. It can suit multiple outdoor sporting needs, including street, dirt, watercraft and snow vehicles and gear. The parts and service departments are also helpful and knowledgeable. SCHEPEL AUTO GROUP 2929 W Lincoln Hwy, Merrillville. 866.724.3735. schepel.com. Mon-Fri 9am8pm, Sat 9am-5pm. This renowned auto dealer in Northwest Indiana offers new and pre-owned vehicles by Cadillac, Hummer, Saab, Buick and Pontiac. The experienced sales staff, plus the extensive online inventory, help consumers find the car most suited for their needs. Repair services are also available.

Michigan

RUSSELL’S FOREIGN CAR REPAIR 8754 US Hwy 31, Berrien Springs. 269.473.3088. This dealer alternative provides service, repairs and maintenance during the vehicle’s factory warranty and beyond. Russell’s Foreign Car Repair services all imported car makes, but specializes in upscale European and Asian vehicles.

eat Indiana

COSITUTTI MARKETPLACE cosituttimarketplace.com. The many gourmet products available at the Cositutti online store come directly from Italy—handpicked by owner Pam Marasco, who has traveled to Italy on a regular basis. All products are made only in the village of origin and include artisan pasta, Italian honey, olive oil, pesto and pure dark chocolate. GREAT LAKES CATERING 701 Washington St, Michigan City. 219.898.1501. greatlakescatering.com. With a combined 75 years of experience, father and son Ed and Matt Kis have formed one of the area’s leading catering companies. A full range of services is available for all kinds of events, including catered foods and beverages, bands, tents, tables and more. YE OLDE FUDGE SHOPPE 1452 119th St, Whiting. Mon-Thu, Sat 10am-5pm, Fri 10am-7pm. As an extension of Chrislove Collectibles, Ye Olde Fudge Shoppe caters to chocolate lovers. The shop offers more than 20 varieties of homemade fudge, including Oreo, mint amaretto, peanut butter and Dreamsicle flavors. Fudge can be shipped all over the U.S.

Michigan

KILWIN’S Multiple locations in Illinois and Michigan. kilwins.com. For more than 60 years, Kilwin’s has been a quality confectionery shoppe in northern Michigan, providing quality products and excellent services. Despite growing throughout the United States and changing ownership, they still use only the finest and freshest ingredients in their hand-paddled fudge, custom chocolates and truffles.

219.465.7507. This upscale liquor store features fine wines, top-shelf liquors, and import and craft specialty beers. Kegs and ice are also available. ST. JOHN WINE & SPIRITS 9540 Poplar Ln, St. John. 219.558.8911. stjohnwineandspirits.com. Mon-Sat 9am9pm. Both the connoisseur and the beginner alike will feel comfortable in this shop, which features a wide variety of fine wines, beer and spirits. The staff is trained to assist customers with selection needs, in order “to take the intimidation out of shopping for wine and spirits.” Wine tastings are held here often, and gifts and accessories are also available. WHITING FLOWER SHOP 1341 119th St, Whiting. 219.659.0326. whitingflowers.com. Mon-Sat 9am-5pm. Established in 1900, this reputable flower shop offers a large variety of floral styles, for an equally large variety of occasions. In addition to flowers, the shop carries a wide selection of giftware and collectibles, as well as plants.

Michigan

LAMBRECHT’S LIQUORS 2926 Niles Ave, St. Joseph. 269.983.5353. lambrechtsliquors.com. Mon-Wed 9am10pm, Thu-Sat 9am-11pm, Sun noon-9pm (noon-6pm Jan-Mar). Lambrecht’s features a comprehensive selection of wines, beers, spirits, cigars, pipes and tobacco products. Specialty items include beer and winemaking equipment and supplies and gourmet coffees and cheeses. Occasional tasting events and seminars are offered as well.

Illinois

NATHALIE’S INTERIORS & GALLERY 2009 Ridge Rd, Homewood. 708.647.1177. Mon-Wed, Fri 10am-5pm, Thu 10am-7pm, Sat 10am-4pm. A wide array of gifts can be found here, including Vera Bradley items, Pandora jewelry, Thymes fragrances, dishware, baby gifts, All That Jazz statues, and art by Edna Hibel, along with an assortment of art prints.

heal Indiana

CENTER FOR OTOLARYNGOLOGY 9120 Columbia Ave, Ste A, Munster. 219.836.4820. Mon-Fri 9am-5pm or by appointment. Bethany Cataldi, D.O., specializes in ear, nose and throat surgery and facial plastic surgery. In fact, she is the only female facial plastic surgeon in Northwest Indiana who’s been specifically trained in surgery of the face, head and neck. Dr. Cataldi’s expertise in such procedures exclusively ranges all spectrums, from topical treatments like skin peels, to hair removal, to full nasal construction.

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give Indiana

NORTHWEST ORAL SURGEONS 601A US Hwy 30, Schererville. 219.322.0501. 548 Ridge Rd, Ste G, Munster. 219.836.0004. northwestoralsurgeons. com. Drs. Joseph Lovasko, D.D.S., and Paul Wolf, D.D.S., are oral and maxillofacial surgeons whose services include oral pathology, corrective jaw surgery, wisdom tooth removal, dental implants and more.

RIBORDY LIQUORS 2 W Dunes Hwy, Beverly Shores. 219.871.1111. 1454 W Hwy 30, Valparaiso.

OBSTETRICAL & GYNECOLOGICAL ASSOCIATES, INC. 1101 E Glendale Blvd, Ste 102, Valparaiso. 219.462.6144. 3630 Willowcreek Rd, Ste 1, Portage. 219.364.3230. Available by appointment. The board-certified obstetriciangynecologists—Drs. Short, Strickland and Murphy—at this clinic specialize in pregnancy care, family planning, infertility and menopause, along with general women’s

OPULENT VODKA opulentvodka.com. This award-winning vodka, made of a grain distinctively native to America, is fermented and distilled “five times for a purity of less than 1 micron,” according to the website, which also hosts an extensive list of cocktail recipes.

wellness. Patients are made to feel at ease because of the clinic’s state-of-the-art equipment and a skilled staff. PORTER HOSPITAL 814 LaPorte Ave, Valparaiso. 219.263.4600. 3630 Willowcreek Rd, Portage. 219.364.3000. 650 Dickinson Rd, Chesterton. 219.926.7755. porterhealth.org. Since opening in 1939 as a community-owned, not-for-profit hospital, Porter has served area families by providing quality care and programs. With ten facilities in two counties, Porter provides health care that is recognized on local, state and national levels, and offers a continuum of specialized services, such as emergency/trauma, cardiology, family medicine, surgery, obstetrics, orthopedics, oncology, sleep lab, and rehabilitation care. ST. ANTHONY MEMORIAL 301 W Homer St, Michigan City. 888.879.8511. saintanthonymemorial.org. This acute care hospital, serving LaPorte, Porter and Berrien Counties, boasts an integrated healthcare network that is made up of an intensive care unit, a new birthing unit, emergency department, behavioral medicine, rehabilitation services, surgery units, oncology, pediatrics and a multidiscipline physician practice. SAINT MARGARET MERCY HOSPITAL 24 Joliet St, Dyer. 219.865.2141. smmhc. com. One of the largest acute-care hospitals in Northwest Indiana, Saint Margaret Mercy offers a myriad of services in their Dyer and Hammond locations as well as multiple offsite facilities. The hospital offers all private inpatient rooms, a wide variety of healthcare services, and state-of-the-art technology.

Illinois

MOLENAAR EYECARE SPECIALISTS LTD. 3546 N Ridge Rd, Lansing. 708.474.0078. molenaareyecare.com. Mon 1-7pm, Tue and Thu 9am-noon and 2-5pm, Sat 9am1pm. Since 1934, three generations of optometrists in the Molenaar family have run this eyecare practice. Aside from standard vision services, Molenaar also pairs with Dr. Louis Probst of TLC Laser Eye Centers for laser vision.

invest Indiana

HARRIS BANK Administrative Offices, 9801 Connecticut Dr, Crown Point. 219.738.6501. harrisbank. com. This financial institution specializes in retail, commercial and trust services. The bank’s multiple sites and ATM locations throughout Lake and Porter counties and the Chicago area, along with online banking, provide personal and corporate clients with ease and convenience.

Michigan

MUTUAL BANK, KATHY SELLERS 307 W Buffalo St, New Buffalo. 269.469.5552. bankwithmutual.com. Kathy Sellers is a Mutual Bank agent who services both first-time home buyers and seasoned investors. Mutual Bank specializes in investments and wealth management for businesses and personal clients.

learn Michigan

OX-BOW Campus: 3435 Rupprecht Way, Saugatuck. 269.857.5811. Administrative offices: 37 S Wabash Ave, Chicago. 800.318.3019. ox-bow.org. This 96-year-old summer school of art and artists’ residency is

located in Saugatuck and is affiliated with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Ox-Bow offers one- and two-week intensives for aspiring and experienced artists in six studio areas.

live Indiana

COTTAGE CONNECTIONS 422 Franklin St, Michigan City. 219.393.9986. cottage-connections.com. This vacation rental company appeals to both the vacationer and the homeowner. Vacationers can expect clean and cozy accommodations, as well as expert customer service. Homeowners can rely on Cottage Connections to do the busy work of managing the vacation rentals. HARTSFIELD VILLAGE 10000 Columbia Ave, Munster. 219.934.0750. hartsfieldvillage.com. Hartsfield Village offers a full continuum of care that supports a variety of lifestyles, including independent living, assisted living, memory support and nursing care. Amenities include private patios and balconies, lounges, gardens, activity centers and fitness centers. Residents receive many benefits, such as laundry, housekeeping and dining services.

Michigan

CAMP BUFFALO COTTAGES 106 S Franklin St, New Buffalo. 269.469.9090. campbuffalocottages.com. Sales office open Mon-Thu 9am-3pm, FriSun noon-6pm. At Camp Buffalo, cozy cedar-shaked cottages resting in lush woodlands outline a property that promises sanctuary and solitude. The center clubhouse, naturally landscaped amphitheater and inground swimming pool bring the community together for fellowship and fun. Residents may choose between five spacious cottage plans. HARBOR SHORES RESORT 269.932.1600. harborshoresresort.com. Southwest Michigan’s biggest, most talkedabout project is underway in Benton Harbor. The residential community will include a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, marinas, an indoor water park and a luxury spa. The property is surrounded by two rivers and five beaches. Custom homesites and cottages are available. MERCHANT STREET COTTAGES 222 Merchant St, New Buffalo. 888.588.6424. merchantstreetcottages. com. Located just two blocks from downtown New Buffalo, this charming neighborhood consists of seventeen cottages that are built with green materials for simpler, more cost-effective living. Each cottage is created with thoughtful design and attractive features. PINE SIDE RESORT 246 Broadway Ave, South Haven. 269.639.9998. pinesideresort.com. Pine Side Resort has partnered with Big Art’s Log Homes & Furniture and Don Hoyt Contracting to create a gated community on a private lake, situated among 1,449 acres of nature preserve. Residents can choose between a waterfront or wooded site, and among four log home packages.

Illinois

DEWITT PLACE 900 N DeWitt Pl, Chicago. 312.642.7020. dewittplace.com. This 82-unit vintage building, built in 1924, offers corporate housing, temporary furnished apartment rentals and long-term temporary housing solutions. These studio and one-bedroom apartments come with a variety of amenities, including


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shore THINGS a fully equipped kitchen, wireless Internet access, DirecTV satellite service and an exercise room.

pamper Indiana

CHICAGOLAND CENTER FOR COSMETIC SURGERY 2134 S Calumet Ave, Hammond. 219.218.2001. 7863 Broadway, Merrillville. 219.736.2047. chicagolandcosmetics.com. Hours vary by location. The doctors at this cosmetic surgery facility specialize in multiple beauty treatments, including Botox, wrinkle fillers, face lifts, liposuction and body sculpting. THE CINNAMON TREE 505 Silhavy Rd, Valparaiso. 219.548.8383. thecinnamontree.com. Mon-Wed 10am5pm, Thu-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 8:30am-last appointment. A long-time community favorite, this luxury spa offers multiple body care services, including massage, body polish, specialty soaks, body wraps, facials and nail care. Spa packages and parties are available. COSMEDIC SKIN & BODY CLINIC 210 E 86th Pl, Merrillville. 219.795.1255. 58 E Walton, Chicago. 312.377.3333. cosmedicclinic.com. Available by appointment. Dr. James Platis, who has been featured on local and national news programs and has been applauded by Dr. Phil, specializes in all forms of surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures, particularly breast surgery, body contouring and facial aesthetic surgery. Less invasive procedures include tanning, waxing and facials. ELLE SALON 113 W 8th St, Michigan City. 219.874.3553. Tue-Thu 10am-8pm, Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 9am-3pm. This upscale salon, situated in Michigan City’s historic district, offers fullservice hair care, plus manicures, pedicures and facial waxing. Retail products include skin care, body care, a men’s line, wooden styling tools, a full line of Aveda products, and other calming items such as Aveda teas, candles and oils. HEALTHY 4 LIFE 101 87th Ave, Ste 420, Merrillville. 219.756.1100. healthyme4life.com. Healthy 4 Life is a weight loss program—supervised by medical experts Paul and Christine Stanish and Lorri Field—that focuses on therapeutic lifestyle changes. Unlike many other related programs, this one is backed by medical knowledge and support. NAVII SALON & SPA 316 E US 30, Schererville. 219.865.6515. navii.com. Tue 10am-6pm, Wed-Thu 9am9pm, Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 8am-4pm. Deriving its name from the Sanskrit word for “replenish” or “rejuvenate,”Navii offers both salon and spa services, including hair care, skin care, body treatments and makeup application. A Loyalty Program and online appointment booking are extra perks for patrons.

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REVERIE SPA RETREAT 3634 N 700 W, LaPorte. 219.861.0814. spareverie.com. Located on more than fifty acres of deep woodlands, this spa retreat offers an imaginative menu of personal luxury care which includes facials, massage therapy, reflexology, botanical treatments, envelopments and azulene waxings. There are fi ev guest rooms blending calming Asian and classically antique influences and a dining room, which serves twenty-six people vegetables from the garden and other goodies.

VANIS SALON & SPA 221 US 41, Ste J, Schererville. 219.322.5600. 1620 Country Club Rd, Valparaiso. 219.465.6414. 107 N Main St, Crown Point. 219.663.5200. vanis.net. Hours vary by location. One of Northwest Indiana’s premier salons, Vanis features a well-trained, professional staff for hair care, nail care and spa body treatments. Group and corporate retreats (for four to twenty people) can be arranged.

Michigan

YOGA GLOW 6 Linden St, Three Oaks. 269.697.4394. yogathreeoaks.com. This renowned yoga studio features group yoga classes and private lessons for all levels, plus workshops every month. Patrons are encouraged to visit Yoga Glow’s website for class schedules, teacher bios and other yoga-related information.

party Indiana

CHRISTINA’S CREATIVE PLANNING 219.309.1943. ccpweddings.com. Owner Christina Page and her staff of professionals specialize in wedding and event planning—from a small baby shower to a large, full-scale wedding. A large array of party products are available as well, including invitations, accessories, favors and rentals. JEFF BROWN TRIO 219.465.0638. jeffreycbrown.com. In the music business for more than 30 years, Jeff Brown has earned legendary status in the Valparaiso area and beyond. The Jeff Brown Trio, which performs a varied repertoire that is ideal for both listening and background music, is available for private functions throughout Illinois, Indiana and southern Michigan.

play Michigan

FOUR WINDS CASINO 11111 Wilson Rd, New Buffalo. 866.494.6371. fourwindscasino.com. With 3,000 of the most recent types of slot machines and more than 100 tables games, including blackjack and craps, New Buffalo’s Four Winds is the only casino in the area that offers million dollar jackpots. This brand new casino also has the Midwest’s only World Poker Tour poker room.

stay Indiana

BLUE HERON INN 1110 Lakeside St, LaPorte. 219.362.5077. pleastshore.com. Situated on scenic Pine Lake in LaPorte, the Blue Heron Inn features luxury rooms with jacuzzi tubs and fireplaces. Guests can choose from a variety of room selections and special packages. Floating boathouses—with a queen bed, sofa and outside deck—are also available for lodging during the summer.

Michigan

CANDLEWOOD SUITES 2567 W Marquette Wood Rd, Stevensville. 269.428.4400. candlewoodsuites.com/ stjosephmi. With accommodations for overnight, corporate housing and relocation, the Candlewood Suites appeals to the business traveler and vacationer alike. Each room comes with a full-size kitchen, high-speed Internet and a selection of DVD movies. Free laundry, a hot tub and fitness center and a private patio grill area are also available for all guests.

view Indiana

SNAP PHOTOGRAPHY 219.728.1231. snapphotography. blogsome.com. This studio specializes in photographing seniors, babies, families, kids, special events and newborn hospital visits. Photos can be taken on site or in the studio. Custom invitations and announcements can also be designed and created.

Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM 101 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids. 616.831.1000. gramonline.org. The Grand Rapids Art Museum is the first art museum in the world to be certified by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Its glass walls, natural light, and reflecting pool further illustrate the fusion between the indoors and outdoors. With its impressive permanent collection as well as changing exhibitions, this 125,000-square-foot facility is truly a gem in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. RUBINKAM STUDIO 109 N Barton St, New Buffalo. 269.469.1620. 20 E Center St, Douglas. 269.857.7100. rubinkam.com. Open daily. Steve Rubinkam’s bright, whimsical Impressionist paintings of florals, landscapes and boats have been enchanting visitors and residents of New Buffalo for years. Rubinkam also displays works from respected colleagues, including photographers, potters and jewelers. Rubinkam’s newest gallery in Saugatuck has an expanded selection of glassworks, art objects and pottery.

visit Michigan

ST. JOSEPH TODAY 120 State St, St. Joseph. 269.985.1111. sjtoday.org. Mon-Fri 10am-5:30pm, Sat noon-6pm, Sun 1-5pm. Visitors to St. Joseph will find a variety of helpful information—on shopping, dining and events—at this welcome center. St. Joseph Today is a nonprofit organization that assists and encourages local business and tourism development. SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN TOURIST COUNCIL 2300 Pipestone Rd, Benton Harbor. 269.925.6301. swmichigan.org. Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm. The natural attractions of Southwest Michigan—the dunes, miles of scenic Lake Michigan beach, rivers and parks with hiking trails and biking paths—offer beauty in every season. The friendly staff at this nonprofit organization can assist travelers whether they seek solitude or a group learning experience.

wear Indiana

ALBERT’S DIAMOND JEWELERS 711 Main St, Schererville. 219.322.2700. albertsjewelers.com. Mon-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm. Besides the fact that Albert’s showcases 5,000 square feet of jewelry, the store in itself is an entertainment destination. A bar, large-screen TV, dance floor and karaoke are among the many ways that patrons can let loose while browsing every type of fine jewelry imaginable. Brands include Tacori, Bulgari, Cartier and Bez Ambar, and the store’s entire back wall is devoted to bridal jewelry and accessories. HUNCH FURS 2021 W Lincoln Hwy, US 30, Merrillville. 219.769.4270. Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 1-6pm. Situated in a

quaint, cozy brick home, this family-owned company has been selling furs, fine leathers and motorcycle apparel since 1938. Along with extras like hats, purses, scarves and gloves, Hunch Furs also offers repair and cleaning services. INDIAN SUMMER 131 S Calumet Rd, Chesterton. 219.983.9994. 126 S Whittaker St, New Buffalo, Mich. 269.469.9994. Open daily 11am-8pm. This women’s clothing boutique offers casual and contemporary clothing and jewelry from around the world. Indian Summer features brands such as Sympli, Jag Jeans, O My Gauze, San Miguel Shoes and Minnetonka. The new space in Chesterton offers a larger selection of summer apparel, jewelry and accessories, while the original New Buffalo storefront continues to feature its quality inventory for those on the other side of the lake. THE JUNKYARD 1309 119th St, Whiting. 219.473.1501. thejunkyardstore.com. Tue-Fri noon-6pm, Sat noon-3pm. The Junkyard offers fun and trendy tees, ready-made or custom-designed and lettered. Accessories such as belt buckles, buttons, purses, hats and body jewelry are available as well. LUX & MIE 404 E Lincolnway, Valparaiso. 219.464.3330. luxandmie.com. Tue-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat 10am-5pm. Fashions and accessories in contemporary, trendy and casual-chic styles come together at Lux & Mie, an upscale boutique owned by mother-daughter pair Kate and Jamie Salan. The fashionable selection appeals to both men and women, from high school age to those in their 50s and 60s. Featured designers include English Laundry, Covet and Wish Collection.

Michigan

DK BOUTIQUE 213 State St, St. Joseph. 269.983.7313. dkboutique.com. Mon-Sat 10am-6pm. This contemporary women’s clothing boutique in downtown St. Joe offers limited edition designer apparel, cool new accessories and the latest designs in jewelry from Pandora Jewelry. With something for everyone, from teenagers and older, DK Boutique provides the most current styles that are full of flair. MOXIE’S BOUTIQUE 321 State St, St. Joseph. 269.983.4273. moxiesboutique.com. Mon-Sat 10am-6pm. This fun and festive boutique features women’s fashions, accessories and gifts. Apparel—from designers such as Belamie, Flashback Couture and Nic & Zoe—comes in a range of styles and prices. Many local artists’ works are available here as well, including handbags, scarves, jewelry, furniture and art. PHILLIP & SON JEWELRY 23 Center St, Douglas. 269.857.8738. 11am-5pm daily. This charming shop features distinctive jewelry and accessories in every price range—from high end to affordable for every patron. A selection of vintage pieces is available as well.

Illinois

SUPER LOOT 2025 Ridge Rd, Homewood. 708.957.7714. 10am-5:30pm Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm Sat, evenings and Sun by appt. Situated in quaint downtown Homewood, this boutique features women’s apparel—from designers such as Pure, Jag, Willow and 3 Dot—as well as jewelry, purses, accessories and gifts.


nwi.com nnw wi.ccom om

Your Automotive Source for Northwest Indiana

Locate Auto Dealers with Ease, in NW Indiana & Chicagoland BUICK

CENTER CHRYSLER • 41 11009 West 133rd Ave, Cedar Lake, IN 219-374-7171 • www.centercars.com

SCHEPEL BUICK • 9 3209 West Lincoln Highway, Merrillville, IN 219-769-6381 • www.schepel.com CIRCLE BUICK • 65 1300 U.S. 41,, Schererville, IN IN. 219-865-4400 • IL. 773-221-8124 www.circleautomotive.com

GRIEGERS MOTORS • 5 1756 U.S. 30 West, Valparaiso, IN 219-462-4117 • www.griegersmotors.com THOMAS CHRYSLER • 11 9604 Indianapolis Blvd, Highland, IN 219-924-6100 • www.thomasautogroup.com

CADILLAC

HUMMER

NISSAN

SCHEPEL HUMMER • 9 2929 West Lincoln Highway, Merrillville, IN 219-738-1900 • www.schepelhummer.com

SOUTHLAKE NISSAN • 34 Rt. 30, 1 Mile E. of I-65, Merrillville, IN 888-966-4772 • www.southlakeautomall.co

HYUNDAI

PONTIAC

SHAFFER HYUNDAI • 43 1000 W. U.S. Hwy. 30, Merrillville, IN 219-736-2277 • www.shafferhyundai.com

SCHEPEL PONTIAC • 9 3209 West Lincoln Highway, Merrillville IN 219-769-6381 • www.schepel.com

TEAM HYUNDAI • 45 9236 Indianapolis Blvd., Highland, IN 219-923-2277 • www.teamhyundai.net

SMITH PONTIAC • 7 700 W. Commercial Avenue Lowell, IN • 219-696-8931 www.smithautogroupusa.com

DODGE

SCHEPEL CADILLAC • 9 2929 West Lincoln Highway, Merrillville, IN 219-738-1900 • www.schepelcadillac.com

ARNELL DODGE • 14 U.S 20 & I-94, Burns Harbor, IN 866-593-0997 • www.arnellmotors.com

CHEVROLET TEAM CHEVROLET • 48 1856 W. U.S. 30, Valparaiso, IN 219-462-1175 • www.teamchevyinc.com ARNELL CHEVROLET • 14 U.S 20 & I-94, Burns Harbor, IN 866-593-0997 • www.arnellmotors.com RIDGEWAY CHEVROLET • 1 17730 Torrence Ave, Lansing, IL 60438 708-474-4990 • www.ridgewaychevy.com SMITH CHEVROLET - HAMMOND • 37 6405 Indianapolis Blvd., Hammond, IN 219-845-4000 • www.smithautogroupusa.com

CHEVROLET OF HOMEWOOD • 15 18033 S. Halsted., Homewood, IL 60430 800-409-5187 • www.homewoodchevy.com

ARNELL JEEP • 14 U.S 20 & I-94, Burns Harbor, IN 866-593-0997 • www.arnellmotors.com

GRIEGERS MOTORS • 5 1756 U.S. 30 West, Valparaiso, IN 219-462-4117 • www.griegersmotors.com

CENTER JEEP • 41 11009 West 133rd Ave, Cedar Lake, IN 219-374-7171 • www.centercars.com

THOMAS DODGE • 11 9604 Indianapolis Blvd, Highland, IN 219-924-6100 • www.thomasautogroup.com

GRIEGERS MOTORS • 5 1756 U.S. 30 West, Valparaiso, IN 219-462-4117 • www.griegersmotors.com

FORD SMITH FORD • 36 1777 E. Commercial, Lowell, IN 219-769-1090 • www.smithautogroupusa.com

SMITH CHEVROLET - LOWELL • 7 700 W. Commerical, Lowell, IN 219-696-8931 • www.smithautogroupusa.com MIKE ANDERSON CHEVROLET • 4 The Chevy Giant on I-65 I-65 and 61st Avenue, Merrillville, IN 219-947-4151 • www.mikeandersonchevy.com

JEEP

CENTER DODGE • 41 11009 West 133rd Ave, Cedar Lake, IN 219-374-7171 • www.centercars.com

WEBB FORD • 71 9809 Indianapolis Blvd., Highland, IN 888-869-8822 • www.webford.com

GMC SCHEPEL GMC • 9 3209 West Lincoln Highway, Merrillville, IN 219-769-6381 • www.schepel.com CIRCLE GMC • 65 1300 U.S. 41,, Schererville, IN IN. 219-865-4400 • IL. 773-221-8124 www.circleautomotive.com

CHRYSLER

CIRCLE PONTIAC • 65 1300 U.S. 41,, Schererville, IN IN. 219-865-4400 • IL. 773-221-8124 www.circleautomotive.com

SAAB SCHEPEL SAAB • 9 2929 West Lincoln Highway, Merrillville, IN 219-738-1900 • www.schepel.com

SUBARU

THOMAS JEEP • 11 9604 Indianapolis Blvd, Highland, IN 219-924-6100 • www.thomasautogroup.com

SUBARU OF MERRILLVILLE • 24 1777 West, US Rt. 30, Merrillville, IN 219-756-7900 • www.subaruofmerrillville.com

KIA

SUZUKI

SOUTHLAKE KIA • 34 Rt. 30, 1 mi. East of I-65, Merrillville, IN 866-639-8542 • www.southlakeautomall.com

RICHARDSON SUZUKI • 38 9110 Indianapolis Blvd., Highland, IN 219-923-4000 • www.richardsonsuzuki.com

THOMAS KIA • 16 9825 Indianapolis Blvd, Highland, IN 219-934-2266 • www.thomasautogroup.com

TOYOTA

MITSUBISHI

TEAM TOYOTA • 44 9601 Indianapolis Blvd., Highland, IN 219-924-8100 • www.teamtoyota2000.com

SHAFFER MITSUBISHI • 43 1000 W. U.S. Hwy. 30, Merrillville, IN 219-736-2277 www.shaffermitsubishi.com

TOYOTA ON 30 • 46 4450 E. RT 30, Merrillville, IN 219-947-3325 • www.toyotaon30.com

ARNELL CHRYSLER • 14 U.S 20 & I-94, Burns Harbor, IN 866-593-0997 • www.arnellmotors.com 17

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CONTACT YOUR SALES REPRESENTATIVE TO FEATURE YOUR BUSINESS IN THE TIMES AUTO DIRECTORY CROWN POINT • (219) 662-5300 MUNSTER • (219) 933-3200 PORTAGE • (219) 762-1397 VALPARAISO • (219) 462-5151


shorecast PREDICTIONS BY FRAN SMITH

For more astrological advice, be sure to check out Fran Smith’s regular blog on visitshoremagazine.com.

[aries] MARCH 21-APRIL 20

[virgo] AUGUST 23-SEPTEMBER 22

KEY WORDS in March: Secret Strategy-Planning Sessions. Move through this cycle with steadiness—and a real sense of the near future. What you construct now could be extremely significant in advancing the new year. Place yourself in the center. SIDESTEP constant indecision, on your part.

KEY WORDS in March: The Special Arrangement. You must finally come to grips with at least one, possibly two, important agreements. And settle an outstanding question—or debate—once and for all. Think this through, for certain decisions are final. SIDESTEP a disregard for time.

[taurus] APRIL 21-MAY 20

[libra] SEPTEMBER 23-OCTOBER 22

KEY WORDS in February: Your Heart’s Desire. It could be something in your business world, your personal life—or both. Whatever (whomever?) it is, focus on it with clarity. Above all, don’t mention it to a soul. That’ll garble up the works. SIDESTEP too many new people and new projects.

manager OZZIE GUILLEN

[aquarius] JANUARY 20FEBRUARY 18 KEY WORDS in February: The Center of the Stage. Oh, yes. This is swell. This month marks the New Moon (new beginnings) in Aquarius, the start of your personal new year. It’s a time when your close-to-the-heart plans are favored. Definitely, go for it! SIDESTEP canceling at the last minute. KEY WORDS in March: Possessions and Lifestyle. Take care that your general income—and your other earnings—are aligned with changing conditions and circumstances. A good financial review—made by you, privately—is in order. Follow through. SIDESTEP having no real budget.

KEY WORDS in February: The Mountain Top. Don’t back away from that new direction in your career. Things may appear a bit unfamiliar. But upon closer, and silent, investigation, you’ll find that you understand a lot more than you thought at first glance. SIDESTEP not enough rest. KEY WORDS in March: Getting What You Want. Normally suspicious of this concept, you’ll discover that Jupiter’s (Lady Luck) recent transit into Pisces is destined to make several important (to you) possibilities—a reality. SIDESTEP finding it difficult to be in agreement with others.

[gemini] MAY 21-JUNE 20

KEY WORDS in February: People and Projects—near and at a distance. This month will be easier than you think—if you do two things: 1) stop worrying about every little thing, and 2) let go of the past. And use that brilliant mind of yours. SIDESTEP over-delegating important assignments. KEY WORDS in March: Your Career. This is your time to be favorably noticed by those in power positions. Be your own best friend now—and present your ideas and concepts as though they really matter. They do. SIDESTEP not realizing that a low-key approach works best.

[cancer] JUNE 21-JULY 22 producer, actor WILLIAM PETERSEN

[pisces] FEBRUARY 19MARCH 20

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KEY WORDS in February: Confidential Calls, Meetings and Conferences. This isn’t to be treated lightly, for recent developments have set your life on a new course. And it’s up to you to maintain control of both its direction and its content. SIDESTEP scattering your time ande nergy. KEY WORDS in March: In the Limelight. Yes, you can venture out—and know that you have strong planetary backup. Not only is this the time of the New Moon (new starts), in Pisces, but Jupiter (Lady Luck) is also sailing through Pisces. That’s very good stuff. SIDESTEP a lack of focus.

KEY WORD in February: Revitalization, on all levels— mental, emotional, physical, financial and spiritual. Late-breaking developments are in your favor. Know this—and activate them even further wherever an opening appears. Be in the moment. SIDESTEP not being aware of your pacing. KEY WORDS in March: Reaching Out to Others—near and at a distance. A strong part of this cycle is your ability to create new outlines, formats, even blueprints. Don’t try to do it by yourself. A good working partner proves to be invaluable. SIDESTEP overlooking the key points in all talks.

KEY WORDS in February: Work and Its Environment. This part of your world always contains unusual and unexpected elements. Of course, you always handle whatever’s flung at you, work-wise, with style and grace. And this month is hardly an exception. SIDESTEP the sharp answer.

KEY WORDS in February: Love Is in the Air. Wonderful—if you decide to embrace life—your life—as only you can. No back and forth between what was, what is; worse still, what might have been. Be happy now—with those who love You! SIDESTEP high drama at the wrong moment. KEY WORDS in March: Back to the Drawing Board. Work—at its core—must now be tackled by you. That is, if you’re to succeed and advance to the level at which you rightfully belong. Fun and games are fine, but they have no place on the job, at this time. SIDESTEP being totally unavailable.

[scorpio] OCTOBER 23-NOVEMBER 22

KEY WORD in February: Home. Settle down. Recent developments have made your life a bit hectic—but that’s good. It’s given you a rare chance to decide what’s really most important to your lifestyle. And if you are anything— you are style. SIDESTEP not paying attention to the core issues. KEY WORDS in March: Hearts Afire! It doesn’t get any better. Right now, the planet Jupiter (Lady Luck) is going through Pisces, which rules your 5th house of love and creativity. Decide what you want. Think well, too, because you’ve got a very good chance of getting it. SIDESTEP uncertainty.

[sagittarius] NOVEMBER 23-DECEMBER 21

KEY WORDS in February: The Best of Messages. In every way imaginable—calls, emails, text message, fax, FedEx, the U.S. postal system—send them out. And be certain that they reach their destination, for what you now voice impacts on your near future. SIDESTEP being impossible to find. KEY WORDS in March: Your Base of Operations—where you live and where you work. Much that occurs during this cycle will be the result of whom you’re spending the most time with. Just be certain that those close have the best of motives. SIDESTEP letting your record-keeping slip.

[leo] JULY 23-AUGUST 22

[capricorn] DECEMBER 22-JANUARY 19

KEY WORD in March: Renewal, in all areas—mental, emotional, physical, financial and spiritual. Be the thoughtful you—and select your projects-of-the-month in quiet. More gets done with this approach than anyone could possibly imagine. SIDESTEP an uncharacteristic indecisive response.

KEY WORDS in March: Calls and Emails—plus every other form of communication that’s available. That’s good. But pay close attention to the details involved in everything that’s being expressed. And signed. This is a time of high activity. Stay on top of it. SIDESTEP arrogance.

KEY WORDS in February: A New Kind of Arrangement— which is precisely what you need now if you’re to advance in the way that you desire. This could include several areas of your life. Decide which is the most vital one—and press ahead. SIDESTEP being where you’re not supposed to be.

KEY WORDS in February: In Every Currency Imaginable. Money will come in—and you’ll have to be extremely careful that it doesn’t go out too fast. Normally, this isn’t an issue. But there seems to be some new excitement in your life. And you’re distracted. SIDESTEP going in too many directions.


WANT MORE? please go to page 50 or visitshoremagazine.com for a full listing of the area’s best events and watch the Shore Weekender with Joe and Julia for the absolute best picks for a great weekend.

Feb 11-21 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW First Look for Charity, 6:3010:30pm Feb 11; 10am-10pm Feb 12-20; 10am-8pm Feb 21, McCormick Place, 2301 S Martin Luther King Dr, Chicago. chicagoautoshow.com. Auto enthusiasts trek to this annual convention—celebrating its 102nd anniversary this year—of more than 1,000 of the newest cars, trucks, SUVs and concept cars, all displayed within the colossal confines of McCormick Place.

Feb 12-14 6TH ANNUAL MAGICAL ICE CELEBRATION various times and locations, downtown St. Joseph. sjtoday.org. This annual three-day festival of winter fun has activities for sweethearts, families, children and adults. The weekend includes both team and individual ice carver competitions, and spectators can also enjoy warming stations, shopping, dining, dancing, kids’ activities and more.

Mar 4-7 2010 WEST MICHIGAN HOME AND GARDEN SHOW 3-9pm Thu, noon-9:30pm Fri, 10am-9:30pm Sat, 11am6pm Sun, DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids. 800.326.6550.grhomeshow.com. Visitors will find a myriad of exhibitions for home products and services, interior/exterior design and remodeling, gardens, and seminars for home improvement, gardening and cooking.

Lake Michigan

shore PICKS

Mar 6 SPRING FLING 6pm, Blue Chip Casino, 777 Blue Chip Dr, Michigan City. 219.872.4499. michianahumanesociety.org. Animal-lovers can enjoy food, music, an array of artwork donated by local artists and a silent auction, while helping to raise money for the care of homeless pets at the Michiana Humane Society.


last resort

in the department of English at Purdue University West Lafayette and the director of the department’s film studies program, has written three books on film history, and all three are based on the premise that a lot of our behavior is directly formulated from the movies. “We do imitate the movies and try and re-create the situations we encounter in the movies,” Palmer says. “We very rarely succeed.” Palmer says that often, the grand gestures in the movies are updated versions of previous romantic moments. For example, Say Anything’s boom box scene is a big declaration of love, Palmer says, but it’s also the famous balcony scene updated, from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Grand gestures are great, but hard to come up with, Palmer says.

Movie Love

CUTE OR CREEPY? by KATHLEEN QUILLIGAN

A man stands outside the window of the woman he loves, holding a musicblaring boom box over his head. A man professes his love to a woman by singing her a song over a plane intercom as the rest of the plane’s passengers look on. A man learns the language of the woman he loves to tell her he’d like to marry her.

T 6 VISITSHOREMAGAZINE.COM 9

he scenes from beloved romantic movies are enough to make a woman swoon, and usually those movie women do. Often around the movie’s climax and made complete by the accompanying music swelling, grand gestures in the form of declarations of love— such as in Say Anything, The Wedding Singer and Love Actually—allow the guy to get the girl. They also allow those watching the movie to get a little bit of that warm, fuzzy feeling, too. “As cheesy as they are, I like them,” says Alicia Tai, 20, of Hammond. “It’s the perfection and fantasy of an ideal romance.” William Joe Palmer, a professor

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ince life does tend to imitate art, if you’re trying to copy a famous proposal or profession of love, Palmer advises keeping a few things in mind. “Grand gestures are a performance act, and clearly a performance is not real. You do things you normally don’t do,” he says. The receiver has the responsibility of accepting or rejecting, and success is dependent on if the receiver thinks it’s creepy, too over-the-top or just right, Palmer says. If you’re going to try and re-create a scene or situation, make sure the receiver is going to identify with what you’re going to perform. Make sure the receiver can say, “That’s just like Casablanca, or Say Anything,” Palmer advises. A second way to use a film is a way of getting the receiver in the mood. Show them the film and then perform the grand gesture, he suggests. But as far as trying to reproduce grand gestures, “I think people are nuts who try to deliver a ring inside a Jell-O mold of intertwined hearts.” He attributes some of that reaction to being a guy, and thinks that gender is a key issue in both grand gestures and romance in general, because men and women react differently to romantic stimuli. That said, Tai says she thinks she’d be more embarrassed than impressed if presented with a re-created movie scene. When it comes down to it, romance and what’s romantic is different for everybody, and Palmer says you have to know your audience. Janice Beier, 34, of Merrillville, doesn’t disagree. She gets frustrated when men, her husband included, buy flowers for women. “I think flowers are a thoughtless gift,” she says. “They don’t think of what a woman would really like . . . and put that money toward that.” However, Beier says she thinks romance, in any form, is important in and out of the movies. “It’s a cornerstone of marriage. Otherwise it just dies,” she says. While some opt for grand gestures, Palmer says most people create the most romantic moments without even trying. That was the case for Val Lay, 57, of Crown Point. When she and her husband decided to get married, there was no official proposal. They just had a conversation about it. Lay says it was still a “wonderful” moment, even though he didn’t pop the question on a jumbotron or from a banner on the back of an airplane. Lay adds that their relationship’s biggest grand gesture was the birth of their first child, which happened to take place on Valentine’s Day. Cases like the birth of Lay’s child are exactly what Palmer means about not trying too hard for romance. “Romantic beauty tends to just happen.”

ILLUSTRATION BY CHRISTINA SOMERS



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