THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – At Least Spring Events Are Blooming!

It may be spring but it sure doesn’t look or feel like it here in Chicago. But at least our spring events are beginning to bloom this April weekend despite the dreariness around here!

Add some bloom to your weekend at one or both of these shows:

The Lincoln Park Conservatory (2391 N. Stockton Dr.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood is hosting its Spring Flower Show: Pillars of Spring now through May 8th.  Visitors will get some inspiration for planting vertically especially if you live in an urban area where there are no yards to grow plants and only have limited space like a balcony. This year’s show covers over a dozen free standing pillars with flowers like fuchsias, geraniums, nemesias, snapdragons and more. Also, azaleas and camellias will fill the room with beauty and elegance for added visions of spring!

The Garfield Park Conservatory (300 N. Central Park Ave.) in the East Garfield Park neighborhood is hosting its Spring Flower Show: Knock Knock now through May 8th. This year’s show features an array of tulips, hydrangeas, daffodils, and hyacinth. Plus, you’ll find vintage doors from the Rebuilding Exchange hanging throughout the display with an abundance of knock knock jokes throughout the show house! Warm weather may seem like a distant memory but this fun, playful spring flower show will definitely bring a reprieve from the long Chicago winter!

Thriftkindl Vintage Spring Market is back and being hosted by various Chicagoland vintage resellers at the beautiful Wildwood Studio Chicago (2138 W. Roscoe St.) in the Roscoe Village neighborhood this Saturday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. On hand will be mid-century home décor for sale, colored vintage glassware including Viking swung vases in every color, Fenton fairy lights, vintage clothing, handmade artisan candles in vintage vessels, as well as lots of vintage treasures at affordable price points! It’s the best secondhand shopping day you’ll have and it’s all under one roof!!

The Pozole Cook Off returns for its 4th annual, two-day event celebrating community with 20+ pozoles, prizes and beer this Saturday and Sunday (1 p.m. – 5 p.m.) at the Lo Rez Brewery & Taproom (2101 S. Carpenter St.) in the Pilsen neighborhood. Come cast your vote for the People’s Choice Pozole Cook Off Winner. First place receives the Pozole Trophy and Private Tour & Tasting. Second place receives a four pack of Lo Rez beer to go. Third place receives a round of beer for the winner and 3 friends. May the BEST pozole win!

Immerse yourself in a dazzling cat-themed world like you’ve never seen before at POP Cats this Saturday (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.) at Artifact Events (4325 N. Ravenswood Ave.) in the Ravenswood neighborhood. This fun-packed experience is fueled by the spirit of cats, pop, and art!  They will unveil six colorful cat playgrounds, a cat art exhibition, music, photo ops, brands, cat adoptions and much more. Plus, a portion of the profits will benefit participant cat organizations! Meow!

With Easter around the corner, the Norwood Park Egg Hunt will be blooming this Saturday (10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) at 5900 N. Nina Avenue on the school grounds.  This year’s hunt is going from 6,000 eggs to 10,000 eggs along with a mini donut truck, face painting, balloon twisting, live music and pictures with the Bunny which will be $15 per picture. It’s an Epic Eggstravaganza not to be missed!

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago

Neighborhood News – Streeterville, Old Town, Ravenswood, Logan Square, Lincoln Park, City-Wide

On Friday, we welcome a new month. April brings ever-warming temperatures, longer days, and more reasons than ever to enjoy Chicago’s amazing communities and events!

…And no fooling allowed! On Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2, from 7:30pm- 9pm, the renowned Giordano Dance Chicago opens its 59th season by returning to the Harris Theater of Music and Dance at Millennium Park, 205 E. Randolph, with the world premiere of Autumn Ekman’s Retroverse, featuring an original score by Dan Myers. For tickets, click here

At Second City’s e.t.c. Theater, 230 W. North Ave, in Old Town, there’s “no time for regrets” in the 45th e.t.c. revue, ‘The Best Decision You’ve Ever Made.’ Shows start Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm and 10pm, and Sundays at 5pm. As e.t.c.’s website says, “This choose-your-own comedy (mis)adventure explores the choices we make and how they impact our world in a hilarious, heartfelt, and interactive way…We’re not just addressing the elephants in the room—we’re inviting them to the dungeon basement dance party.” But if you find a few, there’s no drink minimum. For tickets and information, click here.

Dot Kane The Storyteller entertains in a free show at Ravenswood’s Brush Park Gym this Saturday, April 2, 4646 N. Rockwell Street, from 10:30am-11am. The storyteller, according to Brush Park’s website, entertains and engages children’s minds, bodies and imaginations by using songs, props and comedy…while teaching important life lessons. For more information, click here.

HELLO, KITTY! POP Cats 2022, at the Ravenswood Artifact Events Center, 4325 N. Ravenswood Avenue, described on its website as “a cat convention meets cat café,” on Saturday, April 2, from 10am to 5pm and Sunday, April 3rd, from 11am to 5pm. Bring the family and enjoy cat playgrounds, artists, music, photo ops, artisans,  cat adoptions, and more! You can even ink ‘Cat-toos!’A portion of profits benefits participant cat organizations. For tickets, click here

Brave Space, at Logan Square’s Aloft Circus Arts, 3324 N. Wrightwood, on Sunday April 3, 7pm –8pm, according to its website, “grows to encompass a world of wondrous circus that includes juggling, cyr wheel, duo trapeze, a rope act like no other, and awe-inspiring feats of balance and strength.” They invite the audience to sit nose-to-nose with an all-female cast of bold acrobats to build the world we want to live in, even for only a few shared moments. Limited to 100 people, participants must sit on the floor, stand up, and walk around for the duration. For tickets, click here.

Just in time for Easter….relive or learn about the funny side of Catholic school days in ‘Late Nite Catechism,’  now through April 16 (Easter Saturday) at Lincoln Park’s The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue. As the website says, “You, the audience members, are part of Sister’s class. She’ll take you back to the days of the Latin Mass, meatless Fridays, and remind you about that good old ruler across the knuckles!” Ahhh, memories.  Performances start at 5pm on Saturdays and 2pm on Sundays. For tickets, click here

Chicago Restaurant Week enters its second full week, where diners can enjoy special prix-fixe menus from restaurants throughout Chicago and nearby suburbs. Multi-course meals are $25 for brunch or lunch, and $39 and/or $55 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax, gratuity, and delivery fees). The prices are also valid for takeout/delivery options. For a list of participating restaurants, click here.

April Dates to Remember:


10-Palm Sunday

15-Good Friday 



22-Earth Day

24-Easter (Orthodox)

27-Administrative Professionals Day

29-Arbor Day

Note: Most indoor events require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test prior to entry, and wearing a mask  inside the venue. Check for details before you go. 

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago

Restaurant Review – The Bagel

For nearly 70 years, North Side customers eager to get their nosh on have relied on The Bagel, a venerable Lakeview institution, for fresh lox, bagels and unusual creations featuring cured meats, fresh vegetables, fresh cheeses and freshly baked bread. 

Chef Danny Wolf and his family continues the tradition of home-style cooking and hospitality established by their parents and grandparents. And, according to The Bagel’s patrons, they have mastered the art of ‘building’ a sandwich. 

As Bon Appétit Magazine opined about building a perfect sandwich: “What makes it sing? Architecture. The balance of flavors and textures that make each bite harmonious. The care for logistics that keeps a tomato from sliding out. There’s a reason it’s called “building” a sandwich.”

The proof can be seen in The Bagel’s Reuben Sandwich, with sliced, lean corned beef and sauerkraut piled high and topped with melted Swiss cheese on grilled rye, served with Thousand Island dressing, coleslaw and your choice of side. Or, Grilled Salami and Cheese on rye bread with coleslaw and your choice of side. For something completely different, try one of their Hot Open-faced sandwiches, like their Brisket of Beef, served on white bread with mashed potatoes and gravy. Danny’s Five Star Deluxe combines turkey, salami, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and thousand island dressing; served on rye with your choice of side and coleslaw. Barb’s Bonanza has corned beef and chopped liver, served on rye with your choice of side and coleslaw. Among your choices: French fried potatoes, fresh fruit, pasta avocado salad potato salad, and potato pancake, made to order and served with sour cream or apple sauce. 

While their sandwiches often reach lofty levels of goodness, the large menu offers so many other worthy combinations for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their Hoppel-Poppel Omelette pairs diced frankfurter or salami, potato, green pepper and onion. Or, Broiled Kippers (smoked herring) with eggs. Chopped Liver is served with raw onion and a tomato slice. 

Fish delicacies are served with dairy-fresh cream cheese, sliced red tomatoes, raw onion, cucumber, green pepper, black olives and your choice of bagel. The Lox Spread pairs cream cheese, blended with smoked salmon and onions, served with tomato slice and a bagel. Or, try their Smoked Whitefish Salad Platter, served with sliced red tomato, raw onion, cucumber, green pepper, black olives and your choice of bagel, sans cream cheese.

Savory Specials include Chicken in the Pot, which is one-half of a tender spring chicken, served in golden chicken broth with matzo ball, kreplach, noodles, rice, cooked carrot and boiled potato.

Google reviewers were often rapturous. 

“Excellent breakfast, lunch and dinner deli/ bakery/full menu restaurant,” wrote one. “First class staff, and owner take care of each customer like they’re the only customer.  Monday special is wild caught salmon.  Thursday is BBQ chicken…vegetable soup is a meal in itself.  My favorite sandwiches are the chicken salad,  and the pastrami. Can’t go wrong here!”

Another said, “Wonderful deli food, good service, reasonable prices, free parking. I ordered a half pastrami sandwich on rye with a bowl of sweet and sour cabbage soup. They know how to please. I left with a smile.”

The Bagel is located at 3107 N. Broadway. They’re open daily from 8am-9pm, and their free parking lot is on Barry. While reservations aren’t mentioned, you can find out more by clicking here.

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago

Chicago Home and Lifestyles – Spring Cleaning Your Brain

It has been an extremely stressful couple of years for everyone. After coming out of the pandemic we now face extreme inflation along with a devastating war in Ukraine. While we may have little control over what our leadership decides, we do have control over how we manage the stress. Here are a few ways to keep the stress to a minimum.

First, we need to be mindful of the stress and act quickly before it can take over. Mindful meditation can return you to the present when we become distracted. When our minds begin to race, we can become anxious and need to refocus. Try to stop as soon as you notice your mind wandering and notice the sensations in your body. Do you feel the sun and the ground beneath your feet? Return your awareness and pay attention to your breathing until you come back to the present. 

With our 24/7 news cycle we are bombarded from all sides with information and news. This is definitely overwhelming. It can leave us feeling helpless, anxious, and even angry. Reduce your consumption to no more than twice daily. Pick a reputable source for your news and check it sparingly!

Start a journal and write in it every day. While keeping you mindful it also lets you see what is working for you and what keeps you happy. You will see a pattern that shows you which experiences give you the most joy and where you need to focus. Re-evaluate how you are spending your energy and time. 

Your physical surroundings have a definite effect on your cognitive ability. Living in a messy space can have a distorting effect on your emotions that can decrease your productivity. Of course, you can hire a professional organizer to help but that can be costly. Invite a good friend over who also needs to de-clutter. Help each other work on getting rid of the mess and what you can keep. Play music while you sort to make it a pleasant experience!

If you find your mind as cluttered as your house, it is good to reconnect with the people that you love and make you happy. Throughout the pandemic we have lost touch with so many friends and loved ones. Now that restaurants are back open you can get together; even just going out for a cup of coffee could be great. Don’t feel awkward when you call, everyone understands. Just say how you miss them. Believe me, everyone is waiting for that call!

Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago

Tips to Decorating an Odd-Shaped Living Room

An odd-shaped living room can be a decorating nightmare. Whether you’ve got harsh angles, recessed walls, or columns in the middle of the room, it can be tough to arrange furniture, decorate, and create a functional space.

But rather than seeing these weird features as obstacles, look at them as opportunities to get creative and decorate with some flamboyance.

Here are some ways to get around your irregular-shaped living room to create an awesome space that’s both functional and stylish.

Break the Room Down Into Segments

Living rooms with unorthodox layouts can be tackled by separating them into different segments, if the space permits. Then you can arrange specific furniture pieces and décor in these different areas to suit various tasks.

For example, one section could be reserved for a sofa and television, while another space can be dedicated to an office/study area. Or, you might choose to create a reading area with a chaise, small table and bookshelf.

If the room allows for different functions, then make use of this space accordingly so even the most bizarre spots can be functional without leaving them bare.

Arrange Around a Focal Point

Take the attention away from peculiar spots in the living room by creating a focal point. You can literally make this central point whatever you wish, whether it’s a large coffee table, fireplace, chandelier, wall art, or an area rug.

Once you’ve decided what you want your focal point to be, decorate around it. Just make sure that it’s placed in an easily visible spot. Going this route will draw attention to the center of the space, rather than showcase its unusual edges and corners.

Use Rounded Furniture Pieces For Harsh Angles

Sometimes you wonder what was going through the minds of the architects and builders when they designed and built a home with rooms that feature corners and edges with no rhyme or reason. Whatever the case may be, it’s now up to you to work around it.

And when it comes to harsh corners and angles, one of the best ways to tackle this issue is to place furniture pieces with rounded edges to soften the area. Pieces with equally sharp edges will only accentuate the severity of the angled walls and corners. The opposite is true with round furniture; these pieces work to soften the angles and take the focus off of them.

Be Consistent With Repeated Elements

If you’re going to have elements in the space that will be repeated, such as molding or window treatments, make sure to keep them consistent throughout the room. This will help to take the attention off the irregular shape of the room and make it appear more conventional.

All the trim should be consistent, and every window covering should be the same. While this might not sound like a lot of fun, it can be really effective at normalizing the layout of the room.

Give Purpose to Tight Corners

What are you supposed to do with a corner that’s less than 90 degrees? Simple. Transform it into a space of its own by placing items such as reading chairs, potted plants, tall vases, or small accent tables. While you might not necessarily hang out in that corner much, adding elements such as these can breathe life into the corner and give it some purpose.

Create Balance With Free-Standing Shelves

Rooms that have strange layouts can often appear off kilter. Your job is to bring back a sense of balance in the room, which can effectively be done by placing a free-standing bookshelf wherever the space calls for it. By including a shelving unit that can be accessed from all sides, it can make the room appear more symmetrical.

Make Odd Walls or Columns a Feature

Lots of older homes tend to comes with a random column in the middle of the room, or an unexpected wall protruding from the perimeter. If you’re faced with one of these traits, use them to your advantage and make them features in the room.

You might want to paint the wall or column a different color than the rest of the walls in the space, or use it as an area where you hang all your collective art pieces. Turning it into a feature is a much better option than trying to camouflage it in some way, which can actually make it stand out even more.

An oddball living room definitely makes it more challenging to outfit, but you’re really only limited to your imagination when it comes to making it work. In fact, an unusually shaped room can even turn out to be the most memorable part of your home if it’s used properly.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Welcoming First Full Weekend of Spring!

Welcome to the last weekend of March and the first full weekend of spring!  It may not be exactly the spring temperatures we were hoping for, but at least we’re out of hibernation.  In the meantime, though, kick back, relax and have some fun at these weekend events!

Sometimes you just need to unwind with some choice libations.  If that’s the case, head on over to Gourmet Expos’ 5th annual West Loop Spirits & Wine Festival this Saturday (11 a.m.-6 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m.-5 p.m.) at Plumbers Hall (1340 W. Washington Blvd.).  Not only does this festival showcase dozens of local, national, and international producers of fine spirits and wines under one roof, it also features renowned purveyors of artisanal chocolates and specialty treats; an opportunity to chat with the representatives and artisans about their process; watch experts as they give informational demonstrations showing you the best practices of pairing beverages and foods; continuous live music by Big Dog Mercer Blues Band; and more!  Ticket packages start at $45 with limited free on-site parking.  Plus, 100% of the tastings and sales net proceeds will benefit Voice of Care which embraces, empowers, and engages those who experience disabilities and their families!

This Saturday, Eataly Chicago (43 E. Ohio St.) on the Near North Side will be celebrating all things Italian wine with their Vino & Food Festa.  This festa features two time slots from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. with unlimited tastings of over 25 regional Italian wines, a tasting of meats, cheeses, and bites, and a bottle of prosecco to take home with you!  Plus, enjoy a special 10% discount in their marketplace (valid on day of event only) to bring home your favorites and more!!

This Sunday only from 3 p.m.-5:30 p.m., enjoy Jurassic Park in Concert at the Chicago Symphony Center (220 S. Michigan Ave.) in The Loop.  Relive the magic of Jurassic Park on the big screen with a thrilling performance of John Williams’ iconic score by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  Visually stunning imagery and groundbreaking special effects will be featured as well.  Your ticket also includes a free pre-concert conversation featuring Richard Kaufman in Orchestra Hall 75 minutes prior to the performance and will last approximately 30 minutes.  Welcome to Jurassic Park!!

The biggest night in films takes place this Sunday evening with the 94th Annual Academy Awards and can be viewed LIVE only on ABC7.  However, there are several Oscar viewing parties being held around town if you prefer to go all out and celebrate in true Hollywood style!

The Chicago Actors Studio (2040 N. Elston Ave.) in the Bucktown neighborhood will be hosting their Oscar Viewing Party with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.  This event offers free admission, snacks, and drinks along with an Oscar Pool, but you need to enter before 7:00 p.m.  There’s also free parking at Best Buy located a ½ block north of the building!

The Oscar Party 2022 is being hosted at the Lark Bar Chicago (3441 N. Halsted St.) in the Lakeview neighborhood.  Their Red Carpet begins at 6 p.m. and features free award ballots and popcorn, $19 bottomless champagne (2-hour limit), and $5 Bud Light drafts.  Plus, all screens have sound!

The Academy Award Oscar Party is being hosted at My Buddy’s (4416 N. Clark St.) in the Ravenswood neighborhood from 6 p.m.-11 p.m. with tons of giveaway prizes and a ballot competition!

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago

Neighborhood News: Happy Spring from Belmont-Central, Lincoln Square, Chicago Loop, River North, Ravenswood

Spring has sprung, and with it, new opportunities for fun in Chicago. Don’t miss any of Chicago’s awesome opportunities to come out and enjoy all that our unique communities offer this week!

Take the kids to see the Stahl Family Theater’s latest production, ‘The Ugly Duckling’ premiering Wednesday, March 23, through May 6. Located at 5900 W. Belmont, in the Belmont-Central neighborhood, the one-hour musical tells the story of a new student, who “isn’t quite like the other ducklings on her first day at Lucky Ducky School.” The musical also provides age-appropriate lessons about uniqueness, bullying and becoming “up standers” rather than bystanders, featuring a script by Jesus Perez, with original songs composed by Paige Coffman. For tickets and information, click here.

For a relaxing 90 minutes in a busy, stressful world, Lincoln Square’s Bloom Yoga Studio, 4663 N. Rockwell, presents Playful Yoga at the Wall on Thursday, March 24, from 6:30pm-8pm. The instructor prominently features wall work in standing, back bending and inverted shapes. Cost is $35, unless a Studio Member, where the rate is $25. For more information, click here.

Welcome to…. ‘Jurassic Park!’ The Steven Spielberg-directed 1993 classic featured an amazing score by Oscar winner John Williams. On Friday, March 25 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, March 26 at 3pm, relive the movie on the big screen at Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan Avenue. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra recreates Williams’ haunting orchestral score. Starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum, the adventure pits man against prehistoric predators in the ultimate battle for survival. Ticket holders are invited to a free preconcert conversation featuring Richard Kaufman in Orchestra Hall 75 minutes before the performance. The conversation will last approximately 30 minutes. No additional tickets required. Tickets start at $85. For tickets and information, click here.

At the James M. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph Street, and Spiegeltent ZaZou – Cambria Hotel – 32 W. Randolph Street, the cast of Teatro Zinanni invites you to experience “the finest fine diner in the Chicago Loop.” According to Broadway in Chicago, the chef-Madame Z (Chicago’s own Bethany Thomas) and head waiter, Doily (Kevin Kent), have assembled a hardworking restaurant crew of unemployed circus artists from around the world. An old friend comes roaring up on his motorcycle, ready to bring their dreams to life. What will they wish for? Included in this theatrical production is a multi-course gourmet feast, including vegan options. NOTE: Ticket price does not include the $10 per person hospitality fee, beverages, or additional menu items and additional gratuity. A treat for all the senses! For tickets, click here.

Chicago Restaurant Week is in full swing, and at Eataly, 43 E. Ohio Street, is celebrating at their Vino & Food Festa. On Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26, you can enjoy unlimited tastings of more than 25 regional Italian wines, salumi, formaggi, and chef-curated bites. And… each ticket includes one bottle of prosecco to-go! The festa is taking place in three of Eataly’s private event spaces: La Scuola, Il Salone, and La Birreria. For tickets and information, click here.

Art lovers are invited to Ravenswood’s Cornelia Art Building, 1800 W. Cornelia Avenue, on Friday March 25 from 6pm to 10pm, and Saturday March 26, 11am to 3pm, to their first Open House of the new year!

The building has undergone extensive remodeling and welcomed many new artists. With one-of-a-kind artwork and special artisan-made gifts by the building artists, the event offers something for the whole family. Featuring the works of Nelson Armour (photography), Judy Zeddies (printmaking), and Tiphanie Spencer (painting and drawing). Many, many more! For more information, click here.

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago

Restaurant Review – Chicago Restaurant Week Starts March 25

It’s the ‘Christmas in July’ of restaurant celebrations….after pandemic-muted Restaurant Weeks the past two years, Chicago Restaurant Week begins a 17-day odyssey of epicurean delights this Friday, March 25. The ‘week’ runs through April 10.

As Choose Chicago notes, the 15th annual event brings together hundreds of the area’s top restaurants, representing a near-endless array of cuisines. Foodies and curious eaters will enjoy the opportunity to sample all that Chicago offers for a low prixe-fixe for multi-course meals–$25 for brunch or lunch? Or…$39 and/or $55 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax, gratuity, and delivery fees)? 

Time to celebrate!

This year, diners will continue to have the flexibility to experience Chicago Restaurant Week through dine-in or takeout/delivery options.

Several of the participating restaurants have already been reviewed by Dean’s Team Chicago. Among them are Dear Margaret, Bloom Plant-Based Kitchen, The Berghoff, and Batter & Berries, to name just a few. Now would be a very opportune time to visit and enjoy these locally-based spots specializing in French, Vegan, German and breakfast cuisine, among so many others. 

According to Choose Chicago’s FAQ, reservations are not required, but are HIGHLY recommended.

Many are going all-out to welcome guests back inside their restaurants after the pandemic. 

For example, the Argentinian steakhouse Artango, 4767 N. Lincoln Avenue. This North Center dining and dancing spot features authentic, mouthwatering  parrilla-grilled steaks, meats and seafood, teamed with a rotating line-up of pro Tango dancers, musicians, and singers in a clubby-chic setting. 

Wicker Park/Bucktown residents can enjoy Café Robey, 1600 N. Milwaukee Avenue, directed by Chef Keven McAllister, and serving up Modern American fare—boasting that “every seat is the best seat at Cafe Robey,” with double height ceilings giving way to the streetscape of Milwaukee and North Avenues. Breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner are served.

The Berghoff, at 17 W. Adams Street, features a $25 lunch and $39 dinner, serving German-American style cuisine. With traditional Berghoff dishes, contemporary American fare, seasonal menus, vegetarian and gluten-free options, the Berghoff promises “there is truly something for everyone…” including freshly-baked bread and freshly brewed beer from the Loop’s only brewery.

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, 2024 N. Halsted Street, features tapas, pintxos, paella & sangria in a lively Mediterranean style atmosphere. They are offering $25 Brunch and $39 Dinners during Chicago Restaurant Week.

For a complete list of restaurants and offerings for 2022’s Chicago Restaurant Week, click here.

Bon appétit….Chicago style!

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago

Chicago Home and Lifestyles – Companion Gardening

Spring is almost here in Chicagoland. Of course, that means temperatures one day can be a balmy 65-70 and the next it is 35 with driving rain. But, planting time is just around the corner, so it’s time to plan the flower and vegetable gardens!

 While you are planning, consider what we call “Companion Gardening,” placing plants together that can be beneficial to each other. 

Many of our vegetable plants need pollinators like bees, lacewings, and hoverflies, to propagate. Placing a scented flower near these plants will attract these pollinators and ensure success. Common Marigolds (Calendula) are wonderful for tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini. Sow marigold seeds in-between the vegetables. They look great too! French Marigolds (Tagetes) will deter whiteflies on tomatoes. 

Aphids are nasty bugs that can wreak havoc on your vegetables. Herbs like chervil and coriander repel aphids while providing flavor in your cooking. Chives will also keep aphids away from your tomatoes while adding mild onion flavor to your dishes. Dill left to flower will attract aphid eating insects like hoverflies and wasps. Another delicious herb Thyme has a strong scent and will deter black flies that love to munch on bean plants. 

Lavender plants are so fragrant and beautiful. They are wonderful for attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies. Lavender can also be used for making sachets and even tea that can help with sleep. It’s always good to plant flowers that attract butterflies. We can all do our part to keep butterflies propagating. 

Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago

Spring Cleaning Checklist: Don’t Forget To Clean These 6 Things

Most homeowners dread spring cleaning, but it’s a necessity when you think about how many things typically get overlooked as part of everyday cleaning. You might vacuum, wash dishes, and do laundry regularly, but there are plenty of other chores that get overlooked.

You should include the following items in your spring cleaning checklist.

1. Utensil Drawers

Pull out your utensil drawers, take everything out and thoroughly clean the insides, including the back, sides, and corners. Make sure to let them dry completely before you replace all of your utensils.

2. Coffee Makers

You should not only clean out your coffee pot, but also the filter. Take your coffee maker apart once in a while to give it a good cleaning in warm water mixed with white vinegar.

3. Ceiling Fans

The blades of your ceiling fans probably have a thick layer of dust on top of them. Imagine turning them on and allowing all that dust to enter the air you breathe. It is essential that you clean your ceiling fans as a part of your spring cleaning. You can use a vacuum cleaner with an extended nozzle, a duster, or even a damp cloth to remove all the piled-up dust.

4. Window Screens

Window screens are not just designed to keep critters out, they’re also intended to trap dust and debris. After a while, window screens can become clogged with particles, which can limit their effectiveness. Additionally, dirty window screens look disgusting. For stubborn debris, you will have to remove the screens from their frames and soak them in warm, soapy water before spraying them down and replacing them.

5. Oven

There’s a good chance that your oven will collect a layer of hard-to-remove grime at the bottom or along the interior walls. Those casseroles dripping with grease or those oven-baked pizzas covered with melted cheese can leave behind a layer of caked-on grease that needs to be removed. Your job just got a whole lot easier if you have a self-cleaning oven. But if you don’t, it’s going to take a few hours for oven-cleaning products to lift all that grease. Otherwise, you’ll have to use a lot of elbow grease to scrape it off that way.

6. Under & Behind Large Appliances

Even if you regularly vacuum your floors, dust and debris can accumulate underneath your large appliances over time. Pull out the refrigerator, oven, washer, and dryer and clean the areas that have been covered by these appliances throughout the year.

While spring cleaning might not be fun, it’s a necessary task. Make sure you’ve covered everything so you can enjoy a clean home throughout the rest of the year.