CHUGALUG: The Publican, a new gastropub concept from the masterminds behind acclaimed Chicago eateries Blackbird and Avec, has quickly become a Fulton Market hot spot. The restaurant, known for its extensive international beer menu (choices number close to 100) and its emphasis on pork and seafood (think pork belly and bouchot mussels) enjoyed the number-one slot on Chicago magazine’s “The Hot List” for both December and January. It also rang in the New Year as one of local critics’ favorite 2008 launches. Perhaps it’s the lively beer hall-like atmosphere with long communal tables that hits the right note of fun and festivity paired with fresh, flavorful and unfussy food.
— Beth Wilson
BEST-LAID PLANS: Acclaimed worldwide for its architecture, Chicago will celebrate the man behind one of the city’s most influential designers — Daniel Burnham. The architect was a force behind the 1892 Chicago World’s Fair, as well as structures like the Flatiron Building in New York, and Union Station in Washington, D.C.
This year marks the centennial anniversary of his 1909 Plan of Chicago, which organized the city’s infrastructure and produced some of its most notable features, such as North Michigan Avenue, the lakefront parks and bi-level Wacker Drive.
Through Dec. 15, the Art Institute of Chicago will feature 142 illustrations from artists commissioned to translate Burnham’s dreams on to paper.
The exhibition, “Daniel Burnham’s Plan of Chicago,” will be shown in conjunction with the mid-June openings of the Burnham Pavilions in Chicago’s Millenium Park, featuring designs of European avant-garde architects Zaha Hadid and Ben Van Berkel, which celebrate the themes of Burnham’s work.
— Stephanie Sutter