Weekend Beat: Life Beyond Lolla

Festivals, food events also on tap this weekend

By Audarshia Townsend
|  Thursday, Aug 6, 2009  |  Updated 3:56 PM CDT
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Your Social Scene's Stimulus Package

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If sweating it out with thousands of others at Lollapalooza isn't your idea of a good time, there are other options this weekend.

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Stay classy with this roundup of booty-shakingly rad (and liver-crushingly delicious) weekend events from The 312 Dining Diva.

TOP PICK FOR THE WEEKEND
Nadirah Shakoor's Groove Parlor live set
10pm-2am Saturday at Cuatro: 2030 S. Wabash Ave; 312.842.8856; $10

Check out Nadirah Shakoor -- erstwhile Arrested Development member and featured vocalist for Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer Band -- when she headlines Groove Parlor's seventh anniversary party at Cuatro. Expect her to perform some of the now classic underground house songs (Just a Breath Away; Love Song) that she collaborated on with Osunlade, an amazing, well-known producer who's had a string of hits on his Yoruba Records label.

THURSDAY
Drop in to sola, where owner/Executive Chef Carol Wallack has created mouth-watering peach-infused dishes that you can enjoy in the stylish dining room or on the patio. You can also indulge in Wallack's award-winning Wagyu burger (cambazola cheese, house-made bacon, caramelized onions and arugula on a chewy pretzel roll), which is only served on Thursdays and Sundays.

FRIDAY
Don't miss the Taylor Street Festa Italiana, a cozy neighborhood festival in Little Italy with live music and Boot-focused eats. On Taylor Street between Loomis & Ashland. Friday-Sunday. 5-11pm Friday; noon-11pm Saturday; noon 10pm Sunday. Free.

Dutty Rock dancehall toaster Sean Paul will have The Shrine jumping on Friday night. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

SATURDAY
Hit the third-annual Tater Tot Trot (basically, a tater-focused bar crawl) in the Southport Corridor . Kicks off at 4pm at Schoolyard Tavern and Grill. No cover.

Just around the corner from that is Wrigleyville SummerFest, featuring local favorites Too White Crew and 7th Heaven. 3350 N. Seminary Ave. Noon-10pm Saturday; 10am-9pm Sunday. $5.

SUNDAY
Roll up to the just-opened Orange on Grand Avenue, a suddenly crazy popular late-night hangout that offers bar snacks Thursday through Saturday until 4am.

If you've got a couple of amazing bottles you've been saving for a special occasion, it's time to pop the cork during Sip & Savour Sundays at Osteria Via Stato. The BYO event is sans corkage fee, but it's limited to two bottles per table in the dining room or adjacent pizzeria.

MONDAY
In Fine Spirits Lounge showcases the sustainably produced Death's Door white whiskey, gin and vodka at the Monday night tasting. Guest bartender Peter Vestinos will be on hand with sample cocktails. 8-10pm. $15.

Audarshia Townsend is the creator of the local food blog 312DiningDiva.com. She also provides content for Dining Chicago, Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine, Playboy.com and Concierge Preferred.

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