Weekend Beat: Warm it Up

Chicago spots where you can pretend it's nice outside

By audarshia townsend
|  Thursday, Jan 28, 2010  |  Updated 12:15 PM CDT
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Think Brazil. Think Australia. Think Mexico.

Think about anywhere warmer than this brutally cold weather that's got you contemplating wearing three layers of coats this weekend. If you can't get away, the 312 Dining Diva helps you pretend you're somewhere with more tropic-like temperatures.

THURSDAY
Deejays spin classic reggae, dub and hip-hop at new Jamaican joint Mr. Brown’s Lounge, in Ukrainian Village. You'll get jerk chicken, oxtails, beef patties and curry goat that tastes like it came right out of Kingston, but you'll also get a little bit of American flair in the dining room that's casual, but clubby.

FRIDAY
For a kitschy, Hawaiian theme, it's time to get busy at Trader Vic’s, which serves up traditional pu-pu platters, Mai Tais and more. We love this spot for after-work shenanigans, because after a few of these strong-ass cocktails you'll be up for almost anything.

SATURDAY
Nightlife-inspired Chicago Fashion Brunch hosts its second event at Tocco with a Capri theme. Akira owner Jon Cotay has teamed up with local fashion insiders to transport diners to the exotic coast of Italy. DJ Madrid spins sexy sounds as guests indulge in Italian wine flights, a Bellini bar and delicious brunch items. Of course there will be a fashion show! 11am-4pm. Reservations required at RSVP.fashionbrunch@gmail.com.

SUNDAY
And Coobah serves up a Latin-inspired brunch with offerings like breakfast empanadas (filled with egg, sausage and aged Manchego cheese), blue corn buttermilk pancakes (dripping with Mexican canela-cinnamon butter and dark Ancho rum maple syrup) and a three-egg breakfast burrito. Also, go crazy with pitchers of sangria that's made from a secret Dominican Republic recipe. 10am-3pm.

Audarshia Townsend is the creator of the local food blog 312DiningDiva.com. She also provides content for Dining Chicago and Playboy.com.

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