Expert Picks

Your Weekly Guide for What to Do, See, Eat, and Drink in Chicago

Photo courtesy of Terrain Biennial/Facebook

This week in Chicago, see art in backyards, gorge on premarathon pasta, drink beer at Soldier Field, and take the kids to a stage production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Photo by Sarah Larson/Courtesy of Parlour Car

October 7: Terrain Biennial 2019 
From Venice to Shanghai to Sharjah, art biennials are chaotic, money-drenched, and mostly elitist endeavors. In Chicago, we have one that seems more like an antiart biennial. This contemporary art showcase takes over typically private, residential spaces in an array of neighborhoods—think: humble porches, yards, and windows. More than a biennial, though, it’s an unconventional way to explore this creative city.
—Claire Voon, Art

October 7–12: All-You-Can-Eat Pasta at La Storia 
Whether you’re running the Chicago Marathon or just trying to express empathy by carbo loading alongside your loved ones, La Storia has you covered with a killer pasta promo. For one week, the chic Gold Coast Italian restaurant is offering all-you-can-eat pasta for just $22 per person, with available dishes like penne à la Mediterranean; linguine e pollo; and saffron malloreddus, aka dumpling-esque pasta, with tuna conserva, corn, pesto, and fresh basil.
—Matt Kirouac, Food/Beverage

Through October 10: Parlour Car Autumn Patio Series at Sportsman’s Club 
Now back for its third annual run, the Parlour Car team brings a six-week series of shows to the enchanting back patio of Sportsman’s Club. The lineups showcase the best comics from Chicago and beyond, and the shows often feature bigger name drop-ins (past years have seen Hannibal Buress and Neal Brennan, to name a couple). Also, the patio is dog-friendly and has a roaring fireplace, and there are free s’mores after the show. Details: Thursdays, 8:30 p.m.; free
—Matty Ryan, Comedy

Photo by Clayton Hauck/Courtesy of The Promontory

October 10: Periodic Table Dinner at the Promontory  
Happy 150th birthday to the periodic table of the elements! To celebrate, the Promontory is getting all scientific by partnering with the nearby Museum of Science and Industry for a three-course elements-inspired dinner on October 10. The menu is wild: ash bread, barbecued cauliflower with cornbread crisps, steamed Napa cabbage with shrimp and scallop mousse, and milk custard with Dippin’ Dots, to name a few. Details: 5–11 p.m.; $50
—Matt Kirouac, Food/Beverage

October 11: “Ism, Ism, Ism” at the Block Museum of Art 
Get acquainted with Latin America’s experimental film history with this program of short films, ranging in length from two to 70 minutes. It’s presented as part of a specially curated program of cinema that centers on works made between the 1930s and the 2000s.
—Claire Voon, Art

Through October 12: His Shadow 
Get your tickets now for the latest production from Loy Webb, a lawyer and critic-turned-playwright with impeccable style and talent to match. His Shadow is the story of one college freshman trying to make a name for himself on the football field; this will turn out to be harder than expected after he’s injured. I had the honor of listening to a table reading of this play, and I cannot wait to see how Wardell Julius Clark brings it to life on the 16th Street Theater stage.
—Tanuja Jagernauth, Theater

Photo courtesy of the Bacon and Beer Classic

October 12: 2019 Bacon and Beer Classic 
It’s 100-plus craft beers from local breweries, unlimited bacon dishes from local restaurants—and it takes place at Soldier Field. I’m not sure what else I need to tell you. It’s paradise! Also, there will be live music, games, and a bacon-eating contest, but there is no way you’re still reading this. Details:1–5 p.m.; $59 for general admission and $99 for VIP
—Jim Morris, Beer

Through October 27: Watch The Very Hungry Caterpillar Live Onstage 
Speaking of beloved storybooks, seeing Eric Carle’s classic come to life onstage is a must. This Chicago Children’s Theatre production is sure to bring all the feels for the very hungry caterpillar! Details: Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.; $25
—Samantha Lande, Family Fun