Expert Picks

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

Photo by Tim McCoy/Courtesy of WoodWind

This week in Chicago, get in the Halloween spirit with a wizarding party, a celestial shindig at a brewery, and a drag brunch. Plus, pasta-making classes, furniture-themed art, and a Fleabag-inspired screening.

Michiko Itatani, Cosmic Wanderlust From CTRL-Home/Echo CRH–2, 2011. 78 x 96 inches, oil on canvas. Courtesy of One After 909

October 21: Michelle Buteau at the Hideout 
Comedian-actress Buteau has had stand-up specials on both Comedy Central and Netflix, and was featured on HBO’s ​2 Dope Queens.​ Acting-wise, she recently appeared in Always Be My Maybe ​with Ali Wong and the upcoming series ​Tales of the City​. In 2017, Esquire magazine named her one of the year’s 10 comedians to watch, and her popular live show, Adulting​, was just released as a podcast on WNYC. Details: 7 p.m.; $18
—Matty Ryan, Comedy

October 21: Pasta-Making Classes at Tortello  
Get ready to roll up your sleeves and perfect your pasta skills, because Wicker Park’s charming Tortello is starting a series of twice-monthly classes designed to share the love of its recipes. Each class is a two-hour tutorial on different pasta shapes, which guests will take home with them. Classes culminate with a family-style meal with such dishes as tortelli di burrata, fingers foods, veggies, and dessert. Details: Beginning October 21 and every subsequent first and third Monday, 6:30–9:30 p.m.; $125
—Matt Kirouac, Food/Beverage

October 24–27: Beer Culture Summit 
The Chicago Brewseum may still be in its developmental stage, but it’s actively promoting Chicago beer culture and history with a four-day summit at multiple locations across the city. Opening night kicks off at the Goose Island Barrel House, while Friday includes a number of panel discussions at the Field Museum. On Saturday, the education continues at the Chicago History Museum, and several bars and breweries will also be holding events.
Jim Morris, Beer

Photo courtesy of Hopewell Brewing Co.

October 25: “Cosmic Codes” at One After 909 
Revel in Michiko Itatani’s oil paintings of futuristic worlds that reflect on humans’ fleeting existence on earth. Made over the span of 14 years, each work reveals a familiar site, like libraries and gardens, situated in some cosmic setting of dazzling orbs.
—Claire Voon, Art

October 25: “Between a Rock and a Dream” at Heaven Gallery 
This is a show of strange furniture by local emerging artists Catherine Hu and Yunhee Min—objects that, as the exhibition’s title suggest, exist in a world of their own. Take care to mine each piece for multiple interpretations, like delightful visual puns.
—Claire Voon, Art

October 26: Wizarding Halloween Party 
If you geek out on all things Harry Potter, this is the Halloween event for you. Participate in really cool science experiments (did someone say ghosts and explosions?) and dress as your favorite character from the wizarding world! It’s sure to be an unforgettable evening. Details: 4:30–5:30 p.m.; $40
—Samantha Lande, Family Fun

The Very Hungry Caterpillar / Photo by Ari Craven/Courtesy of Chicago Children’s Theatre

October 26: Hopewell Brewing Company’s “The Void” 
Later this month, Hopewell Brewing Company is getting celestial and rebranding itself as The Void, outfitting its contemporary home with a space-inspired balloon sculpture installation, magical illusions, and food from both Bang Bang Pie and Donermen. There will be special beer tappings of limited brews, and costumes are encouraged. Details: Noon–midnight; no cover
—Matt Kirouac, Food/Beverage

October 26: Lil’ Homebrew Festival of Horrors 
Home brewers are the roots that grew Chicago’s craft beer scene. Nearly all of our breweries can be traced back to a home-brewing enthusiast—now you can come out and sample the fruits of these wild creators’ labor. Empirical Brewery plays host to an event best described as part home-brew competition and part Halloween costume contest, but thanks to the power of beer, all can walk away feeling like a winner. Details: 1–5 p.m.; $30
—Jim Morris, Beer

October 26: Halloween Drag Brunch at Tack Room 
If you prefer your Halloween shenanigans with bacon and drag queens, then look no further then this upbeat offering from Tack Room. Pianist Kevin Eftekhari and drag queen Wanda Screw will be on hand to provide the Halloween-inspired entertainment and tunes, while food from adjacent sister spot Dusek’s Board & Beer will be served. Details: 12:30 p.m.
—Matt Kirouac, Food/Beverage

Through October 27: NT Live: Fleabag  
I am obsessed with Phoebe Waller-Bridge and her TV series, Fleabag, and by obsessed I mean: devastated and in love. This must-see show was inspired by a one-woman play written and performed by Waller-Bridge, and it is being screened at the Gene Siskel Film Center for a limited time only. See the show that started it all!
—Tanuja Jagernauth, Theater

October 26 and 27: Watch The Very Hungry Caterpillar Live Onstage 
Seeing Eric Carle’s classic storybook 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

Cast of Vanya on the Plains/ Photo courtesy of John Olson Communications

Through October 27: Vanya on the Plains 
In a world where members of the same family can speak different technological languages, one man goes analog in an attempt to bridge the gap in his own family—he casts them in a production of Chekhov’s play Uncle Vanya. Can they act? Nope. Have they even read the play? Nope! The fact that hilarity will ensue is a given.
—Tanuja Jagernauth, Theater

Restaurant Opening of the Week: WoodWind
Taking over the beautiful (yet confounding) space vacated by GreenRiver, on the 18th floor of a Streeterville tower, WoodWind is a regionally inspired contemporary American restaurant with sprawling skyline views, suave decor, and a menu that neatly toes the line between whimsical and elegant, with dishes like foie gras “bao mac” and whole-roasted dry-aged duck tacos.
—Matt Kirouac, Food/Beverage