Expert Picks

Your Weekly Guide for What to Do, See, Eat, and Drink in Chicago: February 10–16

Photo courtesy of Sarah Zelman/Roots Handmade Pizza

This week in Chicago, celebrate National Pizza Day and Valentine’s Day, attend a queer variety show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, enjoy some cold weather fun at Winterland, and prepare your heart for a tale about love in the Alabama Delta.

Also, be sure and check out our guide to Valentine’s Day dining and drinking!

Photo courtesy of Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta

February 10: Celebrate National Pizza Day at Roots Handmade Pizza 
If you like melt-y cheese, red sauce, and sausage as much as presents and eggnog, then National Pizza Day is your Christmas. Roots Handmade Pizza is celebrating by releasing six new specialty pizzas for the occasion as part of its chef series. The restaurant will feature unique offerings created by local chefs, including the Mordecai Manhattan Clam Chowder Pizza by Matthias Merges of Mordecai and Billy Sunday; the Short Rib Bourguignon Pizza by Alisha Elenz of Bar Biscay; the Kimski KoPo BBQ Pizza by Won Kim of Kimski; the French Onion Soup Pizza by Oliver Poilevey of Le Bouchon; and the Southern Homestyle Pimento Cheese and Spicy Sausage Pizza by Lamar Moore of the Swill Inn. Details: All pizzas are available at all Roots locations through April 6
—Matt Kirouac, Food/Beverage

February 11: Artist Talk at the Art Institute of Chicago 
Enter the limitless mind of graphic novelist Emil Ferris during this free talk, which focuses on Ferris’s art practice and her first book, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters (2017). Laid out like a notebook diary, it’s set in Chicago in the 1960s—with a preteen werewolf as its imaginary protagonist.
—Claire Voon, Art

February 13: Hannibal Buress and Lil Rel Howery at Thalia Hall 
Hometown comedy heroes Buress and Howery are coheadlining Thalia Hall for one night only, and it will very likely sell out. Both comics were born, raised, and cut their comedy teeth in Chicago and have since rocketed to superstardom. Between their various stand-up specials, television shows, and major motion pictures, they are on their way to becoming household names, if they’re not already there. Details: 7 p.m.; $40–$50
—Matty Ryan, Comedy

Photo courtesy of Mikerphone Brewery

February 14: Valentine’s Day Beer Dinner at Mikerphone 
Mikerphone Brewing and ACE: A Culinary Experience are teaming up to offer an eclectic three-course Valentine’s Day meal with amuse-bouches paired with 30 ounces of Mikerphone beer. This meal will shoot an arrow right through the heart of the beer lover in your life. Details: 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; $65
—Jim Morris, Beer

February 14: Odd Pleasures at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago 
Spend Valentine’s Day with your crush at a queer variety show, hosted by drag queen Aunty Chan. The program will feature everything from comedy to live ASMR, and is accompanied by an art-making session-discussion on gender, feminism, and capitalism.
—Claire Voon, Art

Photo by Michael Brosilow/Courtesy of The Gulf/About Face Theatre

Through February 15: The Gulf 
Set in the Alabama Delta, this play is about love under muggy circumstances. Kendra and Betty have been together for six years, and in that span of time they have faced past infidelities, the consequences of life choices, and all kinds of job struggles. Go ahead and nod your head if this sounds familiar. On a hunt for redfish, the lovers’ boat breaks down. Stranded in open water, they will have to face each other and what’s next for their relationship. Go see this one if your heart can take it. Details: At About Face Theatre
—Tanuja Jagernauth, Theater

Through February 16: Winterland at Gallagher Way 
In the summer, Wrigley is all about the Cubs, and in the winter it turns into a cold-weather extravaganza! There’s always something to do at Gallagher Way this time of year, from ice-skating to getting your fill of cozy food and drinks; it’s worth checking out what’s going on at this family-friendly outdoor space.
—Samantha Lande, Family Fun

Photo courtesy of Gallagher Way/Facebook

Restaurant Opening of the Week: Hayden Hall
Borrowing design inspiration from the Chicago World’s Fair, this illustrious South Loop food hall boasts a staggering lineup of local restaurants and brand-new concepts, all curated by the folks behind DMK Restaurants. In addition to a coffee-and-pastry counter, Hayden features such eateries as vegetarian Mana Food Bar, County BBQ, and Victory Italian, along with a full-service wine bar and a second location of Bucktown’s lauded small plates temple, Ada St.
—Matt Kirouac, Food/Beverage

Photo courtesy of Hayden Hall/Mana Food Bar