Expert Picks

Your Weekly Guide for What to Do, See, Eat, and Drink in Chicago: January 20–26

Photo by Chris Popio/Courtesy of “The White Plague”

This week in Chicago, attend a beer dinner at the Museum of Contemporary Art, address toxic masculinity, celebrate the Lunar New Year with a Mott St feast, and come face-to-face (from a safe distance) with Siberian huskies and wolves.

Photo by Kendall McCaugherty/Courtesy of Marisol

January 21: “Modernism: Iranian, Turkish, and Indian Highlights From the Grey Collection” at the Block Museum of Art
This massive display brings a unique collection of postwar art from the Middle East and Asia to Chicago. Owned by New York University’s Grey Art Gallery, the paintings, sculptures, and works on paper are coming together publicly for the first time, providing an opportunity to expand our understanding of the modernist canon.
—Claire Voon, Art

January 22: Whiner Beer Co. & Marisol Collaborative Dinner  
Beer drinkers and foodies alike will adore this guided meal by Whiner’s brewmaster and cofounder, Brian Taylor, at Marisol, the contemporary American restaurant at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Whiner’s sustainable barrel-aged sours program at the Plant and Marisol’s chef, Jason Hammel, make for one dynamo Chicago dinner. Details: 6–10 p.m.; $72
—Jim Morris, Beer

January 22: Beer 101: Intro to Beer, Styles, and Basic Flavor Components 
Feel like you need to get educated about this whole beer thing? Perhaps the research you did in college wasn’t exactly knowledge based. Well, the Beer Temple on Elston Avenue has got you covered with a survey course on beer-making, styles, and ingredients. Details: January 22 and February 5, 7–9 p.m.; $35
—Jim Morris, Beer

Photo courtesy of Volumes Bookcafe

January 23: Am I Man Enough?: Stories on Toxic Masculinity  
We are surrounded by toxic masculinity. The Oval Office is occupied by its embodiment, and the more we avoid it, the more we’ll continue living lives that feel a little like we’re stuck in a bad rendition of The Emperor’s New Clothes. Let’s remove the blinders as we begin 2020, shall we? Details: 7:30 p.m. at Volumes Bookcafe
—Tanuja Jagernauth, Theater

January 23: Frank Lloyd Wright’s World Heritage Sites at Chicago Architecture Center 
Perfect for those interested in architectural preservation, this talk invites historians and preservationists to speak about two Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in Chicago: Robie House and Unity Temple, which were added last year to UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Experts will discuss the process of attaining this special status and what it might mean for the sites’ futures.
—Claire Voon, Art

January 24–31: Lunar New Year at Mott St  
In honor of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rat, West Town’s incomparable Mott St is going all out with a 10-course feast. Offerings include candied baby shrimp salad with chicken and kohlrabi; dduk guk stew with miso, spinach, and rice cakes; roasted pork butt; and wok-smoked gailan with oyster sauce, just to whet your appetite. Reservations are recommended. Details: $62.88 per person
—Matt Kirouac, Food/Beverage

Photo by Nathan Michael/Courtesy of Mott St

January 25: Adam Carolla Was Unprepared for the Holidays 
Comedian, podcaster, actor, and entrepreneur Carolla brings his new show to Chicago, and as the title states, he will be very unprepared. Jimmy Kimmel recently dared Carolla to do a show completely unscripted using only audience suggestions, and he is doing just that. So come with a few ideas, joke concepts, or even holiday stories up your sleeve and see if the 30-year veteran comedian can’t spin it into hilarious gold. Details: 7:30 p.m.; $40
—Matty Ryan, Comedy

January 25: Polar Adventure Days 
Bundle up and get ready to have fun outdoors. This annual event puts you face-to-face (at a safe distance, don’t worry!) with Siberian huskies, wolves, and other wintry animals. There are also nature-inspired crafts, plenty of cool birds to scope out, and, of course, hot chocolate. If there’s snow, there will be snowshoes available, too. Details: January 25 and February 29, noon–4 p.m.; free to attend, $3 parking
—Samantha Lande, Family Fun

Through January 25: The White Plague 
This one may not be for the faint-of-heart baby boomer! A mysterious plague starts killing people above the age of 45, and one person has cracked the case as to why. However, the cure will require a sacrifice. Is humanity as we know it worth the cost? Details: At Trap Door Theatre
—Tanuja Jagernauth, Theater

Rendering of McCormick AfterParti by Could Be Architecture

January 25: McCormick AfterParti at Elmhurst Art Museum 
Visit the Mies van der Rohe–designed McCormick House in a playful new setting as envisioned by the duo Could Be Architecture: Inspired by the home’s original 1952 floor plan, the pair has inserted portholes into the space and created special furniture to encourage spirited interaction.
—Claire Voon, Art

January 26: Sunday Morning Cartoons at the Wndr Museum 
Snuggle up and get ready to watch some old-school cartoons at the Wndr Museum. Indulge in the all-you-can-eat cereal bar before touring the museum at the end of the morning. Details: January 26, February 9, and February 23, 10 a.m.; $20, kids 10 and under are free
—Samantha Lande, Family Fun

Restaurant Opening of the Week: Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar
The folks behind one of the city’s most beloved restaurants, Giant, strike again with this modest-sounding bar and restaurant in Bucktown. Classic-inspired cocktails come in three categories—stirred, spritzes, and mixed—while chefs Aaron Kabot and Tom Scodari preside over a menu of Chinese-American plates, like noodles and fried rice, which are also available for delivery and takeout.
—Matt Kirouac, Food/Beverage