Who says you need to leave town to get away? Here’s your plan for a fab Chicago weekend.
(Photo by Anthony Tahlier)
The Gwen (suite rates from $499 per night) oozes art deco glamour: velvet-upholstered canapés, gilded accents and graphic images of sculptress Gwen Lux, the hotel’s namesake. Just off of Michigan Avenue, with—bonus—a dedicated entrance to The Shops at North Bridge, the hotel boasts envious views of Lake Michigan and River North, elegant guest rooms, rooftop terrace Upstairs at The Gwen and inventive American fare at Circa. For a respite, take the short walk up Michigan Avenue (window shopping encouraged) to The Ritz- Carlton Spa, Chicago, where a Hydralifting facial and Indulgent Drench body massage ($240 each, ritzcarlton.com) will leave you feeling blissful.
The vibe: vibrant. The decor: bold. The drinks: spirited. Recently opened at W Chicago–City Center, Midland Social Club beckons as memorable design cues (read: graffitied walls) set the scene for cocktails. Consider the Chicago Fire, a blend of Vida mezcal, Aperol, Carpano Classico and Genepi, which pays homage to our infamous 1871 blaze.
"I wanted to combine my California roots with the Mediterranean to create vibrant, fresh and clean dishes,” says chef C.J. Jacobson of his newest venture, Aba. The restaurant is a study in light cooking that leans toward raw and cooked proteins, each bite transporting you to the sun-drenched Mediterranean. The dishes are a feast for the senses, with ingredients as rich in color as they are in flavor. Think avocado and fava bean hummus, and red beet tzatziki. The rooftop views only add to the ambiance.
It’s said the six unconventional artists of Hairy Who and their audacious, often controversial works forever altered the Chicago art scene. Now, on the 50th anniversary of its final exhibition in the city, the Art Institute of Chicago brings the group’s experimental work back to the forefront with Hairy Who? 1966-1969 (through Jan. 6, 2019). “We’re thrilled to put a spotlight on these artists who are so particular to Chicago,” says Mark Pascale, the Janet and Craig Duchossois curator of prints and drawings. “In a way, it’s a bit of a homecoming.”