To eat. Look. Do. – The ‘Lizzo’ of vegan cooking in Chicago, the ‘Fire Island’ star’s Q&A, plus the Midwest’s must-see national parks – Chicago Tribune

It’s Wednesday, Chicago.

Despite all the pollen in the air, the weather has been great lately and I’ve tried to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

There are two great ways to soak up all that the outdoors has to offer this summer, as two of the Chicago area’s most popular green spaces celebrate milestones: the Chicago Botanic Garden turns 50, while as the Morton Arboretum celebrates its 100th anniversary.

Plus, we’ve compiled a list of 50 live music events this summer. While Sueños and Coldplay are done, there’s still time to plan events like the Pride Fest and Parade, the Black Keys, Lady Gaga, the Chicago Jazz Festival and more.

Meanwhile, Tribune reviewer Louisa Chu’s review of Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat called the establishment “the Lizzo of vegan and vegetarian restaurants.” The vegan/vegetarian restaurant serves dishes such as pizza puffs, sweet steak sandwiches, and Philly cheese spring rolls. Yum!

See you next week.

— Kayla Samoy, Associate Editor

This year, the Chicago Botanic Garden celebrates its 50th anniversary, while the Morton Arboretum in the western suburb of Lisle celebrates its 100th anniversary. The Botanical Garden features an art exhibition celebrating the milestone titled “Flourish: The Garden at 50,” while the Arboretum showcases new works by South African artist Daniel Popper. Read the full story here.

It’s been two long years since Parachute fans have been able to feast on Korean American cuisine at the award-winning James Beard restaurant, but they’ll notice a few changes now that it’s reopened. Gone is the legendary labor-intensive bing bread, but in its place are seasonal Korean pancakes, a quieter dining room, and two chefs ready and eager to go.

But it’s just one of many exciting new restaurants in Chicago, and Tribune reviewer Louisa Chu did a roundup of all the places that will make your stomach growl.

“Cezanne”, a joint exhibition between the Art Institute and the Tate Modern in London, is the first major Paul Cezanne retrospective in the United States for about 25 years and the first at the Art Institute for more than 70 years. Read the full story here.

To eat.  Look.  Do.

To eat. Look. Do.

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What to eat. What to watch. What you need to live your best life…now.

Howard Street Brewing is Chicago’s northernmost brewery, located in a part of the Rogers Park neighborhood that has struggled to attract and retain business, especially community gathering places. Read the full story here.

“Fire Island”, written by Plainfield’s Joel Kim Booster, is a version of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” – but is set on what is now Fire Island in New York. As Tribune reviewer Nina Metz writes, the romantic comedy is “a very cheerful, very exciting, very charming riff”. Read the full story here.

While Tribune reviewer Louisa Chu was working on a guide to Chicago-style plant-based food, she came across chef Laricia Chandler-Baker and Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat, a restaurant that was so good it he needed his own story. Read the full review here.

This summer, there are a ton of concerts and music festivals in Chicago, from big events like Lollapalooza and Riot Fest to concerts featuring Lady Gaga and Norah Jones. We’ve compiled a list of 50 events happening until the end of September so you don’t miss a thing. Read the full list here.

Tribune reviewer Nick Kindelsperger explores a new pizzeria called Shy Slice, which serves square tavern-style pizzas, available as whole pizzas or by the slice. The virtual kitchen operates out of a restaurant in the Irving Park neighborhood called Patino’s Grill. Read the full story here.

“Skates a New Musical” is dedicated to nostalgia for the teen-friendly roller rinks that once surrounded downtown Chicago. Tribune reviewer Chris Jones said the series rested for its “appeal on the talent of its cast” and “its heart being firmly in the right place”. Read the full review here.

America’s first national park, Yellowstone, celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. But you don’t have to trek all the way to Wyoming to soak up nature’s beauty and unique adventures – we’ve got a list of seven state and national parks in the Midwest with everything from the largest starry sky sanctuary in the world with vast caves perfect for experienced speleologists as well as beginners.


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Tanya S. Norvell