March 4, 2014
For the month of March, we'll be participating in "Dine to End MS" (multiple sclerosis). Our annual participation raises money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. With each Limeade sold, we're donating $1 towards the efforts to cure MS. Stop by and support a good cause while you're at it!
January 29, 2014
In October of 2012, chefs from nearly all of our properties, including Chef Paul Kahan, partnered with 3 Floyds Brewing Company to craft a blended beer specifically designed for their restaurants. To celebrate the fruits of their labor, Chef Paul and chefs from Blackbird, avec, The Publican and Big Star will be hosting a six-course paired dinner at The Publican on February 17th at 6:15pm.
The project was inspired by a trip Big Star and 3 Floyds took to Kentucky in search of bourbon barrels, most of which were used in the brewing process. By developing both the brew and complementing dish, each chef had far greater creative control over their pairing. This unique approach to brewing and barrel aging goes far beyond the scope and involvement of normal chef-collaborative small batch beers.
The six-course paired beer dinner, inclusive of a beer on entry and dessert pairing, is $135 per person, plus tax and gratuity. A portion of the proceeds will go to Pilot Light, a nonprofit organization empowering children to make healthy choices by integrating culinary education with school standards, curriculum and culture. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot.
The following is a bit more information about each brew:
· avec- Saison with bitter orange peel aged in an Evan Williams Single barrel
· Paul Kahan- Saison with harvested spruce tips aged in a chardonnay barrel with brett
· Blackbird – Zombie Dust (pale ale) with chamomile and sumac in a Four Roses barrel
· The Publican - Robert The Bruce (Scotch ale) blended with a little bit of The Publican Lambic, with plums in a Templeton Rye barrel
· Big Star - Alpha King (hoppy pale ale) in an Elijah Craig barrel with vanilla beans, cherries and kola nuts
January 6, 2014
For Chef Cary Taylor’s first foray into Big Star’s infamous beer dinners, he has teamed up with local beer heroes Revolution Brewing for a five-course paired evening on Tuesday, January 21. Each course will be paired with a different Revolution Brewing selection, plus a welcome beer on entry. The excitement doesn’t stop there: brewers from Revolution will be on-hand to field questions, and walk guests through the brewing process. Two seatings are available at 7:00pm and 9:00pm. The five-course beer paired menu is $50 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Contact email@example.com to reserve a spot.
Welcome Beer: Workingman Mild- English-style mild ale
Morcilla Sausage- platano macho, watercress, apple
Pairing: Local Hero- India pale ale
Grilled Lobster-citrus mojo de ajo, papas molidos, vanilla
Pairing: A Little Crazy- Belgian American pale ale
Raw Oyster-cucumber water gelee, shaved jalapeno, cilantro
Pairing: Cross Of Gold- golden ale
Crispy Belly- membrillo, pickled carrot, brussels sprouts, cumin
Pairing: Double Fist-double pale ale
Dark Chocolate- bourbon, chile guajillo, rice krispie
Pairing: Deth's Tar- Bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout
November 27, 2013
It's the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas trees are back at Big Star. Bundle up and indulge in a warm treat from the to-go window while perusing trees Saturday and Sunday mornings from 9:00am to 11:30am. City Tree Delivery will be selling Fraser Firs, garland, wreaths and the like from the Big Star lot beginning Friday, November 29 through Christmas Eve.
· Big Star Hot Chocolate-Mexican dark chocolate with guajillo-cinnamon spice
· Warm Apple Cider
· Sweet Corn Tamales- Steamed masa stuffed with sweet creamed corn
Trees can be ordered online with the promo code "BigStar10" for $10 off any tree, delivery and removal are available as well.
Christmas Tree Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 4:00pm to 9:00pm
Friday: 12:00pm to 9:00pm
Saturday and Sunday: 9:00am to 9:00pm
November 26, 2013
In celebration of Thanksgiving, Big Star will be closed on Thursday, November 28. Be sure to stop by Wednesday night to start your long weekend off right! Normal service resumes Friday.
November 12, 2013
Just in time for the holiday season, we are happy to announce the 2014 Master Cooking Class lineup. Each class offers the rare opportunity to learn directly from the pros, all with a drink in hand. Classes begin at 7:00pm and space is limited to 12 pupils per evening, making for a truly intimate affair. Contact Deanna Devries at 312.496.0012, or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
January 26, 2014- Publican Quality Meats: Chef de Cuisine Chris Kuziemko
February 23, 2014- Blackbird: Chef de Cuisine David Posey
March 30, 2014- One Off Hospitality: Executive Chef Paul Kahan
May 4, 2014- Big Star: Chef de Cuisine Cary Taylor
June 22, 2014- Publican: Chef de Cuisine Brian Huston
August 24, 2014- avec : Chef de Cuisine Perry Hendrix
October 19, 2014- Nico Osteria: Chef de Cuisine Erling Wu-Bower
November 16, 2014- One Off Hospitality: Ladies of Pastry- Dana Cree (Blackbird & avec), Anna Shovers (The Publican & Publican Quality Meats), Amanda Rockman (Nico Osteria)
December 7, 2014- One Off Hospitality: Executive Chef Paul Kahan
$175- 1/26; 2/23, 5/4; 6/22; 8/24; 10/19; 11/16
$300- 3/30; 12/7
October 17, 2013
Sadly, summer has come to a close. The only upside is that bikini season is over, and to celebrate Big Star has brought back its infamous Breakfast Burrito. An excuse to bring out the fat pants, the burrito features eggs, chorizo, bean dip, Chihuahua cheese, hot sauce, romaine lettuce, crema and crunchy tortilla strips all rolled up in a flour tortilla. The Breakfast Burrito is available on Sundays, until we sell out.
August 12, 2013
Big Star will close at 3:00pm on Tuesday, September 3rd. We apologize for any inconvenience. Normal hours resume on the 4th.
August 6, 2013
Check out our One Off Hospitality Tumblr! Photos, recipes and more from Blackbird, avec, The Publican, The Violet Hour, Big Star, Publican Quality Meats and Nico.
June 6, 2013
Lowell Fulson "recorded every shade of blues imaginable." He pierced the charts a plenty and was always experimenting. We've been after the "In a Heavy Bag" LP for a bit, and it finally landed in our office today! With the Muscle Shoals rhythm section behind him, he cut a damn fine blues-rock LP. Here's a cut!
May 23, 2013
A few crates into recently searching for some new 45s led us to these guys. Steeped in the blues and some serious Rolling Stones love, the Bintangs made progressively more rocking albums throughout the 70s. Doesn't hurt that this 1969 single basically sounds like the Flamin' Groovies with a flute.
May 13, 2013
We couldn't be more flattered! Huge thanks to Nico and WBEZ.
March 19, 2013
Tell it, Amos. We've all been there.
February 18, 2013
A long overdue post about an incredibly groovy Southern boogie'n' soul cut. Thomas Jefferson Kaye wrote for many (Gene Clark, Loudon Wainwright III, Link Wray) and Steely Dan themselves had a direct hand (production and guest appearances) in the brilliance that are the two LP gems he cut for Dunhill in the early 70s. Seeped in what can only be described as gospel blues with a heep of funk. Dr John, Delaney and Bramlett ... along those lines. Check this one out. We've had it on the decks since we got it. Happy early spring!
December 31, 2012
In 1970, Little Richard, very arguably one of the kings of rock'n'roll, released a fantastic album. The critics loved "Rill Thing" -- the fans had moved on, to a degree. Shame, shame, shame. Memphis horns, Muscle Shoals swamp groove, country twang, soul, grit and POWER. It's all here. We're kicking off New Year's Eve and welcoming 2013 with a boogie'n'soul stomper from a creative genius. Get into it!
December 13, 2012
David Allan Coe is misunderstood by many; though his shifting musical personas are partially liable. At the every least, he's much more complex, talented and deep than one hit and a brilliant cover would suggest. Many write about a life of hardship, turmoil and resilience. So to speak, he's the real deal. His work is life's ups and downs, sin and piety, life really lived, good AND evil. Here's a killer cut from 1974 about rising when the blows bring you down.
December 9, 2012
It's true. They're back. Full Van Wnikle line at La Estrella Grande. Come get some.
December 6, 2012
This year, we will be ringing in the New Year with our brothers-in-arms, Three Floyds! There will be a full tap takeover, with some perennial favorites (Gumball Head, etc) as well as some rare beers from their vaults (barrel aged Black Sun Stout, Rye Da Tiger, etc). Expect amazing food specials from our kitchen, cocktail & shot special, and the most kick-assingest soundtrack you've ever heard. Free to get in, as always at Big Star. We hope you come party with us. High-five.
November 28, 2012
The weather is getting mighty chilly here in Chicago. You'd think uptempo classic rockers would keep at bay the winter blues. But on colder days, the warmth of pedal steel, a delicate harmonica line and a hook-laden beat with a lazy shuffle ... that warms the bones. Texan cowboy B.W. Stevenson died in 1988 at the age of 38, with a VERY well-known hit under his belt, but much, much more that went under-appreciated. Up on deck today are two delicious slices of B.W's countrified Americana.
Off the self-titled LP from 1972:
And two years later, the hit that reached the world but sadly missed the country charts:
October 30, 2012
October 26, 2012
Remember this? When we turned the patio into a Christmas tree lot last year? Well it's coming once again. Starting the day after Thanksgiving and going until December 23rd, we're partnering up with City Tree Delivery, a sustainable / eco-friendly supplier of Christmas trees who deliver, pick-up and will eventually recycle all trees. Stay tuned for more details!
October 25, 2012