So, you turned out the lights for Earth Hour earlier this month and are feeling pretty good about your contribution to the ongoing health of the planet. Guess what, hotshot? There's always more to do. Here are some ways to make a difference on Earth Day (April 22) around Chicago. Don't worry, most of 'em sound fun...tasty, too.
Thursday, April 22, 5-10 p.m.; $49
The eco-friendly restaurant in the Doubletree Hotel in Streeterville will offer a five-course, candlelit dinner including spring pea soup with morel mushroom, La Quercia and mint; nut- and spice-crusted yellowfin with pickled kumquats, hearts of palm and blood orange; salad with apricots, shaved fennel, Marcona almonds, endive and white balsamic vinaigrette; a Dietzler Farms filet with spring onions, morel mushroom and red wine sauce; and warm butterscotch bread pudding with coffee toffee ice cream.
David Burke's Primehouse
Thursday, April 22
Going to see Disney's "Oceans" (opening on Earth Day)? Save your ticket, as it'll score you a free glass of sustainable, organic Cono Sur Pinot Noir with any lunch of dinner entree.
Duke's Alehouse and Kitchen
Thursday, April 22
The Crystal Lake bar with the awesome URL (thedukeabides.com) does its part with an eco-conscious menu featuring pasture-raised meats, sustainably caught seafood and other dishes. There will also be select green and blue cocktails avaialble for purchase, with proceeds partially benefiting the McHenry County Conservation District. Soul Vitamins plays blues rock from 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
Bull & Bear
Thursday, April 22, 6-9 p.m.
The River North bar offers samples of its newest draft, the eco-friendly Green Line pale ale from Goose Island. You'll also enjoy free organic chicken wings and gifts from ZipCar.
Wednesday, April 21-Friday, April 23
Chef James Virant will serve up a special three-course menu ($35, with $15 optional wine pairings) on Earth Day, with proceeds supporting local farmers and artisans. The meal includes local ramps and radishes in 'vinaigrette,' wood-grilled rainbow trout with home fries, bordeaux spinach and fried rosemary gremolata, and organic whole wheat crepes with poached rhubarb and chevre mousse.
Thursday, April 22
A portion of proceeds from all dinner reservations at this Naperville restaurant (at the Hotel Arista) will go toward Chefs Collaborative, an organization that promotes sustainable cuisine by teaching children, supporting local farmers and inspiring the public to choose good, clean food. You'll be able to choose either a special $35 three-course menu or order off the regular menu.
Thursday, April 22-Sunday, April 25
Guests will receive a complimentary bottle of re-source natural spring water (made from 25 percent recycled plastic) upon arrival, with proceeds from additional bottle purchases going to Keep America Beautiful. Also, guests can opt for a paperless checkout in order to conserve paper.
Pinstripes (South Barrington)
Friday, April 23, 7 p.m.; $40
Models will show off recycled outfits by designer Micky Bruski at the "Bleu Water and Green Earth" fashion show, an event which also includes raffle prizes, music and a light buffet. Proceeds from tickets (call 847-783-0703) will go to The Alliance for the Great Lakes.
Garfield Park Conservatory
Saturday, April 24, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Need some help cultivating that green thumb? Join other aspiring gardeners for the free Green and Growing Fair, which includes demonstrations, lectures, a plant sale and more in the beautiful conservatory.
Village of Northbrook
Saturday, April 24, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
What says Earth Day more than sloppy joes on the Village Green? Um, a lot...but we'll take the free messy sandwiches from this Prairie Grass Cafe, just one of many freebies at Northbrook's celebration on Saturday. In addition to the scheduled clean-up, there'll be kids activities, bocce ball, music from the Don Mormon Family Band, a Go Green Building & Home Expo and food from Pinstripes, Marcello's, Kaboff's Deli, Leonard's Bakery, Once Upon a Bagel, Sunset Foods, Peerless Coffee and Starbucks.
It's fitting that this eco-focused LaGrange restaurant would extend its Earth Day celebration. The Treetini (Veev Acai Spirit, agave nectar, club soda, lime and mint) will be offered throughout April; with each $9 cocktail purchased, Prasino will help to plant a tree in monsoon-ravaged Tamil Nadu, India.