Jan 18 2008

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Chicago warms up with restaurant week, winter festival

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Frigid February isn’t exactly the height of Chicago’s tourist season, but there’s actually a huge upside for anyone planning a wintertime Chicago vacation.

Rooms at Chicago hotels tend to be more readily available. Theater tickets are often easier to snag.  And while shoppers still mob the Magnificent Mile, its sidewalks aren’t quite so elbow-to-elbow irritating.

And this February brings several new enticements, including a huge art installation/winter festival at Millennium Park and the city’s first Restaurant Week.

Chicago Restaurant Week: From February 22 to 29, 35 restaurants will offer three-course, prix fixe lunches for $21.95 and dinners for $31.95 (not counting drinks, tips and taxes). Participating restaurants include SushiSamba Rio, Fogo de Chao, Park Grill, Nick’s Fishmarket, China Grill, David Burke’s Primehouse, Carnivale and Smith & Wollensky. You can make your reservations now.

Museum of Modern Ice: The centerpiece of the month-long event is artist Gordon Halloran’s "Paintings Below Zero," a massive, site-specific installation of colorful paintings in ice. A variety of other free public programs and public activities will be offered throughout the month at the American Express Heated Tent and across Michigan Avenue at the Chicago Cultural Center.

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