Not everyone wants to spend an entire Friday night fighting crowds and dodging elbows on the dance floor – especially if it’s a first date. If you consider yourself a devoted member of a more civilized crowd, exceptional cuisine, an underrated flick, and an absolutely ambrosial nightcap may sound more appealing than a wild & tacky night out. Don’t get it twisted though – this trio isn’t just any old dinner+movie+nightcap, no. We’re talking to-die-for Thai, an Indie that will change your life, and a cocktail at one of the most coveted restaurant bars this side of town. Oh, and of course we’re referring to Lakeview’s congested, but beautifully gem packed little enclave called East Lakeview.
Century Mall – Landmark Century Centre Theater
Century Mall is in walking distance from just about every East Lakeview apartment and even Northeast Lincoln Park flats. Located on convenient Clark Street, directly across from Border’s, Century Mall is probably one of the oddest shopping malls in the city. You won’t find any massive retail spaces here (Century is small in comparison), food courts, or kids hanging out. Everyone here has a destination. They are headed to Bally’s – located on the very top floor, the art gallery, the eyebrow threading emporium, or ok, Victoria’s Secret or Express. Did we mention the movie theater yet?
Century Mall’s Century Centre Theater is one of a kind. Rarely will you find big budget films on display at this avant-garde building. Century Centre main goal is to deliver the best independent and foreign language films currently being produced.
Stroll alongside the building before entering to scan current and upcoming Indies, foreign films, and the occasional semi-big budget film. Once inside you can walk up the stair and ramp combos or take the elevators up to the theater. You may purchase tickets from one of three kiosks or you may stand in line to purchase a ticket from one of the cashiers.
Just a few current and past films include The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, 127 Hours, Wild Target, Mao’s Last Dance, Kissing Jessica Stein, and Snow Angels.
Prices: $11.00 general; $8.50 bargain (M-F all shows before 5pm, Sat-Sun, Holidays 1st show of the day); $8.50 Senior (62+); $8.50 Child (-12); $9.00 student (M-F only)
Parking: $5.00/4 hrs. (w/validation)
Address: 2828 N. Clark Street at Diversey, Chicago, IL 60657
Movie Line: 773-509-4949
Sura Thai Bistro
Located on busy Broadway is the sleek, but friendly Sura Thai Bistro. Sura is open until midnight on Fridays and 11 pm on other nights, so you can dine before or after the flick. It’s up to you. The menu consists of Thai and Japanese cuisine ranging from Massaman Curry to Signature Maki with names such as Mona Lisa and Las “Vegan” Maki. Prices: $4-$11 appetizers, $11-$35 maki and platters, and entrees $9-$16.
The drink menu is extensive, so be prepared to ponder over mojitos, martinis, Singha beer, sake, special shots, and crisp wines such as Riesling and reds such as malbec and pinot noir. Don’t drink too much though. Save some room for the last stop on your voyage – Jack’s on Halsted.
Sura Thai Bistro is located at 3124 N. Broadway Chicago, IL, 60657, Tel.: 773-248-SURA (7872), Fax.: 847.918.8878, website: http://www.surachicago.com.
Hours: Open 7 Days: Monday-Thursday 4:00pm – 11:00pm, Friday 4:00 p.m. – Midnight, Saturday 11:00am – Midnight, and Sunday 11:00am – 11:00pm.
Jacks on Halsted
Sure, you can eat at Jack’s, but the bar is the best thing about this American Bistro on the corner of Belmont and Halsted. It’s tiny, but if you can score a seat by the window, you are in for a treat. People watching anyone? The bar also offers decent views and some of the best bar service in the area. The staff is attentive, knowledgeable, and happy to serve just about anything you have in mind. Although your date just might love the Chocolate Raspberry Silk martini or you might consider a half price bottle of wine (Tuesday only).
Depending on whether you ate before or after the film, you might want some dessert or you might want an appetizer to accompany your drink. Nothing wrong with that. Desserts include crème brulee, chocolate cake, cherry pie, white chocolate & dried cherry bread pudding, bananas foster, and homemade ice cream or sorbet. Try the risotto or oven baked crab cakes appetizer.
Jacks is located at 3201 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL 60657. Reservations: 773-244-9191 (not required), Fax: 773-244-3777. Website: http://www.jacksonhalsted.com. Valet parking is available, street parking is difficult but not impossible. Best advice: walk or take a cab.
Jacks is open Mon-Tues: 5pm-10pm, Wed-Fri: 5pm-1am, Saturday
Brunch: 11am-3pm, Dinner: 5pm-1am and Sunday Brunch: 10:30am-3pm, Dinner: 5pm-10pm