Doggie style.

July 24, 2008 at 9:34 pm (Uncategorized)

Come celebrate the dog days of summer with Lush and your favorite canine! That’s right, we are hosting a doggie social on our grassy patio on Friday, July 25th. Well-behaved dogs and owners can come to Lush on Halsted from 6-9 PM. We’ll be featuring both dog and human treats; the latter will include Two Brothers’ Dog Days Dortmunder-style lager, and Dunham Cellars’ Four Legged White and Three Legged Red, among other themed bottles available for purchase to enjoy outside. Woof!

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Saturday Morning Shiraz

July 19, 2008 at 8:24 pm (Our Favorite Things, What we're drinking) (, , , , )

Contrary to what people must think about us lushes, there are times and places when we just don’t want wine. Saturday morning, when I’ve just arrived at work, is one of them. Coffee? Yes. Water? Yes. Wine? Not so much. Highly alcoholic fruit bombs? Especially not.

That’s why I wasn’t exceptionally thrilled to be given two new Aussie wines to try this past Saturday morning. Australian red, bless its heart, tends to be big, bold, fruit forward, and peppery. DELICIOUS, but aggressive and in-your-face, nonetheless. Read the rest of this entry »

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St. George Absinthe: Drink GREEN!

July 16, 2008 at 8:08 pm (Uncategorized)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The cowbell playing howler monkey and the Lush staff presents…St. George Absinthe Verte!  Drink green, trust me.  It is legal, and back with a mean, green vengence.  Check it out at swanky Chicago bars or ask your favorite, trusty bartender to snatch up a few bottles of this baby and make you delectable, delirious green cocktails.  St. George, the first and perhaps only American-made Absinthe, is made by the master distiller behind Hangar One…seriously limited production and availability on the verte.  The flavors are intense, complex, and balanced.   



Official tasting notes:

St. George Spirits Absinthe Verte is made with fine brandy, star anise, mint, wormwood, lemon balm, hyssop, meadowsweet, basil, fennel, tarragon and stinging nettles. This infamous liquor reveals seductive flavors of anise complimented with sweet grassy tones, light citrus, white pepper, and light menthol notes.


‘At 120-proof, the sage-colored spirit is a monster, but cut with some cold water it revealed complex layers of hyssop, lemon balm and all sorts of anisey, licoricey action derived from star fennel, tarragon and—naturally—wormwood. For anyone who’s only drunk sweet, synthetic-tasting ersatz “absinthe,” give the spirit another chance. It took Winters and his team 32 tries (and eight official rejections from the TTB, which approves all alcoholic-beverage packaging) to get the bottle and label for his Absinthe Verte approved. One of the earlier versions featured a howling monkey beating a human skull with femur bones. The TTB rejected this display of primal percussion, so Winters swapped a the skull out for a cowbell—a reference to the most-quoted Saturday Night Live skit of the YouTube era. When the TTB rejected the human skull version, Winters said, “I asked them: ‘How about a monkey wearing a suit, reclining in a wingback chair?’ They said, ‘Fine.’ The TTB doesn’t have a tremendous sense of humor. They’re like a bunch of nuns. I don’t think they got the cowbell thing, either.”’ (


Give the green fairy a high five for me!  Get creative with your cocktail skills and try it yourself…throw an absinthe party and get wild.  Love it.  Drink it.  Share it.



Rachel Lea Driver

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Vive la France!

July 10, 2008 at 8:08 pm (Uncategorized)

We at Lush like the quirkier holidays. Join us this weekend for a three-day-long Bastille Day festival. Here’s the lineup:

Friday 11 juillet
French cider, beer, and sparkling wines to kick off the festivities and heighten the mood at our Roscoe and Halsted locations. Getting artsy at the Chicago Arts District’s Second Friday Art Walk? Head a few blocks north on Halsted afterward and get boozy on the UV patio with your favorite Francophile Lushes.

Saturday 12 juillet
Think pink! French rosé is all the rage. Come see what it’s all about at both shops, and taste the most refreshing, versatile, food-friendly wine out there.

Sunday 13 juillet
The peasant uprising! Who needs aristocratic Bordeaux and Burgundy when the unsung heroes of Languedoc, Rhone, Cotes Catalanes, and Loire are the true heart and soul of French winemaking? Celebrate the Third Estate; come storm LUSH and nosh on homemade crepes, only five bucks apiece. Extended hours for celebrating: 2-7 PM.

Baguettes will be on hand all weekend. Berets are, of course, encouraged.

A bientot!

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BYOB: Earwax Cafe

July 9, 2008 at 8:18 pm (BYOB, What we're drinking) (, , , , )

Earwax Cafe

Earwax Cafe

After spending most of yesterday ducking the heat (and saving money!) by hanging out in the libarary, the gym, and our neighborhood pool, my fiance and I decided to take a break from cooking and grab a bite to eat elsewhere.  Not really concerned with the type of cuisine, we instead prioritized that the place be 1) inexpensive (saving for the wedding!), 2) a BYOB, and 3) airconditioned.  Well, two out of three ain’t bad.

Read the rest of this entry »

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BYOB: Mundial Cocina

July 9, 2008 at 7:06 pm (BYOB, What we're drinking) (, , , )

Just as Lance was repping Mado (and, by proxy, his neighborhood) I too would like to talk up mine, and one of my favorite new restaurants.

On Sunday I took a short trip down 18th Street, past some of my usual stops. Joined by a dear friend from out of town as well as a great bottle from Lush, the 2005 Jaume Mesquida, a floral, light-bodied red from Mallorca, Spain, we headed over to Mundial Cocina Mestiza, still full of pleased-looking diners at 8.30 on a hot Sunday night. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dinners with Lush: A Summer Patio Series

July 9, 2008 at 7:05 pm (Special Events) (, , )



Please mark your calendars and tell your friends…

The Lush in University Village has a rocking patio that is just itching to be used every single day.  And, what better way to utilize the short Chicago summer than to sip away the afternoon and EAT!  The Lushies have been whipping up a full summer of food and wine events, so please join us for a lovely evening…or jump in on them all!

PATIO EVENTS: LUSH, 1257 South Halsted, Chicago, IL 60607

Each event is open to 25 people.  Groups are welcome and encouraged.  Reservations are required.  We expect to serve 4 courses and pour you 2-4 glasses of wine.  The cost will flucuate between $50-100 depending upon the event.  More details to come.  The cost is non-refundable. 

Call 312.738.1900 to reserve a seat.  You may also reach us by email at,, or  EAT, DRINK, be MERRY and CELEBRATE with us!




*Saturday, August 16th: BBQ ribs, corn, slaw, salad, potato salad watermelon and ZIN/Rosé, $50


*Saturday, August 23rd: Maryland Blue Crab Boil, corn, white wines


*Sunday, September 14th: Oysters


*Saturday, September 20th: PAX vertical and Pig


*Friday, September 26th: SQN vertical wine tasting


*Saturday, September 27th: Fried Chicken and Vintage Champagne





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BYOB: Treat

July 8, 2008 at 3:03 pm (BYOB, Our Favorite Things, What we're drinking) (, , , )

Last night, I took my friend Jesse to Treat for her birthday. I had heard good things about this Humboldt Park BYOB and wanted to give it a try. I looked at the menu online to try and decide what wine to bring, and I was a bit stumped. The cuisine is very eclectic — “Modern American” might be a good start, but there are huge Mediterranean and Indian influences as well. Various chutneys, masala, curries, cous cous, harrissa, and yogurt sauces dot the menu, making it one of the most interesting and disparate I’ve seen in a while, and perhaps one of the hardest to pair with wine. Read the rest of this entry »

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In Defense of Alcohol

July 2, 2008 at 5:21 pm (Travel, What we're drinking) (, )

I debated writing this post, because it is sort of personal. But, ultimately, I think it’s a worthwhile topic to raise for discussion.

I recently had a doctor of mine reprimand me for having an unhealthy lifestyle — because I have a drink or two most nights. Wine with dinner, a couple cocktails with friends, nothing I consider abnormal or excessive. But, according to this doctor, one of two drinks a week would be alright. My habits, he implied, verged on alcoholism. Read the rest of this entry »

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Beers for surly girls [and boys].

July 2, 2008 at 5:16 pm (Beer, Our Favorite Things, What we're drinking) (, , , , )

One of my nicknames–misapplied, I argue, but it stuck–is “Surly”. And sure, it’s kind of cute, and maybe I secretly don’t mind it all that much. That being said, I was tickled pink at the novelty of the name when Surly Brewing’s glorious releases first hit the Chicago market some time last year. Imagine my pleasure when I tried the brews and found out that Surly, imported from the Twin Cities, makes some darn good beer!

The culmination of all this excitement [as excited as a supposedly surly person can get, anyway!] happened today, when I got a call from the head honcho of Lush. You heard it here first, dear reader: Lush on Halsted is going to have Surly’s Bender, a self-described “brown ale/porter/apa” on tap, for purchase in a growler, meant for immediate consumption on our new outside patio. Tomorrow. I dare you to wait to get it home.

So if you catch me with a growler full of the brown stuff sitting outside at Lush, go ahead and say “Hey, Surly!” I promise I’ll smile. And lift my glass.

Posted by Erin

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