Toasts and jams
Whether 2007 brought you stock-market pain or new-baby pleasure, our dinner, party and morning-after options will help you ring in 2008 the right way-even if you're an NYE hater.
You became a health nut
You’ve hopped aboard the health-food wagon after devouringbest-sellingdiet books Skinny Bitch (Running Press, $13.95) and Skinny Bitch in the Kitch (Running Press, $14.95), which confirm that soda is liquid Satan, alcohol creates fat pigs and people who don’t exercise are lazy shits. Good advice, but how to parlay that new hard-line philosophy into good times on New Year’s Eve? These Skinny Bitch–worthy locales should add some punch to your health kick.
Skinny Bitch says meat is “dead, rotting, decomposing flesh”—translation, keep your animal-eating to a minimum. Luckily, the folks at Green Zebra (1460 W Chicago Ave, 312-243-7100) cook some hearty vegetarian eats in a chic atmosphere. On New Year’s Eve, the West Town restaurant will offer a five-course vegetarian tasting menu ($75 for the food, plus an optional wine pairing for an additional $45), and while it’s keeping the details a secret at the moment, we bet that nearly everything offered will be on the Skinny Bitch’s good-eating list.
If your idea of healthy is a little crunchier, spend your New Year’s at old-school hippie haven Heartland Café (7000 N Glenwood Ave, 773-465-8005), where the motto is “good wholesome food for the mind and body.” While this 31-year-old Rogers Park haunt mostly serves vegetarian vittles, it also has some meat options, so it’s safe for a big group.
Or, you can join other health-conscious hipsters at Earwax (1561 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-772-4019), where you can devour a vegetarian Reuben. Skip the more traditional desserts and order the baked granola from the breakfast menu, which will give you the sweet aftertaste you’re looking for without all that other bad sugary stuff skinny bitches don’t eat.
Just because you’re a health nut doesn’t mean you can’t party. So get down green-style at the environmentally conscious Butterfly Social Club (722 W Grand Ave, 312-666-1695). Here, you can order organic red wine—we recommend the organic vegan Vintners ($10 per glass). It’s good for you as long as you don’t drink so much that you puke the vitamins, minerals and potassium away. If you need some extra Zen time when the clock strikes midnight, relax by the soothing fountain in the window and reflect about how many bicep curls you plan to do tomorrow morning.
For a more active night, join the party at 10pin (330 N State St, 312-644-0300). Spend the night bowling (a workout for your arms and upper back that can burn up to 115 calories an hour) while you pick at the array of hors d’oeuvres and toast the new year with some Champagne—just a couple sips, bitch: Bubbly is 90 calories per glass.
Or you can avoid the temptation to drink by spending your evening in a steamy room: Wicker Park’s Bikram Yoga (1344 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-395-9150) holds a 10:30pm hot yoga class, where for $15 you can sweat away all the gook, toxins and overall badness that you ingested in 2007.
After all the healthy partying, you’ve got extra energy, right? Join about 1,000 other health enthusiasts for the 23rd annual New Year’s Day 5K race (chicagoevents.com, $25 in advance or $30 day of) at 11am on Stockton and LaSalle Drives to start 2008 on the right foot. Or get your feet wet with Chicagoland Canoe Base (4019 N Narragansett Ave, 773-777-1489), which gathers a group of paddlers every New Year’s Day to float up the north branch of the Chicago River. Start at the Skokie Lagoons in the Cook County Forest Preserve (on Forest Way Drive just north of Willow Road, Northbrook) between 8 and 11am, and navigate your canoe or kayak six miles to the Linne Woods in Morton Grove. If you’ve got access to something that floats, the trip’s free; everyone else can rent from the Base—canoes are $45 and kayaks run $55.—Danielle Braff
You’ve gone healthy, and you’ve decided to transform your fat, lazy friends as well. Evangelize your clean-living lifestyle by hosting a New Year’s Eve party the right way: no alcohol or junk food. (They should all be on diets anyway.) Scratch the food altogether, and instead of eating, pop in a workout DVD. They’ll thank you for it later. Maybe.—DB
|Night moves: Make your plans now with our complete list of NYE events.|