Anthony Bourdain, Mario Batali Launch 2016 EAT (RED) Culinary Tour

Mario Batali, Courtesy EAT (RED)


If you could eat well and save lives at once, you could hardly say no, could you?

To that end, this year’s edition of the highly anticipated EAT (RED) kicks off June 2 in New York, with the (RED) Supper at Battery Park City’s Brookfield Place, hosted by those ubiquitous, globe-trotting celeb chefs Mario Batali and Anthony Bourdain. Other participating a-list culinary talent for the night will include Dominique Ansel, Frank Falcinelli, Nancy Silverton, Tom Douglas, Vinny Dotolo, Angela Dimayuga, Kristen Kish and Kevin Gillespie.

The overall goal? To raise money for the ongoing (RED) #86AIDS effort, by means of 27 days of edible nirvana. Indeed, the “tour” continues through the 28th, with special dinner, lunch, brunch, happy hour or cocktail events and offerings by many of the world’s hottest epicurean gods and goddesses at their exalted, signature restaurants.

Bourdain_CNN1[1] Eat Red

Anthony Bourdain (Courtesy CNN)

To name but a few: Enrique Olivera at Mexico City’s Eno, Stephanie Izard at Chicago’s Little Goat Diner, Jason Wass at London’s Polpetto, April Bloomfield at NYC’s Spotted Pig, Thomas Keller at the Las Vegas and Beverly Hills Bouchon Bakery locations, Alice Waters at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, Jose Andres at DC’s Jaleo, as well as Batali and Lidia Bastianich’s own B&BHG Vegas restaurants at the Venetian/Palazzo, including B&B, OTTO Enoteca & Pizzeria and Carnevino Italian Steakhouse—with scores of delectable options to choose from in two dozen cities across four continents.

“Anyone who has ever worked in a kitchen knows that the sum of our efforts always far exceeds what we can do individually,” says Batali. “EAT (RED) is an opportunity for all of our restaurants to collectively contribute to a tremendously worthy cause while doing what we do best: making delicious food.”

LeftBank_GnocciGnocchi at Left Bank NYC, Courtesy EAT (RED)

The (RED) charity, of course, was founded by Bono in 2006, with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as its primary recipient. EAT (RED) debuted in 2014, and has become one of its most high-profile annual events. N.B. Plan to reserve in advance. It’s a hot ticket.

Two Bottles of “Lolita Port” for Sale in Chicago

imageAlmost as exciting as the plot of 1992’s Year of the Comet — or any Tim Daly vehicle for that matter — Eno wine bar at the Intercontinental Chicago has picked up two bottles of the very rare 1935 Barros White Colheita Port, a.k.a. the “Lolita Port.” Legend goes that Mr. Barros (a.k.a. the Humbert Humbert of this scenario) had a secret love affair with a woman who worked at his winery. To show his affection, he corked a special port just for her. She never got to taste a drop, however, because Barros died of some quick-acting tuberculosis, and subsequently the unmarked and unlabeled port has spent over 70 years forgotten and undisturbed in a cellar.

Now, Eno is selling their two 375-ml bottles at $440 a pop. No tastings. No buying by the glass. No fondling the sommelier for a sip. Those fortunate enough to have tasted the Lolita Port say it’s an exceptionally elegant wine with intense acidity, aromas of spices, nuts, and rich wood, and a smooth, round finish. Kinda sounds like a description of Oprah. To see a full list of Eno’s wine click here.

Chicago: Top 10 Bars for Dumping Your Boyfriend

Get him a drink, then give him the boot.

1. The Map Room (Bucktown/Wicker Park) – With books and maps reminiscent of a European explorer’s study and a second-to-none beer selection, the bar’s literally perfect for telling the guy to take a hike.

2. The Vic Theatre Brew & View (Wrigleyville) – When the dilapidated old Vic Theatre isn’t hosting concerts (which is most nights), you can watch third-run movies, drink, and yell obscenities at the screen at its Brew & View night. Either way, you can scream, pull at your hair, and spill your guts without making a scene.

3. The Long Room (Lakeview) – Yeah, it’s just one long, dark room with a patio seating area to the side, but the place has a certain indiscernible charm. Lure him into the photobooth and document the exact moment his heart breaks.

4. Eno (Near North Side) – Go under the ruse of wanting to taste some of the best South African or French wines being poured in Chicago, and pick a communal table half-full of single women. Introduce yourself and your soon-to-be-ex, then never come back from the washroom.

5. Fulton Lounge (West Loop) – Get here before 9 p.m. if you want to snag a seat on the couch or chair in one of the front-room lounge areas. When it gets too crowded — and it will — let go of his hand, give him back the necklace, and break it off just as the mob shoulders you in different directions.

6. Hogs & Honeys (Lincoln Park) – It’s a Coyote Ugly-esque bar where the ladies dance on the bar and pour shots into your mouth. Stick around to watch the gals ride the mechanical bull and use his stares as an excuse to say that’s the final straw.

7. Salud Tequila Lounge (Bucktown/Wicker Park) – Order a couple of tequila cheeseburgers and half-dozen margaritas. When you’re both good and toasty, then you can fearlessly dig your forefinger into his chest and rattle off your list of complaints.

8. Matilda (Wrigleyville) – If you’re one of those dramatic couples who like to follow each other around while arguing, you have three bars to stomp into at Matilda’s. In the basement bar — Baby Atlas — you can blow out one of their candles as a metaphor.

9. Potter’s Lounge (Wrigleyville) – Brush shoulders with jazz lovers and carelessly rich spenders in this swanky-for-Hilton-Hotel lounge. Let him buy you one (or three) of their stellar Mai Tais, score a dark leather booth and explain that it’s not him, it’s you.

10. Waterhouse Tavern and Grill (Roscoe Village) – Quality bar food and stylish bartenders serve pitchers of down-the-hatch favorites like sangria and rum punch. It’s located directly under the Paulina Brown Line station, so when you give him the bad news you can run upstairs and catch the train to singleville.