You've got a whole world of deals in your hands on Earth Day.
If you forgot to show your support of our planet by switching off lights and electrical appliances during Earth Hour last month, you get a second chance. April 22 marks Earth Day, an event launched in 1970 to raise social awareness of our environment. These days, the world-wide "holiday" boasts all kinds of festivities, including an event on the National Mall in Washington, DC, that draws hundreds of thousands of people. Here in Chicago, you can show your support by volunteering at various sites around the city and stopping by one of these Chicago restaurants and bars to celebrate Earth.
The new-ish River North restaurant is paying its respects to Earth for a whole week, offering a three-course prix-frix menu for $33. Diners can enjoy a selection of sustainable and locally grown dishes from Chef Nathan Kosakowski, produced with such ingredients as Miller Poultry Amish chicken, local honey and spring peas. The green-friendly menu will include such dishes as grilled ramp soup, wild mushroom salad, Great Lakes perch, Amish chicken breast, Pacific halibut, honey panna cotta and a chocolate tart.
On Earth Day, Farmerie will be donating partial proceeds from the evening to Friends of the Parks, a designated park advocacy organization whose mission is to preserve, protect and improve the city's parks and forest preserves.
Stop into this Ukrainian Village bakery to receive discounts and giveaways as the place "renews its vow" to maintain a green business. Already utilizing compostable and biodegradable cups, plates, utensils and straws, Sweet Cakes would like to encourage all customers to become a little greener. The bakery will have a week-long collection for the Alliance for the Great Lakes, an organization focused on maintaining clean lakes through education, habitat recovery and improved water quality.
Customers stopping into this contemporary pizzeria on Earth Day will dine by candlelight and be offered the Late Night Fixe, which includes a salad and pizza of your choice accompanied by a glass of the wine of the week or select beer for $27.
The South Loop Asian-fusion eatery will celebrate Earth Day with a special menu consisting of organic Asian green salad, 5-spice-crusted lamb rack and organic lemongrass and agave sorbet.
The sports-crazed River North bar offers environment-themed drink specials including the $4.50 Red Mountain Range martini (vodka, triple sec, Rose's lime juice and cranberry juice) and the $4.50 Starry Night shot (Jager and Goldschlager).
Head to the 15th floor of Holiday Inn Mart Plaza to get a great view of Earth's (ok, mostly man's) creations and celebrate the holiday at Cityscape. Organic drink specials are on the menu for Earth Day with all Tru organic vodka and Tru organic vanilla vodka drinks going for $5.00. You'll also find $4 bottles of Peak organic amber ale and $5 glasses of Clos Du Bois chardonnay and organic sauvignon blanc.
Hard Rock Cafe
April 22, 9 p.m.
Local rock band Maggie Speaks kicks off its 2009 Listen Green Tour with a $10 show at Hard Rock Cafe. In addition to performing, the band will educate the audience on all the methods it'll be using on tour, including reusable water bottles, low-wattage lights, a more fuel-efficient van and more. All of the proceeds will go toward Keep Chicago Beautiful, a non-profit organization that works with the Chicago area's business community, schools, neighborhoods and government agencies to improve the environment through education, public awareness and community involvement.