On Saturday, March 27, cities across the world will go dark for one hour in honor of Earth Hour, an international event organized by the World Wildlife Fund. From 8:30-9:30 p.m., businesses and households will be encouraged to turn off all lights and electrical appliances in order to conserve energy and perhaps make the world a little greener. This year, a handful of local restaurants and bars are doing their part in raising awareness of global warming by offering eco-friendly environments, food and drink. So instead of sitting alone in your candlelit apartment, bike or walk to one of these spots to share in the green festivities.
The Fairmont Hotel restaurant will offer a special menu featuring items from Green City Market, as well as organic martinis. If you're staying at the hotel, expect exterior lights to be turned off and indoor lights to be dimmed.
Talk about mood lighting - during Earth Hour, guests at this Evanston French restaurant will dine solely by the light of flickering candles hung from the ceiling. Watch out for dripping wax!
It's lights out from 8:30 p.m.-midnight at this 29th floor rooftop lounge at the Affinia Chicago hotel, which offers an exclusive Earth Hour menu featuring $10 cocktails like the In the Dark (Godiva Dark, Vanilla Stoli, simple syrup), the Lights Out (Bacardi Light Rum, pineapple, strawberry, blueberries and vanilla maple syrup) and the Big Al (Veeva Acai Spirit, chamomile tea syrup, St. Germaine, organic alfalfa honey, lemon). The hotel itself will keep the lobby candlelit from 8:30-9:30 p.m.
Cyrano's Bistrot & Wine Bar
The River North French restaurant will offer several slow-cooked dishes (which use less energy to make) in a candlelit dining room on Saturday night.
Duke's Alehouse and Kitchen
Dine at Duke's during Earth Hour and you'll get a free raw appetizer with any beverage purchase (available only from 8:30-9:30 p.m.). Drinks are cheap, too, with $3 well vodka, gin and rum cocktails and $5 Red Bull vodka available all night. You can also get a free soup or salad with any regular menu entree purchase throughout the evening.
The $10 Evening Shade cocktail (Grey Goose, Canton ginger liquor, grand marnier) will be available all night long in honor of Earth Hour.
Try a "glow in the dark" dish or drink at this Latin restaurant. Options include a ceviche sampling platter, with four recipes on a bed of crushed ice illuminated by colored lights ($10.95/person) and three "27 Ounces of Fun" sharing cocktails (Tiki Punch, Passion Colada Daiquiri and Latin Long Island, $17-$21) with glowing discs in the bottom of each glass.
Osteria Via Stato
Taking food to-go from this Italian favorite in River North? Bring along your own reusable bag and you'll get 20 percent off your bill between 5-11 p.m. If you're eating in, you'll enjoy a candlelit meal during Earth Hour.
Redhead Piano Bar
Buy a Lights Out cocktail and $5 of your money will go to WWF, the organization behind Earth Hour.
The featured drink at this West Loop lounge will be the GoGreenTini, a mixture of Absolut Vanilla, Sour Apple Pucker and a splash of sweet and sour, topped with a cherry for $12. You can sip the concoction by candlelight.
The Restaurant at Conrad
Enjoy a candlelit dinner during Earth Hour at this hotel restaurant in River North.
The downtown hotel will switch off all non-emergency lighting during Earth Hour, inviting guests to enjoy organic drinks in the candlelit Lobby Lounge, including Peak Organic India Pale Ale and Nut Brown Ale ($7 each) and Parducci pinot noir and chardonnay ($12/glass).
Starting at 8:30 p.m., the Roscoe Village date spot will get even more romantic with a completely candle-lit dinner. It's the third straight year for the event, which features Chef Stephen Dunne's full menu of small plates, boutique wines by the glass, artisan cheeses and desserts.
Whole Foods (Evanston South)
The grocery store will turn out its lights for an hour and host a dessert party for shoppers.