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100 Chicago restaurants open Christmas Day 2011

You don’t have to cook Christmas dinner.

Eat this! Polenta, a universal peasant food

What it is: Polenta is cornmeal porridge, a very simple dish made by stirring cornmeal and salt into simmering water. It’s also often made into fried cakes. Historically, polenta was peasant food — cheap and filling. Where it comes from: Today, polenta is commonly served throughout Northern Italy in lieu of pasta. Before the arrival […]

If it’s Sunday, this must be Istanbul

Call it a staycation. Sundays are Istanbul Nights at A la Turka in Lakeview: Belly dancer Alexandria performs, followed by Eyyup, Turkish guitar music. Seatings begin at 6:30 p.m., and $25 gets you the show and a complete Turkish dinner with a choice of Turkish wine or a soft drink; two appetizers, such as hummus, […]