To make your free time more enjoyable, we are pleased to share some of our favorite links for attractions, events, food, wine, desserts and more.
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”
- Broadway in Chicago - Broadway in Chicago offers a variety of entertainment including musicals and plays in five historic theatres throughout Chicago’s Loop.
- Chicago Architecture Foundation - The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers something for everyone among its 85 boat, walking, bus, and L train tours from Art Deco skyscrapers and the World’s Fair of 1893 to Frank Lloyd Wright and more. We highly recommend the River Cruise – an AB&E team favorite on a beautiful Chicago day! And be sure not to miss the annual Open House Chicago festival every October that offers behind-the-scenes access to more than 200 buildings across Chicago. This is your chance to explore sights not usually open to the public, such as the Chicago Board of Trade’s cavernous underground vault and the New Regal Theater’s lavish Moorish-Revival design dating back to 1927.
- Chicago Baseball – It was a proud moment at Abuls, Bone & Eller when the Chicago Cubs broke their 108-year drought by winning the 2016 World Series. But not everyone at AB&E is a diehard fan and it wouldn’t be Chicago-style if we weren’t divided and also had fans of the Cubs cross town rival, the Chicago White Sox. Regardless of your team, Chicago offers a fun baseball experience on both the North and South side.
- Chicago Blackhawks – Six-time Stanley Cup winner with their home ice just down the street from our office. But tailgating isn’t limited to Chicago; Jim has been known to follow our Blackhawks all the way to Arizona!
- Chicago Bulls – The 90s was a great and memorable decade for the Bulls (as well as their fans) having won six NBA championships with two three-peats. They were led by Hall of Famer’s Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Coach Phil Jackson. The Bulls arena is located in the west side neighborhood of Chicago, at the United Center with their mascot, Benny the Bull who is just as notable of a figure as the Bulls players themselves.
- Chicago Jazz – The Chicago style of jazz came out of both the Mississippi Delta and New Orleans “Dixieland” style with pioneer musicians like King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong. Chicago is the home to many classic jazz clubs and is host to the Annual Chicago Jazz Festival held over Labor Day Weekend.
- Maggie Daley Park – Located in the northeastern part of Grant Park, Maggie Daley Park features something year-round for everyone. Whether it’s a winter skate, a challenging wall climb, tennis, a stop with the kids at the playground, or a stroll through the Cancer Survivors’ Garden, the park truly captures the diversity and beauty of our city.
- Millennium Park - Originally created to commemorate the second millennium, Millennium Park has evolved into 25 acres of beautiful landscape, architecture and public art. It is the home to hundreds of free cultural events including concerts, exhibits and family-friendly activities. More notably, it is the home to the iconic Cloud Gate (aka The Bean) and Crown Fountain.
- Ravinia – The oldest outdoor music festival in the United States; a great place to relax while enjoying some wine and great music.
- Bissinger's Handcrafted Chocolatier - Fine chocolates for any occasion, introduced to us by our St. Louis native, Rich.
- Cora Lee Candies – One of AB&E’s favorites to give and receive is Cora Lee’s English toffee.
- Doughnut Vault - Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Chicago, this serves one of the best donuts in the city. The AB&E team has been known to find excuses to indulge in these gloriously handmade, rich desserts as breakfast treats! You can easily spot this place when you see the long lines wrapped round the small storefront. Some of our favorites: Raspberry Jelly, Old Fashioned Buttermilk and Apple Fritters. Keep in mind – they close when they run out!
- Graeter's Ice Cream - AB&E’s most popular gift idea; it isn’t just any ice cream, check out their French pot process.
- Lou Malnati's Pizzeria - Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Be sure to try the butter crust.
- Meli Cafe - Home cooking in a comfortable atmosphere. Also, the best French Toast Jen’s ever had!
- RPM Italian - AB&E 2018 Holiday Dinner venue. Located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, RPM Italian is modern in approach and Italian in spirit and features a contemporary, chef-driven menu with dishes meant to be shared. We loved everything we ordered, so no specific recommendations here but make your reservation well in advance.
- Coquerel Family Wine Estates – Featured at the 2019 AB&E Undiscovered Winemaker's Dinner.
The name Coquerel is an archaic French derivation of the proprietors family name – Clay and Brenda Cockerell. "Walnut Wash" vineyard sits in the afternoon shadows of the Mayacamas Mountains at the north end of Napa Valley in the Calistoga AVA. Bottlings are handmade in small lots to ensure character and authenticity. Their whites are bright, crisp, elegant and well structured. Their reds are intense, aromatic, harmonious and lush. Complexity, concentration, balance and minerality are the hallmarks of Coquerel wines.
- Monte De Oro Winery & Vineyards – Featured at the 2018 AB&E Undiscovered Winemaker's Dinner. Monte De Oro's wines are crafted in a style to showcase the true varietal character of each grape variety, balanced with the fruit-forward territory of Temecula Valley and subtle influences from extended barrel aging in French, European and American oak barrels.
- G&G Private Reserve Wines – Featured at the 2017 AB&E Undiscovered Winemaker's Dinner. G&G Private Reserve Wines, short for Gordon & Guiseppe, two long-time friends and wine making partners began G&G in 2011. Experimenting with a variety of grapes and flavors has resulted in unpredictably amazing tastes - bold, fruity and full-bodied.
- Vineyard 29 – Featured at the 2016 AB&E Undiscovered Winemaker’s Dinner. Chuck and Anne McMinn acquired Vineyard 29 in 2000 and began its evolution from a single vineyard to a full scale winery. With a new, state-of-the-art winemaking facility, and the unquestionable skill of winemaker Philippe Melka, Vineyard 29 has risen to a new and exciting level of winemaking.
- Doffo Vineyards – Featured at the 2015 AB&E Undiscovered Winemaker’s Dinner. The passion that exists within every bottle of Doffo wine originates from their Italian ancestors who immigrated to Argentina in the early 1900’s. As a young man, Marcelo Doffo immigrated to the United States to the Northeast border of the Temecula Valley where the winery was founded in 1997.
- Aonair Wineries – Featured at the 2014 AB&E Undiscovered Winemaker’s Dinner. After spending his entire career in the Napa Valley wine business, Grant Long, Jr. has settled into his role as sole proprietor at Aonair as easily as one relaxes into an easy chair after a long day. He uses only the best grapes, in limited barrel quantities, and his wines consist of bold vintages, primarily sourced from the rocky volcanic hillside vineyards of Napa Valley.
- Kelly Fleming Winery – Featured at the 2013 AB&E Undiscovered Winemaker’s Dinner. Kelly Fleming Wines was launched in 1998 with the purchase of a 300-acre parcel of land on Pickett Road in the Napa Valley sub-appellation of Calistoga. Firmly committed to conscientious land stewardship, they practice sustainable farming, utilizing the best viticultural management practices.