#19 – How you know you’re in Wicker Park

Latest article from TimeOut Chicago forgot #19 – You’re staying at the House of Two Urns!


Free Gypsy Jazz Concert March 21, 2016

Free Gypsy Jazz Concert March 21, 2016

Enjoy a free concert on Monday, March 21st  7:30 pm at the Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Ct. more details at: CCCP.

Gypsy jazz (also known as gypsy swing or hot club jazz) is a style of jazz music often said to have been started by guitarist Jean “Django” Reinhardt in the 1930s.  Because its origins are largely in France it is often called by the French name, “Jazz manouche,” or alternatively, “manouche jazz”.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

rosas loungeA new Mexican fusion restaurant is getting lots of kudos from food critic, Phil Vettel,   Dos Urban Cantina (2829 W. Armitage Ave) for their unique take on Mexican cuisine – both chef/owners are previously Topolobampo veterans . Opens daily at 5 pm.  Combine this dining experience with a visit to one of the top 5 “storefront” art galleries in  Chicago, Art on Armitage, (4125 W. Armitage Ave) curated by local artist, Mary Ellen Croteauknown for her bottle cap portraits.  Plan your visit towards the end of the day and take in some great blues in one of the ‘down and dirty’ blues clubs Rosa’s Lounge (3420 W Armitage Ave) opens daily at 8 pm.  You can catch the Armitage bus west near  the Western Stop of the Blue line at Milwaukee or at Cortland and Ashland, just a short walk north of us.   Or drive – plenty of on-street PayDisplay parking on that part of Armitage.

Changes in the Wind

Changes in the Wind

It’s a windy weekend in Chicago and we’ve seen some changes here at the Two Urns.  Our Blue Room has been freshened up and rearranged in what we think offers more space.

We also have a new Booking Engine, so when you click on the “Check Availability” you will see a new price structure – the most reasonable, Non-Refundable Rate is for our guests, who know when they plan on visiting and know they want to be with us specifically.  These rates are the lowest possible and our Returning Guests will be receiving an e-mail letting them know about their special promo code that takes an extra $5 off per night for any new reservations, except for OTA rates through third party sources (Booking.com, Bed and Breakfast.com, Airbnb, Expedia, etc.).  FYI, you will always find the least expensive rates on-line at this website for Two Urns.

Our new Best Available Rate still has a 7 day cancellation period (Noon CST) for those who may not be so sure of their dates of travel.

We’ve also made it super easy to give a Gift Certificate to any one you choose.  Just click on the new “card” on our website’s front page marked “Gift Certificate” and you can fill in the amount you wish to purchase (starting at $100) and where to send the gift certificate and it will be emailed out immediately.  There is no expiration date so it’s the perfect gift any time of the year for Moms, newlyweds, or babymooners.

We hope the wind blows you our way again real soon when you can enjoy Chicago in the best of weather – so plan ahead, our rates do change based on demand and the rate you see today, may not be the one posted tonight or tomorrow.


Free Classical Concert

Free Classical Concert

The Roosevelt Conservatory of Music presents a free concert of classical music on Sunday, January 31st at 3 pm at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance at 205 E. Randolph Drive with Paolo J. Carbone, conductor and Mizi Li, soloist

Samuel Barber
Overture to The School for Scandal

Johann Strauss, Jr.
Artist’s Life, Op. 316

Maurice Ravel
Concerto in D Major for the Left Hand

Mizi Li (MM, ’16), piano
2015 Student Solo Competition Winner

Modest Mussorgsky/Maurice Ravel
Pictures at an Exhibition

This is a free concert, but tickets are required. Reserve your tickets through the Harris Theater Box Office at HarrisTheaterChicago.org, ,
or at 205 E. Randolph Dr.
Roosevelt University CCPA Symphony Orchestra

Learn more at roosevelt.edu/ccpa or call .

Ukrainian Village

Ukrainian Village

Did you know that Two Urns is less than a mile from the heart of the Ukrainian Village?  Just southwest thrives a Chicago neighborhood rich in the history and culture of the Ukraine.  Take a short walk west on Division to Damen then south to Chicago and west to one of Chicago’s few Ukrainian restaurants, Old Lviv  (2228 W Chicago Avenue 773-772-7250 – closed Mondays), serving a full buffet with Ukrainian fare:  stuffed cabbage, chicken,  borscht soup and much more that will get you in the mood to explore the rest of Chicago’s Ukraine.  Across the street at Oakley is Sts. Volodymyr and Ohla church (2245 W. Superior) and north one block is St. Nicholas Cathedral (835 N. Oakley).  Ann’s bakery (2158 W Chicago) has freshly baked breads and other imported jams from the Ukraine available and is our go-to place for paczkis (poonch-kees) a traditional Pre-Lenten  treat.

The Ukrainian National Museum, is at 2249 W. Superior, just south of Sts. V&O at Oakley; the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art  at 2320 w. Chicago Ave. (open Noon -4 pm Weds-Sundays)  hosts local and Ukrainian contemporary art exhibits.

Ukraina Deli (2340 W Chicago) is also a favorite of ours with meats, cheeses and traditional Ukrainian desserts to-go.   If you wish a patisserie-style  cafe, a little farther down Chicago Ave. is Shokolad Pastry and Cafe (2524 W Chicago Ave.), a lovely spot to get a cappucino and dessert or brunch.

The Ukrainian Village is filled with lots of 3 and 6 flat apartment buildings and well-coiffed fronts, so feel free to weave your back through any of the residential streets between Chicago and Division.  Although the church is Russian ortpysanky2hodox, if you are still looking for ecclesiastical treats, Holy Trinity Orthodox church at 1121 N Leavitt (just off the end of Division’s Restaurant Row) is one of Louis Sullivan’s jewels.

An annual Ukrainian fest is held each September and you can pick up dyes and pysanky tools at the local gift shop, Delta Ukrainian Enterprise, 2222 W. Chicago Ave.  Orthodox Easter falls on May 1 st this year.

Kapra’s Mexican Strata

Kapra’s Mexican Strata

  • Mexican Strata

    Mexican Strata

    2.5  c shredded potatoes (hash browns)

  • 1 package SOY chorizo
  • 2 c shredded cheddar/jack cheese
  • 2 jalapenos cut as “rajas”
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 1 zucchini grated
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • Olive oil
  • 8 large eggs beaten
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt/pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350 F and sprinkle olive oil in bottom of an 8″ square glass baking dish.  Place potatoes in bottom and salt and pepper the potatoes.  Layer 1/3 cheese over potatoes.  Place grated zucchini next.  Sprinkle onions and rajas over zucchini.  Layer 1/3 cheese next.  Spread the SOY chorizo over the cheese.

Mix eggs and sour cream together.  Add milk, salt/pepper, pour over the casserole.  Sprinkle last 1/3 of the cheese and red peppers on top and bake for 45 min. Cover with foil if the top is getting to brown for the last 10-15 min.  Let set for 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving. Cut in 4 quarters and then diagonally to create triangular servings.  Serves 8.

This is a protein packed veggie dish and I no longer use pork soyrizo in anything I make – the SOY version is just as tasty and so much healthier – even the meat eaters in your family will love this dish!

Lomography Scavenger Hunt – no Irish luck needed!

Most St. Patrick’s Day celebrations end in fuzzy tongues and memories. That’s why Lomography Embassy Store and Emulsion Gallery Chicago are offering an alternative way to create a night to remember with their third annual St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt on Sunday, March 15.

Here’s how it works: your team of 3-5 people (friends, family or strangers, if you’re feeling adventurous) will have three hours to photograph a list of items with a provided Diana Instant Camera and a twin pack of Instax Mini Film. There will be some day drinking involved, so this event is 21+. There will be bonus points awarded for the team with the most green (clothing, that is) and after the points are added up top winners will receive some sweet prizes.

The scavenger hunt will run from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., and will begin and end at the Lomography Embassy Store and Emulsion Gallery storefront (1422 N. Milwaukee Avenue). Admission is $20-$25 per person. You can sign up online or in store.

Russian Tango Cabaret on Valentine’s Weekend

 Tanya Melamed in Russian Tango Cabaret
Dancing Jorge Niedas & Liz Sung 
Sunday, February 15th – 6:30 p.m.
International pianist, singer and composer Tanya Melamed, ignites your Valentine’s weekend with her dynamic blend of world music stylings: Argentine tangos, French chansons, Russian romances, Klezmer melodies and much more. Accompanied by brilliant musicians Alex Koffman on violin, Richard Scofano on bandoneon and Paul Goldman on piano. Exquisite dancing by Jorge Niedas & Liz Sung from Tango 21.
Ticket includes entrance to Milonga La Baldosita, IMMEDIATELY following the Russian Tango Cabaret show, with guest DJ Natasha playing classic Argentine and mesmerizing Russian tangos for you to dance to all night! The perfect blend for your Valentine Weekend!

Alhambra Palace Lounge
1240 W Randolph St. Chicago
Plenty of street parking – Valet parking available


$25 in advance / $30 at the door
No assigned seating

6 pm: Doors open
6:30 pm: SHOWTIME
8 pm to midnight: Milonga La Baldosita

Ticket includes entrance to Milonga La Baldosita, immediately following the show. Stay and tango until midnight!

Free Classical Concert January 27th – Harris Theater

Roosevelt University’s College of Contemporary Music is offering  a free concert at Harris Theater (north end of Millennium Park) – you only have to request tickets in advance for this event:

More info at: http://www2.roosevelt.edu/mkd/html/ccpa_1479-symphony-orchestra-jan15-email-1014.html