The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

With Valentine’s Day coming so soon after the holidays, it can be a challenge to think of what to give that special someone on the day that celebrates your love.  You gave them the absolute perfect Christmas gift but now you’re Valentine's 1completely out of ideas.

Don’t fear, the gifting experts of Oak Street are here!  We’ve searched our amazing shops to come up with this curated list of perfect presents for guys and gals and we’re sure you’ll find something here that fits the bill.

Wants Over Needs

On other occasions it may be OK to give the one you love something useful and practical but Valentine’s Day is not that occasion.  The best gift is something special that they don’t need at all but that they’ll surely want the moment they lay eyes on it.

For the Girls

  • Nothing says love like a timelessly stylish Hermes scarf that she’ll treasure forever.
  • Valentine's 2A beautiful fragrance is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift – try Portrait of a Lady if her style is classic and romantic or Gypsy Water if she’s more modern and independent.
  • You can never go wrong with a stylish handbag from the Italian fashion masters at Prada and either of these two lovely pieces would make her eyes light up.

For the Guys

  • When your man smells great it’s really a gift for you both, so this luxuriously presented fragrance and shower gel set is a win-win.
  • Even the most modern of men rely on old-school style touches and no stylish man can do without a Hermes pocket square that gives the perfect pop of color to the right suit.
  • If your special guy loves a hand of poker with his mates, he’ll adore you for giving him this classy leather playing card kit from Prada that includes a buttery-soft leather case and 3 sets of cards.

Make it Personal

While an intimate gift might not always be the right thing, you better believe that it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day.  On this day, your better half will certainly be happy to receive a gorgeous gift that could only come from the one you love.

For the Girls

  • You can never go wrong with a pretty package that contains something sexy and sumptuous that you’ll both enjoy from La Perla.
  • There’s a reason that sparkling jewels are such a popular choice for Valentine’s Day gifts – they’re the ideal way to show that she’s special to you. But unless you’re proposing, we suggest going for pieces like these Harry Valentine's 4Winston earrings or Lester Lampert and Buccellati bracelets instead of a ring­.

For the Guys

  • The manliest of men enjoy luxurious underthings every once in a while but they may not buy them for themselves, so your man will definitely appreciate something indulgent like this satin robe from Paul Stuart
  • Guys may not shout about their love of bling like the ladies but no stylish man could deny the draw of a sleek Dolce & Gabbana watch or a pair of cool, meteorite cufflinks from David Yurman.

This Valentine’s Day we suggest starting with a candlelit dinner and ending by sliding one of these exquisite presents across the table as tell them how in words and tokens just how much they mean to you.

Chicago Restaurant Week 2016 on Oak Street

The most magical time of the year is here… no, not the holidays nor wedding season…

Restaurant Week!

Chicago is a foodie’s paradise 365 days of the year and is quickly becoming one of the top culinary destinations in the world, but the annual Restaurant Week celebration is truly a special time to enjoy the best cuisine that the city has to offer.

It’s actually a 2-week long food-fueled fête (January 22 – February 4, 2016) that includes over 350 amazing restaurants offering special prix fixe menus ranging from $22 to $44. And the best part is that a few of our very own Oak Street restaurants are participating.  So mark your calendars, make your reservations and get ready to chow down!

Fig & Olive

This seasonal Mediterranean gem is offering special Restaurant Week menus for both lunch ($22) and dinner ($44).  Here are a few highlights to get your mouth watering…

  • Butternut Squash & Chestnut Soup – Roasted butternut squash, shaved chestnut, onion, toasted squash seed with Arbequina Olive Oil
  • Penne Funghi Tartufo – Cremini and truffle mushroom, parmesan, parsley, scallion, White Truffle Olive Oil
  • Chestnut Mousse with Amarena Cherry – Served with walnut meringue, cherry sorbet and Amarena cherry coulis


It should be no surprise that the iconic Chicago steakhouse is getting in on the citywide culinary event.  They’ll be featuring a special 3- course dinner menu for $44 a person which includes:

  • Mini crabmeat avocado appetizer
  • House salad or soup of the day
  • Bone-in filet medallions with king crab Béarnaise with truffle whipped potatoes and roasted baby carrots


This acclaimed modern American pub and restaurant will be showing off with a dinner menu ($44 per person) that was created especially for Chicago Restaurant Week.

  • Gotham Greens Lyonnaise Salad with fresh, local greens, soft-boiled egg, pork belly and toasted brioche croutons
  • Braised short rib with sweet potato puree, winter root vegetables and braising jus
  • Parisian hot chocolate with shortbread cookies

Allium at The Four Seasons

For a taste of classic American fare with a locally-sourced spin, be sure to make dinner reservations at The Four Seasons so you can enjoy their $44 special menu.

  • Charcuterie plate with spicy mustard, kohlrabi, kale, aged goat cheese and Marcona almond
  • Ora King Salmon with maitake mushroom, salsify and red wine
  • Chocolate Sorbet with crème Chantilly and fresh raspberries

Café Spiaggia

If you’ve never been to this much-admired Italian star among Chicago restaurants, then now is the perfect time to stop in for their $22 Restaurant Week lunch menu or $44 dinner menu so you can try a few of these delicious dishes…

  • Roasted and raw beets with shaved fennel, whipped ricotta, chestnut honey
  • Campanelle with confit duck, hen of the woods mushroom, leeks, Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Slagel Farm pork shoulder with roasted peppers, polenta, Miele Thun chestnut honey and radish
  • Panna cotta with vanilla-poached apricots

Pump Room at Public Chicago

Tell your special someone that you’re taking them somewhere swanky for date night and reserve your spot for the delectable dinner menu ($44) Pump Room has thoughtfully put together.

  • Roasted carrot and avocado salad with crunchy seeds, sour cream and citrus vinaigrette
  • Fresh linguine, caramelized brussel sprouts and basil-pistachio pesto
  • Salted caramel ice cream sundae with candied peanuts, popcorn, whipped cream, chocolate sauce

Coq D’or at The Drake

Drop by this classic old Chicago haunt for a 1930s bar feel and perfectly-done, upscale bar food with a modern twist.  Their Restaurant Week lunch menu is just $22 a person.

  • Seasonal soup
  • Roasted leg of lamb sandwich
  • Shrimp and fried clam po’ boy

Del Frisco’s

Do something nice for yourself (and someone you love) and visit this dining institution during Restaurant Week for a real culinary treat.  Their lunch menu is $22 and the dinner menu is $44.

  • Classic Caesar salad
  • Filet medallions with thin green beans, chateau potatoes and Bordelaise sauce
  • Pan-roasted chicken with chateau potatoes and chicken jus
  • Warm banana bread pudding with caramel sauce and fresh whipped cream

Le Colonial

Don’t miss this opportunity to try the very best of Chicago’s best French-Vietnamese fusion experience at lunchtime ($22) or the dinner hour ($44).

  • Cha Gio – Crisp, fried spring rolls with shrimp, pork, & Asian mushrooms with chili lime dipping sauce
  • Tom Xao Sate – Sautéed jumbo shrimp, asparagus, onions & scallions in a light sauce of sate spice, chili & garlic
  • Chocolate Mousse Cake – Layers of chocolate cake & mousse, with crème Anglaise & Swiss raspberry sauce

Nico Osteria at The Thompson

Schedule a lunch at this authentic Italian seafood restaurant that calls The Thompson home to try some of these plates…

  • Roman friend artichokes
  • Trofie pasta with guanciale, oven-roasted tomato and parmesan
  • Anise and almond gelato

NoMi Kitchen

Voted one of the “Best Hotel Restaurants in the World”, NoMi Kitchen has a delicious lunch offer for $22, including:

  • Lobster bisque with mango, pak choi, rouille
  • Beet gnocchi with goat cheese crumbles, winter baby vegetables and caramelized walnuts
  • Huckleberry Mousse Bombe – Meyer lemon puree, coriander financier, coconut gel candied coconut and caramelized pear


This old school Italian restaurant is as Chicago as it gets, so of course they’re participating in Restaurant Week with some of their most loved specialties for lunch and dinner.

  • Italian Wedding soup
  • Homemade pappardelle
  • Veal Milanese
  • Sea salt caramel gelato

Tavern on Rush

And last, but certainly not least, is the ever popular hotspot that serves up contemporary American dishes with an upscale touch, serving both lunch and dinner price fixe menus during Restaurant Week.

  • Pear & Gorgonzola Steak Salad with endive, baby frisée, grilled hanger steak and hazelnut dressing
  • Tavern Mixed Grill with Filet Mignon & Scottish Salmon – Spinach & feta mashed potatoes with caramelized sweet onion demi-glace
  • Gold Coast Organic Carrot Cake – Cream cheese frosting and walnuts.

7 Unique Oak Street Experiences to Brighten Your Winter Days

With the holidays over and the unseasonably warm temperatures nowhere to be found, it can be easy to fall into a winter slump here in Chicago.  Between the slushy streets and the rare appearance of sun, you may well feel like you just want to crawl under the duvet and stay there until May.

But we urge you to keep in mind that just because the weather leaves something to be desired doesn’t mean that the city stops being fun and exciting!  In fact, we’ve got 7 fabulous suggestions for things to do right here on Oak Street that will help you keep your winter woes away.

1.  Make Memories at SpeedPro Imaging

You’ve surely got a ton of great photos from the holiday season and what better way to use them than to turn them into gorgeous wall murals?  Our friends at SpeedPro Imaging are geniuses at making any image into beautiful art that you can put up without the hassle of hooks and nails.

2.  Learn to Knit at We’ll Keep You in Stitches

You might think that knitting is just for grannies in rocking chairs but this age-old craft is experiencing a renaissance among people of all ages.  The best thing about knitting is that it both relives stress and tension and results in handmade accessories you’ll be proud to wear or give as gifts.  Visit this hidden gem to pick up some beautiful yarn and get tips on how to start your very first project.

3.  Lash Out at Salon Lashe

A little beauty pick-me-up is always a good idea when you need to add some pep to your step. And while we always love a great spa treatment or new hair style, it’s fun to try something different.  Visit this unique salon to get an eyelash makeover in the form of lash extensions, perming or tinting.

4.  Start Your Art Collection at KM Fine Arts

You’ve finally reached the stage in your life when you’re ready to own original art and there’s no better place to start building your own collection than at KM Fine Arts.  This acclaimed gallery is always showing several talented contemporary artists’ work, so you’re sure to find something that speaks to you.

5.  Find Your Flower at Fragrant Design

Sometimes the very best thing to perk you up in the dead of winter is an eye and nose full of stunning fresh flowers.  Whether you’re looking for floral décor for an upcoming party or just a bouquet to bring to a dinner, the flower pros at Fragrant design have got you covered.

6.  Style Makeover with a Personal Shopper at Barneys

We know you’re probably a pro shopper all on your own, but we also know you love anything that can make the experience even better.  So, we suggest treating yourself to a session with a professional Barney’s shopping expert who will make sure that you walk out with a look that’s just perfect for you.

7.  Cook & Eat with Top Chefs at Spiaggia

Give yourself and 25 of your closest friends the ultimate cooking experience when you book a cooking class party at Spiaggia.  For $125 or $150 per person, you get a scrumptious meal as well as tableside cooking demonstrations of the very dishes you’re enjoying so you can recreate them at home.

There’s no reason to be down in the dumps this winter when so many fun opportunities abound in this great city.  Try one of these unique experiences on Oak Street or just come down for a bit of shopping and lunch any time you’re feeling a touch of cabin fever.

6 Oak Street Approved New Year’s Resolutions

You may still be getting used to writing “2015” on your checks but, believe it or not, this year is almost over and we’re about to usher in another.

And as we do, your mind inevitably turns to reflecting on what’s been and what will be.  Has it been the kind of year you imagined?  How would you like 2016 to be different?Bar Method

You’ve probably already started pondering your New Year’s resolutions, but we’d like to offer our suggestions for what you should resolve to do to make the upcoming year your best one yet.

1.  Get in Shape

Getting in shape is on almost everyone’s list of resolutions because nearly all of us could stand to make a little more time to staying healthy.  But working out doesn’t have to be a chore or a bore – visit The Bar Method to take part in this hot new approach to exercise that focuses on stretching, strength-building and sculpting a lean, strong body.

2.  Eat Healthy

It can be pretty challenging to commit to healthy eating during the holidays, but come January 1st, it’s time to get back to your salads, juices and balanced meals.  Stop in at Le Colonial or Hendrickx Bakery for healthy salads 4 Seasons Spathat are just as delicious as they are nutritious.

3.  Take Care of You

This time of year is all about thinking of others, which is a wonderful thing.  Taking care of yourself is important too though.  If you tend to neglect your own needs, you should add this resolution to your list and start meeting it by pampering yourself occasionally – if you’re not sure how, let the folks at The Four Seasons spa take over.  You might be surprised at just how much good one massage can do.

4.  Commit to Date Night

Although we may see the ones we love very often, many of us are so busy that we don’t spend much quality time together.  That’s why it’s so important to set aside some time every week or at least every month.  Whether that person is your significant other or a best friend, you should resolve to get together to do something fun on a regular basis.  We suggest catching up over a nice dinner Spiaggia or Gibson’s.

5.  Enjoy Your City

ThompsonWe’re lucky enough to live in one of the greatest cities in the whole world, but it’s common for Chicagoans to stay in their own little neighborhood or suburb most of the time, all the while saying that they’ve got to enjoy the city more often.  Well, now is the time!  If you don’t live near the heart of town, consider playing tourist and taking a mini staycation – book a boutique hotel room at The Talbott Hotel or Thompson Chicago for the weekend and spend a couple of days getting reacquainted with this great city.

6.  Goals & Rewards

One great motivation to sticking to your resolutions is setting up a system of goals and rewards for yourself.  So, for example, if you want to commit to taking a class at The Bar Method twice a week and you stick to it for 3 months, then you earn that gorgeous pair of David Yurman earrings you’ve had your eye on.

As you deck the halls and make merry in the coming weeks, keep in mind that a new year is coming and with it comes an opportunity to better yourself.  And Oak Street is just the place to help you meet many of your goals for 2016 – explore our directory to get inspired!

Downtown Chicago Holiday Events You Can’t Miss

The fact is that Chicago is a beautiful and exciting place every single day of the year.  But during the holiday season, our great city puts on its holiday best and really rolls out the red and green carpet for visitors and locals alike.

There are so many fun and exciting events that you may have a hard time deciding which ones to add to your already-busy schedule. So we thought we’d do the work for you – we handpicked a few of the very best holiday experiences you won’t want to miss…

Holiday High Tea at The DrakePalm Court

What’s more festive and cozy than an elegant tea service at one of Chicago’s most beautiful and storied hotels?  This holiday season, The Drake will be offering a traditional afternoon tea from 11am until 5pm every Friday from now until January 3rd.

Enjoy a lovely selection of finger sandwiches, petit fours, English Scones, Lemon Poppy Seed, Pumpkin Financier and, of course, a wide variety of teas to choose from all in the gorgeous surroundings of The Drake’s famed Palm Court.  You can even expect to find a live harpist and carolers on select days.  The cost is $45 for adults and $22 for children.

New Year’s Eve at Public Chicago

Say adieu to 2015 and welcome 2016 in the luxurious lap of the Pump Room at Public Chicago.  They’re offering 4 Public NYEfabulous options so you can have exactly the kind of night you’re after.  All tickets available for purchase on The Public’s website.

  • Early dinner (4 seatings between 5 and 6:30) at The Pump Room and a 4-course prix fixe dreamed up by acclaimed chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten ($65).
  • Main dinner (4 seatings between 9 and 10:30) in the Pump Room and a sumptuous 6-course prix fixe menu from Jean-Georges Vongerichten followed by a rocking party until 2am in the Living Room and Library Bar with a premium bar, light buffet and champagne toast at midnight ($245).
  • Party package from 9pm until 2am in the Living Room and Library Bar with a premium bar, light buffet and champagne toast at midnight ($150).
  • Stay and play at The Public by taking advantage of the VIP package, which includes a guest room for the night and two tickets to the New Year’s Eve party (from $500).

Gingerbread Decorating at the Waldorf Astoria

Bring the little ones down for a taste of luxury and fun at The Waldorf Astoria’s special gingerbread cookie decorating event happening on the first 3 Saturdays in December from 3 to 5pm in Balsan.  To register, contact the True Waldorf Service ambassadors prior to 12pm the day you’d like to go.

The Oak Street Toy Drive at Del Frisco’sToy Drive

While you’re making merry, don’t forget to take a moment to give to those who are less fortunate.  You can help make the holidays even brighter for children in need by dropping off a new, unwrapped toy at Del Frisco’s at 58 E. Oak Street on Sunday, December 20.  And just to say, “Thank you,” Del Frisco’s is offering a free dessert with purchase of entrée for anyone who donates.

Carolers on Oak Street

Get into the holiday spirit by enjoying live carolers strolling Oak Street every Saturday in December from 2 to 4 pm.  What a festive touch to your holiday shopping!

Free Valet Parking on Oak Street

Speaking of shopping, we make it easy to check everyone off your list in the best stores in Chicago by offering free valet parking (with proof of purchase from an Oak Street business) at 57 E. Oak Street every Tuesday from 10am to 2pm.  Make a day of it by coming down at 10 to shop, get a spa or salon service and then grabbing lunch before you pick your car up and head home.

We hope you’ll take advantage of all of these wonderful holiday events and we look forward to celebrating the season with you soon!

Oak Street Welcomes La Perla & Giorgio Armani!

La Perla ArmaniOak Street is one of the premier shopping destinations in the entire Chicagoland area and nothing could make it better…

Except, that is, a couple of Italian newcomers who bring with them their rich history in fashion and scores of loyal fans.

In recent months Oak Street has been fortunate enough to welcome both Giorgio Armani and La Perla, two iconic brands that fit in perfectly with the luxuriously stylish atmosphere the Gold Coast is known for.

And our newest neighbors actually have a lot in common with one another – both hail from Northern Italy and are famous for offering customers a distinctive and refined style through garments and accessories that look and feel beautifully indulgent.

We recently had the chance to speak with Suzy Biszantz, the CEO of La Perla, to discuss their new home on Oak Street – here’s a brief look into our chat…

Oak Street:  Why was Oak Street chosen as a location for the shop?

Biszantz:  When looking for a new location, the warmth and charm of Oak Street made it stand apart from La Perlaother areas in the city.

Oak Street:  Why are La Perla & Oak Street a good fit for one another?

Biszantz:  The boutique’s proximity to some of the city’s top restaurants and hotels make Oak Street the city’s most desirable shopping district and positioned La Perla amongst other luxury European brands.  Oak Street mirrors La Perla’s retail strategy to have a presence in the most important luxury shopping districts in the world.

Oak Street:  What sets La Perla apart from other high-end lingerie brands?

Biszantz:  The secret of La Perla’s appeal is rooted in the company’s heritage. Founded in 1954, the brand was born from the dreams of Ada Masotti, a skilled lingerie-maker who felt the “Creation of beauty” was her mission.

For 60 years, La Perla has followed the evolution of different fashions and trends becoming the lingerie and beachwear brand synonymous with Italian luxury. La Perla is recognized for an exquisite level of taste, sophistication and quality unparalleled by any other. The La Perla style can be expressed in unique, luxurious garments, but also in everyday feminine

armaniOak Street:  How is Oak Street different from other locations you’ve had experience with?

Biszantz:  Chicago is the Midwest epicenter for fashion and shopping.  There are luxury focused clients spread throughout the Midwest and we needed a boutique to service and create an experience for that client. We feel we’ve achieved this with the Oak Street Boutique.

Be sure to stop in and welcome both La Perla and Giorgio Armani next time you visit Oak Street.

And when you visit Giorgio Armani, don’t miss the exciting new Motif Cravats capsule collection – these gorgeous daywear pieces that all feature micro-prints that we normally see on ties.  The colors range from soft peach to antique blue and can be seen in soft trousers, tailored jackets, nappa leather pea coats, shirts and skirts.  Any piece from this collection would make the perfect holiday gift for the sophisticated fashionistas on your list.

Celebrate Thanksgiving on Oak Street

We all love celebrating Thanksgiving with a home-baked turkey and all our relatives packed in together around the family table.  But if we’re being honest, it can also be kind of exhausting.

Every so often, you think about how nice it would be to just enjoy the day without worrying about getting the house ready, following recipes or doing dirty dishes, right?

Well, this year we invite you to hang up the apron and ditch the kitchen chaos by giving thanks at one of the many Oak Street restaurants hosting special Thanksgiving day meals.


Head to Chicago Italian dining institution, Carmine’s, for a Thanksgiving feast with an Italian edge.  Not only will they be serving dishes off their regular menu, they’ll also be featuring 5 special dishes: Chesapeake Bay Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Chateaubriand, Slow Roasted Turkey, King Cioppino seafood pasta, Horseradish Crusted Prime Rib, and Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie ala Mode.  They’ll be open from 1 to 9pm, so you can do a mid-afternoon lunch, a late European-style dinner or anything in between.


If you’re already committed to hosting or attending Thanksgiving elsewhere, consider picking up a delectable dessert from Belgian bakery, Hendrixks. Try their apple cake, apple tartlets, hot chocolate macarons or order a custom cake that’s just the right size for your group.

The Drake Hotel

Enjoy a memorable and elegant experience at The Drake Hotel’s Gold Coast Ballroom, where you’ll find a whole host of delicious culinary stations, including salad, sushi, a mashed potato bar (yes, really), and a charcuterie station along with Thanksgiving classics like roasted turkey and pumpkin crème brulee.

And don’t worry, it’s not too fancy to bring along the little ones – there will be a children’s room that has a craft station, caricaturist, face painter and balloon twister on hand to keep the kids entertained.  Seatings are every half hour from 11am to 5pm and the price is $109 for adults and $30 for children.

Allium at the Four Seasons

Visit acclaimed restaurant, Allium in the Four Seasons for their Thanksgiving Feast buffet, which will feature a veritable bounty of treats such as a Fruit de Mer Ice Bar, charcuterie, artisan cheeses, carving board, taste of Asia, seasonal desserts, and much more.  Seatings will be from 12 to 6:30pm and the cost $155 for adults and $55 for kids.

NoMI Kitchen at the Park Hyatt

The Park Hyatt Chicago is home to NoMI Kitchen, one of the top restaurants in the city, so you can bet that their Thanksgiving meal will be fantastic.  On offer is a special holiday brunch buffet that includes 5 lavish chef stations as well as a la carte entrées.  The price will be $135 for adults and $35 for kids.

Nico Osteria at Thompson Chicago

Celebrate Thanksgiving Italian style at Nico Osteria – from 2 to 9pm they’ll be offering their usual menu in addition to a fixed price holiday menu for $85 per person ($35 for children).  The delicioso 4-course meal includes seasonal Italian dishes inspired by the traditional Thanksgiving meal, such as Sweet Potato Scarpinocc pasta and Porcini-Rubbed Turkey Breast.

Balsan at the Waldorf Astoria

Balsan, the Waldorf Astoria’s sophisticated European bistro, will be offering an elegant Thanksgiving buffet from noon until 7pm for $125 per adult and $45 per child.  You’ll find 5 scrumptious stations, including seafood, a delicatessen station with charcuterie, soup and fresh-baked breads, a Garden Harvest station, carving station and, of course, a sinfully delicious dessert station.  And they’ll even have a designated Half Pint Buffet featuring kid-friendly foods that are sure to please your little ones.

You’ll be guaranteed an excellent meal and impeccable service at any one of these popular dining options, so you really can’t go wrong if you decide to let the talented Oak Street chefs take over this Thanksgiving.

And be sure to check back in the coming days and weeks, as we’ll be adding even more special Thanksgiving meal options soon!

Fabulous Luxury Gifts for Under $50 & $100 

It becomes truer and truer as you get older – when it comes to gifts, giving is more fun than receiving.

You get a magical and joyful feeling as you watch someone you love open a beautiful gift that you chose just for them.  You see their eyes light up as they peel back the paper and discover the lovely treasure that lies beneath.

Of course neither you nor your loved ones are materialistic, but let’s be honest… a present with a hint of luxury makes a bigger splash.  But can you swing luxury items for your friends and family without going broke by New Year’s Eve?

We think so, and we can tell you how.  Read on for our expert tips and hand-picked recommendations…

Tip #1:    

For the person who has everything, consider a luxurious, designer version of an everyday item that you know they love, such as headphones, soap or luggage tags.

Tip #2:

For the big name designer fan in your life, opt for a smaller item that comes with the name, but not the huge price tag – think simple jewelry pieces, small leather goods and fragrances.

Tip #3:

Take advantage of the luxurious atmosphere Oak Street is known for; whether you’re picking up a $10,000 handbag or a $63 soap set, you’ll get impeccable, personalized attention and complimentary gift wrapping with beautiful $50boxes, ribbons and bags (which themselves make gorgeous keepsakes!).

Under $50

  • Kate Spade Card Holders – $48

Kate Spade handbags can run you well into the hundreds, but you can pick up an adorable card holder that has all the same brand appeal and style as Ms. Spade’s purses.  This is the perfect gift for the career woman on the go.

  • Kate Spade Reversible Earrings – $38

You’ve got to love beautiful jewelry that can do double duty – these very affordable earrings that can be worn two ways are unique, memorable and luxurious, everything you want in a good gift.

  • Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte Shampoo – $42

What could be more luxurious than a designer fragrance in the form of shampoo? With a fresh scent with notes of citrus, black currant and mint, both men and women will adore this gift.

  • Barneys Nest Candles – $38

You can never go wrong with an elegantly packaged candle with a beautiful and unusual scent, which is why we recommend Nest Candles from Barneys, which come in scents like Sicilian Tangerine and Wasabi Pear.

UNDER $100$100

  • Ted Baker Headphones – $99

Get your favorite music fan a luxurious set of Ted Baker Dover earbuds. Choose from a variety of stylish colors: white and gold, black and silver, black and gold and even pale pink and rose gold.

  • Carolina Herrera Fragrances – $98

For under $100, you can pick up one of Caroline Herrera’s intoxicating scents, all of which make an impression with their signature leather bottles.

  • Alexis Bittar Rings – $75

Alexis Bittar’s Lucite Mini Sphere rings are at once simple and stunning, so they are the perfect choice for nearly every woman on your list, and they come in several colors, so you can surely find one that best suits your gift recipient.

  • Hermès Soap Set – $63

You’ll love choosing 3 sophisticated scents for the 3 soaps that make up your custom soap set from Hermès and, of course, the lucky friend or family member who gets this gift will feel pampered and treated.

  • Maje Gloves – $95

These sumptuous navy wool and leather gloves are treat for any lady who lives in a cold weather climate.  She will definitely appreciate the juxtaposition of style and function these Maje gloves represent.

  • Zadig & Voltaire Wallets – $65-95

These mini wallets may be small in size but they’re high on luxurious style and come in so many colors and patterns that you’re bound to find one that’s the perfect fit for someone on your list.

8 Crave-Worthy Comfort Foods to Enjoy This Fall on Oak Street

While the sudden dip in temperatures may have you feeling a little less than enthused about the current season, there is plenty to be happy about now that Autumn has officially arrived…

And no, we’re not just talking about the recent Cubs win!  Though summer may have fall beat when it comes to Comfort Food 1sunshine, there’s no season like fall for delicious comfort food.

As soon as there’s a slight chill in the air, we start craving those old standbys that warm us from the inside and bring back memories of seasons past.  And there’s no better place to find both traditional comfort foods and modern takes on the classics than in the gourmet restaurants right here on Oak Street.

  1. Carmine’s House Lasagna

Head to Chicago Italian dining institution, Carmine’s for a healthy dose of comfort food from the old country. Try the House Lasagna when you’re looking for something warm, rich and deliciously decadent.  And don’t worry, the portion is generous enough that you’ll be able to bring some home for lunch tomorrow.

  1. Del Frisco’s Steak & a Side

Nothing says comfort food better than a perfectly cooked steak, and Del Frisco’s ups the ante by offering mouth-watering sides like Lobster Macaroni & Cheese and King Crab Ravioli.

  1. Fig & Olive

Feel like you’ve been whisked away to a picturesque chateau in the south of France with Fig & Olive’s flawless Provence Roasted Chicken, a rustic and hearty recipe that includes Herbs de Provence, rosemary, garlic, lemon, ratatouille, roasted potato, and a basil olive oil emulsion.

  1. Gibson’s

Comfort Food 2On a chilly Chicago night, you simply can’t go wrong with a perfect Filet Mignon from this acclaimed steakhouse – get yours with a Double Baked Potato and Roasted Cauliflower Gruyere for an indulgent and delicious dinner that will leave you wanting for nothing.

  1. Hendrickx Bakery

This authentic Belgian bakery is an absolute must for brunch, lunch, dessert or even just to pick up some treats to bring home.  Everything is divine, but we particularly recommend the homemade quiche of the day, their classic Croque Monsieur and, of course, their heavenly croissants that come in a variety of flavors.

  1. Spiaggia

On an evening when the wind blows cold off Lake Michigan, head to the renowned Spiaggia and let master chef Tony Mantuano lead you through a culinary journey with one of the restaurant’s 3 fabulous, multi-course tasting menus.  It will be a food experience that you won’t soon forget.

  1. Lux Bar

This modern American restaurant could be considered comfort food experts, so you really can’t go wrong here when you’re looking for a satisfying cold-weather meal. Try the Buttermilk Half Fried Chicken with fresh chicken straight from Miller’s Farm in Indiana or the Double Cut Berkshire Pork Chop with dried cherry apricot compote and a bourbon glaze.

  1. Le Colonial

Sample the unique flavors of French-Vietnamese cuisine that manage to be at once rich and fresh.  You may have trouble choosing between all of the delicious main courses, but for a comforting fall-appropriate dish, try the Bo Sate with sautéed diced filet mignon, sate spice, yams and string beans.

Boots & Bags: Which Ones You Need for Fall & Winter

When the weather turns chilly in Chicago, we’re always sad to see summer go, but fabulous fall fashion always helps to soften the blow a bit.

Boots 1The cozy sweaters, the gorgeous coats, the fierce boots… it’s all so good, it almost makes us grateful to live in a cold weather climate.

Of course we love strappy summer sandals and light, floral handbags but come fall, we can’t wait to pull out the sumptuous leather boots and rich, jewel-toned purses.  Boots and bags are some of the very best things in life, so before the leaves start changing, get caught up on the new accessory trends you’ll want to try.



1.  The Lug Sole Boot

As a harkening back to the 90s when chunky Doc Martens were all the rage, one trend this fall is the lug sole boot.  It may strike many as a work or hiking boot, but rest assured that it’s perfectly on trend for city streets.  Many designers have even featured the look in a very 90s platform style as well.


2.  The Faux Fur TouchBoots 2

Add an element of lux coziness to your wardrobe this year with boots that feature a fur element. For the daring, go full-on fur with a pair like these bold Chloé wedges.  If you’re looking for something a bit more subtle, opt for just a touch of fur at the boot shaft opening.


3.  The Embellished Boot

Many recent runway showings have featured attention-grabbing shoes with sparkly and shiny embellishments.  Pair them with a more streamlined and simple outfit that puts the spotlight on your fabulous footwear.


4.  The Velvet Boot

Nothing says cold weather wardrobe like a velvet.  And this year, boots get in on the act with soft styles that just beg to be touched.Bags 1





1.  The Handle Bag

For this season’s bags, it’s hip to be square.  Many designers have released very structured, boxy bags that feature handles instead of straps.  There’s a sort of vintage prep school look to the style, which is perfect for the back-to-school season.


2.  The Easy Carry-All

On the opposite end of the spectrum, another big runway trend was the oversized carry-all bag – totes, satchels and shoppers that are soft, collapsible and can quite easily Bags 2accommodate everything you need when you’re on the go.


3.  The Chunky Chain

We’ve long seen metal chain straps on cute clutch purses, but this fall you can expect to see thick and chunky chains on larger handbags as well.  Stand out with styles that feature chains made of modern materials like lucite and plastic for a unique and cool look.


4.  The Fringe Benefit

Get ready to go hippy-hippy chic this season with a wide variety of handbags that feature fringe.  Fully embrace the trend with an all-over fringe style or try a more understated option with just a bit of fringe on the front.