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Anthology

1337 India Street, Little Italy

(Has gone out of business since this article was published.)

Anthology is a three-level restaurant and club just south of Little Italy on India. Inspired by CEO Howard ­Berkson’s roots in Chicago nightlife, the 13,000-square-foot establishment pairs New American fine dining with live music in a sophisticated environment of 30-foot high ceilings, a wall of drapes illuminated by soft blue lighting, natural wood finishes, and concrete interior walls. The club hosts jazz, blues, classic rock, R&B, world, and Latin music and has seen performances from Chick Corea, Earl Thomas, and the Count Basie Orchestra. Reservations are ­encouraged.

Haylie and I are seated a few tables back from the stage, where a Tina Turner video projects on the wall. Our server, Tabitha, brings us a wine list of 250+ selections and the Fresh Vibe Tuesday menu featuring appetizers and entrées for under $20. We order an appetizer of buttery Calamari al Ajillo ($7), which is garnished with Yukon gold potatoes and organic ­olives.

The house band opens with a jazz number sung by the sultry Rebecca Jade. Members of the well-versed group have performed with Stevie Wonder, Jason Mraz, and Stanley Turrentine. The digital sound quality is immaculate as the group covers a Grover Washington Jr. tune. Tabitha returns with an entrée of Red Snapper Veracruz ($17) and a plate of Roasted Spring Vegetable & Manchego Cheese Tamales ($14) served with sweet corn purée and a citrus-y tomatillo & avocado ­salsa.

The band goes on to play tunes from Louis Armstrong, Aretha Franklin, Christina Aguilera, and the Jobim classic “Corcovado” as patrons converse softly over the music. Jade sings an a cappella “Happy Birthday” to a woman in the audience, which, Haylie conjectures, secretly makes us all wish it were our ­birthdays.

The mezzanine, empty on this night, hosts dining and a chic bar/lounge with an aerial view of the stage. The second level offers informal dining with a view, a Taylor Guitars private dining room, a balcony over India Street, and a lounge with an 18-foot-long fireplace. The restrooms (the true measure, Haylie tells me) maintain the upscale ambiance with mouthwash, marble sinks, and automatic ­everything.

Attire: Upscale casual
Prices: $15-$45 (up to $100). Value and VIP tickets ­available.
Happy Hour: Tuesday-Friday, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Capacity: 300 seats
Hours: 5:30-10:30 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday; 5:30-12:30 a.m., Friday and Saturday
Best deal: Fresh Vibe Tuesdays. $5 entry. No food/drink minimum ($15 per person most nights).

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Comments

antigeekess May 19, 2010 @ 11:59 p.m.

Heheh. You got the Deal!

What would happen in a shirts-off cage match between the Deal and the Pecker, one wonders?

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3135/2843829269_ebcc4f8573_m.jpg

Crap, wrong pecker. Just a second...

http://media.monstersandcritics.com/galleries/1335148/0144125050085.jpg

:)

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