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Eat. Watch. Do. — Christmas rom-coms, NYE restaurant specials and Atelier review

It’s Thursday, Chicago.

With the end of the year approaching, the critics and columnists of A+E have selected a handful of individuals as 2023′s Chicagoans of the Year in the Arts.

If you’re preparing for the upcoming holiday festivities, we have guides to good cheesy Christmas rom-coms, Champagne alternatives and everything you need to know about New Year’s Eve restaurant celebrations.

Plus, check out reviews of Atelier in Lincoln Square, U2 at the Sphere in Las Vegas and “Appropriate” on Broadway.

This is our last Eat. Watch. Do. newsletter of 2023. Enjoy the holidays! We’ll see you back here next year.

— Kayla Samoy, food editor

Review: Chef Christian Hunter evokes emotion at Atelier in Lincoln Square

The 12-course tasting menu at Atelier connects continents and cultures with bursts of heat and a bit of giardiniera. Read critic Louisa Kung Liu Chu’s review here.

Chicagoans of the Year in the Arts: All our names for 2023

As we approach the end of 2023, the critics and columnists of A+E reflect on the year to highlight some people who have made a difference in the city’s arts. Read the list here.

10 Champagne alternatives, budget bubbles to toast in 2024

There’s a wide range of sparkling wine options and just as many reasons why choosing alt-sparkling may spark even more joy this holiday season. Read our recommendations here.

I’ve watched dozens of cheesy holiday rom-coms this year. Here are 5 good ones.

These five new romantic comedies hit the right balance of cheesy, cringy and Christmas charm. Read the list here.

Rocky’s Bar opens in United Center, honoring late Blackhawks chairman with craft cocktails and mini hot dogs

Patrons who want to drink like the late Rocky Wirtz can order an extra-cold martini with blue cheese olives, hold the vermouth. Read the story here.

Review: In ‘Faith Ringgold: American People’ at the MCA, an African American artist’s decades of work get their due

The electrifying and illuminating retrospective is now in Chicago, spanning six decades of paintings, soft sculptures and story quilts. Don’t miss it. Read critic Lori Waxman’s review here.

Champagne toasts and seafood towers mark 55 Chicago restaurant celebrations to ring in 2024

New Year’s Eve restaurant specials include taco omakase at Don Bucio’s Taqueria and a 15-course meal at a secret location by Duck Sel chef Donald Young. Read the full list here.

Review of U2 at the Sphere in Las Vegas: This was the right band to open this brain-bending venue

“We can do whatever we want,” lead singer Bono said during one of his short addresses to the crowd. Who’s to argue? Read critic Bob Gendron’s review here.

Thalia Hall gastropub Dusek’s to close at year’s end

After 10 years, the Pilsen restaurant’s last service will be New Year’s Eve. Read the story here.

Review: ‘Appropriate’ opens on Broadway, with Sarah Paulson leading the most intense family since ‘Osage County’

Sarah Paulson is on fire all night long, torching not just anyone sharing Second Stage with her — including Elle Fanning — but half the open-mouthed audience. Read critic Chris Jones’ review here.