Eat. Watch. Do. — Best movies of 2022, PhoLicious review

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It’s Thursday, Chicago.

The end of the year is inching closer. Still hanging in there? We hope so. Anyway, we have more end-of-year picks from our trusty entertainment team, plus recommendations for Christmas rom-coms that aren’t completely cringeworthy you can watch over the next few weeks.

We also wrap up our eight-part Jewish food-focused ”Keepers of the flame” series this week, with profiles of the Michelin-starred Galit, kosher-certified sushi bar Hamachi, a vegan Jewish deli and more. Read that series and our guide to Hanukkah restaurant specials in Chicagoland to kick off your family’s celebrations.

Enjoy the weekend. We’ll see you back here next week.

— Lauryn Azu, deputy senior editor

National Teachers Academy student and budding activist Taylor Wallace is one of the principal interview subjects in Kevin Shaw's "Let the Little Light Shine," a world premiere offering at the recent True/False Film Fest in Columbia, Missouri.

With the past year troubled by the tripledemic and a declining theatrical experience, “nobody knows anything anymore, certainly not about the business,” writes Tribune critic Michael Phillips. “But we crave the product, because it’s not just a product, depending on who’s behind the camera.” Here are the rankings for the Tribune’s top 10 movies, with 10 more runners-up — and a few regrets too.

The dac biet banh mi sandwich with Viet ham, fried pork roll, head cheese, char siu and house sauce on fresh house bread at PhoLicious in Bloomingdale.

“Glance at it from the side, and notice how the many sliced types of meat — ham, head cheese, pork roll and roast pork — are proportioned so exactly that you’re contractually guaranteed a taste of each with every bite,” writes Tribune critic Nick Kindelsperger of the banh mi at PhoLicious in Bloomingdale. Part of what makes the sandwich special is the restaurant owners make their own bread in-house, but there’s a lot more going on, Kindelsperger says.

Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The final three episodes of the series from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle premiere on Netflix today. Read Tribune critic Nina Metz’s take on what the power couple chose to reveal about their exit from the U.K. and the royal family here.

A rendering of the dining room at Miru, a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant set to open inside the St. Regis Chicago hotel.

As the St. Regis Chicago prepares to open its doors in March, Tribune food critic Louisa Chu has the details on two Lettuce Entertain You restaurants that will open inside the hotel next year.

With focuses on Italian and Japanese cuisines, each restaurant also has a prominent chef attached. Read more about the anticipated openings here.

A scene from "Avatar: The Way of Water."

While the latest blockbuster from James Cameron stuns visually, with three hours of screen time, the plot drags in the final third portion, writes Tribune critic Michael Phillips. Read up before (or after) you catch “Avatar: The Way of Water,” which premieres in theaters this weekend.

A stock simmers on the stove ahead of dinner service at Galit restaurant in July 2022.
Eat. Watch. Do.

Eat. Watch. Do.

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What to eat. What to watch. What you need to live your best life … now.

Lincoln Park Middle Eastern restaurant Galit, from James Beard award-winning chef Zachary Engel, won its first Michelin star earlier this year. Its menu pays homage to Engel’s Jewish upbringing and takes eaters on a journey across the Middle East. Read the latest entrant in “Keepers of the flame,” our series highlighting Jewish cuisine in Chicagoland ahead of Hanukkah, here.

Anthony Norman, John Hemphill, Lili Thomas and Alaina Anderson in the touring musical "Dear Evan Hansen" at the Nederlander Theatre in Chicago.

For Tribune theater critic Chris Jones at least, “Dear Evan Hansen” remains an important American musical because of “the originality of its thought, the strength of its score and, frankly, its ability to hit such a chord with audiences without telling the story of a pop star or adapting some long-popular movie.”

But how does the musical hold up when its social media references start to age? Find out in his full review here.

A selection of nonalcoholic beers is seen in January 2022.

An inaugural nonalcoholic beer, wine and spirits festival will debut next month at the West Loop’s Loft on Lake, and is meant to tie into Dry January. Kerry Tuttle started the event after noticing more people turning to sobriety as she did during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s amazing what’s happened over the last couple of years,” Tuttle said. “It’s an NA movement that is seriously all over the U.S.” Get the details here.

Sam Page and Lacey Chabert in "Christmas in Rome."

Deputy senior editor Kayla Samoy is the Tribune’s self-proclaimed Christmas expert. She’s seen just about every Christmas rom-com there is, so trust her when she offers these five festive flicks that balance out the cheesy Christmas goop with an actual plot, including one set in Chicago.

Latkes at Aba restaurant.

These restaurants and bakeries in the Chicago area will do the cooking for you this Hanukkah, from known names like The Goddess and the Grocer to one pop-up bar named for a line in Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song.” Get the full list here.



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