Haute Author

  • NAME Lauren Monitz
  • BIO Thanks to a childhood on the North Shore, Lauren gained an appreciation for the finer things in life at a very early age and grew up immersing herself in as much of Chicago’s nightlife, theater, and cuisine as possible. From brunching at Bongo to cinnamon spice mani/pedis at Mojo, she can usually be found somewhere in her haute Wicker Park ’hood. Currently working in digital marketing, she is pursuing a master’s degree in E-business from DePaul University. An extreme go-getter, globetrotter, and cultural connoisseur, Lauren is actively involved in the DePaul MBA Association and a PR and Web volunteer for the Keep On Keeping On Foundation, she is also an avid Chicago sports fan and loves rooting for the Bears, Sox and Blackhawks. And yes, having lived in Colorado, she is also a Jay Cutler fan, don’t hold it against her. Connect with Lauren on Twitter @laurenmonitz or on the web at www.laurenmonitz.com

Articles By Lauren Monitz

The Golden Ticket: Next Restaurant, the $3,000 Meal

After anxiously awaiting, no stalking the Next website, facebook page and twitter for hints at opening dates, menus or any sneak peak for almost a year now, when master chef Grant Achatz and partner Nick Kokonas of Alinea fame announced last week on his social networks that tickets for the highly anticipated Next Restaurant would be released 500 at a time per hour in the order you signed up for the notification list (now closed to the public), foodies were sent into what can be described as nothing less than a complete frenzy. With close to 19,000 on the pre-order list, and no set date or time of when sales would begin, the chaos began as people obsessively refreshed their email servers waiting for the magical message inviting you to request a password. Read More


The Top 5 New Restaurants in Chicago

With a culinary landscape second to none, new gems pop up faster than we can indulge. Check out these fantastic new hotspots from the land to the sea as the the charcuterie trend and oyster bars burn up the Chicago dining scene. Read More

Crumpets and Couture: Celebrate the Royal Wedding in Royal Fashion

High fashion meets high tea on the Royal Wedding Day on Friday, April 29 at 3:00 pm at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago with “Crumpets and Couture” – an afternoon tea and fashion show featuring the collections of London retailers Karen Millen and soon-to-open L.K.Bennett (the first store to open in the States, of which Kate Middleton is a fan). If you missed the 4:30 am live broadcast of the Royal Wedding, the fashion tea will feature coverage of the Royal Wedding festivities and nuptials on large flat screens in Seasons restaurant on the 7th level. Read More


Top 5 Pizza-by-the-Slice Restaurants in Chicago

While pizza by the slice is certainly not what Chicago’s known for (as you can’t exactly get a single serving of deep dish), when push comes to shove, we can give New York style a run for their money when we have to. NYC, eat your heart out. Literally. Read More

Foodie Inspired Fashion- Wear What You Eat

Like knives? Feeling salty? As Bravo’s Top Chef comes off of another intense season, Flavour Gallery, the recently launched men and women’s fashionable clothing line specially designed with foodies in mind, is calling all aspiring chefs and fashionistas as they kick off the Flavour Gallery “Chef of the Month” contest starting April 1, 2011. Enter your best recipe for a chance to win a Flavour Gallery “Bundle of Joy” featuring any one-of-a-kind customized t-shirts, tanks, hoodies, and accessories of your choice such as the popular Knives, Salt, Le Boeuf, or Colazione Del Contadino off the shoulder tee, a reusable Farmers’ Market Bag, and a limited edition Flavour Gallery “old school” reporter’s memo pad. Read More

Heeeee’s Back. Michael Jordan Returns Home to Open His Steakhouse

Chicago's legendary #23 will return to the city this summer to open his steakhouse. The restaurant rumored to be in the works over a year ago was caboshed due to a failed real estate deal. The new location inside the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile will occupy the second floor dining room and first floor lobby bar space, replacing both Zest restaurant and The Lobby Bar. Construction is set to begin soon and opening is set for the summer. Read More

Chicago Prime Steakhouse and Harper College Bigwigs Make a Public Final Four Wager

On Saturday, April 2, guests can join Chicago Prime Steakhouse as owner Andy-John Kalkounos and Dr. Ken Ender, President of Harper Community College, watch their alma maters, Butler University and Virginia Commonwealth University battle for a Final Four win. To make things interesting, the two men decided on a friendly “Labor Wager” with the whole city as witnesses. 

“When Andy-John and I realized our alma maters were facing off, we couldn’t resist turning it into an opportunity to support students in their education,” Dr. Ender said. “It’s the best kind of bet: Harper wins big either way.” Read More


The Top 5 Fajita Platters in Chicago

Fajitas: a tex-mex favorite combines sizzling meat skillets, an array of accouterments and cool tortillas served through multiple variations by creative Mexican eateries. These “make your own” meals are as recognized for their dig right in presentation- just don’t burn your hand on the pan in a hurry to indulge. Read More