But the last few weeks of 2009 aren't looking so bad either.
Helping you ride out the calendar on a wave of fresh oysters, huge porterhouses and—just because it's been that kind of year—gourmet banana splits, we bring you Epic, a multilevel dining-and-cocktailing odyssey opening tonight in River North.
Your evening starts in the plush pit of a lounge near the front entrance, ideal for surveying this towering loft of exposed brick walls, polished concrete floors and a grand glass staircase winding its way to yet more pleasures on the upper floors. Relax with a glass of champagne or the eponymous house cocktail (Hum Liqueur, Hennessy Black and egg white) and a few selections from the raw bar—you'll find that a chilled half-lobster does wonders for Christmas shopping-related stress.
Afterward, head up to the second floor dining room for Kobe rib eyes, crisped duck breast or a salt-crusted bass for two. A former mk/Trotter's pastry chef is in charge of desserts, so just make sure you have enough strength to take on her mint-chocolate chip brownie.
Come spring, you'll finish your evening with an after-dinner drink on the rooftop lounge with commanding views of the city.
You'll almost be able to see 2011.