Born and raised in Chicago, Nina Chantele went from being a Southside schoolgirl to one of the city’s most recognized media personalities. Currently, she has shows on both 107.5 WGCI-FM, and 103.5 KISS-FM, and is a celebrity news contributor on ABC7’s Windy City Live.
When she gets a rare moment of free time, though, she’s at home in Museum Park—or one of her favorite salons, boutiques, or restaurants around the city.
Being in the public eye, where do you go for beauty prep?
NINA CHANTELE: My beautiful and beyond talented hair colorist, Nelida Dalessandro, and phenomenal hair stylist, Rico Dalessandro are part of Mario Tricoci (900 N. Michigan Ave., 847-202-1900). My dream team is even husband and wife! For makeup, I’ve worked with Heather Hughes since 2007— and there’s a reason for that. Not only is her work flawless, but she even comes to my home at 3:50 a.m. every Tuesday morning to have my makeup ready for TV. Talk about a dedicated glam squad!
Who or what are your go-to local designers or boutiques when you need a gala ensemble?
NC: Anna Fong (1932 S. Halsted St., 773-914-7979). I put my eye on her and believed in what she was creating years ago, and it’s beautiful to see her doing big things now. If you’ve been to Terrace at the Trump (401 N. Wabash Ave., 312-588-8600) or The Underground (56 W. Illinois St., 312-644-7600), then you’ve seen her chic uniform creations. I’m so proud of her.
Where’s your favorite spot for a quick lunch in your neighborhood?
NC: For the most delicious and fresh Thai food, I go to Ma & I (1234 S. Michigan Ave., 312-663-1234). They have yummy spring rolls, edamame, and sauvignon blanc. For Mexican food, it’s hands down La Cantina Grill (1911 S. Michigan Ave., 312-842-1911). It’s authentic, and they even named a margarita after me. For the most authentic Italian food with a friendly ambiance, there’s no better place than Cafe Bionda (1924 S. State St., 312-326-9800). The meatballs and chicken limone are to die for.
For a special occasion dinner?
NC: From top to bottom, Chicago Cut Steakhouse (300 N. LaSalle St., 312-329-1800) is the whole package. The service and food is amazing, and it has the most scenic views of Chicago. Le Colonial (937 N. Rush St., 312-255-0088) is another place I frequent because it’s chic, upscale, and delicious.
What can always lure you out of your neighborhood, or even out of the city?
NC: My family actually gets me out of the city and lures me to Indiana where they reside. However, when I am looking for things to do in the city outside of Museum Park, you can usually spot me on the South Side cheering for the Sox (333 W. 35th St., 312-674-1000); having a ladies night out at the Pump Room (1301 N. State Pkwy., 312-229-6740); [having] lunch meetings at Hub 51 (51 W. Hubbard St., 312-828-0051); or sipping wine at Eno (505 N. Michigan Ave., 312-321-8738).
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TYLER FURLAN
Aug. 21, 2013 | Nina Chantele’s Museum Park | Michigan Avenue Magazine