All posts by Barbara Payne, Editor

3 Saturday/weekend fun events at Chicago restaurants

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail
Fizz Eatery & Soda Fountain in Belmont Heights (out west near Oak Park) this Saturday, 11/11 honors National Sundae Day with “buy one, get one free house sundaes” from 10 to 3pm. Banana Split ($7.50), Turtle Sundaes with Wisconsin-made ice cream ($4.95-$6.15), or Build Your Own Sundaes (2 or 3 scoops of ice cream, whipped cream, a cherry, and your choice of 2 toppings ($4.95-$6.15). Kids 12 and under who come in to celebrate National Sundae Day will be entered to win an ice cream social for up to 12 people!
.
Chicago Brewseum Hot Dog Fest. An intimate, low- to no-wait beer event – only 300 tickets will be sold. Saturday November 18, 1 to 5pm at Theater on the Lake, 2401 N. Lake Shore Dr.  It’s all about Chicago, hotdogs, beer and fun! Support the The Chicago Brewseum, a non-profit organization aiming to build the country’s first museum dedicated to telling the story of beer. What you get: A welcome beer courtesy of Old Style; 3 oz tastings of all the specialty beers; a Chicago style hot dog courtesy of Ball Park (vegetarian/vegan option available); access to the newly reopened Theater on the Lake; outdoor games (weather permitting); vinyl spins courtesy of DJ Charlie;  hot dog themed art for purchase; access to the secret and illicit speakeasy.  Tickets from $25 to $100.
.
Hot toddies and deep-fried Oreos at Jake Melnick’s

Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap. The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival returns November 17 and one of the best places to warm up and enjoy special food & beverage offerings is Jake Melnick’s. Consider this: a Hot Toddy made with either Spiked Hot Chocolate and/or Irish Coffee PLUS incredible, batter-dipped, deep-fried Oreos for $15. Get ’em while they’re hot – special price only on November 17 + 18, 2017.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Eat out or take Thanksgiving home from 5 Chicagoland restaurants

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail
312 Chicago sage butternut squash tortelloni

This year spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your loved ones. Whether you want to eat out or enjoy your meal at home, consider partaking in a fully-cooked Thanksgiving Dinner from one of these fine restaurants in the Chicagoland area.

.
EAT OUT
Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash, has a special three-course, prix fixe menu available on Thanksgiving from 11am to 9pm for $65 per person plus tax and gratuity. First courses: Artisanal Smoked Salmon Salad, Hand Cut Yukon Potato Gnocchi, or Belgium Endive Salad. Second course options: Roasted Farm Turkey Breast and Stuffed Leg, Nichols Farm Pumpkin Ravioli, or Fall Vegetable Medley. Dessert: Lemon Tart or Chocolate Hazelnut Bars with orange supreme and Grand Marnier sauce.
.
Several Kimpton Hotel operations are welcoming guests for Thanksgiving. Executive Chef Luca Corazzina of 312 Chicago, 136 N. LaSalle St. (next to Hotel Allegro in the Loop Theater District), offers a 4-course traditional Thanksgiving menu on November 23, 2017 from 5-9PM. $55/person or $25/child 12 and under. Reservations online or call 312-696-2420. Antipasti include either Acorn Squash Soup or Warm Beet Salad. Primi options: Pesto 3-cheese Lasagna or Sage  Parmigiano Butternut Squash Tortelloni. For Secondi choose either Italian Style Roasted Turkey, or Roasted Faroe Island Salmon, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Braised Brussels Sprouts, Lemon-Butter Sauce. Dessert choices are: Pecan Tart: Bourbon Vanilla Gelato with  Espresso Crème Anglaise or Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chantilly Cream, Caramel Sauce, and Caramelized Pecans. Num!
.

The shared plates cocktail bar, Sable Kitchen & Bar, next to Hotel Palomar in River North, will be open on Thanksgiving from 4-11PM, drinks until midnight. Newly appointed Executive Chef Amber Lancaster will serve “Thanksgiving on a Plate” ($35):  Herb Butter Roasted Turkey Breast, Sweet Potato, Crispy Maple Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Sausage & Pecan Stuffing, Apple Cider Gravy. Gluten Free variation available. Make reservations online. Sable will also be serving craft cocktails on Thanksgiving Eve from their new cocktail menu launching later this month.

.
BRING IT HOME
Pierrot Gourmet, 108 E. Superior, known for its gorgeous pastries, is offering group and individual dinners that feature Amish-raised turkey or pork loin along with chef-inspired seasonal sides. Pre-order by Friday, November 17th by phone (312) 573 6749 or online.
.
Whole Turkey Dinner $385 (16-18 lbs. serves 8-10 guests) or Whole Pork Loin, $385 (serves 8-10 guests) or Personal Turkey Dinner $37. All dinners include sides of gravy, country mashed potatoes, stuffing, agave glazed acorn squash with spiced pepitas, braised collard greens, organic green side salad with balsamic dressing, cranberry sauce. And don’t forget dessert! Choose pumpkin, apple crumble or pecan pie: Whole Pie (serves 8-10 guests) $28 or Individual Tarts $7.
.
Prairie Grass Cafe, 601 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook, IL, is offering North Shore residents no-cook Thanksgiving-To-Go for home. The complete ala carte feast includes all the dishes served on the restaurant’s Thanksgiving menu plus other mouthwatering options like Apple Sage Stuffing, Homemade Sausage and Giblet Stuffing and Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Chestnuts. Order by phone no later than Thursday November 16. Pick up your dinner on Thursday November 23 from noon to 2 p.m. View the full order form here. For more information, call Prairie Grass Cafe at (847) 205-4433.
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Bistronomic now doing monthly wine dinners

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Bistronomic840 N. Wabash, is a contemporary bistro rooted in French culture in Chicago’s Gold Coast. Now it will begin hosting a two-course wine dinner beginning on November 9 at 6:30pm and thereafter on the first Thursday of each month. The first dinner will feature wines from France’s Loire Valley paired with Seasonal Oysters with Nichols Farm diced apple, ginger and preserve lemon and Coq Au Vin with seasonal mushrooms, bacon lardons and shallot puree. Cost is $59 per person (plus tax and gratuity). Make your reservations on the website or by calling (312) 944-8400.

Bistronomic sommelier Edy Orozco

The dinners are hosted by Bistronomic’s newly appointed sommelier, Edy Orozco, who recently completed his sommelier certification. A Guatemalan native, Orozco began his career in the United States in 2003, working as a busboy and attending Truman College to learn English. He developed his passion for food and wine throughout his career, including working at Seven Lions and Michelin-starred Takashi. In his management position at Seven Lions, Orozco attended wine training with Master Sommelier Alpana Singh and took over the restaurant’s wine training program in April 2016. 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

National Pasta Day’s tomorrow October 17

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

National Pasta Day is tomorrow, October 17. What a great excuse to go out and indulge yourself in some heart- and stomach-warming dishes made by folks who love cooking Italian.

Nonnina, 340 N. Clark St., named in honor of the grandmothers of partners Tony Priolo and Ciro Longobardo, is offering a design-your-own pasta trio for National Pasta Day – tomorrow only. Choose 3 of your favorites from the menu for just $21. Now that’s amore! Full pasta menu is here. Valid October 17th only.

Down the street a bit, Maggiano’s, 516 N. Clark, is always celebrating pasta. Now until November 1 they’re featuring a host of pasta dishes and other comfort foods like:

Soups: Roasted Butternut Squash and Tuscan White Bean & Nueske’s Ham. Or how about Shrimp Fondue (with Roasted Peppers, Alfredo Sauce, Chives, Garlic Crostinis) or Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli (Brown Butter Sauce, Parmesan, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Sage, Toasted Hazelnuts). This pasta dish qualifies for Maggiano’s “take home a Classic Pasta for tomorrow” – TWO pasta meals for the price of one. Check the website for more specials and for their new brunch menu.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Shaw’s Oyster Fest fun 2017 for TEN days!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail
Shaws oyster fest 2017 lasts TEN days!

Shaw’s Crab House Oyster Fest, in its 29th annual celebration, is going all out. Shaw’s much-beloved downtown Oyster Bar is hosting a 10-day party from October 5th through the 15th. Enjoy all-day happy hours, dinners with award-winning oyster purveyors from around the country, special oyster dishes, and more.

EVERYDAY HAPPENINGS:

HAPPY HOUR DAILY.  Happy hour (usually 4 – 6pm) is now … ALL DAY!  Enjoy half off one east coast and one west coast oyster from open to close in the Oyster Bar!

POP-UP HAPPY HOURS: 50 CENT OYSTERS. In addition to the Oyster Fest Happy Hour specials, we will be offering surprise 50-cent oyster hours throughout the week that will be announced exclusively on social media (@shellyfromshaws) and the Shaw’s mobile club.

SLURP-OFF CONTESTS. Our famous slurp-off competitions will be taking place throughout the week. First round will take place at 6 p.m. on kickoff night, October 5. Or take your shot at the slurp-offs on Monday, October 9th, Tuesday, October 10, and Wednesday, October 11 at 6 p.m. The final will take place during the Grand Finale Event on October 15 with the winner taking away the title of Slurp-Off Winner and $1,000 in Shaw’s gift certificates.

LIVE MUSIC. Blues music will be happening every night of Oyster Fest from 7 to 10pm. in the Oyster Bar. View the band line-up here.

SPECIAL OYSTER-CENTRIC MENU.  Come in for special dishes for Oyster Fest including Po’boys, Baked & Grilled Oysters, Pan Roast Oysters, and our house specialty Buffalo Oysters to celebrate the oyster throughout the Shaw’s 10-day party run!

OTHER SPECIAL EVENTS INCLUDE:

Thursday, October 5: Tap Party with Haymarket Brewery. We’re kicking off Oyster Fest with a tap party in collaboration with Haymarket Brewery. We’re celebrating their first ever tap release outside of their Chicago-based brewery with a brand new Shaw’s beer, Lemon Rye-sing Saison, that was made to pair perfectly with fresh oysters.

Saturday, October 7, Sunday, October 8, Saturday, October 14, and Sunday, October 15: Shaw’s Oyster Fest Brunch. As the weekend draws near, consider indulging yourself with one of the restaurant’s fabulous Saturday or Sunday brunches. Many additional oyster offerings will be on the display at the Grand Shaw’s Buffet that has redefined brunch in Chicago.

Thursday, October 12: From Coast-to-Coast Dinner. Shaw’s and guest chef Leo Waldmeier, of the iconic Drake Hotel and Cape Cod Room, are welcoming oyster growers from each of the coasts to come together for the first ever Coast-to-Coast Dinner. This interactive, four-course dinner with wine pairings will feature Hama Hama, from Washington State- repping the west coast- and Island Creek, from Massachusetts- repping the east coast- along with Chef Waldmeier’s signature Bookbinder soup. The dinner is priced at $89 per guest (exclusive of tax & gratuity) and starts at 6:30 p.m. Buy your tickets here.

Sunday, October 15: Grand Finale. And you definitely don’t miss the Grand Finale Party on Sunday, October 15 from 4 to 10pm. This special ticketed event ($70 exclusive of tax & gratuity) features an over-the-top offering of classic Oyster Festival dishes, wine and beer favorites, specialty cocktails, an Oyster Roast in the Oyster Hall of Fame Room, live music from 4 to 10pm, and of course the oyster slurp-off finale! Tickets for the finale can be purchased here.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Master Chef author – Cook and book at Macy’s

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

It’s always nice to be able to watch a Master Chef in action. So if you’re free tomorrow at lunchtime, consider going to Macy’s on State Street – (111 N State Street, Chicago, IL), 7th Floor, Culinary Kitchen at Noon for a cooking demonstration (meet & greet will be on the lower level immediately following)

Michelle Bernstein at Macy’s on State

Macy’s Culinary Council welcomes Chef Michelle Bernstein for this special event. You’ll learn from the master chef as she shares stories, best kept culinary secrets and techniques on how to prepare some of his favorite award-winning dishes. Plus, with any purchase of $35 or more in the Home department, receive a $10 Macy’s gift card, a special gift and a copy of Michelle’s cookbook, Cuisine A Latina, which she’ll sign for you.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

How to find a new spirit to love – and 20 bucks off

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail
Dozens of new and exciting spirits at Chicago Indie Spirits Expo 2017

Who can afford the expense of buying whole bottles of liquor just to try them out? And even sadder, some of the most interesting and potentially appealing beverages might not even be available to try at your local watering hole. But happily, now you can  – in one place. Note: Come with your belly full so you can absorb all these wonderful tastes without going down for the count – and take a bus or hire a driver.

.

Chicago Indie Spirits Expo 2017 is one of the largest gathering of small, independent, family owned, handcrafted spirits and the distillers, importers, bottlers, distributors and representative under one roof. Sample some of the best of the boutique vodkas, gins, rums, tequilas, mezcals, whiskies and liqueurs from all around the world. Last year, over 140 different exhibitors were featured with hundreds of different spirits. Great way to find new brands to add to your liquor cabinet at home or your portfolio if you’re a pro.

Tuesday, October 3 at 5:00 PM – 9 PM CDT
Hilton Chicago Hotel
720 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60613

Tickets here. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-chicago-indie-spirits-expo-tickets-31405877826

USE CODE: Indiedeal – get $20 off the ticket price

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Common Threads hosts Cook-Off to help hungry kids

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Common Threads is hosting its Seventh Annual Cook-Off on Thursday, October 5 from 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. It’s a culinary showcase with dishes by culinary personalities from some of Chicago’s most celebrated restaurants and a silent auction – all proceeds of which will help bring health and wellness to children, families and communities through cooking and nutrition education.

Eat your way through dishes from 35+ of Chicago’s most renowned restaurants and hot-spots. Each dish will celebrate the garden, the pasture, the barn, the seed or the barrel. Once you eat and enjoy some handcrafted cocktails, you get to cast your vote for a winner in each category.
.
Hosted at the Revel Fulton Market, the Cook-Off supports Common Threads’ Chicago-based nutrition education and hands-on cooking programs for underserved communities. Look for dishes from Chicago’s top restaurants like: Acadia, Arami, Bad Hunter, Bernie’s Lunch and Supper, The Blanchard, BLVD Chicago, Boleo + Vol. 39, Cindy’s, Eataly, NoMI Kitchen, Sable Kitchen and Bar, Son of a Butcher, Sunda, Travelle Kitchen and Bar and many more!
.
Common Threads is proud to welcome a host of sponsors including Barilla, Kenmore, Lifeway, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and UnitedHealthcare. Learn more and buy tickets here.
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Fall fun at 5 Chicago restaurants

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail
Music and good food at Petterino’s Monday Night Live

Petterino’s Monday Night Live (MNL), the impromptu musical showcase hosted by Denise McGowan Tracy and Beckie Menzie, starts celebrating its 10th anniversary Monday, September 25 at 7:30 p.m. Enjoy anniversary specials every Monday including $10/bottle wine specials plus a complimentary slice of birthday cake and champagne toast. Try the $19.95 prix fixe dinner menu and the special anniversary cocktail, or order from the regular menu.

September 25 – The SOLD OUT kick-off event promises appearances by old friends and new from the cabaret community in the impromptu format that has delighted crowds over the years
  • October 2 – Special guests from the cast of Billy Elliott at Porchlight Music Theatre
  • October 9 – Special performance to be announced
  • October 16 – Special guests from the cast of the regional theatre premiere of Fun Home at Victory Gardens Theater
Jake’s fries – or get ’em in the Street version!

Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap41 East Superior St.

  • The Return of Monday Night Football – Boulevard American Kolsch Pitchers are now $20. Share a pitcher or two with your favorite Jake’s wings. Read the whole deal HERE.
  • National Drink Beer Day September 28 – specials on 3 Sheeps Water Slides (Sheboygan, WI) and Goose Island OMG “Old Man Grumpy” (Chicago). Stay tuned for details on a special event!
  • Limited-time September dishes to try: 4 Cheese Cheeseburger with fries: Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Provolone and Spicy Parmesan Butter on a grilled ciabatta bun. Smoked Apple BBQ Wings: crispy jumbo wings tossed in Jake’s house made smoked apple bbq sauce. Chimichanga Time!: house-made creamy mac and cheese with smoked chicken in a flour tortilla , deep fried until crispy. Top with roasted serrano aioli and more.
Chiya Chai Indian Nepalese cuisine

Chiya Chai, 2770 N. Milwaukee in Logan Square – Chicago Reader’s Best Indian Restaurant – adds fall flavors to its house-brewed chai program:

  • Pecan Maple – Distinct flavors of nutty autumn pies with a toasty Chiya Chai sweetness.
  • Apple Pie – Reinterprets a seasonal dessert staple into a sippable fall classic.
  • Pumpkin Spice – Combines two classic fall flavors.
  • Pear and Ginger – A refreshing tea sweetened with pear notes with a ginger-driven edge.
Psst! Chiya Chai also has a secret full-service dining room that features world-class Indian and Nepalese cuisine. From-scratch fiery curries and and more in this vibrant dining room.
.
Shaw’s Chicago Oyster Fest 2017 is 10 whole days long this year! Shaw’s annual fall time festival is kicking things off on Thursday, October 5th with a Tap Party with special guest, Haymarket Brewery. In honor of Oyster Fest, Haymarket has teamed up with Shaw’s for a beer collaboration, the very first time they’ve released a beer outside of their Chicago-based brewery. Named Lemon Rye-sing Saison, this brew pairs perfectly with fresh oysters and will officially debut the night of the Tap Party that starts at 4pm.
.
The Patio at Cafe Brauer, 2021 N. Stockton Dr., celebrates fall with a special Harvest Dinner on Friday, October 13, 6 to 9pmLocally sourced ingredients, seasonal fruits, vegetables, whole roasts and wine under the harvest moon priced at $65 for adults and $30 for children. Think: Roasted Assorted Fall Squash and Pear Salad, Roasted Amish Chickens with Natural Au Jus and Charred Peach Trifle. Tickets here.
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Tomorrow – Bar Louie program aids Red Cross Hurricane Harvey

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Bar Louie has launched a ‘Louie Loves’ fundraiser. Anytime a patron eats or drinks at one of Bar Louie’s 15 Chicagoland locations on Thursday, September 14th, 10 percent of sales up to $50,000 will benefit The Red Cross. It’s a way for guests and staff to support the communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey, the category 4 hurricane that recently crashed into the Texas coast.

“Texas is our home turf and we care deeply about our community all across the Gulf coast,” said Bar Louie CEO John Neitzel. “By declaring September 14th a Louie Loves day at all of our bars, we can give our communities a simple way to help Houston, the Gulf coast and the surrounding areas rebuild and restore. The Red Cross offers critical infrastructure support immediately following any natural disaster and we’re very supportive of their efforts.”

Louie Loves efforts have been around for 10 years. This Dallas-based Bar group helps the Red Cross mobilize hundreds of trained Red Cross disaster relief workers, truckloads of kitchen supplies, and tens of thousands of ready-to-eat meals to support the response effort.

As Bar Louie’s fundraising program, Louie Loves is tailored specifically to restaurant locations and their surrounding communities.

For more information about Bar Louie and to find information about participating Bar Louie locations including hours, visit www.BarLouie.com.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail