Category Archives: food and wine

5 more Chicago culinary news notes


Spring keeps poking up its lovely head and then pulling it back down again. But, hey, this is Chicago and we know exactly how to handle those crazy fickle ups and downs. We go out to eat and drink! And our beloved Chicago culinary industry is always there to give us more reasons to do so. Here are 5 ideas for your consideration:

  1. minigrow28 S. Wabash. Opening March 20, this one-of-a-kind, fast-gourmet dining experience elevates everyday eating. From the creators of Philadelphia-based honeygrow, purveyors of wholesome stir-fries and salads, minigrow brings consciously sourced, chef-driven food to the heart of The Loop.  Custom mazemen noodle and salad bowls, cold-pressed juices and chocolate chip cookies made in-house daily, and more.
  2. Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille, 5 Oakbrook Court, Oak Brook, introduced three new cocktails this year. The place is on the outskirts of Chicago but worth a visit if you’re into intriguing cocktail combos. Check out these unique drink ideas if you’re heading out west soon:
    • The Jameson Mocha Old Fashioned ($15) mixes Jameson’s Caskmates Irish Whiskey with  housemade coffee syrup and Bittermens mole bitters for a slight caffeine hit and a definite buzz – a great way to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day.
    • The PassionNut for Port ($15) mixes Fonseca Bin27 Port with DonQ Coconut Rum, Passion Fruit puree and fresh pressed lemon juice for a fresh and robust tropical escape. Pair it with Perry’s Beef & Bleu ($13.95) for a mouthwatering balance of sweet and savory.
    • The Rosé Collins ($15) is a wine-based cocktail that mixes Botanist Gin with rosé wine and fresh lemon juice. Try it with Perry’s Bacon Wrapped Scallops ($19.95).
  3. SAVE THE DATE! WhiskyX at the United Club in Soldiers’ Field – April 27, 2018. Music, food and many new and venerable brands of bourbon, Scotch whisky and more. This spring some of Chicago’s most beloved chefs will serve whiskey-inspired and infused dishes for VIP ticket holders. Several of the city’s favorite food trucks will be on-site selling food throughout the event as well. An  “early bird special” ticket (20% discount) on sale only between March 6 and 13. Beat the sell out and buy now.
  4. Osteria Via Stato, 620 N. State St., invites you to enjoy Chef David DiGregorio’s array of springtime brunch delights on Easter Sunday, or Pasqua as it is known in Italy, 10:30am to 3pm. Omelet station,  and a bounty of Italian-inspired offerings like ciabatta ‘French’ toast; house-made sausage & vegetable strata; and a Ricotta Doughnut station where the tender-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside treats will be handmade-to-order. For the kids, an Easter Candy table will be set up. $54.95++ per adult, children aged 10 and under are $19.95 and children aged five and under eat free. Reserve at 312-642-8450.
  5. Through March 31, snack madly with Garrett Popcorn Shops® and their new, limited-time, handcrafted Hickory Smoked Bacon CheeseCorn, both in shops and online at  Garrett Chef David Funaro  created this gourmet flavor by infusing signature Garrett CheeseCorn with juicy, hickory-smoked bacon flavor. Watching basketball with a gang? Try Baller Bundles – scoops and empty bags for filling and sharing in either Garrett Mix® or Hickory Smoked Bacon CheeseCorn, online only at through March.

5 Chicago restaurants – Super Bowl and Valentine’s 2018 +1 new opening!

Chicago is a marvelous place to eat out any time, but some places go out of their way to offer specials for specific occasions. Too bad about the Bears, but you can still enjoy Super Bowl goodies in places around Chicago. And of course, it’s not too early to plan your Valentine’s Day – or anti-Valentine’s Day – celebration. And then, imagine this: a very large authentic Italian eatery opening up just down the street from – you guessed it – Eataly!
 Ella Elli (1349 W. Cornelia Ave) in Lakeview  offers a chic alternative to the Super Bowl. No TVs on Super Bowl Sunday but you can have flights of rosé wines, rosé cocktails and frosé! Regular brunch menu from 10am to 2:30pm and dinner from 4 to 10pm. The “Super Bites” menu includes Shrimp Avocado Salad, pink shrimp with diced avocado, red onion and cilantro in a grapefruit-honey vinaigrette with crispy pita chips ($9); French Onion Dip and Chips, creamy onion dip with crispy pancetta and housemade potato chips ($6); Prosciutto Meatballs, fontina-stuffed beef and prosciutto meatballs simmered in a spicy tomato basil sauce over creamy polenta ($8); Potato Croquettes, three crispy parmesan potatoes with spicy Calabrian-Chile aioli and cilantro ($6); and Nduja-Stuffed Dates, over Gorgonzola fondue and topped with Marcona almonds ($7).
Smoke Daddy smoked wings

Smoke Daddy (1804 W Division St.) in Wicker Park welcomes Super Bowl fans  for the game from 4 to 9pm for an all-you-can-eat pig roast buffet and build-your-own chili bar – all for $20 per person (plus tax and gratuity)! Price also includes one Lagunitas pint. Reservations are strongly recommended; call 773.772.6656. OR pick your favorites from their popular catering menu for any Super Bowl party. Options include their signature wings ($30 feeds 10, $55 feeds 20), BBQ sliders ($40 feeds 10, $75 feeds 20), mac and cheese ($25 feeds 10, $45 feeds 20) and more. A la carte options include pulled pork ($16 per lb.), St. Louis-style ribs ($20 per lb.) and BBQ beans ($14 per lb.). Orders must be made by January 31 via email ( or phone (773.772.6656).

STK Chicago, 9 W. Kinzie St., revs up the winter with fun specials like Game Day at STK. The Bears may be done, but you can still celebrate Super Bowl on Feb. 4 with $3 beers and $5 bites, plus a special half-time performance. Office Hours – Every Sunday thru Thurs 5 to 7pm, STK Chicago’s own take on happy hour gets you specific menu items like $5 cocktails and $7 small plates like Lil’ BRGs, Tuna Tartare, Crispy Rock Shrimp and more. Then consider Wine Down Wednesdays – half off bottles of wine every Wednesday.
ETA Restaurant avocado toast

ETA Restaurant + Bar, located inside Loews Chicago Hotel at 455 N. Park Dr., has lots of winter fun specials. Snow Days – warm up at ETA every time it snows in Chicago. $1 off Local Stops and Exotic Locations cocktails for every inch of snow predicted in the forecast (maximum 10 inches) that day by for zip code 60611. $10 off your cocktail! Chicago Restaurant Week, ETA Restaurant + Bar will be participating for the first time  this year – special prix-fixe menu for lunch ($22++) or dinner ($33++). Game Day Specials, February 4. Sit down in front of the 7’ by 12’ TV screen in the hotel lobby to enjoy the Big Game, and chow down on menu items like ETA Burger (double patty, gouda, crispy onions, and tomato jam, $17), the Brat in a Blanket (with hot pepper jam, $10), and Chicken Wings (choice of bacon-buffalo sauce or garlic-parmesan sauce, $14), plus snacks and beer specials. Pro- or Anti-Valentine’s Day weekend! February 14-17 – enjoy the 4 Cs of Valentine’s Day (hint: Cupid isn’t one of them!): [fried] Chicken, Champagne, Cake, and Comfort. Whether you’re pro- or anti-Valentine’s Day, you can enjoy 3 days of special deals at ETA. From February 14-17, buckets of Hot Sauce Fried Chicken are only $39 each – a whole bird (8 pieces) served with buttermilk biscuits and house-made jam ($39). Champagne – splits of JP Chenet, Rosé Dry are $15. Chocolate Stout Cake – Nutella ganache, chocolate pretzels, and cherries ($9) makes the perfect dessert to enjoy with friends in the Comfort of ETA’s cozy ambiance.

Cupitol Coffee + Eatery, 455 E. Illinois St. (and 812 Grove St. Evanston) will donate all hot and iced latte proceeds to Open Heart Magic, a Chicago-based, non-profit that uses the therapeutic power of magic and laughter to energize seriously ill children. Additionally, they will also offer Chocolate Dipped Strawberries at each location two for $2. Cupitol lattes feature a specialty espresso blend imported exclusively from Europe that’s based on 100% Arabica beans. Lattes include theChai, Mocha, Nutella, Vanilla, Caramel and Hazelnut Latte. Drink ’em regular or dairy-free with coconut or almond milk. But the menu also features full breakfast, lunch and dinner options plus pastries from the in-house bakery. Both  locations open on Valentine’s Day from 7am to 9pm.
Coming soon! Sapori Antichi Bar Italiano, 22 W. Ohio, opens its authentic Northern Italian full-service restaurant and bar in March 2018. It’s just down the street from Eataly Chicago, in the former Rev Burger space. With 2,300 square feet to accommodate 50-60 guests, the new 100% Italian – from kitchen equipment to tiles – restaurant will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a full bar, say founders Michael and Mary Meranda. Look for Italian dishes like Tigelle, an Italian small, round, thickish flat bread and Gnocco Fritto, an Italian bread typically sliced into diamond shapes and then fried. Meet friends and relax at the espresso and breakfast bar and the chef’s table where you might even get tastes not yet on the menu. We can always hope that the prices will be a bit less daunting than some of those at Eataly!

Late December restaurant news in Chicago


Love to learn about the specials some of our Chicago restaurants put together for the holidays. Fun. Festive. Food and drink to celebrate with. Check out these news bytes about 6 of them. And Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, etc. etc.

  1. Naoki Fried ChickenDecember 22nd & 23rd only. Naoki’s savory Japanese-style fried chicken, prepared by half or whole bird and served with Yuzo coleslaw, Roasted sweet potatoes and Teriyaki & Toban Jan dipping sauces. Available dine in or carry-out. To place an order or make a reservation, call 773-868-0002.
  2. Texas de Brazil, 210 E. Illinois, will open early on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve (11am to 9pm) with their full rodizio-style menu available all day, as well as Horseradish Crusted Ribeye (a special holiday item). Pricing for Chicago here and Schaumburg here. Closed on Christmas Day, but open regular hours with the regular menu on New Year’s Day.
  3. The Shelby, 2759 W. Augusta Blvd. (their website isn’t up yet but Google has reviews)  opened December 19. Open 5pm weeknights, and 11am Saturday and Sunday. Casual restaurant/bar with a hearty beer program, a full bar, and Chef (formerly with Haywood Tavern, Bite Cafe, Longman & Eagle, and Spiaggia) Rodney Staton-created snacks, salads, and a load-your-own burger and baked potato program.  Enjoy their no-bull approach to food, drink, socializing, and service in soulful, well-worn surroundings (denim upholstery, dark wood carpentry, whitewashed brick walls, and canary yellow stools), and with a soundtrack influenced by the Memphis music scene: Stax records artists, Sun records’ Big Star, Isaac Hayes, and The Grifters, to name a few.
  4. ENO Wine Room, 505 N. Michigan in the InterContinental Hotel, will be popping bubbles every hour to ring in 2018. Learn about ENO’s New Year’s Eve celebration here. If you’d rather celebrate at home, ENO’s General Manager and champagne expert, Amanda Herrell, suggests breaking out the bubbly bar yourself! Her beverage and food pairing recommendations include: Don’t feel pressured to serve only champagne! Other good dry bubbles: Crémant de Bourgogne, Cava, and Franciacorta. Sweeter  tasty bubbles: Lambrusco, Brachetto, and Moscato d’Asti. Pair them well! With dry bubbles, stick with rich triple cream cheese. The rich and decadent flavors will be complemented by the bubbles. For the sweeter bubbly drinks, indulge in foie gras mousse. The effervescence combined richness and the berry flavor of the wine will mesh well with the savory dish.
  5. Celebrate the New Year at Ceres Table, 3124 N. Broadway. Sunday, December 31 | 5:00pm – 11:00pm (reservation times) A special four-course, regional Italian meal, presented by Executive Chef Steven O’Neill. For $55/person (*Special: reservations before 6:30pm and after 10:30pm, only $45/person) guests will enjoy their choice of one dish per course from the complete menu.
  6. Lowcountry, 1132 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago’s premier boil-in-a-bag seafood destination announces a second location opening in the South Loop early 2018. At Lowcountry South Loop, the magic four steps remain the same: choose your protein, like snow crab legs, head-on shrimp, mussels and more, then choose a sauce, a spice level, and add-ons like corn, sausage, and potatoes. New boil combinations launch upon opening, and now you can get pre-set seafood bags built for one, two, three, or four people filled with a variety of shellfish and add-ons. Love the music on their website!

Mago Grill & Cantina rings in Hanukkah & holidays with Mexican flair


The holidays for many ethnic groups are fast approaching. and Mago Grill & Cantina has the perfect addition to any celebration table. Mago is featuring a full size (9”) Eggnog Tres Leches and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Flan inspired by Chef Juan’s late grandmother’s holiday recipes, both $35, through December 31. They are both available with just 24-hour notice at any Mago Grill & Cantina location (Chicago, Arlington Heights, Bolingbrook or South Barrington). Perfect for those last-minute Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas dessert needs!

Mago Grill & Cantina fabulous holiday desserts

You might be surprised to learn there is a large Mexican-Jewish community in Chicago that draws influences from both cuisines. To honor this group, Mago decided to combine traditional Hanukkah dishes with a Latin flare, thus culinarily fusing Mexican and Jewish culture. Hanukkah Menu Items  available only 12/12/17 – 12/20/17)

Playing off the traditional Hanukkah short rib meal, Mago will offer a limited-time Beef Short Rib entrée for $26 (Pulque braised, fork tender beef short rib served with Mole de Manzana, or Apple Mole and cilantro potato latkes). Or try Roasted Half Chicken for $20 (wild mushroom huitlacoche cream, roasted Yukon gold potatoes).

Honoring the Jewish tradition of eating apples with honey during Rosh HaShanah, Guava and Apple Crisp dessert for $8 (Baked granny smith apples with guava topped with a cinnamon crumble). Apples in the cocktail line: La Manzanita cocktail for $13 (Apple & cinnamon infused Patron Blanco Tequila, apple cider, fresh lime juice).


Celebrate the season at a few of these 13 Chicago restaurants

Chicago holiday restaurant delights

Chicago is a magnificent place to celebrate the holiday season – the lights downtown alone are magical. Not surprisingly, then, that  around this time of year you can find a sleighload of restaurants that offer special featured food items, family brunches with Santa, Christmas Eve brunch, prix fixe menus and more. Take a gander at these and make your reservations now.

  1. Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior, invites you to indulge in The 12 Wings of Christmas (LOL!).  Now through December 12, Jake Melnick’s is offerings a different special wing of the day to get in the holiday spirit. Chef Nick Santangelo has come up with some interesting flavor combinations such as Apricot Siracha, Aaron’s Coconut Red Curry and Grilled Maple Mustard wings ($13.95). You get a punch card with your first wing order – get the card punched for 4 out of the 12 days and get a $50 gift card. Check out the rest of Jake’s fun and funky wing flavors here.
  2. Shaw’s Crab House, 21 E. Hubbard, can make your holiday meals easier with their own dishes for your table. Choose from a variety of sides, appetizers, soup, salads, sushi and desserts – all Shaw’s classics – now available for pickup or delivery during regular business hours. Order at least 24 hours in advance for appetizers and sides and 48 hours for desserts.For more information or to order items, 312.527.2722. Also, Santa is coming for brunch, pictures and visit to Shaw’s Chicago for Christmas Eve brunch starting at 9am. $75 adults, $20 kids.
  3. Ella Elli, 1349 W. Cornelia Ave., will be open for a pre-Christmas brunch on Friday, December 22 and Saturday, December 23 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and for Christmas Eve brunch on Sunday, December 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guests can enjoy items such as the Bakery Board with fresh a croissant, housemade everything bagel, local pastries, preserves and seasoned whipped butter ($10); Stuffed Brioche French Toast with chocolate, berries and cardamom powdered sugar ($12); and Prosciutto Flatbread with farm eggs, arugula and crispy potatoes ($14). Drinks including Mimosa Bottle Service with a bottle of Caposaldo Prosecco and a trio of fresh juices ($42); and Rose Sangria with Rose, Pampelmousse, Lime Cordial and fresh fruit ($10) will also be available. Reservations are recommended 773-935-3552.
  4. Tuco and Blondie (3358 N. Southport Ave) will be open for a pre-Christmas brunch on Friday, December 22 and Saturday, December 23 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. “Mexifun” menu items available include the El Sombrero Benedict with chorizo, poached eggs, black beans, hollandaise and pico de gallo ($13); and Chilaquiles with roasted chicken, over easy eggs, salsa verde, Chihuahua cheese, sour cream and pico de gallo ($12). Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 773-327-8226.
  5. Crosby’s Kitchen (3455 N. Southport Ave) will be open for a pre-Christmas brunch on Friday, December 22 and Saturday, December 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for Christmas Eve brunch on Sunday, December 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Crosby’s Kitchen will offer menu favorites including the Chicken Chili Benedict with black bean chili, cornbread, poached eggs, cheddar cheese and scallions ($12); Crosby’s Omelet with mozzarella, bacon, wild mushrooms and spinach hollandaise ($11); and the Chicken Dip Sandwich with rotisserie chicken, jack cheese, mayo, tomato, onion, arugula and chicken au jus ($12). Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 773-883-2525.
  6. Dunlays on Clark (2600 N. Clark St) and Dunlays on the Square (3137 W. Logan Blvd) will be open for a pre-Christmas brunch on Friday, December 22 and Saturday, December 23 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Guests can enjoy brunch menu classics such as French Toast with crunchy French bread dipped in eggs, cinnamon, vanilla and orange liqueur ($9); and the Dunz Omelet with sundried tomato, basil pesto and smoked provolone cheese ($10). Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling Dunlays on Clark at 773-883-6000 and Dunlays on the Square at 773-227-2400.
  7. Frasca Pizzeria and Wine Bar (3358 N. Paulina St) will be open for a pre-Christmas brunch on Friday, December 22 and Saturday, December 23 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Guests can enjoy menu favorites including Breakfast Pizza with three over easy eggs, sausage, bacon and cheese atop housemade crust ($14); and the Roscoe St. Omelet with three eggs, mozzarella, provolone, Italian sausage, bacon and caramelized onion. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 773-248-5222.
  8. Smoke Daddy (1804 W. Division St) will be open for a pre-Christmas brunch on Friday, December 22 and Saturday, December 23 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Guests can enjoy house specialties including the Pulled Pork Benedict with pulled pork and chipotle hollandaise served with fresh fruit or hash browns ($12); and the Fried Egg Sandwich with two eggs over easy, cheddar, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo on rye bread ($10). Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 773-772-6656.
  9. Remington’s (20 N. Michigan) will be open for a pre-Christmas brunch on Friday, December 22 and Saturday, December 23 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and on Christmas Eve from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Remington’s will offer classic American menu favorites include The Remington 18-oz dry aged prime bone in strip; Short Rib with roasted heirloom carrots and braised cipolinni onion; and the Chicken Dip Sandwich with rotisserie chicken, jack cheese, mayo, tomato, onion, arugula and chicken au jus. The last dinner reservation is at 7 p.m. and can be made by calling 312-782-6000.
  10. The Windsor (160 E. Huron St) will be open for a pre-Christmas brunch on Friday, December 22 and Saturday, December 23 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Guests can enjoy classic menu items including The Windsor Club with ham, turkey, bacon, truffle aioli, tomato and basil ($13); and signature Monkey Bread with cream cheese frosting ($10). Reservations are recommended 312.943.7777.The Windsor is also hosting a Santa Brunch on Sunday, December 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Stop in after holiday shopping to enjoy a delicious brunch and watch as kids visit Santa and receive a festive gift bag. The visit with Santa is free and parents are encouraged to bring their camera for the perfect holiday photo.
  11. The Smoke Daddy (1804 W. Division St.), BBQ in Wicker Park is offering holiday catering. House-Smoked Whole Turkey (11 lb., $65; 20 lb., $90), Pulled Whole Turkey (1 lb., $16) and Glazed Ham, a partial bone-in, smoked ham with a sweet mojo glaze (half., $69; whole $129). Sides such as Cornbread Stuffing with sausage and spices ($10 per quart); Brussels Sprouts oven-roasted with a lemon butter sauce ($10 per quart); Green Bean Casserole ($10 per quart); and desserts such as Apple Pie ($22) and Pumpkin Pie ($20) are available. Items will be picked up cold with re-heating instructions.
  12. Bistronomic (840 N. Wabash), the contemporary French bistro, will offer brunch and a three-course prix fixe dinner menu on Christmas Eve (10am to 2:30pm; 5 to 10pm) and on Christmas Day (noon to 8pm). Brunch favorites include Quiche Lorraine ($13.95); Brioche crème brulee French Toast ($11.95); and Croque Madame with handcut French fries ($14.95). Bottomless mimosas ($18.95 for 1.5 hours) when you purchase a brunch entrée or sandwich.Dinner both evenings is $70 per adult ($20 for a two-course children’s menu) plus tax and gratuity. The three-course prix fixe dinners include vegetarian options and feature produce from the Green City Market. Cauliflower Velouté with glazed chestnut, Everton cheese, truffle oil and brown butter; Homemade Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Maine lobster, baby broccoli, star anise and tarragon lobster emulsion; Prime Beef Short Ribs with butternut squash pureé, glazed cranberry, French beans, almond and Aigre Doux sauce; Winter Wild Mushroom Ravioli with seasonal mushrooms, roasted hazelnut, Jerusalem artichoke pureé and leek nage; Baked Alaska with poached pear, brioche, and bittersweet chocolate sauce, and more. To view the full menu, visit the website. Reservations are recommended and can be made on OpenTable.
  13. Harvest, inside The Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile (540 N. Michigan), is offering a festive menu on Christmas Day from noon to 8pm. The menu includes Slow Roasted Prime Rib, House-Smoked Ham, Housemade Sausage, Sage Cornbread Stuffing, Cheese and Charcuterie, Shrimp Cocktail, Miniature Sweets and more. $40 per person and $20 for kids 10 and under, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are recommended (312) 836-6334.

Bistronomic now doing monthly wine dinners


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. 


National Pasta Day’s tomorrow October 17


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.


Shaw’s Oyster Fest fun 2017 for TEN days!

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.


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!


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.


Common Threads hosts Cook-Off to help hungry kids


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.

Fall fun at 5 Chicago restaurants

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.