Category Archives: spirits and cocktails

3 Saturday/weekend fun events at Chicago restaurants

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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!
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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.
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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.

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Bistronomic now doing monthly wine dinners

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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. 

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Shaw’s Oyster Fest fun 2017 for TEN days!

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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.

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

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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.

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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

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Common Threads hosts Cook-Off to help hungry kids

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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.
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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!
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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.
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3 Chicago restaurants kickstart September 2017

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Happy 15th, Weber Grill!

Weber Grill Restaurant, 539 N. State St. Friday, Sept 1 – Saturday, Sept 30, they’re celebrating their 15th anniversary. For only $15, Executive Chef Jason Friedland’s giant burger (a Certified Angus Beef® patty, hickory smoked beef brisket, Merkt’s cheddar cheese, bread and butter pickles, and brisket mustard aioli) and a Weber Backyard Brew (a Goose Island wheat ale) draft beer. (Burger only $11). @thewebergrill

Maggiano’s lobster mac

Maggiano’s, 516 N. Clark St., is bringing back a feature favorite – mac n’ cheese adults will love! Langostino lobster mixed in with pasta and a rich, white wine truffle cream sauce. Baked with fontina cheese, fresh dill, and herb breadcrumbs. Make it your entrée or share with everyone as a perfect side. Only until September 27, so hurry in.

River Roast, 315 N. LaSalle St., has a new beverage program led by beverage manager, Ken Pritz – classic cocktails with a fresh, innovative twist. Look for local Midwestern beers in River Roasts’ 13 rotating taps along with classic wines from France, Italy and Spain, as well as Argentina and Chile. Check out the new Happy Hour Package: two hours  of passed hors d’oeuvres and a beverage package including local beers, red and white wines, and a selection of spirits for $35 per person. Hors d’oeuvres include a Slider Station – burger, pulled pork and coleslaw, and crispy chicken – all served with house made chips; Golden Gobbets, seasoned chicken with honey; BBQ Chicken Quesadillas with ancho chile cream; Preserved Fruit & Goat Cheese on walnut crostini; and Tomato Bruschetta with spiced ricotta and French bread.
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Eat hearty in July at Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap

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July Mac of the Month

Mac and Cheese Day – 7/14: Get cheesed with Spin Dip Mac at Jake Melnick’s. Jake’s Creamy house-made mac n’ cheese is tossed with their creamy spinach artichoke dip, topped with cheddar and Swiss cheese then baked until golden. Garnished with fresh tomato, Parmesan, pita chips and Sriracha crema.

Ice Cream Day – 7/19: Treat yourself to Jake Melnick’s Hot Fudge Sundae ($6.25) after a “fish” dinner.

July Ahi Tuna Burger

The Asian B.L.T.T. is the perfect summer burger featuring a hand-packed Ahi Tuna burger, topped with smoked teriyaki bacon, wasabi ranch salad and crispy wontons. The salad is on the burger so it counts, right? BTW, July is Ice Cream Month so don’t hold yourself back from celebrating all month long!

 
July Pina Colada Wings

International Chicken Wing Day – 7/29Grab a basket of the Spicy Pina Colada Wings, the perfect celebration flavor. Jake’s jumbo wings are fried until crispy, tossed in their house-made spicy pina colada sauce and garnished with toasted coconut. Served with Ranch dressing.

Oh, and just in case you don’t have enough carbs, it’s also National French Fry day on Friday, 7/14. Jake’s will be selling $5 specialty baskets this Friday, the 14th including the Breakfast and Street Fries.
Go and consume in peace and happiness.
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July 2017 Chicago restaurant news

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Summer is a busy time for Chicago’s restaurant scene. All season long, patios and rooftops burst with happy diners and drinkers, but air-conditioned interiors beckon more seductively for some – a welcome haven from the heat and humidity and a time to enjoy good food with friends and family. Below are a few restaurant items of interest.
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Shaw’s Chicago Lobster Fest is ON!

Lobster Festival is back at Shaw’s Crab House Chicago, 21 E. Hubbard. All during July, enjoy the decadent taste of everyone’s favorite crustacean. Special menu items for the month include: Lobster Maki. Lobster Tacos. Lobster Roll. Lobster Fettuccine. 1.5 lb Lobster Boil with potatoes, corn, and sausage.

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The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is excited to announce the official launch of Andersonville First Fridays, a late-night, monthly event series beginning this Friday, July 7 from 6-10PM. In an effort to promote local shopping and dining, businesses will keep their doors open late to welcome visitors with promotions, refreshments, and special experiences on the first Friday of each month. This month’s First Friday also coincides with the grand opening of Transit Tees at 5226 N. Clark.” Chicago Reader last month voted Andersonville Chicago’s best overall neighborhood. 
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Maggiano’s Make A Wish white chocolate cannoli cake

Maggiano’s Little Italy, 516 N. Clark, is always busy updating everything they do. It now offers lots of lighter-side pasta dishes, plus vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free Italian options. Browse their new brunch options and their lunch menu that now also includes some of their dinner-time pasta classics like Chicken Parmesan and Veal Piccata, plus Italian recipes with an American twist like Pesto Perlini Mozzarella and Grilled Salmon & Herbs. And don’t forget the kids’ menu – Ziti Pasta, Cheese Flatbread, and Giant Meatball with Spaghetti. Dine in, carry out or get delivery. With many pasta entrees, they give you an extra one to take home for free! Either way you get warmly satisfying food that fills your stomach while it comforts your spirit.

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Troquet River North

Bastille Day, July 14, 2017.  Troquet River North, 111 W. Huron at Clark, is offering an all-day special on Friday the 14th to celebrate. For $12 enjoy a classic croque monsieur with frites and a choice of Kronenbourg 1664 or Kir Royale.

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Bistro Voltaire, 226 W. Chicago Ave., promises a free appetizer glass of champagne to all diners July 14, and also offers a mouth-watering 3-course prix fixe dinner all that week for $38. Escargots, grenouille, tartiflette, bouillabaise, anyone?
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6 cool Chicago summer fun ideas

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Never a shortage of fun places to go and things to do in Chicago in the summer. Check these out for now and later – and notice that a few of them have stuff going on TODAY!
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Angelo’s Wine Bar, 3026 W. Montrose Ave., known inside for its rich, warm wood modern interior, now boasts a cozy, fairy-light illuminated patio where you can enjoy appetizers, pasta, pizza and small plates perfect for sharing with tablemates. From Burrata Mostarda ($14) and seasonal Spring Risotto ($16). Spaghetti generously tossed with Pecorino Romano cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano and olive oil. Pizzas, P.E.I. Mussels in Brodo ($10), Roasted Skin on Salmon ($14) and Smoked Bone in Short Rib ($19) are just a few entree items. Patio hours are 4-11pm M-Th and 11am-11pm F-Su.

TODAY: Angelo’s Wine Bar’s neighborhood block party with live music, food, games, complimentary beer and wine (while supplies last) to celebrating the community. Proceeds from the optional $5 cover will be donated for neighborhood improvement. 4–10:30pm
Saturday, July 1, 2017. Free parking in the Angelo’s parking lot across the street.

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Pitchfork Music FestivalJuly 14 to 16, welcomes some of the most trusted voices in music this year, with a lineup of not-to-miss sips and bites. While you’re there look for the John Dewar & Sons Traveling Whisky Emporium, the immersive, one-of-a-kind “whisky tiny house.”  Taste specially-crafted DEWAR’S 12 Blended Scotch Whisky cocktails, tastings of unique single malts Aberfeldy and Craigellachie, and sample custom scotch eggs created by former Top Chef winner, Chef Michael Voltaggio.

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FireFin Poké Shop, a fast-casual food concept, is opening its 4th location (with a few others under development). Open Monday – Friday at Ogilvie Train Station, the healthy and chef-driven restaurant will serve a limited menu featuring nine poké favorites, with customizable options available to foodies, busy commuters and Loop lunchers.

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The Patio at Café Brauer’s Dog Days of Summer event on Sunday, July 23. Bring your pooch to the Lincoln Park Zoo’s al fresco restaurant and bar, overlooking the zoo’s scenic Nature Boardwalk, for a fun brunch fit for both you and your pup. There will be goody bags for the dogs and a kiddie pool available for the pups. And Cafe Brauer is a lovely place to enjoy the view and sip a glass of wine or a cocktail with your lunch or snack.

TODAY and Sunday, July 1 and 2, Skydeck Chicago opens one hour early, at 8am, to allow tourists and Chicagoans extra time to experience the spectacular views of up to 50 miles and four states from the 103rd floor of Willis Tower. Imagine snapping an Instagram sensation on the projecting glass boxes known as The Ledge that is 1,353 feet up and extends 4.3 feet out from the skyscraper. Skydeck Chicago attracts more than 1.7 million visitors annually; it’s an ideal family activity for those looking for a fun outing this holiday weekend.

Furious Spoon Ramen Shop, known for handmade noodles at its multiple locations around Chicago, brings back for the month of July the chance for you to eat your way through the menu of ramen bowls. All You Can Eat Ramen for just $18 means you can eat as many bowls as you like during 1 visit (no sharing allowed). The promotion is valid at all locations, during all business hours. Guests who eat 5+ bowls will win a $25 gift card and be entered to win a hands-on noodle class for 4 (valued at nearly $500).

 

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TimeOut names best bars in Chicago

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Chicago skyline at sunrise Deutsch: C...
Chicago skyline at sunrise (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Time Out, the leading global media and entertainment brand that inspires and enables people to make the most of the city, has crowned Best Intentions Chicago’s Bar of the Year at its recent annual Bar Awards celebration. The Logan Square bar perfectly emulates Chicago’s historic dive bars in a way that doesn’t feel forced, complete with a menu full of balanced drinks and upgraded bar snacks.

The awards are part of Time Out’s global bar program, celebrating the best bars, brilliant bartenders, most outstanding bar teams and extravagant bar designs that define the drinks scene in eight of the world’s most influential cities.

Joel Meares, Editor-in-Chief of Time Out North America, said: “The Time Out Bar Awards once again celebrated and brought together the best and brightest of the drinks industry. These global awards enable us to showcase and capture the latest bar trends and innovations on an international level, and solidify Time Out as the ultimate guide for where you should be drinking this year—whether that’s in New York, L.A., Miami, Chicago and Austin or London, Paris and Lisbon. If you’re looking for the best cocktails in Chicago the likes of Best Intentions, Estereo and Scofflaw are offering incredible, innovative drinks, served by great bartenders in stunning surrounds.

“We want to thank William Grant & Sons for having joined this year’s Time Out Bar Awards as presenting sponsor across the U.S. to support this inventive industry and spotlight those that are really driving it forward.”

The full list of Time Out Chicago Bar Awards 2017 winners:

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