Category Archives: spirits and cocktails

Where to eat in Chicago on Christmas/Christmas Eve 2016

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Chef Didier Durand and the Christmas goose

Super busy? Overworked? Under-assisted? Plain old tired out – or just want to treat yourself? Sometimes cooking for the holidays feels like simply  too much. Thank goodness many of our favorite Chicago restaurants choose to offer respite from the cooking, serving and cleaning up along with a warm and comfortable place to enjoy good food with whomever you choose to spend your holidays with. And don’t forget, if you eat out on these special days, be extra generous with your tips for the hard-working industry professionals who are making your day/night out possible and pleasant.

CHRISTMAS EVE, Saturday December 24, 2016

312 ChicagoTheater District/Loop, will be open Christmas Eve for brunch and dinner until 8PM featuring their regular menu. Walk-ins are available and reservations can be made by visiting www.312chicago.com or calling 312-696-2420.

Artango, 3 – 11:45 pm. Order from the regular menu or a three-course prix fixe menu for $55/adult and $24/child aged 4-12. Diners can enjoy classic Argentine dishes along with some holiday specials. An a la carte menu will be also available.

South Water Kitchen – Loop, reservations during regular hours until 7 pm. Chef Roger Waysok will be offering his brunch and dinner regular menu. South Water Kitchen is GREAT certified, which means guests of all dietary restrictions like gluten, can enjoy dishes like Cauliflower Steak, Pork Belly with Sweet Potato Gratin and Carrot Cake Twinkies. Walk-ins are available and reservations can be made by visitingwww.southwaterkitchen.com or calling 312-236-9300.

Big Bowl – Chicago, Lincolnshire, Schaumburg, contact your location for hours. Both locations open Christmas Eve, serving our regular menus as well as daily specials.  To view hours by location or to make a reservation, click here.

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!, brunch 9 am –3 pm; dinner 3 pm –10 pm. 
Our Christmas Eve gift to you: Happy Hour all day! Whether you’re finishing last minute shopping or relaxing with family and friends, join us in the bar area for $16 pitchers of red sangria, $2-4 select tapas and $1 pintxos. View the full selection here. Bar seating is first come, first serve. Our regular brunch and dinner menus will be available in the main dining room.

EverestTuesday, December 13 through Saturday, December 24. 
Christmas is a magical time in Alsace that holds many memories for Chef/Proprietor J. Joho, who grew up celebrating with family and friends over the dishes specially prepared for the occasion. Join him from Tuesday, December 13 – Thursday, December 29, as he brings these traditional preparations to Everest, serving a multi-course menu of elegant holiday fare, including foie gras, pike and roasted goose. This special menu is $135 per person (not including tax and gratuity). Wine pairings are available for $98 per person more. To make your reservation, call 312-663-8920 or visit www.everestchicago.com.
Intro, 4:30 – 8 pm. Join us on Saturday, December 24 for Executive Chef Stephen Gillanders family-style Chinese Christmas Eve Dinner including Black Truffle Egg Drop Soup with winter truffle, scallion, white pepperFoie Gras Fried Rice with Hudson Valley foie gras, ginger crumbsRoasted Peking Duck with traditional & nontraditional garnishes; and for dessert, Egg Tart Brulee. The cost is $98 (not including, beverage, tax and gratuity). Intro’s visiting Chef Osaka’s Japanese Trattoria a la carte menu will also be available. For more information and to make your reservation, visit www.introchicago.com or call 773-868-0002.
This Christmas Eve, enjoy a special holiday meal chosen from their selection of fresh salads, sandwiches, seafood and prime steaks, alongside signature sides, and of course, pie. Highlights include: fresh Florida Stone Crab, Colossal Lump Crab Cakes, Chilean Sea Bass, Bone-In Rib Eye and Filet Mignon. To view the full menus, click here.

Mon Ami GabiLincoln Park: 4 –9 pm; Oak Brook: 11 –10 pm. 
This year, celebrate Christmas Eve with French fare. From savory crepes and quiches to bubbly French Onion Soup, and classics from Steak Frites to Beef Bourguignon, satisfy all your holiday cravings. To view the full menus, click here.

Nacional 275 pm -10 pm. Offers a Christmas Eve special Cuban-themed, prix-fixe for $45 per person. Executive Chef Chico Vilchez’s four-course menu includes a tapas sampling, hearts of palm salad, choice of entree and pumpkin flan dessert. Guests may add an optional ceviche course for $9, along with a mojito or margarita for $11.
Osteria Via Stato4 pm – 9:30 pm. Join Executive Chef David DiGregorio this Christmas Eve as he prepares a dinner inspired by his family’s traditions, The Feast of Seven Fishes. Reputedly named for the seven hills of Rome, this multi-course, holiday meal captures the spirit of Italy with an abundance of seafood dishes from around the country, dessert and sides. The cost is $59.95 per person, plus tax and gratuity. A la carte menu will be offered, as well as the regular menu in the dining room. For reservations call 312-642-8450.
Oyster Bah, 11 am – 10 pm. Oysters seem to have a rich holiday tradition in the Midwest.  With oyster happy hour on Saturdays from 3-6 pm, guests can enjoy $1.50 oysters (one east and one west), a glass of bubbles, clam stuffies, shrimp and grits and more.  Enjoy watching the neighborhood traffic from the garage window or make yourself cozy in the back or downstairs in the Low Tide Lounge.
Ramen-san, 11 am – 10 pm. Ramen-san is the perfect place to spend Christmas Eve: There will be bowls of piping hot noodles, perfectly chilled Asahi beer, and holiday classics like Home AloneJingle All the Way and The Santa Clause playing all day. Call Ramen-san at 312-377-9950 or visit ramensan.com for reservations.
Reel Club, 11:15 am – 10 pm. Open on Christmas Eve, serving its usual dinner menu.  For location information or to make a reservation, click here.
R.J. Grunts, 11 am – 2 pm. Enjoy the famous “All-U-Can-Eat Weekend Brunch”, with items ranging from Pecan Bread Pudding French Toast and Mini Belgian Waffles to Grunts’ Thick-Cut Bacon, Scrambled Eggs, and Yogurt & Granola for just $15.95. As always, the world famous salad bar will be available (and included in the price!). Visit rjgruntschicago.com or call 773-929-5363.
RPM Italian3 – 11 pm.  Come and enjoyan updated version of the classic Italian celebration, Feast of the Seven Fishes. The festive menu includes an array of antipasti and traditional fare—think Frutti di Mare with artisanal pasta and Roasted Maine Lobster—before coming to a sweet ending. The Feast of the Seven Fishes is $75 per person (plus tax; gratuity not included). In addition to this festive offering, the RPM Italian dinner menu will also be available throughout the evening. Call 312-222-1888 or visit rpmrestaurants.com for reservations.
Shaw’s Crab House – Chicago, IL, brunch 10:00AM – 2:00PM, dinner 4:00PM – 9:00PM, Oyster Bar open all day. Saturday brunch will be in full swing for those who want to enjoy a special treat before cooking for friends and family at home.  Full main dining room menu will be available for dinner service which will include surf n’ turf, shellfish towers, many fresh fish selections and more.  Oyster Happy hour as usual from 4-6 pm for a little snack and a cocktail before heading over to your celebration.
 
Shaw’s Crab House – Schaumburg, IL, brunch 10:30AM – 1:30PM / full menu 11:30AM – 9:00PM. This Christmas Eve, be the first to enjoy brunch on Saturday as well!  With delectable new offerings and a fantastic new price of $39 per adult, $10 for kids 7-12 and kids 6 and under, consider starting a new tradition for you and your family.

Summer House Santa Monica, Lincoln Park, brunch 8 am – 3 pm; Lunch 11 am – 4 pm; dinner 4 pm – 10 pm. Spend your Christmas Eve surrounded by beach decor and summer vibes and enjoy your favorite California-inspired menu items, including the Wood-Grilled Hamburger with thousand island, Ancho-Marinated Chicken Tacos, and Grilled Faroe Island Salmon. A great place to relax before and on Christmas Eve – handcrafted cocktails and an extensive California wine list. To view the full menus, click here.

Stella Barra Pizzeriabrunch 10 am – 2 pm; dinner 2 pm –10 pm.
Take a break from your holiday hosting by letting us take care of Christmas Eve dinner. Share starters like  fresh, handmade Burrata, Italian Chopped Salad or Crispy Brussels Sprouts before trying one (or more!) signature artisanal pizzas. With options including the Smoked Bacon & Goat Cheese Pizza, Bloomsdale Spinach & Kale and Butternut Squash, there’s something for everyone. View full menu online, and call 301-770-8609 for reservations.

WHEN: Saturday, December 24th, 11:00AM to 8:00PM
Why not try something new for Christmas Eve?  Tokio Pub will be offering full menu, including bowls of hot ramen, savory potstickers, delicious sushi and more. Grab a snack while you are wrapping up your last gifts at the Streets of Woodfield or Woodfield Mall with happy hour (items in red on menu) 4-6 pm. Call 847-278-5181

Wildfire – Chicago, Oak Brook, Glenview, Lincolnshire, Schaumburg
Contact your location of interest for hours. All locations will be open on Christmas Eve and serving regular dinner menu plus daily specials.  To view hours by location or to make a reservation, click here.

Christmas /Christmas Eve CarryoutL. Woods,  orders must be placed by Wednesday, December 21, 2016. Let L. Woods cater your Christmas Eve meal with a special holiday carry-out menu. All items, complete with re-heating instructions, can be picked up at L.Woods on Saturday, December 24. Please call 847-677-3350 for pricing information, to place your order and to schedule a pick-up time. Menu items include Oven-Roasted Turkey, Chopped Salad, House-Made Stuffing, Au Gratin Potatoes, Pecan Pie and Butterscotch Bread Pudding. Orders must be placed by Wednesday, December 21.

For all the big-four holidays, you can leave it to Chef Didier of Cyrano’s fame. Fully cooked multi-course goose dinners available for pickup for the holidays. Also, you can order patés & rillettes, breads & morning pastries, vinaigrettes, soups & prepared dinner entrees, cheeses & more. To reserve yours, check out the entire menu here.  Chef Didier’s Cyrano’s On-The-Go is located at Polo Cafe, 3322 S. Morgan Street in Bridgeport, Chicago. Email for more info here or call 773-620-3986

CHRISTMAS DAY, Sunday December 25, 2016

312 ChicagoTheater District/Loop. 5 – 8 pm. Chef Luca Corazzina has whipped up a Four-Course Christmas-Inspired Prix Fixe Menu – think antipasti then primi (lasagna or other pasta), secondi (beef stak, branzino, chicken) and dolci (tiramisu, panettone or pot de creme) – for $55 per person. very festively decorated dining room (regular menu not available).

Artango Brazilian Steakhouse, 2 – 8 pm. Enjoy athree-course prix fixe menu for $55/adult and $24/child aged 4-12. Diners can enjoy classic Argentine dishes along with some holiday specials. Live entertainment will be provided by acclaimed cellist Ian Maksin and guitarist Gabriel Datcu playing Christmas songs and other famous covers!

Di Pescara, 12 – 7 pm. Treat yourself to a festive meal, featuring Di Pescara’s cold water Twin Lobster Tail special, served with house-made Mac and Cheese. The dinner is $32.95 plus tax (gratuity not included). The regular menu is also available from noon to 7:00PM. Reserve via OpenTable or by calling 847-498-4321.

Wildfire – Lincolnshire, IL, 11 am to 8 pm. Friends and family can dine all day at Wildfire Lincolnshire on Christmas Day from the regular dinner menu and daily specials. For more information, please click here.

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Eat in or carry out Thanksgiving at Chicago restaurants

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English: Oven roasted turkey, common fare for ...
English: Oven roasted turkey, common fare for Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s always a sure bet you’ll be able to enjoy good food at the restaurants that come under the umbrella of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE). And never let it be said they weren’t there for you on one of the biggest food holidays of the year – Thanksgiving. If you’re not up for cooking, here are a few options for Thursday, November 24, 2016:

Bub City – Chicago11:00AM-12:00AM
Not sure how to celebrate Thanksgiving? Bub City’s got you covered. 11AM til midnight for Southern Thanksgiving dinner: a Smoked Turkey Platter featuring a hickory-smoked turkey breast, homemade cornbread-and-sage stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes, classic gravy and cranberries ($17). Or if you’d rather we come to you, Large Party Carryout is available to take your at-home celebration to the next level. For reservations or to place an order, visit bub-city.com or call 312-610-4200.

Di Pescara12:00PM-7:00PM
Relax with the family and let Di Pescara take care of the cooking. Enjoy our traditional menu for $39.95 a person (tax, gratuity not included) and children 5-12 years-old are half price. Call to hold your table at 847-498-4321. For your convenience, carry out is also available for just $35.95 per person. Click here for the menu. All dinners will include a boxed container of turkey. Di Pescara is also offering an a la carte carry-out menu as well. Click here for the full holiday menu. Or call 847-498-4321.

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab12:00PM-7:00PM
We invite you to celebrate Thanksgiving with our family at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak at Stone Crab. On Thursday, November 24, enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with Crispy Sliced Turkey Breast and all of the fixings including Corn Bread StuffingButternut Squash with toasted marshmallow, and more. For the full menu, click here. Price is $49.95 (gratuity and tax not included) for adults, $24.95 for children ages 5 to 12, and no charge for our youngest guests under age 5. Reservations are recommended, please call 312-379-5637 for more information.

Mity Nice Bar & Grill12:00PM-7:00PM
Mity Nice Bar & Grill invites guests to join them for a Thanksgiving Feast on Thursday, November 24 from 12:00PM to 7:00PM. Offerings include Glazed Sweet Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Chopped Salad as well as traditional dishes such as Oven Roasted Turkey and Homemade Stuffing. Please call 312-335-4745 to make your reservation. Complimentary parking will be available. $55 per person and $20 kids 12 & under, price does not include tax & gratuity.  Call 312-335-4745.

RPM Steak11:00AM- 8:00PM
Join RPM Steak for a special four-course Thanksgiving Feast featuring Slagel Family Farm Turkey (served both roasted and fried) as well as some of RPM’s signature dishes like Coal-Roasted King Crab and The Duke. Plenty of holiday additions are available—think Savini white truffles shaved tableside and Miso-Roasted Lobster—plus accompaniments for the table including Dried Fruit Stuffing, Whipped Potatoes and an updated version of the classic Green Bean Casserole. Top off the meal with an assortment of desserts: Pumpkin Pie & Cinnamon Ice Cream, Vanilla Sugar Doughnuts and RPM’s famous 14K Chocolate Cake. To view the full menu, click here. Dinner is $85 per person (plus tax; gratuity not included) and can be reserved by calling the restaurant at 312-284-4990 or by visiting rpmrestaurants.com.

Shaw’s Crab House – Chicago11:00AM-7:00PM
Shaw’s Crab House is hosting a Thanksgiving Buffet on Thanksgiving Day at its Chicago location. The traditional Thanksgiving buffet is priced at $75 per adult and $20 for kids 12 and younger (exclusive of tax, gratuity and beverages) and includes Herb-Roasted Turkey, Roasted Beef Tenderloin, Cranberry Sauce, Homemade Stuffing, Oysters on the Half Shell, and delicious desserts. Reservations are recommended. Shaw’s also offers holiday sides to-go on Thanksgiving morning!  Call them at 312-527-2722 and stay tuned on the website for full menu.

Shaw’s Crab House – Schaumburg11:00AM-7:00PM
Shaw’s Crab House in Schaumburg is getting into the giving spirit. From November 17 through November 24, the restaurant is holding a food drive benefiting the Schaumburg Food Pantry. For every non-perishable food item donated to the drive, diners will receive a $5 Giveback (maximum Giveback is $100; restrictions apply). Food donations can be given to the host stand upon check-in. For more information, contact the restaurant at 847-517-2722. On Thursday, November 24, Shaw’s will be hosting a traditional Thanksgiving buffet from 11:00AM to 7:00PM priced at $65 per adult and $12 for kids 12 and younger (exclusive of tax, gratuity, and beverages). Reservations are recommended. Shaw’s also offers holiday sides to-go on Thanksgiving morning! 847-517-2722 and stay tuned on the website for full menu. And don’t forget about all the sides-to-go from Shaw’s – love their creamed spinach!

Wildfire – Chicago, Oak Brook, Glenview and Schaumburg11:30AM–8:00PM
Reservations: Please contact your location of interest
Bring your family and friends to Wildfire and let us do the cooking this Thanksgiving. We will be serving a Thanksgiving Menu served family-style featuring Spit-Roasted Turkey and all of the other traditional Thanksgiving dishes to accompany for $45.95 per person and $19.95 for children 12 and under. Gluten-free menu items will also be available. If you are entertaining friends and family at home, we will be offering Thanksgiving party platters for carryout. A portion of the day’s proceeds will be donated to The Greater Chicago Food Depository to support their effort to end hunger in our communities. Reservations are recommended. For more information, please click here. *Please note Wildfire Lincolnshire will not be open on Thanksgiving, but will be open on Christmas Day.

And for an interesting list of other restaurants – some Michelin-starred – where you can eat Thanksgiving dinner out, here’s a list from Chicago Eater.

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3 city & 1 ‘burbs – Spots for live music with good food

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Do you expect exceptional food when you go out for live music? Chicago has a few places that make this a priority. In the city, where you can get there by cab or public transport:

  1. Bandera, 535 N. Michigan. Jazz & blues every night. Cocktails, lunch and dinner in sexy, subtle lighting.
  2. Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Steak, 521 N. Rush St. Seafood, oysters, crab, sea bass, etc. and prime steaks. Pricey but highly rated.
  3. Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S. Wabash. Rockin’ good music and down home Southern-inspired dishes. Word is, Buddy himself sits in sometimes!

And we just heard about one in the ‘burbs that’s making food a priority, too: 210 Restaurant and Live Music Lounge, 210 Green Bay Road, Highwood, IL. Co-owner and Executive Chef Jeff Tomchek Chef Jeff Tomchek KCI_0733lo resbrings 30 years of experience in several countries honing his abilities to turn fresh, high quality, locally sourced produce and ingredients into menu items that span regional and global cuisines as well as barbecue and Southern-style dishes. 

Appetizers include Hawaiian Tuna Poke with toasted Macadamia Nuts ($13 Hawaiian Tuna Poke with Toasted Macadamia Nuts 210 KCI_0537 lo res.jpg); Roast Local Corn Mexican Street Food Style ($5/$8); Korean Chicken Wings ($12); and Tomato Bisque ($5/$8). Salads include Roast Beets with Bean Hummas, Arugula & Pine Nuts ($12); Frillman Farms Heirloom Tomato with Burrata & Basil ($11); and a Crispy Chicken Chopped Salad with Chipotle Ranch ($18).

Main dishes Baby Back Ribs Dry Rub and Pit Smoked 210 a KCI_0626 lo res.jpginclude Baby Back Ribs, Dry Rub & Pit Smoked (taste $8, half $16/full slab $24); Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich with Arugula & Remoulade ($13); Roast Scottish Salmon with corn mashed potatoes and Mexican Truffle Vinaigrette ($24); and Andouille Jambalaya with Louisiana Style BBQ Shrimp ($19).

Roast Cauliflower with Thai Three Flavor Sauce 210 KCI_0718lo resThis place even lets you get your vegetables in with original presentations like Roast Local Eggplant with Moroccan Spices ($9); Miso Glazed Acorn Squash ($8); Roast Cauliflower with Thai three flavor sauce ($8) and Bacon Braised Collard Greens ($8); and Not Yo Mamma’s Mac & Cheese ($8); and Local Bi Color Corn Sautéed with Peppers & Onions ($8). Seasonal offerings and daily specials are listed on the website.

If you live in the city and want to enjoy 210 Restaurant and Live Music Lounge, consider finding a nice hotel in the area so you can stay as long as you like and not have to worry about driving home. If you live nearby, get thee hence and try it soon.

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Shaw’s Oyster Fest 2016 offers VIP access!

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Get some at Shaw's Oyster Fest 2016
Get some at Shaw’s Oyster Fest 2016

Oyster Fest Presented by Shaw’s Crab House returns to Chicago on Friday, September 30, 2016 from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the corner of Hubbard St. and Rush St. in River North. More than 3,000 guests – got that? – are expected at this year’s Festival. Underline that number: 3000. This is your clue to think about going for the new VIP ticket (see below) so you can rise above the madding crowd.

                              
The Food and Drinks                                                       
Besides the music, four local blues bands including headliner, Bumpus, you’ll get to pick your favorite fresh seafood from Shaw’s Crab House. Look for six varieties of  premium-quality oysters, both East Coast and West Coast, on the half shell as well as other Festival favorites like King Crab Bites, Lobster Rolls, Clam Chowder, Fish Tacos, and more.
                              
Wash ’em all down with your favorite cocktails, wine and/or beer, including this year’s hugely aromatic selections like All Day IPA and KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founder’s Brewing Co.,  based in Grand Rapids, MI.

Tickets
Tickets go on-sale today at oysterfestchicago.com and will be sold in the following two tiers:
  1. General admission ($20)- festival admission
  2. VIP admission ($50)- festival admission, table & waiter service, access to full liquor cash bar, clear sightline/up close to the stage, and access to “luxury” running water trailer bathrooms – as opposed to port-a-potty units.
The Music
Steeped in Chicago blues tradition, Shaw’s Crab House has invited an exciting lineup of blues bands– regulars at The House of Blues, Kingston Mines, Buddy Guy’s and Shaw’s Oyster Bar– to provide continuous music throughout the evening. Emceed by 93XRT’s Lin Brehmer, the day’s bands include:
  • The Friends Band, the friendliest band in town with a fun dance style- 3 to 4 p.m.
  • Big Dog Mercer, the owner of one soulful voice and winner of the 2015 Kankakee Valley Music Awards Best Blues Band- 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Breezy Rodio, an up-and-coming bluesman with impressive guitar skills and disciple of the famed Linsey Alexander –6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
  • And headliner, Bumpus, a nine-piece funk band that’s gotten great reviews from the Chicago Reader, Tribune, and Sun-Times and has opened for bands like The Roots and The Wailers- 8:15 to 9:30 p.m.
  • And don’t forget the night’s Oyster Slurp-Off Grand Finale where one competitor walks away the 2016 champ and the Oyster Hall of Fame Inductee celebration from 7:15 to 7:45 p.m.
Kids 12 and under are free and, as always, all food and beverage are additional and can be purchased by buying Oyster Bucks at the festival. Following the fest, Shaw’s Chicago will host an Oyster Fest after party with live music until 1 a.m.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit oysterfestchicago.com and be sure to follow all the action with #OysterFestChi.
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The Chicago Restaurant Examiner

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Welcome to the ChicagoRestaurantExaminer.com online magazine. Follow us as we report on the culinary scene around town – news from chefs, restaurants, bars and more.  New menus, happy hour goodies, wine dinners and specials galore.

We are gradually uploading material from 8 years of archives from the former Chicago Restaurant Examiner site. It’s an ongoing effort that usually takes a backseat to current news. Which means you’re getting the scoop on recent and upcoming happenings in Chicago Restaurant news!

Open the door to Chicago's rich culinary scene
Open the door to Chicago’s rich culinary scene
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Chicago Fire soccer team mans the grills at Nando’s

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This Saturday November 21 Nando’s PERi-PERi is christening its new 22 S. Wabash location by donating its first day two days of proceeds to the Chicago Fire Foundation, which works to enhance the lives of disadvantaged youth in and around Chicago. And five Chicago Fire soccer players will be doing the cooking. Nando’s PERi-PERi is a South African-Portuguese restaurant known around the world for its spicy flame-grilled chicken. The Wabash spot makes its fourth Chicago location.
Oh, yeah. Good chicken.
Oh, yeah. Good chicken.

The marinated-for-24-hours then flame-grilled chicken is the star of the menu – from wings to quarters to whole birds and with a variety of sauces available – but the different combination plates and sides make a wide enough variety to satisfy just about any craving. How about this creative salad combo: Butternut squash and couscous salad ($8.25), made of oven-roasted butternut and red onion with olives, grilled corn, chili and couscous, served with dressing on a bed of leaves. You can practically taste the flavors just thinking about it.

And how about the desserts? From raspberry brulee/white chocolate cheesecake ($6.25) to a chocolate/peanut butter/red velvet cupcake ($3.25) and the Four-High carrot cake ($6.25) consisting of four rich, golden cake layers with walnuts, pineapple, and raisins and topped off with cream cheese icing, they are not kidding around. Oh, and they give the calories right on the website for every item on the menu. In case you’re wondering, the carrot cake clocks in at 1136 this-is-probably-all-you-can-eat-for-the-day calories.

Chicago Fire players scheduled to appear at Nando’s include defender Eric Gehrig, midfielders Chris Ritter, Michael Stephens and Matthew Watson, and Fire great and club ambassador Gonzalo Segares. Get your special chicken served up by these guys when you stop by Nando’s on Wabash this Saturday and Sunday.

WHO: Nando’s and Chicago Fire Soccer Team
WHAT: New Nando’s opens in the Loop, with Fire players taking over the grills. All sales donated to charity this weekend
WHERE: Nando’s, 22 S. Wabash Avenue
WHEN: Restaurant opens 11am; Players on site Saturday, Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 22 from 11:30am to 1:30pm and 5:30pm to 7:30pm

.

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12 places to tend your New Year’s Day 2014 needs

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Whether you’re going out partying all night on New Year’s Eve or, like me, you’ll be in bed long before the ball drops, you may want to seek out gratifying no-cook food options for the next day. Here are 12 Chicago restaurants that have delicious food and drink specials to help you welcome in the new year. Enjoy!

AMERICAN JUNKIE CHICAGO, opens 11 am January 1
15 Illinois St. | Chicago, IL 60654 | 312.239.0995

Wake Up and Rally with Bowl Game Drink Specials
American Junkie invites Chicagoans to continue their New Year’s celebrations with $5 mimosas, $7 Fireball shots, $16 domestic beer buckets and $20 premium beer buckets. Guests can combine cocktails with upscale bar bites including $7 nachos, $1 sliders and .75 cent wings. The River North sports bar is the perfect spot to catch all of the New Year’s Day Bowl Game action including the Outback Bowl where the University of Iowa will take on Louisiana State University (kick off at 12 p.m.).
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BRASSERIE by LM, opens 6 am January 1
800 S. Michigan Avenue | Chicago, IL 60605 | 312.431.1788

New Year’s Day Brunch at Brasserie by LM
Brasserie by LM invites Chicagoans to enjoy their brunch menu. Brasserie’s brunch menu includes traditional favorites as well as new creations with entrées, pastries and classic brunch items like French Toast ($10), LM Benedict ($10), Crepes ($10), Savory Tart ($7) Brasserie Burger ($12) and more. Guests can also enjoy Brasserie’s Croque menu which includes Croque Monsieur ($9), Croque Vegetable ($9) and Croque Salmon ($11). For an additional $2, guests can add an egg on top of any Croque to create a Croque Madame. Brasserie Bloody Marys and Mimosas will be available for $7 each.

In addition, a bottomless Mimosa and Entrée special will be available for $25 per person. The full menu is available upon request. Photos available upon request.
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CHICAGO CUT STEAKHOUSE, 12 pm – 10 pm January 1
300 N. LaSalle St. | Chicago, IL 60654 | 312.329.1800

$20 Burger Special
Chicago Cut Steakhouse welcomes guests to indulge in their special New Year’s Day Burger Specials. Guests can select from three specialty burgers including:

  • The Eggsplosion Burger
    Prime ground beef with an egg cooked in the middle, pan-fried on an iron skillet, topped with American cheese, applewood bacon, grilled onions and jalapeno mayo on a toasted potato bun
  • Three Chili Pepper Burger
    Charred red fresno peppers, shipkas peppers & poblano peppers, topped with Chicago Cut’s famous guacamole and served on a Kings Hawaiian Bun smeared with Chipotle Mayo.
  • Tapenade Stuffed Burger
    Black and green olive tapenade stuffed in prime beef, layered with thinly sliced red onion, thinly sliced sweet gherkin pickles, baby romaine hearts, coarse grained mustard and mayo on a toasted Kaiser bun

In addition, the Chicago Cut Prime Burger, $14, will also be available. All burgers are served on a buttery brioche bun, unless otherwise noted, with fresh, homemade fries and a side of coleslaw.
A perfect complement to any burger, the restaurant will offer $7 Elliott Ness Christmas Ale.
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CHICAGO q, opens 11 am January 1
1160 N. Dearborn St. | Chicago, IL 60610 | 312.642.1160

Chicago q will be open for brunch on New Year’s Day. Menu items, created by Chef/Partner Lee Ann Whippen, will satisfy brunch-goers’ “sweet tooth” and “meat tooth” by featuring house-made confections and house-smoked meats. Brunch dishes three different kinds of benedict: Smoked Chicken on honey butter cornbread, Kobe Brisket on Cheddar-Chive Biscuits with a Whole Grain Mustard Hollandaise, and Southern with Fried Green Tomatoes, Pulled Pork and a Cajun Hollandaise, Sweet Potato Hash and Eggs, Sweet Potato and Signature Carrot Cake Pancakes and more.

As a special, the restaurant will serve Black Eyed Peas. In the Southern United States, these peas are eaten on New Year’s Day as good luck treat thought to bring prosperity for the year.
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CLARK STREET DOG AND BAR, opens 9 am January 1
3040 N. Clark St. | Chicago, IL 60657 | 773.281.6690

Start your new year Chicago style with Clark Street Dog and Bar’s always fresh and never frozen menu including favorites like the Signature Clark Street Dog, Italian Beef and the newly available Vienna Bistro Chili. The Lakeview staple will open at 11 am, just in time for kickoff of the first college football bowl games in 2014. Grab a Goose Island draft beer, available for $3.50, or a signature pickle-back shot, available for $5, while enjoying the games with friends.
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GO ROMA, all locations open 12-8 pm January 1
848 N. State Street | Chicago, IL 60610 | 312. 252. 9946 | www.goroma.net
Other Locations in Bolingbrook, Lincolnshire, Northbrook and Deer Park.
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THE GRID, opens 11:30, Lounge opens at 7 pm on January 1
351 W. Hubbard St | Chicago, IL 60654 | 312.321.1351

Start 2014 off on the right foot at The Grid with College Football and some of Chef Eric Romano’s delicious brunch offerings. The Grid will treat recovering party goers to their Build Your Own Mimosa Bar with 8 different mixers as well as their Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar. Featured brunch items include: Eggs in Purgatory with poached eggs in diablo tomato, chupacabra sausage and goat cheese;
Eggs Florentine with spinach, hollandaise, stuffed peppers served on an English muffin and the Signature Smoothie with berries, banana, Greek yogurt, kale, B12, protein powder and pedialyte.
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LM BISTRO, opens 6 am January 1
111 W Huron St | Chicago, IL 60654 | 312.202.9900

Guests are invited to celebrate the New Year at LM Bistro with their delicious brunch. Brunch specials include savory favorites in their two special brunch sections: a cheval, a selection of fork-and-knife, breadless sandwiches, and les tartines, open faced sandwiches.
A Cheval includes:
· Traditional, $13, with caramelized onion, gruyere and a sunny side up egg
· Vegeterien, $10, with portabella mushroom, brie and truffle scrambled eggs
· Poisson, $11, with whitefish, tartar sauce and poached egg.
Les Tartines include:
· Benedict 111, $13, with cured ham, poached eggs and cider béarnaise
· Tomate, $9, with heirloom tomato, olive oil, garlic
Steak and Eggs, $14, with roquette, horseradish and fried eggs

In addition, there are a variety of plates to satisfy sweet tooths like as like Buttermilk Pancakes with blueberry jam, maple syrup and homemade butter ($10), Brioche French Toast with almonds, orange marmalade and fromage blanc ($11), Crepes and more.

A bottomless mimosa and entrée special will be available for $25 per person.
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THE LOCAL CHICAGO, Opens 6:30 am January 1
198 E Delaware Place | Chicago, IL 60611 | 312.280.8887

New Year’s Day Burger Party at The Local Chicago
$20 Burger and Fries Special

The Local Chicago welcomes guests to indulge in their special New Year’s Day Burger Menu on New Year’s Day. Guests can select from five specialty burgers including:

  • The Eggsplosion Burger
    Prime ground beef with an egg cooked in the middle, pan-fried on an iron skillet, topped with American cheese, applewood bacon, grilled onions and jalapeno mayo on a toasted potato bun
  • Three Chili Pepper Burger
    Charred red fresno peppers, shipkas peppers & poblano peppers, topped with Chicago Cut’s famous guacamole and served on a Kings Hawaiian Bun smeared with Chipotle Mayo.
  • Tapenade Stuffed Burger
    Black and green olive tapenade stuffed in prime beef, layered with thinly sliced red onion, thinly sliced sweet gherkin pickles, baby romaine hearts, coarse grained mustard and mayo on a toasted Kaiser bun

In addition, The Local Chicago’s regular burgers, The Ahi Tuna Burger, $20, with Pickled Daikon, Kimchi and Sesame-Wasabi Aioli, the TLC Burger, $14, with a USDA Prime Patty and Aged Cheddar, and The Mushroom and Gruyere Burger, $16, with a Porcini Crusted Steak Burger, Marinated Portobello Cap and Mushroom Mayo, will also be available. All burgers are served on a buttery brioche bun, unless otherwise noted, with fresh, homemade fries and a side of coleslaw.

A perfect complement to any burger, the restaurant will offer The Local Chicago Beer created by Two Brothers Brewery for $7.
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NOUVEAU TAVERN, opens 11 am January 1
358 W Ontario | Chicago, IL 60654 | 312.915.4100

Begin the New Year at Nouveau Tavern. On Wednesday, January 1, Nouveau Tavern will open early at 11:00 a.m. for the Nouveau Hangover Brunch. Guests can cheer on their favorite football team while enjoying a free Bloody Mary with the purchase of an entree from the brunch menu.
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PORKCHOP, opens 11:30 January 1
941 W Randolph St. | Chicago, IL 60607 | 312.733.9333

Special New Year’s Day Slider Bloody Mary and Bloody Mary Flights
Porkchop invites Chicagoans to start the New Year out right (and recover from last night’s festivities) by indulging in an epic Pork Slider Bloody Mary (Bloody Mary topped with a pork slider, rib and slice of bacon, drizzled with BBQ sauce). The meal of a cocktail is in honor of National Bloody Mary day. Those looking for a lighter variety can try a Bloody Mary flight featuring sample sizes of the “Bakon” Bloody Mary, Jalapeno Bloody Mary and Pickle Bloody Mary.

Customers looking for recovery can find reprieve in the V8, a Bloody Mary made with Chopin potato vodka garnished with vegetables; $9. Pair that with some good old comfort food including The Fat Elvis (bacon-studded Belgian waffle served with sliced bananas and peanut butter maple syrup; $12), Chicken and Waffles (southern fried chicken served on top of a Belgian waffle with ancho chile infused maple syrup; $12) or their Pulled Pork topped with a Fried Egg served on a Fried Mac & Cheese Bun. The resolutions can wait until Thursday.
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WEATHER MARK TAVERN, opens 11:30 am January 1
1503 South Michigan Avenue | Chicago, IL 60605 | 312.588.0230 |

Weather Mark Tavern invites Chicagoans to recover (or continue the New Year festivities) with a delicious bottomless mimosa brunch (bottomless mimosas and any brunch entree for only $13.95). Guest can top off their champagne cocktail with peach, cranberry or orange juice. Bloody Mary’s and Screwdrivers are also available for $5 each.

Cocktails can be paired with featured brunch dishes including Steak and Eggs; $9.50, Buttermilk Pancakes or French Toast; $7.95, Huevoes Rancheros; $7.95 and made to order skillets; $9.95. More unique options include the Caprese Eggs Benedict; $8.95, Weather MarCristo (sausage patty inside two Belgian waffles, syrup battered and fried; $9.95) and The First Mate’s Burrito (scrambled eggs, peppers, onions, house potatoes and sausage wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla and covered with chipotle cheese sauce; $11.95).
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