We hate to admit it, but for many of us the holidays are an official excuse to overindulge ourselves – in sweets, in over-the-top decor, in food and wine. And why not? That’s why New Year’s comes right after the holidays, right? So we can make resolutions to lose the weight, get back in shape, forego ice cream or booze or whatever our particular downfalls might be. So here are a few ideas to get you started overindulging – and one for helping save the farmers while you eat healthy.
Cocoa + Co., 1651 N. Wells St., debuts a new savory café menu in partnership with Michelin-starred Naha’s Pastry Chef Craig Harzewski. The Old Town café just started offering a rotating selection of flavors to reflect the season: Empanadas ($5.50) – Duck, squash and cannelloni bean or Ratatouille; Quiche Tart ($5.75) with bacon and chard or without bacon; Gluten Free Baked Oats ($4.50) – apples, raisins and house-made plum preserves. Also, Chef Harzewski will now be crafting Coca + Co.’s signature items like Apricot Oat Cookies, Salted Big Chip Cookies, Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake, Salted Caramel Brownies and more.
2. Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan, is sporting a giant gingerbread hotel with city skyline, as well as extravagant décor for the holiday. The gingerbread hotel stands over six feet tall and took three pastry chefs more than 270 hours to create using 380 pounds of flour, 280 pounds of powdered sugar. Celebrating the building’s 90th anniversary, Executive Chef Mario Garcia this year added to the Chicago skyline display that includes gingerbread replicas of famous landmarks like the John Hancock, Willis Tower, The Bean and more. Watch a time-lapse video here. And check out the hotel’s iconic decorations – the 24 ft. Christmas tree with thousands of metallic ornaments, 2000 inches of decorated garland, a 30”-diameter Poinsettia kissing ball, and 60-foot wreaths throughout the hotel. 60 FEET!? Wow.
3. Maggiano’s, 516 N. Clark St., is now offering its Holiday Lunch Family Style. Enjoy the riches of Maggiano’s menu while you celebrate the holidays together. Check out their lunch menu – warm and comforting food without the hassles of cooking and serving yourself. Family style lunch only available November 27th to December 29th, Monday-Friday 11am – 3pm. $19.95 per person, $12.95 for kids ages 5-12.
The Peninsula Chicago and Executive Pastry Chef Dimitri Fayard present ‘Chocolate at The Pen,’ Chicago’s premier chocolate bar in The Lobby at The Peninsula Chicago, accompanied by live jazz music by Stephanie Browning. Friday and Saturday evenings from 7 to 10:30pm. Pick from a selection of one- and two-bite elegant chocolate desserts and petite chocolate delicacies or a hot chocolate station. Call for reservations 312.573.6695 or e-mail diningPCH@peninsula.com.
5, Imperfect. One in five fruits and vegetables grown in the U.S. don’t meet the strict cosmetic standards of grocery stores, usually causing them to go to waste on the farm. The curvy carrot, the miniature cherry and the oddly-shaped orange are all delicious and nutritious, but are often left to rot in fields or sent to the local landfill.
Why? To eliminate food waste, help farmers benefit from a full harvest and make healthy fruits and vegetables more accessible and affordable. Each customized box is filled with a variety of organic or conventional ugly fruits and vegetables priced at 30 to 50 percent below grocery rates, grown regionally and shipped from Imperfect’s Northlake, IL distribution center. Choose boxes for singles or families, and customize the mix of fruits and veggies in your box each week. Chicago residents can sign up for the new delivery service, that launches Monday, December 4.
This year spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your loved ones. Whether you want to eat out or enjoy your meal at home, consider partaking in a fully-cooked Thanksgiving Dinner from one of these fine restaurants in the Chicagoland area.
Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash, has a special three-course, prix fixe menu available on Thanksgiving from 11am to 9pm for $65 per person plus tax and gratuity. First courses: Artisanal Smoked Salmon Salad, Hand Cut Yukon Potato Gnocchi, or Belgium Endive Salad. Second course options: Roasted Farm Turkey Breast and Stuffed Leg, Nichols Farm Pumpkin Ravioli, or Fall Vegetable Medley. Dessert: Lemon Tart or Chocolate Hazelnut Bars with orange supreme and Grand Marnier sauce.
Several Kimpton Hotel operations are welcoming guests for Thanksgiving. Executive Chef Luca Corazzina of 312 Chicago, 136 N. LaSalle St. (next to Hotel Allegro in the Loop Theater District), offers a 4-course traditional Thanksgiving menu on November 23, 2017 from 5-9PM. $55/person or $25/child 12 and under. Reservations online or call 312-696-2420. Antipasti include either Acorn Squash Soup or Warm Beet Salad. Primi options: Pesto 3-cheese Lasagna or Sage Parmigiano Butternut Squash Tortelloni. For Secondi choose either Italian Style Roasted Turkey, or Roasted Faroe Island Salmon, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Braised Brussels Sprouts, Lemon-Butter Sauce. Dessert choices are: Pecan Tart: Bourbon Vanilla Gelato with Espresso Crème Anglaise or Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chantilly Cream, Caramel Sauce, and Caramelized Pecans. Num!
The shared plates cocktail bar,Sable Kitchen & Bar, next to Hotel Palomar in River North, will be open on Thanksgiving from 4-11PM, drinks until midnight. Newly appointed Executive Chef Amber Lancaster will serve “Thanksgiving on a Plate” ($35): Herb Butter Roasted Turkey Breast, Sweet Potato, Crispy Maple Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Sausage & Pecan Stuffing, Apple Cider Gravy. Gluten Free variation available. Make reservations online. Sable will also be serving craft cocktails on Thanksgiving Eve from their new cocktail menu launching later this month.
BRING IT HOME
Pierrot Gourmet, 108 E. Superior, known for its gorgeous pastries, is offering group and individual dinners that feature Amish-raised turkey or pork loin along with chef-inspired seasonal sides. Pre-order by Friday, November 17th by phone (312) 573 6749 or online.
Whole Turkey Dinner $385 (16-18 lbs. serves 8-10 guests) or Whole Pork Loin, $385 (serves 8-10 guests) or Personal Turkey Dinner $37. All dinners include sides of gravy, country mashed potatoes, stuffing, agave glazed acorn squash with spiced pepitas, braised collard greens, organic green side salad with balsamic dressing, cranberry sauce. And don’t forget dessert! Choose pumpkin, apple crumble or pecan pie: Whole Pie (serves 8-10 guests) $28 or Individual Tarts $7.
Prairie Grass Cafe, 601 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook, IL, is offering North Shore residents no-cook Thanksgiving-To-Go for home. The complete ala carte feast includes all the dishes served on the restaurant’s Thanksgiving menu plus other mouthwatering options like Apple Sage Stuffing, Homemade Sausage and Giblet Stuffing and Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Chestnuts. Order by phone no later than Thursday November 16. Pick up your dinner on Thursday November 23 from noon to 2 p.m. View the full order form here. For more information, call Prairie Grass Cafe at (847) 205-4433.
August is National Sandwich Month. And who among us doesn’t love the glorious carb-loaded deliciousness of a serious sandwich? Good time to indulge your bread-and-filling sensors in some new and unique ways at the following new and tried-and-true Chicago restaurants:
Big Jones, 5347 N. Clark St. An Andersonville destination, Big Jones’ historically-inspired sandwiches are as delicious as they sound. The Carolina Shrimp Burger features Key West pink shrimp ground and seasoned high, topped with cayenne mayonnaise, chow-chow, butter lettuce and a side of creamy grits. The famous Fat Jones Burger brings together Slagel Farm beef griddled with onions and served on a soft egg bun with oyster remoulade, crisp bacon, lettuce and tomato, with a side of ham fat fries. This southern comfort spot is not to be missed for celebrating sandwiches.
Bonci Pizza, 161 N. Sangamon St. Beginning mid-August, esteemed Rome-based Chef Gabriele Bonci brings Chicagoans his very first American location of Bonci Pizzeria in the West Loop, offering artisanal, seasonally-inspired pizzas, salads and of course – sandwiches! Guests find mouthwatering selections crafted with house made bread for National Sandwich Month including: Meatball with Mozzarella Cheese, Ricotta and Mortadella, Eggplant or Spinach, Sheep Cheese and Spicy Salami.
Café Robey, 2018 W. North Ave. Situated at the high traffic intersection of Milwaukee, North, and Damen in the trendy Wicker Park neighborhood, Café Robey promises one of the most mouthwatering fried chicken sandwiches in the city. Featuring an oh-so-juicy chicken thigh breaded and fried, house made tangy pickles, mayo, and Tabasco, it’s no wonder this sandwich has been Instagrammed regularly since the restaurant opened in December.
Cupitol, 455 E. Illinois St. Chicago or812 Grove St. Evanston. Cupitol has the sandwich game covered. The all-day eatery offers a variety of mouthwatering handhelds on house-made bread at both locations. Try the Roast Beef sandwich, with spiced horseradish and au jus on a French baguette, the Falafel Burger with paprika yogurt and cabbage relish on a sesame brioche bun, or the Shroomed Patty Melt with prime beef, wild mushrooms, Wisconsin sharp cheddar and onion compote on rye.
The Fifty/50, 2047 W. Division St. The Fifty/50’s all-star sandwich, The Four Courser, piles on slow-smoked, hand-pulled pork shoulder tossed in Gouda Béchamel, fried jalapeños, sweet potato chips, a mac ’n’ cheese waffle and smokey BBQ sauce on a pretzel bun. This sandwich masterpiece can be paired with the diner’s choice of waffle, sweet potato or French fries – the perfect complement sure to satisfy every sandwich quest.
Filini Bar and Restaurant, 221 N. Columbus Dr. The Double Griddle Burger is everything you’ll want in a hamburger from the moment you take your first bite. With two smashed beef patties, house made bread and butter pickles, a brioche bun and a secret fancy sauce, Filini’s burger is what summer hamburger dreams are made of. Adding to the summer fun is Filini’s dog-friendly patio for pups wanting some sandwich action too. There’s a Canine Cuisine menu to investigate as well!
The Florentine, 151 W. Adams St. For an Italian twist on National Sandwich Month, guests can head over to The Florentine in The Loop to enjoy a variety of delicious, seasonal sandwiches perfect for lunchtime, whether shopping downtown, sightseeing around the city or grabbing a quick bite with colleagues during the week. Crafted by Executive Chef Zach Walrath, sandwich highlights from the menu include:
Tomato Brisket: tomato braised beef, red onion, provolone, horseradish, rye
Hewn, 810 Dempster St. Hewn serves up the best thing since sliced bread! Evanston’s premier bakery for fresh, heritage grain bread, offers house-made, grilled to order sandwiches. Using entirely local ingredients, made-daily bread, and seasonal produce, these sandwiches showcase an array of flavors in every bite. Each sandwich is grab-and-go, and can be warmed up by the Hewn bakers for instant enjoyment, or tucked away for a tasty meal later in the day. Menu standouts include Turkey on Country with pickled red onions and turkey from local Amish farmers sandwiched between naturally fermented sourdough bread using all-organic wheat, Reuben with Butcher and Larder’s corned beef with Swiss cheese, house made sauerkraut, and house made thousand island dressing served on whole wheat or caramelized onion bread, and Elementary Grilled Cheesefeaturing white sharp cheddar, Parmigiano Reggiano, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and pickled onions served on rotating breads.
Michael Jordan’s Steak House, 505 N. Michigan Ave. Steakhouse lunching done right. Michael Jordan’s Steak House features a variety of hefty sandwiches to satiate the hungriest of appetites. Try the classic Italian Beef with hot giardiniera and provolone, or the Chicken Sandwich on flatbread, with cilantro and harissa yogurt. Need steak for every meal? Dive into the Steak Sandwich with provolone, pickled onion and giardiniera aioli atop a pretzel bun. Add hand-cut, beef-fat fries and lunch is complete.
Pork & Mindy’s, 1623 N. Milwaukee Ave. Pork & Mindy’s is celebrating National Sandwich Month with the launch of new ’sangwiches’, developed by Food Network Star and Executive Chef, Jeff Mauro. Working with the Sandwich King himself, Pork & Mindy’s is redefining the local BBQ scene incorporating exciting tastes into new world-class creations at the flagship Wicker Park eatery. With handcrafted new menu items for carnivores and vegetarians, there is a ‘sangwich’ for everyone at the creative BBQ destination. Menu highlights include:
PastramindyReuben: This griddled take on a Rueben combines Pork & Mindy’s house-cured, smoked, and hand-cut pastrami with P&M Mustard sauce and spicy pickles on a marble rye roll, hitting all the important points for a crunchy, gooey, smoky and cheesy sandwich.
Crunchy Pork ‘Sangwich’: This ‘sangwich’ features brined, all-natural pork lion, lightly pounded and hand breaded with a craggily, crispy crust. When that crispy hot pork hits the fresh lettuce and spicy apricot habanero mayo, magic happens.
Buffalo Cauli: A vegetarian’s dream come true, this ‘sangwich’ is filled with crispy smoked cauliflower steak, tossed in house-made buffalo sauce to bring the heat. It’s then topped with Gorgonzola and creamy buttermilk dill ranch. This revolutionary ingredient combo will make carnivores forget they ever liked meat!
Roots Handmade Pizza, 1924 W. Chicago Ave. and 200 W. Lawerence Ave. The mouthwatering textures of pizza meet the culinary magic of sandwiches for a delicious combination with the Foldovers at Roots Handmade Pizza. Foldovers feature the restaurant’s signature malt crust pizza dough stuffed with high quality ingredients, baked for a melty and tasty one-of-a-kind sandwich. Folderovers you can’t miss include:
The Fat Eddie: salami, Canadian bacon, Quad Cities mozzarella, shaved parmesan cheese, marinara sauce, French dressing, diced red onions and chopped romaine
The Rock Island Arsenal: specially-seasoned Italian sausage patty, two award-winning and scratch-made mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce
Chicken Caesar: marinated, grilled and sliced chicken breast, Quad Cities mozzarella cheese blend, shaved parmesan cheese, Caesar dressing and chopped romaine
Seven Lions,130 S. Michigan Ave. A sandwich that appeals to visitors and locals alike, the Michigan Avenue staple is offering a Crispy Chicken Sandwich to satisfy the highest of cravings! With the option of enjoying the sandwich slathered in spicy buffalo sauce, the crispy chicken is topped with buttermilk dressed greens and sweet pickles before being smashed between a delicious bun. Not as hungry? Share the Crispy Chicken Sliders with other sandwich lovers, available during Happy Hour.
Steadfast, 120 W. Monroe St. The culinary art of sandwiches goes elegant at the chic downtown escape, Steadfast. Decadent sandwiches available on its lunch menu include the Lobster Roll with east coast lobster tail, Old Bay aioli and trout roe, the Portobello Panini with tomato preserves, buffalo mozzarella, basil pistou and roasted portobello mushroom and the Grilled Chicken Torta with brined and smoked chicken breast, cranberry goat cheese, frisee and crispy shallots.
The Terrace, 401 N. Wabash Ave. Indulge in pure decadence with The Benjamin Burger, a Wagyu beef burger stuffed with foie gras served with tomato compote, onion jam, truffle aioli, frisee, 10-year aged cheddar, on a gold bun with fries. Guests can enjoy the complimentary accompanying Fat Elvis Milkshake to finish-swirled peanut butter and smoked vanilla milk shake, roasted banana compote, gilded peanuts, and candied bacon. For $100, it’s the perfect date-night sandwich coupled with the stunning views of the city, Lake Michigan and Chicago River. Enjoy on a Wednesday or Saturday for a truly perfect evening with the best view in town of the Navy Pier Fireworks.
Summer is at hand, people. No reason not to start right now enjoying the music, food and fun that are always on offer throughout our great city from spring through late fall. Here are a few opportunities to get you rolling…
Dog-friendly, burger/beer specials. Burger + Beer promotion at The Patio at Café Brauer. From May 26 – May 29, get a juicy, succulent burger and a domestic beer for $15.95 all Memorial Day weekend. Read our rave review of Cafe Brauer here.
Music at Pritzker Pavillion. Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer – two weeks before the Grant Park Music Festival season begins. To celebrate, order a One Night Pass and get a reserved seat close to the stage for any Festival concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. And when you order online this weekend, you’ll save 25% on select seats for any concert in June! Use promo code MEMORIAL when you order online at gpmf.org. Offer expires Monday, May 29 at 11:59 PM. Or, explore our entire 2017 season. Choose any four concerts (excluding Beethoven Symphony No. 9 on August 18 and 19) with a Choose Your Own membership and we’ll add the Festival’s Independence Day Salute as our way of saying thank you.
For home barbeques or hostess gifts, consider one of these excellent wines from Black Stallion Estate Vineyards. Black Stallion Chardonnay 2015, Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, and Black Stallion Sauvignon Blanc 2015 are deliciously complex and rich tasting. Perfect companions to grilled shrimp or lobster, super-marbled steak cooked a pointe on the grill, and any favorite traditional accompaniments like mustard potato salad, veggie pasta, sauteed fresh garlic asparagus or superb sauteed mushrooms. Get your Black Stallion wines from these Chicago area retailers: SavWay Wine & Spirits, Garfield’s Beverage Warehouse, Sunset Foods, Woodman’s, Heinen’s, or talk to your friendly Binny’s folks.
And if you’re into higher-end wines, here’s a list of special Black Stallion wines that have garnered serious recognition lately:
Wine & Spirits magazine “100 Best Buys of the Year” – 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: 92 Points
James Suckling’s list of “Top 100 Reds of Napa Valley 2016” – 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: 93 Points
Decanter: 2013 Barrel Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Highly recommended, 91 pts; 2013 Transcendent Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; Highly recommended, 91 pts; 2013 Gaspare Estate Vineyard, Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Highly recommended, 90 pts; 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Highly recommended, 90 pts;
Wine Enthusiast: 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: 90 pts; 2014 Los Carneros Pinot Noir: 90 pts
Robert M. Parker, Jr. / Wine Advocate (Barrel samples): 2014 Bucephalus Red Blend: (91-93); 2014 Barrel Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: (90-92); 2014 Transcendent Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: (90-92)
It’s the time of year when we all scramble to figure out what to get the fathers – or father figures – in our lives. Just saw an old episode of the Cosby show in which he complained that moms always get good gifts, but dads get crazy ones. To prove it, he dragged out a chest full of the questionable Father’s Day gifts – ugly ties, google-eyes, stupid hats, etc. – he’d saved from over the years. Don’t be that desperate gift-buying person this year! Consider getting your father/figure a bottle of serious whiskey or Scotch whisky. Or take him – or mom or grad – out for a few tastes at one of the many Chicago restaurants that carry fine whiskies.
If s/he doesn’t appreciate that sort of thing, you can always get him some light-up suspenders… Here are a few whisk(e)y suggestions:
Tullamore D.E.W. 14 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey (SRP $69.99). First of the new single malts from Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey, the second largest Irish whiskey in the world. Surprise any Irish whiskey-loving dad with this great new expression on Father’s Day. Tasting Notes: Tullamore D.E.W. 14 Year Old Single Malt is vibrant and fruity, with a nose comprised of ripe apples, sweet citrus, and vanilla oak. The whiskey is rich and sweet to the taste, with a long-lasting finish.
Tullamore D.E.W. 18 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey (SRP $109.99). Part of Tullamore D.E.W.’s newly launched single malts range, Tullamore D.E.W. 18 Year Old Single Malt is the brand’s oldest age statement to date. This uniquely smooth, warming expression makes a sophisticated Father’s Day gift for a dad who really knows his whiskey. Rich and oaky, its velvety smooth taste includes notes of cinnamon, apples, and toasted marshmallows, and its lingering finish is sweet and malty.
Glenfiddich India Pale Ale Cask Finish ($70.00), part of the Glenfiddich Experimental Series: Brian Kinsman, Glenfiddich’s Malt Master and a passionate creator and innovator, teamed up with a small Speyside micro-brewer to craft this first-ever single malt Scotch whisky finished in IPA craft beer casks. Aromas include ripe green apple, William’s pear and spring blossom, along with aromatic hops and fresh herbs are part of Glenfiddich fruitiness and sweet, vanilla oakiness with a long finish. Perfect for the whisky lover who loves to try the latest and greatest. For an unexpected twist, serve the whisky over ice with a squeeze of blood orange.
Glenfiddich Project XX ($79.99): Second in the Experimental Series, this whisky resulted from a blending of 20 very special single malts, each from 20 international whisky experts. They were all invited to explore and select a specific cask from a warehouse at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown. This smooth, unique expression makes a Father’s Day gift for a dad who really knows his whiskey.
The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (SRP: $54.99): The most hand-crafted Scotch whisky, this one is aged up to 12 years in traditional oak casks and finished up to six months in sherry oak casks – The Balvenie’s signature. Look for notes of sweet fruit and Oloroso sherry layered with honey and vanilla. The long, warming finish draws out the nutty sweetness and delicate spiciness of this classic expression.
Just discovered the Tortoise Supper Club during a press event featuring D.E.W. Tullamore Irish whiskey’s “DEW and a Brew” tour through Chicago. Love the leather-and-wood ambience and loved the food and service, too. Now this cozy, classy restaurant, known for its steaks, chops and fresh seafood, is inviting us to come have a special cocktail so they can donate $3 per drink to the worthy cause of the month.
Cocktails for a Cause teams the supper club each month with a local non-profit to help raise awareness and funds for that organization. The restaurant/lounge creates an original limited edition cocktail and donates $3 of every one sold to that month’s non-profit partner.
This month, Tortoise Supper Club teams up with The Miracle Center, which provides arts-education-based programming for inner-city Chicago kids. Through its afterschool and summertime programs, youths aged 11 – 22 work together to develop full-scale theater productions that are then performed for the general public. These programs help kids strengthen their creative problem-solving abilities and build self-esteem by developing their leadership and general life skills.
Curtain Call isthis March’s Cocktail for a Cause. House-infused dill vodka is mixed with fresh-squeezed lime juice and a housemade honey syrup, finished with a couple dashes of grapefruit bitters and garnished with a touch of grapefruit zest. Even if you’re not a huge fan of mixed drinks, this one sounds like a winner.
No reservations required. Just come in and relax this month, meet the owners who are almost always onsite greeting guests, and know that 3 bucks of your Curtain Call price will be donated directly to The Miracle Center.
P.S. Weekly specials include Half Priced Signature Cocktails on Wednesdays, Sautéed Frog Legs and Buttermilk Battered Cod on Fridays, Northwoods Dry Rubbed Prime Rib on Saturdays and $1 Oysters / $1 Shrimp Cocktail from 4:30 – 6:30 pm on weekdays. Live Sinatra-style jazz music is played in the lounge every Friday and Saturday night.
It’s winter, right, people? 63 degrees? I don’t think so. 43 degrees? Not really. How about 70? Do I hear 70 degrees? In any case, it’s a great time to get out and try some of the delicious things going on at Chicago restaurants these days. Here are 3 of them.
Intro, 2300 N. Lincoln Park West, is now offering Dim Sum brunch, Sundays from 10am to 3pm. The unique and delicious menu can be ordered a la carte, or shared family-style at $22.95 per person. Check out: Smoked Salmon Bao, “Everything Spice”, Caper Szechuan Aioli, Chinese Homestyle Eggs with Pork Belly and Congee Rice and Chinese Donuts with Cinnamon and Espresso Milk. Full menu here and call 773-868-0002 to reserve.
Not a festival, not quite a market but absolutely a great time. Dovetail Brewery, 1800 W. Belle Plaine, will be hosting some of the tastiest artisanal local craft vendors in its taproom from noon to 5 p.m. on March 25. Stop by and create your own charcuterie board of assorted breads, cheeses and meats to accompany your favorite Dovetail beers. And by popular demand, Dovetail has added a 1 pm. tour on Saturdays. Stop by the brewery at either 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. to enjoy an informative and fun tour. Tour admission is $15 which includes your choice of three Dovetail 0.3L servings of beer.
Ēma, 74 W. Illinois, another LEYE restaurant, is having its first-ever wine dinner on March 29 at 6:30. For $75 a person (plus tax and gratuity) you’ll be treated to a mezze feast of Ema favorites and specialty dishes crafted by Chef CJ Jacobson and accompanied by wines from Sandhi Winery in Santa Barbara, California. Leading the event is winemaker and James Beard beverage book winner Rajat Parr, author Secrets of the Sommelier, and recipient of the 2015 James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Professional. Call 312-485-5778 or email email@example.com to reserve.
As a thank you to customers in celebration of 19 years in Chicago’s bustling Theater District and across from City Hall, 312 Chicago, 136 N. LaSalle, and Chef Luca are offering *all* dinner entrees for $19 each as well as $19 bottles of select red and white wine. Starting on their anniversary, 3/12/17 and evenings through Tuesday 3/14, you can get everything at the party price – check the list below. Reservations are encouraged.
Let Delightful Pastries (Jefferson Park, Chicago French Market) accent your holiday meal! Known for their outstanding baked goods and sweets, Delightful Pastries will offer an array of seasonal catering options such as Buche de Noel, a French yule log made out of genoise, filled with chocolate ganache and decorated with marzipan mushrooms and holly berries ($40); Traditional German Stollen, with candied orange peel, raisins, almonds and filled with marzipan ($20); Royal Gingerbread, filled with hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, raisins and candied orange peel and dipped in chocolate ($15); and Butter Cookie Christmas Tree, butter cookies filled with apricot preserves and decorated with royal icing and holiday sugar ornaments ($35).
Savory dishes are an excellent accompaniment to the main course or served as an appetizer. Some of Delightful Pastries’ stand-out dishes include Red Borscht ($8/quart) & Mushroom Turnovers, filled with sautéed mushrooms in a puff pastry ($14/dozen); and Meat Pie, filled with pork and ham and wrapped in bacon ($40).
Additional items include the vegan Holiday Bread ($10), loaded with pecans, cherries, raisins, cranberries, candied orange peel and currants and the vegan Pecan Cranberry Sourdough ($6), a hearty option made with cranberries and chopped pecans. Rum Eggnog($15.99) is sure to be a hit and small or large trays of mini pastries, brownies or assorted cookies are available as well.
To order, call one of the Delightful Pastries locations by Tuesday, December 20 (Chicago French Market, 312.234.9644 or Jefferson Park, 773.545.7215).
Harvest at Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
Located directly on the Magnificent Mile, Harvest at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile (540 N Michigan Ave.) will offer a festive and delicious feast. The all-you-can-eat buffet will feature a carving station of Slow-Roasted Prime Rib and House-Smoked Ham with au jus and smoked apple butter. A cold buffet will include a Kale Caesar Salad, assorted Local Cheeses and Housemade Charcuterie and Shrimp Cocktail. The hot buffet will feature dishes such as Celery Root and Apple Soup, Housemade Sausage and Sage Cornbread Stuffing, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Michigan Apples and Bacon and Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes. The dessert table will include an assortment of Pecan Tarts, Eggnog Mousse Cups, Red Velvet Cake and more.
The menu will be offered on Christmas from noon to 10 p.m. Cost is $40 per adult and $20 per child under 10 years of age (exclusive of tax and gratuity). Reservations are recommended and may be made by calling 312.836.6334.
Smoke Daddy Will Smoke Your Bird Smoke Daddy (1804 W Division St.) in Wicker Park will offer a delicious Christmas catering menu. The BBQ restaurant will offer 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 (9 lb., $69). Sides such as Cornbread Stuffing with sausage and spices ($10 per quart); Brussels Sprouts, oven-roasted with a lemon butter sauce ($10 per quart); and Garlic Mashed Potatoes ($10 per quart) and desserts like Sweet Potato Pie ($22) and Pecan Pie ($24) round out the menu. In addition, guests may pick-up bottles of wine ($12-$15) and the fixings for a Bloody MaryBar ($140 for 20 beverages) and/or Mimosa Bar($100 for 12 beverages).
Pick-up and delivery orders must be made by noon on Monday, December 19. Items will be picked-up cold with re-heating instructions on Thursday, December 22 and Friday, December 23. Guests may place their order online at www.thesmokedaddy.com.
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 Chicago, Theater 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.
Everest, Tuesday, 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 Soupwith winter truffle, scallion, white pepper; Foie Gras Fried Ricewith Hudson Valley foie gras, ginger crumbs; Roasted Peking Duckwith 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 Gabi, Lincoln 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 27, 5 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 Stato, 4 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 Alone, Jingle 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 Italian, 3 – 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 Pizzeria, brunch 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.
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 Carryout. L. 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 andButterscotch 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 Chicago, Theater 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.