Category Archives: wine and spirits

Eat, drink, mini-golf and more at Navy Pier this summer

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Navy Pier will kick off summer this Memorial Day weekend when its widely anticipated free summer fireworks light up the sky at 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. But if you’ve got the time, plan to eat and enjoy some of the Pier’s other entertainments beforehand.

Fireworks at Navy Pier return at 9 p.m. every Wednesday and 10 p.m. every Saturday, through Labor Day. Navy Pier’s signature displays are synchronized to dramatic and popular music, and unique soundtracks for special occasions. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to find a great viewing spot along the Pier.

One of the best vantage points for viewing the fireworks is the Navy Pier Beer Garden, the city’s go-to destination for free, outdoor music all summer long, under the banner Live on the Lake. Opening night performances include John Kimler & Friends, Mike & Joe, and New Orleans funk and jazz artist Shamar Allen. Live on the Lake continues Sunday, May 29, with Fareed Haque, DJ Papa G, and Kofi & the New Roots, and on Monday, May 30, with Libido Funk Circus and Vintage Vinyl.

The Beer Garden is the local home of farm-to-foam beers from Tangled Roots Brewery, which creates a full range of light lagers and ales to dark, experimental brews made with hops grown on their farm right here in Illinois.

Visitors can also enjoy a mouthwatering experience at Ciccio (pronounced Chee-cho) officially opening from 11:00 a.m to.8:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 26. Owner Mario Ferraro is a second-generation Chicagoland restaurateur. His new venture combines traditional Italian cuisine with Chicagoland favorites, like Ciccio’s star menu item, the “Italian Beef” Sandwich. Ciccio’s boasts a 100 percent scratch kitchen giving guests quality in every bite.

New this year, Jake’s on the Lake brings one of Chicago’s favorite restaurants to Navy Pier. Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap (see our previous enthusiastic review) is celebrating its 20th year in business this July, as the city’s hottest destination for hot wings. Jake’s famous wings—once named best in the country by NBC’s Today show—come in heat levels ranging from Spicy Buffalo wings to Firecracker Wings to XXX Wings—packed with habanero, ghost pepper and scorpion pepper. To view the full menu, click here.

Pixar Putt, open May 28 through Aug. 20, lays out a course of 18 fun and interactive holes of mini golf at Polk Bros Park, each based on characters from such beloved Pixar classics as “Toy Story,” “The Incredibles,” “Monsters Inc.,” “Finding Nemo,” “Coco,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Wall-E,” and “Inside Out.”

Pixar Putt, co-presented by Rockefeller Productions and TEG Life Like Touring, will be open from noon to 10 p.m. Mondays-Fridays (with last entry at 8:30 p.m.) and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (last entry 8:30 p.m.). Pixar Putt is also available to Private Groups and Corporate Groups. Get your tickets at  www.pixarputt.com/chicago.

See Chicago Dance kicks off the 10th annual Chicago Dance Month with a free two-hour performance that samples styles from ballet to fire acts with six different Chicago companies sharing the Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park. The schedule features Nawja Dance Corps, 3 p.m.; Chicago Tap Theater, 3:20 p.m.; Raks Inferno, 3:45 p.m.; Movement Revolution Dance Crew, 3:55 p.m.; Visceral Dance Chicago, 4:05 p.m.; and Last Dance, 4:20 p.m. Live dance performances will return to Navy Pier at 3 p.m. every Saturday throughout summer at the Wave Wall.

Wave Wall Wax, a series featuring Chicago’s most recognized DJs spinning house and dance music, also begins May 28, with Steve “Miggedy” Maestro at 5 to 7 p.m. The series continues at 5 p.m. every Saturday through Sept. 3 at the Wave Wall Platform.

All events subject to change or cancellation. ​​To view the full Navy Pier events calendar, click here.

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Dine outdoors all winter in Chicago!

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Well, maybe not EVERY winter day. But it’s fun to know you have options when it comes to dining out even during this still-taking-precautions-for-COVID winter in our beloved city. So take a stroll through this listing – a place or two you may be hearing about for the first time – and see what strikes your fancy.
Year-round dining on Graystone’s patio (photo credit: Sam Stone)

THE GRAYSTONE TAVERN
New All-Season Patio. After 5 years in Wrigleyville, The Graystone Tavern, 3441 N Sheffield Ave, has winterized and enclosed their spacious back patio in preparation for the cold months ahead. In accordance with CDC and City of Chicago guidelines, the space can seat 20 to 30 guests. Patrons will continue to enjoy full food and drink menus “al fresco” throughout the winter season on the new weatherproofed patio. The space features string lights overhead, seven TVs, and customers can also enjoy games like bags, giant Jenga and giant Connect 4.

Fans of The Bachelorette can watch the dramatic Season 16 on the patio at Graystone with viewing parties every Tuesday at 7 p.m. Guests will be invited to play themed bingo for prizes. The episodes will be shown with audio, and themed drink specials will be available.

Year-Round Hangs at OGs. Old Grounds Social, Lincoln Park’s barbeque-centric sports bar, 950 W. Wrightwood Ave, invites guests to hang year-round on their convertible patio that is equipped with a four-season retractable roof. Featuring 20+ flat screen TVs, the newly updated patio offers lounge-style seating, a great option for small groups and sports fans. For patio reservations, visit https://www.ogschicago.com/reservations.

The liveliest patio in Chicago, Old Grounds Social keeps guests entertained with weekly events and specials like Drag Bingo every Thursday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ($5 entry, cash prize, RSVP: tyler@ogschicago.com), and a $25 Friday Happy Hour from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. which includes a $ burger, fries and bottomless wells and domestics.

THE RAMBLER
Enclosed Outdoor Beer Garden.  The Rambler in North Center, 4128 N Lincoln Ave, has  weatherproofed its spacious outdoor beer garden to give diners an al fresco experience all year round. In accordance with CDC and City of Chicago guidelines, the beer garden will accommodate up to 30 guests withfull bar and food menus available.

The space is outfitted with a full bar, six TVs and a sound system perfect for catching Bears’ games. Fans of The Bachelorette can also watch Season 16 on the patio at The Rambler’s viewing parties every Tuesday at 7 p.m. Guests will be invited to play themed bingo for prizes. The episodes will be shown with audio, and themed drink specials will be available.
Cozy outdoor dining in Uvea’s greenhouses (courtesy of Uvae)

UVAE KITCHEN & WINE BAR
BYO blanket, patio heaters and greenhouse dining. In an effort to help extend outdoor dining options this fall and winter season, Uvae in Andersonville has made several updates to their intimate sidewalk patio at 5553 N Clark St. Cold weather plans include new patio heaters and a BYO blanket promo where every guest who brings their own blanket for patio dining will receive a complimentary glass of prosecco.

Uvae offers three new greenhouses available for dining that are equipped with heaters. Two of the greenhouses will be available for parties of two to four guests. The third greenhouse will have space for parties up to six. Space is limited and seatings will be at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. with a 1.5 hour limit allowing for sanitizing in between guests.
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Superbowl Sunday stuff in Chicago

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Superbowl’s a big deal for many Chicago sports fans even if the Bears aren’t in it. So in case you’re feeling safe from Omicron and want to head out in public to watch the champs (whoever they may be) square off on February 13, here are a few spots to consider.

Go with your pod people, stay a safe distance from non-podders, and be sure to wear a mask when you’re not actively eating or drinking. That’ll help keep you and everybody else safer. Have fun, people!

BARTOLI’S PIZZERIA
Bartoli’s Pizzeria Offers Super Bowl Game Day Deal
  • Sunday, February 13
  • $44.99 game day package

Perfect for football fans wanting to feast while they tune in from home, Bartoli’s Pizzeria in Roscoe Village and West Town will offer a “Game Day Deal” for the big game on Sunday, February 13. Available for pickup or delivery, the $44.99 package features an 18-inch thin crust pizza with a choice of one topping, 16 piece wings (buffalo or vesuvio) and two one-liter bottles of soda. To order, visit www.bartolis.com.*

*Not valid with any other offer or specials. Must mention offer when ordering. Limit one package per customer.
Roscoe Village: 1955 W. Addison St. Chicago, IL 60613 | (773) 248.0455
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Friday & Saturday: 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. |  Sunday: 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.

West Town: 658 N. Ashland Ave Chicago, IL 60622 | (312) 929.4133
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. | Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. |  Sunday: 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
CODY’S PUBLIC HOUSE
Cody’s First Annual Puppy Bowl Viewing Party
  • Sunday, February 13 at 1 p.m.
  • Free attendance
Dog lovers can join Cody’s Public House on Sunday, February 13 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for their first annual Puppy Bowl Viewing Party. The dog-friendly event will offer a Puptail Cocktail featuring $8 themed cocktails for humans. Ten-percent of proceeds from sales will be donated to PAWS Chicago. Patrons can also participate in a raffle for Cody’s-branded dog bandanas.  The program will be broadcast on eight 65-inch TVs around the bar for a total of 10 throughout the space. Weather permitting, guests can cozy up to the year-round fire pit with their furry friends.
1658 West Barry Avenue., Chicago, IL 60618 | (773) 799-8217 | www.codyschicago.com

Hours: Monday – Friday: 5 p.m – 2 a.m. | Saturday: 11 a.m. – 3 a.m.  | Sunday: 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

REWIRED PIZZA CAFE & BAR
Super Bowl Sunday Bottomless Mimosa Pre-game at Rewired
  • Sunday, February 13
  • $25 bottomless mimosas; $2 to $14 brunch menu items

Chicagoans can get the Super Bowl Sunday Funday started early and fuel up with a Pajama Brunch at Rewired Pizza Cafe & Bar in Edgewater from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The brunch will feature $25 bottomless mimosas, show tunes and new cartoon-themed brunch menu items like a Panchito Pistoles Bowl with al pastor meat, pineapple, pickled onion, potato, salsa verde, cilantro, and an over easy egg, Porky the Pig Benedict with pulled pork, poached egg, and hollandaise, Cowabunga Breakfast Pie personal-sized white sauce pizza with choice of protein and over easy egg, and more.

Entree purchase is required for the bottomless mimosa special. For reservations, visit https://www.exploretock.com/rewiredcafe/.

 

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3 Chicago restaurants – National Wine Day, National Burger Day 2020

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To all the brave folks still out there working to keep us fed and safe at home, thank you. Your courage to continue serving in the face of this challenge is greatly appreciated and even life-saving for many. For those of us who really enjoy cooking, River Roast in River North and Carnivale in West Loop are offering home “grill-at-home” kits so you and your family can have some seriously good meat to crisp up. Spiaggia has put together curated groups of wines you can pick up on their own or get ’em along with some of the restaurant’s high-end Italian food specials.

Thanks, Rachael, for highlighting Italian Wines on National Wine Day 2020

Celebrate National Wine Day on Monday, May 25th with Spiaggia‘s sommelier Rachael Lowe, nominated for the 2020 James Beard Awards for “Outstanding Wine Program.” With summer on the horizon, Rachael can discuss her top wine picks for the season and tips to pairing wines with lighter, seasonal dishes. Spiaggia is also now offering Wine Selections on their pick-up menu on Tock. Rachael has curated a list of wines highlighting various Italian wine regions as well as New World favorites. Each selection comes with three bottles and is delightful paired along with your favorite Spiaggia meal or on their own.

Celebrate National Burger Day on Thursday, May 28th with a burger kit from River Roast. River Roast is offering a virtual “Grill At Home Shop” featuring a variety of meats, including burgers, ribs, steak and chicken and pork chops.Prices vary and all items can be purchased on Tock.

Until we can come in again, think Carnivale for wine and cocktails

Carnivale, 702 W. Fulton Market St., will offer meals, cocktail kits and complimentary Carnivale cotton candy with purchase for curbside pickup beginning Thursday, June 11 (changed from 6/4 due to temporary travel restrictions in downtown Chicago). Featuring several creative Latin inspired meals, Carnivale’s takeout menu includes options like Sabor y Carne, Carnivale en Fuego, which also comes as a DIY grill kit, and Paella de Carnivale. Guests may add a side of Guacamole or Ropa Vieja to any order for $12. Carnivale’s iconic craft libations are available with kits for the restaurant’s signature Margarita, Mojito and Cotton Candy Martini, which each come with an extra treat, for $45 plus tax. Orders must be called in (312) 850-5005, and will be available for pickup outside of Carnivale’s main entrance.

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Happy hour and other news at 10 Chicago eateries

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Raised rooftop bar at the Renaissance Hotel downtown Chicago

We never run out of news on the restaurant front in Chicago. Recently discovered a new and long-awaited improvement at French Market’s Pastoral bar and a bunch of rooftop and regular happy hours to perhaps put in rotation for your early-evening pleasure. Here are a few ideas for getting out there and enjoying.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably wondered why in the world Pastoral at the French Market did not have a place to sit down and sample their wares. You had to choose your bottle and go home. With Pastoral’s nice menu of artisanal cheeses, sandwiches and more, it only makes sense that customers should be able to relax and enjoy right while they’re there. And finally now we can!! It’s a cozy new spot located within the market that offers small production wines by the glass and bottle; cheese, charcuterie boards and gourmet snacks; a new wine club; and a selection of craft beers and cocktails. The Wine Bar will be open Monday to Friday beginning at 11am with last call at 7pm and on Saturday beginning at 10am with last call at 5pm. Click here for full menu.

Bobby’s Lincoln Park, Lincoln Park’s new contemporary American restaurant, is offering a delicious happy hour. Guests may indulge themselves with a list of intricate chef creations with an Italian flare and quench their cocktail thirst with decadent beverages, both classic and new, in Bobby’s beautiful upscale dining space. Patrons may start off with a selection of signature cocktails for $8, a selection of $6 wines by the glass, $3 regular Hop Beers, and an assortment of $4 Crafted Hops. The happy hour menu is available from 4-6:30pm during the week and 2:30-4pm on weekends.

VU Rooftop Bar, South Loop’s first rooftop bar, set 22 stories above the city, has refreshed their happy hours Monday through Thursday from 4pm to 6pm to include $5 Bites, $5 Miller High Life, $8 Red or White Sangria, and an $8 Dealers Choice Specialty Cocktail where the mixologist will ask guests a few questions and create a specialty cocktail based on their likes.

ROOF on theWit, the newly renovated hotspot rooftop bar in the Loop, has added a refreshed happy hour deal to accompany their brand new space. Ultra-chic and sophisticated, the completely rejuvenated ROOF includes a new open-aired space, The Gallery, and their Patio has undergone a fresh, stylish renovation. The new lush lounge seating invites guests to step in and soak up a ROOF like never before, with captivating contemporary art and dynamic video technology amidst a stunning ambiance and Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 7:30, guests can receive 20% off the entire menu at ROOF.

ROOH Chicago, one of Chicago’s only fine dining Indian restaurants, located at 736 W. Randolph St., is offering Chicagoans and visitors alike happy hour specials to accommodate all taste buds with its rotating cocktail and wine selections. These deals include $5-6 beers and featured cocktails and glasses of wine for $8. Dishes include an $8 “Chicken 65” crafted with peanut chutney, podi masala and lemon sour cream; and a $7 Cauliflower Koliwada with curd rice mousse and peanut thecha. Happy hour is available from 4:30-6PM on Sunday, and Tuesday through Thursday.

Replay Lincoln Park, Chicago’s popular arcade bar known for fun pop-ups located at 2833 N. Sheffield Ave., is hosting a weekly happy hour every Friday from 4 – 8 p.m. The Friday Funky Hour features $3 cocktails, $3 craft cans, $3 craft drafts and free funk!

Kinton Ramen Wicker Park offers 50% off all appetizers like Kimuchi, Takowasabi, Salmon Tataki, Ton Ton Don, Edamame, Ikapiri and the restaurant’s famous original and spicy Karaage every Monday-Friday from 4pm-7pm. On top of this, the restaurant’s happy hour includes $2 Sapporo Draft, $3 House Sake, $4 Wines by the glass and $5 cocktails such as Kinton Panache with Sapporo Beer and Kinton Lemonade; Matcha Colada with rum and coconut cream; Saketini made with vodka and sake infused cucumber; and Shochu Hi complete with shochu and green tea. The 2,100-square-foot restaurant features 54 main dining room seats and 11 open-kitchen bar seats.

Raised, perfectly situated on the third floor of the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel at 1 W. Wacker Drive, is inviting ski enthusiasts of all calibers to experience the Alpines without ever leaving the city with the official launch of its Apres This Way indoor winter activation. Guests will also have access to a special Happy Hour and enjoy après ski, a time to warm up and unwind with friends, available Mondays through Thursdays from 4-6 p.m. featuring $6 draft beer selections, $12 rotating old fashioneds, and $9 glass & a half wine pours.

Ocean Prime Chicago, located at 87 E. Wacker, offers a special happy hour Monday through Friday from 4-6p.m. including both drinks and specialty dishes. Patrons may receive half off select wines by the glass, all beers, and signature cocktails featuring the Prime Manhattan, Cucumber Gimlet, Black Orchid and Pineapple Picante. In addition to quenching guests’ thirst, Ocean Prime Chicago’s happy hour includes half off any appetizer, sushi or oysters.

The Albert, located in Hotel EMC2 at 228 E. Ontario, offers a happy hour special Monday through Friday from 3-5p.m. The menu is inclusive of drivers, cocktails, wine and small bites. Featured drinks include the Lavender Lemonade, This & That, C.O.T.D, the Albert Red, and Fireside. Those looking for a light snack may choose from an array of options including the Puffed Anson Mills Hominy, House Made Pretzel, Herb Tossed Fries, Salt Cod Croquettes and House Made Bread.

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Spring 2019 news from 6 more Chicago restaurants

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Spring is a great time in Chicago, made even more exciting by the special offerings and cool event venues in our fine city. Here are just 6 ideas for spicing up your springtime leisure: a new gourmet French restaurant in South Loop, a chef-inspired wine dinner in Lakeview, a graduation-party planning bonus, a  happy-birthday-
Rome dinner downtown, a street party raising funds for a cool Chicago ‘hood, and a tried-and-true Latin-inspired food and entertainment experience in the West Loop for your next gathering.
Grant Park Bistro chicken liver mousse

Grant Park Bistro, 800 S. Michigan, just opened in the Hotel Essex. This new French Bistro from LM Restaurant Group is daily serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, all featuring shareable French dishes like house-made terrines, quiches, and flatbreads along with grilled meat and seafood. French classics get new twists: Boeuf Bourguignon is made with braised beef cheek instead of brisket, and their Coq au Vin is simmered in white Vouvray (made with Chenin Blanc grapes) instead of red wine.

Your mouth will water when you read the breakfast/brunch menu, too. Check out the French-inspired beverage program, too. Happy hour specials Monday-Friday from 4-7pm in the bar area. Outdoor patio seating for 40 will be coming as the weather warms up. Reservations for Grant Park Bistro are available on Resy or by visiting grantparkbistro.com. And while you’re there, pick up a shamelessly decadent dessert at Petite Vanille, also open now in the hotel – pain au chocolate, almond croissants, French macarons and slices of Vanille signature cakes

mfk restaurant, 432 w. Diversey. On Monday April 29, come join a pair of James Beard-recognized chefs as they present a four-course family-style prix fixe menu highlighting fresh seafood, conservas and seasonal vegetables. Chef Alisha Elenz was recently announced as a James Beard award finalist for Rising Star Chef. At only 25 years old Elenz has worked her way up the ranks in the kitchen to lead this award-winning Michelin ranked Lakeview restaurant. This month she’s teaming up with another young female chef, Sarah Rinkavage (Marisol, Lulu Cafe), who was a 2018 finalist for the same award. One fun night of collaborative cooking will pay homage to the restaurants namesake, MFK Fisher. Tickets are $100 per person and include drink pairings and tax and gratuity.

Maggiano’s, any location, always a grand place to celebrate graduation – or any occasion – is offering a special bonus when you book a sumptuous family-style banquet for your larger circle of extended family and friends. Book your graduation or other celebration by June 30 and receive $50 in Be Our Guest cards for every $500 you spend in banquet events booked between May 1 and June 30. If you’d rather do your party in your own home or other space, Maggiano’s will cater it and give you a $25 Be Our Guest card for every $250 spent in catering booked between May 1 and June 30. Contact a Maggiano’s catering specialist.
Osteria via Stato Roman dinner

Osteria via Stato, 620 N. State St., by-the-way an LEYE restaurant, invites you to celebrate the birthday of the “eternal city” with a Roman Dinner on May 1, 6:30pm. You’ll start with passed Roman pizzas and go on to a four-course dinner featuring dishes that honor Roman cuisine, all served with wine and cocktail pairings for $65 ++. Reserve your spots here.

Pilsen Cantina Crawl returns on Saturday, May 4, `12 – 6 pm to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and support the year-long fundraising efforts for the community’s signature cultural event in August, Pilsen Fest. Sponsored by Banhez Mezcal, Cantina Crawl invites patrons to dress in Cinco de Mayo costume and either stroll or ride complimentary trolleys to 13 participating bar and restaurants offering live musical performances, specialty dishes and hand-crafted cocktails vying for best in the ‘hood honors. Participating Cantina Crawl 2019 venues include: Alula Brewpub, Caminos de Michoacán, Harbee Liquors & Tavern, Honky Tonk BBQ, La Luna, La Pulquería, La Vaca Margarita Bar, Monnie Burke’s, Punch House, Simone’s, The Barrel, La Mejikana, and the Twisted Cantina. Tickets are $35 at BrownPaperTickets.com.
Carnivale has event spaces for any size party

Carnivale, 702 W. Fulton Market, is another fabulous event space. From an intimate gathering of 10, to an extravagant 1,000-person event, Carnivale delivers exotic cuisine and exceptional service for every celebration.​ Their expert private dining team works closely with you to create a one-of-a-kind experience for you and your guests. They can accommodate a wide range of events in one of our 7 event spaces, from weddings and graduations to corporate parties and seminars. Full-venue buy-outs available for truly private events.

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Late fall news at these 6 Chicago restaurants – and more

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November 20, Yūgen, the highly anticipated Japanese Restaurant helmed by Chef Mari Katsumara…announces reservations now open to book for the opening on Tuesday, November 20! Guests will be able to book online reservations via Open Table to experience the restaurant’s tasting menu focusing on contemporary Japanese cuisine. Yūgen will be open for dinner service starting five nights a week (Tuesday through Thursday from 5-9:30pm and Friday through Saturday from 5-10:30pm) More information and reservations may be found by calling (312) 265-1008 or opentable.com.

November 12 – 27, in honor of Giving Tuesday (November 27th), Bar Allegro, named one of Michigan Avenue’s “Coolest Hotel Bars in Chicago,” will be shaking up a special fall cocktail, Autunno, for Snow City Arts (SCA). SCA is a non-profit that provides art therapy and instruction to children in hospitals. Enjoy the inspired “Autunno” hand-crafted cocktail for $12. $2 from each cocktail sold will be donated to SCA on Giving Tuesday. (Note: all other signature cocktails at Bar Allegro are priced at $13). Chic, Art Deco-inspired Allegro Bar is on the second floor lobby of the Kimpton Hotel Allegro at 171 W. Randolph. SCA will also pop-up during the hotel’s daily Wine Hour (5-6PM) on Giving Tuesday to sell artwork with proceeds donated to their non-profit.

Wednesday, November 21 the Korean restaurant Passerotto, home of fun, approachable small plates from Chef Jennifer Kim, is hosting a wine bar pop-up in lieu of their regular service. Podopop – from Korean for grape (podo) and pop-up – opens to the public at 5pm featuring wines from Beaujolais made with its local grape Gamay. 5 for $15 or individual wines by the glass, in addition to Passerotto’s regular selection. On December 2 they’ll be hosting a Winter Market at the restaurant from 12-7pm. Local artists (many of whom are also members of the Passerotto team) will be popping up in the space selling a variety of handmade wearables, jewelry, sculptures, artwork, stationary, floral arrangements, beauty products and food items. Neighboring wine shop, In Fine Spirits, will also be joining in on the fun and will be selling wine and hosting vendors in their shop. A full vendor list can be found at passerottochicago.com/events. And look for the Snaggletooth pop-up in the space from 12-4pm (or until the food runs out). The Passerotto team will be offering wine, coffee and tea for sale and Coquetel Spirits will be on site selling mulled wine.

Open now! Months in the making, Chicago Indoor RazzmatazzChicago is relaunching. The R39 restaurant’s new menu features signature burgers, hand-cut fries, a variety of salads, finger foods and desserts. Top mixologist Diana Cruz is creating a range of craft cocktails to please any palate. R39’s new Chief Operating Officer, Juan Valenzuela, says, ideal combination of “…young, hip residents, nightlife and a vibrant entertainment scene” that includes DJ Monroe’s original mixes and playing in the lounge area some old-school games like giant Jenga, Connect Four & retro board games.

Football and fine Italian food, Sunday at Armand’s Victory Tap, 1416 S. Michigan. Besides the food and the games, check out their virtual tour highlighting the handsome spaces and architectural details that take the ambiance to a higher level inside Victory Tap. For a video about Chef Joe Farina’s famous dish, click Mama’s Meatballs here. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, game camaraderie and good food with friends or family.

Games and affordable menu options. When we city dwellers to head up the North Shore, we’re in for a treat when we take ourselves to Evanston to eat at The Barn Steakhouse. With the restaurant’s new daily specials menu on tap, designed by owner Amy Morton at more affordable prices, it’s a charming place to spend time with friends and family in the intimate dining room, or gathered around the outdoor firepit, or sitting around a table playing board games. Enjoy drinks and hearty dishes that make your mouth water just reading about them. Mafalda’s Lasagna (fresh mozzarella, sausage, fresh pasta), the Beef Wellington (puff pastry, beef tenderloin, mushroom duxelles) and the Chicken Pot Pie (creamy chicken velouté and flaky pastry crust). And for the first time this season, pasta to make your heart sing: Bison Bolognese (hand-dipped ricotta, red wine, warm spices, chitarra pasta) and Crab Spaghetti (jumbo lump crab, white wine, shallots, garlic, chili, Parmesan). Consider The Barn Steakhouse gift cards for the giftee who has everything – give a $100 gift card and receive an extra $20 gift card (good between January 1- March 31, 2019). Or try one of The Barn’s spectacular wine dinners. Reservations here for their December 5th dinner with Brewer-Clifton Winery.

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5 hot ways to enjoy Chicago this fall!

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From celebrating Halloween at any age, to flying the skies over Chicago, this great city has the food, the drinks and the fun to keep you hopping and happy this fall. Check out these 5 cool ways to make the most of this gorgeous time of year:

1. Halloween in Andersonville takes place Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28 with over 100 businesses participating. Trick-or-Treat on Clark Street on Saturday from 12 to 3pm. Then on Sunday 2 to 5pm, take the Andersonville Sweetish Stroll (formerly the Dessert Crawl) produced by the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC).

Halloween in Andersonville

The Trick-or-Treat on Clark Street and Costume Contest invites families to come in costume and collect candy from any business with an Orange Pumpkin sign on its storefront door. Register your costume at AlleyCat Comics (5304 N. Clark) between 11:30am and 3pm. The winner will be announced at 3:30 p.m. Gus Giordano Dance School’s Zombie Dancers will also perform “Thriller” and “Monster Mash” at the corner of Clark and Farragut at 12:40pm during the Trick-or-Treat time frame.

Additional Saturday events include the 48th Ward and Edgewater Triangle Neighborhood Association Halloween Parade. Gather at Peirce Elementary School (1423 W. Bryn Mawr) at 10am. Parade kicks off at 11am and travels north on Glenwood Avenue to Gethsemane Garden Center (5739 N. Clark) for the annual Children’s Fall Fest (11am to 4pm). List of October/Halloween events in Andersonville here.

Jake Melnicks Detroit pan pizza looks good enough to eat!

2. Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap is bringing a slice of Detroit to Chicago with its new Detroit Pan Pizza ($15.95). The fluffy squared crust with caramelized cheese is topped with mozzarella, fresh tomato sauce, shaved Parmesan, and fresh Basil; choose artisan pepperoni or spicy Italian sausage. Jake’s is celebrating Halloween all month long with their Nightmare on Superior Street Burger ($16.95). Jake’s half-pound fresh beef patty is hand-packed with habanero and cheddar. Topped with lettuce, tomato, crispy jalapeno bottle caps, pepper jack cheese, and XXX mayo, plus a dash of ghost pepper dust, this burger is not for the faint of heart.

New piano siteline at Redhead

3. The Redhead Piano Bar, 16 W. Ontario, celebrates 25 years of business with over $1 million in renovations, a new Happy Hour and specialty Cigar Program. This swanky downtown establishment, which has long been attracting tourists and locals alike for its cocktails and sing-alongs, has revamped and expanded its wine and craft cocktail list. Now, Chicago’s creative studios, Studio CM and Urban Innovators, have designed a dramatic makeover that includes a new custom walk-in Humidor with over 150 types of cigars for purchase, a year-round covered and heated outdoor smoking lounge, a repositioned piano to improve sight lines, a new state of the art sound and lighting system, and more to come. The Redhead’s new Happy Hour and Cigar Program starts November 1, 2018. Every Friday 5 – 7pm enjoy live music along with half-off bottles of wine and signature cocktails. In the piano bar enjoy a Cigar Program that features three different tiers, each of which includes a free monthly cigar, discounted merchandise, complimentary reservations to specialty events and tastings, priority seating, and more. For more information, call (312) 640-1000.

4. Roka Akor, 456 N. Clark St. invites you to brush off the day at the Roka Bar – an elegant lounge with a sultry, moody atmosphere. The happy hour menu features tasty bites and drinks at happy hour prices. Sample $5 bite choices include: Robata Grilled Shisito Peppers with Ponzu and Bonito Flakes, Wagyu Beef and Kimchi Dumplings and more. Sample $6 bites: Signature Tataki Trio: Butterfish, Tuna and Yellowtail, Lobster & Shrimp Dumplings, Prime Beef Skewers with Chili Ginger Sauce, Vegetable Tempura Roll and more. $3 for Sapporo Drafts and $5 for select wines, sakes or a Specialty Cocktail.

CHE City Lights night ABOVE the town!

5. Chicago Helicopter Experience (CHE) is offering a truly unique alternative to a night out on the town? The City Lights Experience is a truly “bucket-list” experience that takes romance and fun to new heights. Like all of CHE’s tours in their luxury helicopters, it’s just one of the many CHE tours that provide breathtaking views high above Chicago’s brilliant skyline. and offer one-of-a-kind opportunities from private tours, to group events. The City Lights Experience, besides the breathtaking sky tour, includes a $100 credit for dinner and cocktails at the incomparable hot spot The Duck Inn. Vouchers can be purchased in advance, and guests can call to schedule their experience for whenever works for them. Limited pricing per couple is now available for only $347. Come on. You know you want to!

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Foodie news from 4 Chicago restaurants

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Any news is good news for foodies in this town. And sometimes it’s really exciting stuff. Check out these news bits from 4 places around town and mark your calendar to go try ’em soon.

Warm Belly Bakery opens its second Chicago location this fall. Located at 2472 N. Clark Street in Lincoln Park, it expects to open the end of September with outdoor seating, window take-out service, and gourmet soft-serve ice cream. Oh, we’re putting this on our calendar for sure! Baker and co-owner Joe Dela Peña offers decadent cookies, muffins, and other pastries along with a full espresso bar that features duck fat maple lattes.

Dela Peña will create a special cookie to celebrate the opening — only available in Lincoln Park starting on opening day. Current cookie options include 70+ concoctions such as Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fluffernutter, the Deep Dish Cookie, and a deep-purple cookie featuring Ube, a popular yam in Filipino desserts. Cookies and ice cream, anyone?

Zoup!, brings back its popular Brewhouse Cheddar soup (mellow cheddar, pale ale, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, garnished with cheddar and scallions) and new Seasoned Bread Boules. Starting Monday September 3, the Garlic Parmesan and Olive Oil & Sea Salt Bread Boules are joined by Rosemary Provolone and Chipotle Pepper Jack. In addition to the Sourdough Bread Boule, available year-round, the new Boules are brushed with extra-virgin olive oil and special seasonings, then toasted to enhance the flavor of Zoup!’s fresh soups. Try one with Chicken Potpie or Lobster Bisque – every Boule has at least 24 grams of protein. Brewhouse Cheddar soup – try pairing it with the Olive Oil & Sea Salt Boule – rolls out the week of Sept. 3 through October 21. Check each Zoup!’s local neighborhood soup schedule for more details. Hope the weather cools down, but we would be happy eating cheddar cheese/pale ale soup in almost any weather!

Weather Mark Tavern, 1503 S. Michigan, welcomes Fall on Sunday, September 9, 7pm until whenever. Join them for the Bears Regular Season Kickoff Party. Meet the Miller Crew; win prizes, giveaways and tickets. Miller Lite Specials all night plus select $4 shots and ½ price boneless tenders.

Twain, 2445 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Logan Square is now open. The brainchild of husband and wife team Chef Tim Graham and Beverage Director and Sommelier Rebekah Graham and in partnership with restaurateur Branko Palikuca, co-owner of The Dawson, Topaz Café and Citrine Café, the restaurant is inspired by a collection of women’s club cookbooks from the 1940s on. Family recipes passed down through generations focus on approachable dishes with modern twists and fun presentations. The name pays homage to prolific author Samuel Clemens’s famous pen name, Mark Twain.

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New menus, new happenings at 5 Chicago restaurants

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Fort Willow, DMK’s newest spot inspired by the adventure of a childhood tree fort at 1721 N. Elston, introduces new spice-driven cocktails and a selection of small plates inspired by the cuisines of Korea, Mexico and Indonesia. Try a spicy Rooster Shooter (vodka, Sriracha, peach and lime $12). Or a Piston Splitter (mezcal, Ancho Reyes, raspberry and root beer bitters $13). Planter’s Punch is a blend of rum, nutmeg, angostura bitters and lime, $13. All house cocktails are priced at $5 during happy hour from 5-6pm T-F. New bites include elote fritters (grilled sweet corn, cotija and chili lime aioli, $8), tandoori prawns (marinated in Indian butter sauce, $12); softshell crab (topped with scallions and roasted tomato vinaigrette, tossed in a black bean salad, $14), and Argentinian grilled skirt steak (with jalapeño chimichurri, $12). Plus several new Asian-inspired bites. Yum! Can’t wait to try ’em!

Marchesa, 535 N. Wells, a chic and cozy River North eatery, now offers Saturday brunch with Continental breakfast and lunch selections from 11am to 3pm. Enjoy bottomless Bubbles, Bloody Mary’s or Bellinis for $25. Sit in the beautiful Marchesa inside space or dine outside amid the greenery of its intimate new dog-friendly sidewalk cafe adorned with flowers, beautiful fabrics and modern sculptures. Choose from brunch items like Salmon Benedict, lobster & eggs, quiche, steak & eggs, and pastries. Lunch items include French takes on scallops, mushrooms, lobster, salmon, chicken and more.

Carnivale in West Loop is hosting a totally 80s Murder Mystery night on Thursday, August 2, 6:30-9pm. Cocktails first, then dinner and show. Dress in your best ‘80s concert gear while you solve the crime with your friends. Poison Ratenstein is in town for a killer concert, but his fans may be looking for a refund after this twisted tour turns tragic with a murder and a mystery to solve.

Jake Melnick’s Chef Nick and the knowledgeable crew at Great Lakes Brewing present BEER & BBQ PAIRINGS: On Tuesday, August 21st, Chef Nick and the knowledgeable crew at Great Lakes Brewing are teaming up to bring diners an evening packed with Jake’s BBQ classics paired with top Great Lakes brews – an ale, a lager, a porter and more. Beginning at 6pm you can talk beer with a team of experts as they enjoy the evening’s spread inside Jake’s Keg Room. Tickets are $50 per person (tax & gratuity included). Sample menu items: Grilled Poncho Wings, BBQ Brisket Sliders, House-smoked Oktoberfest Braised Brats, Braised Pork Belly Crostini and Peanut Banana Cups. Reserve online or call 312-266-0400.

River Roast (315 N. LaSalle Street), known for elegant American tavern fare and breathtaking city and water views in River North, will host its very first ‘River Boil’ on Thursday, August 16. From 6–9pm guests will enjoy an eclectic outdoor feast on the veranda along the Chicago River. Selections will include a freshly shucked oyster bar and grilled oysters, housemade charcuterie and terrines, and a flavorful summer seafood boil featuring assorted seafood, housemade sausages and more. In true boil form, Miller High Life will be flowing as the beer of choice, and New Orleans-inspired cocktails will be poured. $50 per person (21 and over only). Purchase tickets here. Or call 312-822-0100.

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