Mac and Cheese Day – 7/14: Get cheesed with Spin Dip Mac at Jake Melnick’s. Jake’s Creamy house-made mac n’ cheese is tossed with their creamy spinach artichoke dip, topped with cheddar and Swiss cheese then baked until golden. Garnished with fresh tomato, Parmesan, pita chips and Sriracha crema.
Ice Cream Day – 7/19: Treat yourself to Jake Melnick’s Hot Fudge Sundae ($6.25) after a “fish” dinner.
The Asian B.L.T.T. is the perfect summer burger featuring a hand-packed Ahi Tuna burger, topped with smoked teriyaki bacon, wasabi ranch salad and crispy wontons. The salad is on the burger so it counts, right? BTW, July is Ice Cream Month so don’t hold yourself back from celebrating all month long!
International Chicken Wing Day – 7/29: Grab a basket of the Spicy Pina Colada Wings, the perfect celebration flavor. Jake’s jumbo wings are fried until crispy, tossed in their house-made spicy pina colada sauce and garnished with toasted coconut. Served with Ranch dressing.
Oh, and just in case you don’t have enough carbs, it’s also National French Fry day on Friday, 7/14. Jake’s will be selling $5 specialty baskets this Friday, the 14th including the Breakfast and Street Fries.
Never a shortage of fun places to go and things to do in Chicago in the summer. Check these out for now and later – and notice that a few of them have stuff going on TODAY!
Angelo’s Wine Bar, 3026 W. Montrose Ave., known inside for its rich, warm wood modern interior, now boasts a cozy, fairy-light illuminated patio where you can enjoy appetizers, pasta, pizza and small plates perfect for sharing with tablemates. From Burrata Mostarda ($14) and seasonal Spring Risotto ($16). Spaghetti generously tossed with Pecorino Romano cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano and olive oil. Pizzas, P.E.I. Mussels in Brodo ($10), Roasted Skin on Salmon ($14) and Smoked Bone in Short Rib ($19) are just a few entree items. Patio hours are 4-11pm M-Th and 11am-11pm F-Su.
TODAY: Angelo’s Wine Bar’s neighborhood block party with live music, food, games, complimentary beer and wine (while supplies last) to celebrating the community. Proceeds from the optional $5 cover will be donated for neighborhood improvement. 4–10:30pm Saturday, July 1, 2017. Free parking in the Angelo’s parking lot across the street.
Pitchfork Music Festival, July 14 to 16, welcomes some of the most trusted voices in music this year, with a lineup of not-to-miss sips and bites. While you’re there look for the John Dewar & Sons Traveling Whisky Emporium, the immersive, one-of-a-kind “whisky tiny house.” Taste specially-crafted DEWAR’S 12 Blended Scotch Whisky cocktails, tastings of unique single malts Aberfeldy and Craigellachie, and sample custom scotch eggs created by former Top Chef winner, Chef Michael Voltaggio.
FireFin Poké Shop, a fast-casual food concept, is opening its 4th location (with a few others under development). Open Monday – Friday at Ogilvie Train Station, the healthy and chef-driven restaurant will serve a limited menu featuring nine poké favorites, with customizable options available to foodies, busy commuters and Loop lunchers.
The Patio at Café Brauer’s Dog Days of Summer event on Sunday, July 23. Bring your pooch to the Lincoln Park Zoo’s al fresco restaurant and bar, overlooking the zoo’s scenic Nature Boardwalk, for a fun brunch fit for both you and your pup. There will be goody bags for the dogs and a kiddie pool available for the pups. And Cafe Brauer is a lovely place to enjoy the view and sip a glass of wine or a cocktail with your lunch or snack.
TODAY and Sunday, July 1 and 2, Skydeck Chicago opens one hour early, at 8am, to allow tourists and Chicagoans extra time to experience the spectacular views of up to 50 miles and four states from the 103rd floor of Willis Tower. Imagine snapping an Instagram sensation on the projecting glass boxes known as The Ledge that is 1,353 feet up and extends 4.3 feet out from the skyscraper. Skydeck Chicago attracts more than 1.7 million visitors annually; it’s an ideal family activity for those looking for a fun outing this holiday weekend.
Furious Spoon Ramen Shop, known for handmade noodles at its multiple locations around Chicago, brings back for the month of July the chance for you to eat your way through the menu of ramen bowls. All You Can Eat Ramen for just $18 means you can eat as many bowls as you like during 1 visit (no sharing allowed). The promotion is valid at all locations, during all business hours. Guests who eat 5+ bowls will win a $25 gift card and be entered to win a hands-on noodle class for 4 (valued at nearly $500).
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)
Okay, spring is here for sure and tomorrow’s the first big day to celebrate. My daughter’s been giving an annual Derby party for some years now, and Kentucky ain’t got nothin’ on us. Everybody loves dressing up in outrageous hats and fancy duds, drinking champagne, juleps and whatever, and picking horses by lottery.
But whether you study racing stats and place big bets, or you just love looking at those gorgeous horses, the Kentucky Derby is always an excellent excuse to go out and imbibe and eat with friends. And in Chicago there’s never a shortage of places to do that. Here are a few to consider for your drinking and dining pleasure:
Brando’s Speakeasy & The Essaness Room, 343 S Dearborn St., Monday, May 1 through Saturday, May 6, from 3pm: $6 Mint Juleps and FREE fried chicken. on Derby Day (May 6) beginning at 6pm (while supplies last).
Commonwealth Tavern Roscoe Village, 2000 W. Roscoe St., Saturday, May 6, open at 10am, drink specials $2, $4 and $6 Win Place Show special all day featuring $2 14-ounce Miller Lite drafts, $4 Blue Moon pints and $6 Buffalo Trace Mint Juleps. $7 to $14 food specials include a Kentucky Hot Brown (smoked turkey, bacon, tomato, parmesan, beer cheese, sourdough; $14). Watch the race on eight TVs including a 70-inch plasma.
Easy Bar, 1944 W. Division St., Saturday, May 6, from 3pm, $8 cocktail specials and a special Basil Mint Julep for $10 all day (while supplies last). Watch live coverage on TV.
Estelle’s, 2013 W. North Ave., Saturday, May 6, open at 5pm, $8 Mint Juleps. Plus get $1 off your first drink if you’re wearing a derby hat.
Kanela Breakfast Club, Saturday, May 6 from 7am to 3pm, $6 Mint Juleps and complimentary starters. Derby attire gets you a complimentary starter to share.* Kanela’s starter options include the Kanela Roll, Monkey Bread, Loukoumades, Chia Seed Pudding, Potato Pancakes, Mac and Cheese, Greek Yogurt, and Steel Cut Oatmeal. Locations – Andersonville: 5413 N. Clark St., Lakeview: 3231 N. Clark St; Old Town: 1552 N. Wells St.; Streeterville: 502 E. Illinois; Wicker Park: 1048 N. Milwaukee Ave. *Parties of two or more only. One per table.
Remedy Bar, 1910 N. Milwaukee, Saturday, May 6, from 4pm, $8 to $9 drink specials. $8 Maker’s Mark Mint Juleps as well as complimentary Kentucky Burgoo (traditional stew). Anyone dressed in derby hats or attire will receive $1 off drinks. Sound on!
Roanoke Restaurant, 135 W. Madison St. Saturday, May 6, from 10am. $18 to $22 food specials including a Hot Brown (rotisserie turkey, thick sliced house cured bacon, hearth toasted brioche, veal demi glaze, fried egg), Burgoo (confit of duck, rotisserie pork shoulder, rotisserie chicken, lima bean puree, wilted red cabbage, roast potatoes, Cipollini onions, carrots, tomato sauce and beef broth), Country Ham Sliders (house made buttermilk biscuits served with thick sliced true Southern-style country ham, oregano and orange butter, blackberry country mustard) as well as individual Bourbon Pecan Pies.
Tavern On Little Fort, 4128 N. Lincoln Ave., $7 Buffalo Trace Mint Juleps and $6 Kentucky Mules (Moscow Mule with bourbon). TVs in the bar and beer garden (weather permitting) with the sound on. “Best Derby Hat” contest. Large groups can book parties in the Beer Garden which accommodates up to 68 guests.
Firecakes Donuts will operate for two months a pop-up donut counter inside Lou & Grey, the contemporary women’s apparel store at 3442 N. Southport Ave. Locals and visitors alike are finding it a place to grab a great cup of coffee and a fabulous donut. Or visit Firecakes Lincoln Park store, 2453 N. Clark St. or its Hubbard Street location, 68 W Hubbard St.
Firecakes Donuts also operates a Donut Truck in the Loop on weekday mornings and, in season, in the evenings and on weekends at various neighborhoods around Chicago. The Donut Truck also can be booked from private events and catering; please call 312-329-6500 for more information. Delivery, catering and pre-orders are available. Please place orders by 3 p.m. for next day pickup or Chicagoland delivery. Firecakes also serves a giant birthday cake donut that serves 2-3 people and an ice cream donut sandwich. Firecakes Donuts serves coffee from La Colombe Roasters. Major cards are accepted. For more information, please call the stores at 312-329-6500 (W. Hubbard St.) and 773-666-5277 (N. Clark St.)
Weber Grill Restaurant, 539 N. State St. (also Lombard, Schaumburg, Indianapolis), on Easter Sunday (April 16th) offers grownups traditional holiday favorites, plus either Mimosa ($7) or Backyard Bloody Mary (Absolut vodka, housemade bloody Mary mix served with smoked sausage & Gouda skewer and a mini backyard brew 10.5). Along with their brunch plate, kids get Easter eggs filled with candy and special treats.
Brunch “A-la-carte” Features Served Until 2:00pm – Grilled Steak & Eggs Southwest Style Skirt Steak and Eggs Any Style Guajillo Salsa, Breakfast Potatoes ($17.50); Chocolate Cherry Pretzel Bread French Toast Fresh Strawberries, Whipped Cream ($10.50); Double Smoked Bourbon Glazed Ham Benedict, hollandaise, toasted English muffin grilled asparagus, breakfast potatoes ($14); Kid’s Brunch Plate (Twelve & Under), choice of scrambled eggs or pretzel bread French toast ($6.50).
Weber’s fullDinner Menu served all day plus two specials: House Smoked Bourbon Glazed Ham, horseradish cream sauce, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus ($16); and Wood-Roasted Leg of Lamb, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus, rosemary jus ($20).
Snap Kitchen is excited to introduce three internationally inspired dishes, each boasting a unique primary health benefit. With an obsession for food innovation and believing that eating healthy should be really fun, Snap Kitchen was inspired to create three incredible new Bowls with Benefits, available in store or for delivery. The product of the collaboration between Snap Kitchen’s research and development chefs and dietitian, each bowl is based on a super-flavorful take on cauliflower rice, topped with nutrient-rich ingredients. The lineup includes a Whole30-approved bowl and vegan option.
The Tex-Mex Chicken Bowl is Snap Kitchen’s take on the classic burrito bowl, with anti-inflammatory ingredients and superfoods like turmeric and spirulina for a whole new spin. The Tex-Mex bowl contains:
Spanish cauliflower rice with a smoky flavor from smoked paprika and mega anti-inflammatory benefits from turmeric;
spirulina crema made from cashew, avocado, and spirulina that offers up healthy fats and B vitamins;
topped with fajita veggies and chicken, and homemade red salsa.
Meatball & Kimchi Stir Fry Bowl with natural probiotics and nourishing prebiotics to get your gut in check. This bowl features:
kimchi fried rice made from cauliflower rice stir fried with fresh garlic, ginger, and kimchi;
grass-fed beef meatballs made with sautéed ginger, onion, and mushrooms for a tender texture and veggie bonus;
kimchi with fermented cabbage and sea vegetables featuring naturally occurring probiotics;
plus organic edamame, stir fried veggies, and ginger sesame vinaigrette.
Packed with plant-based ingredients full of antioxidants, the Mediterranean Mezze Bowl is the most beauty-full meal at Snap Kitchen yet. This bowl features:
kale and cauliflower tabbouleh with zucchini, onion, jalapeno, and garlic;
golden turmeric chickpeas full of nutrients from turmeric, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast;
vegan tzatziki that starts with cashew crema with chopped cucumber, lemon zest, mint, and dill for a tangy addition to the bowl’s flavor lineup;
beet hummus full of nutrients like betalains with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification benefits that give your skin a healthy glow;
plus roasted red bell pepper and eggplant, and Kalamata olives.
Order ahead or get them for delivery on the new Snap Kitchen app for iOS– it’s a beautiful app with full color pics that’ll make you even hungrier.
One blazing-hot late morning, many summers ago, one of my then-husband’s acquaintances stopped by our house – probably to borrow a tool or something. I reflexively offered him a beer. He looked somewhat aghast and said, “Well I don’t think the sun is over the yardarm yet.”
I looked back at him with my eyebrows scrunched together in confusion. I said “What the heck is a yard arm?” (See here for the origin of the expression.) He told me, and I snorted a little bit. “Hey,” I said, “I’m Irish. We don’t even know where the yardarm is.”
You won’t, therefore, be surprised to learn that my dad loved his shot-and-a-beer boilermakers. And what more perfect combination for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day?
Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey is on an educational “D.E.W. and a Brew Tour” multi-city adventure to educate drinkers on how different beers complement the malty and sweet flavors of Tullamore D.E.W., the second largest Irish whiskey producer in the world.
Sponsored by Time Out North America, the tour helps consumers appreciate the joys of sipping an Irish whiskey alongside a beer. Partners include Time Out, the trusted global brand for inspiring and enabling people to make the most of their city, and a dynamic group of independent breweries across the country. Below are the three Chicago spots where you can hunker down with D.E.W. specials and be part of the fun:
aliveOne Bar comes alive in a few new ways this month. Every Sunday beginning February 19, aliveOne will host Living Room Sessions, an open mic comedy event from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Amateur comedians who want a shot at the stage can sign up starting at 5:30 p.m.
6 pm to 1 am
Free to attend; $4 to $5 drink specials
Following Living Room Sessions, Dead Comedy at aliveOne will kick off at 10 p.m. featuring a two-hour stand up showcase with some of Chicago’s best comics. Sunday specials will include $4 Temperance brews, $5 Absolut Bloody Mary’s and FREE pool.
aliveOne and Bell’s Brewery will host a Hopslam Ale tapping on Wednesday, February 22; Hopslam beers are $7 all night.
Wednesday, February 22
5 pm to close
Free to attend; $7 Hopslam beers
Every weekday from 5 to 7 pm, aliveOne’s Happy Hour features half-price beer and cocktails.
And when you’re in the mood for old-school classic house music, aliveOne welcomes “Gramophone Records Presents – Clark St. Jams” in the back room starting 10 pm. No cover charge. How cool is that?
Fifolet to Host Four-Day Mardi Gras Celebration
Since we can’t all make it to Bourbon St. for Mardi Gras, Fifolet Cajun & Cocktails will be bringing the famous New Orleans festival to you right here in Chicago. Starting on Saturday, February 25th, the new Wicker Part restaurant and bar will be ground zero for all things Mardi Gras. Four days of festivities will include everything from live music, Hurricane cocktails and face painting to authentic Creole/Cajun food specials, limited edition beers from New Orleans’ favorite brewery, Abita, and more.
Saturday, February 25, 5:00 pm – 2:00 am. 30¢ Beer Flights for 30 Minutes. For one night only, guests can enjoy 30¢ Abita beer flights for a period of 30 minutes. Guests will have the chance to partake in this promotion two times throughout the evening.
Taste of New Orleans. Executive Chef Kevin Crouse has created a special menu designed to allow guests to get a real taste of the Big Easy. Dishes on the Taste of New Orleans menu are available in half size portions to allow diners to taste as much as they want. In addition to signature menu items like Gumbo and Jambalaya, the following specials will be available:
Red Beans and Rice, Slow-Cooked Red Beans | Smoked Pork | Andouille | Herbed Wh.te Rice. Mac & Cheese. Pimentos | Peas | Wild Boar Bacon. Shrimp and Grits – Creamy Stone-Ground Grits | Andouille | Shallots | Garlic | Brussels Leaves | Cherry Tomato | Rich Shellfish Broth. King Cake – Cinnamon Swirl | Mardi Gras Icing *with hidden baby toy. Beverage pairings of Cognac Flights ($15) and Abita Beer Flights ($12) will be available to round out your dining experience. Enjoy Chicago’s largest selection of Abita Brewing Company beers,
Then come to join Abita Brewing Company’s Official Mardi Gras Party at Fifolet, where they proudly host the party for New Orleans’ favorite brewery! $4 Purple Haze | $4 Light | $4 Mardi Gras Bock
Find the Abita rep at the party and your first beer is on him/her. And party to one of Chicago’s best New Orleans-style bands, Four Star Brass Band, all evening long.
Fifolet will offer a family-friendly environment from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Kids are invited to partake in face painting and non-alcoholic Abita Root Beers. Face painting, 5pm to 8pm. Local artist Amanda Cohen will paint the fun-loving faces of Fat Tuesday party-goers. Can’t decide on a design? Look to one of the many Mardi Gras masks that line the walls of Fifolet for some colorful inspiration!