Dog Days of Spring Fun

I'm not sure about anyone else but I really need this weather to make up its mind. I had a chance to try the new Share Our Strength Tacos at Mercadito. The "firecracker by Chef Rodelio Aglibot- the Food Buddha - was AWESOME! It'll be on the menu next month and worth a trip or two in! Trump Rebar also will be changing its sushi lineup - the crab claws were killer. I could eat a bucket full.

The events seem to be waning. An early spring slump of what is going on but I know it will pick up with Easter coming. None of my Lenten promises are ats stake but I'm ok with not being so gluttonous.

Have a safe and fun weekend hope no one's brackets are in too bad of a shape.

Earth Hour at Markethouse
On Saturday, March 26 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Executive Chef Scott Walton of Markethouse (611 N. Fairbanks Ct.), a farm-to-table restaurant celebrating the flavors from America's heartland, will honor Earth Hour by turning down the lights and inviting guests to enjoy a delicious, five-course spring dinner menu in candlelight with live acoustic music by Anthony Millincamp.

The Earth Hour menu is $45 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Additional dinner menu options will also be offered. Reservations are recommended and may be made by calling 312.224.2200

DMK - 365 Days of Giving Program
DMK will be selling $2 raffle tickets for a chance to win two hot V.I.P. golden tickets to 3 Floyds Brewery's Dark Lord Day in Munster, Indiana. The event takes place on April 30 and is the only day of the year when 3 Floyds sells its extremely rare Russian Imperial Stout. It's a beer enthusiast's dream filled of great brews, music and BBQ.

As if this wasn't enough, DMK is bringing back those tasty sweet potato tots back by popular demand that cost $4.

All proceeds of the tickets and tots will go to the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center that provides care to approximately 58,000 enrolled veterans who reside in the City of Chicago and Cook County, Illinois, and in four counties in northwestern Indiana. Their outreach campaign informs veterans about the health care benefits they have earned through their service to our country and the specific services available to them at Jesse Brown VAMC.

Calling all Mixologists!!!
National Restaurant Association invites professional and amateur mixologists to step out from behind the bar and into the spotlight for the Star of the Bar competition at the 2011 International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event (IWSB).  This nationwide search for the country's most creative cocktail will start online with video submissions, then bring the finalists to Chicago to compete live for the Star of the Bar title and $5,000 grand prize.

Held May 22-23 at Chicago's McCormick Place, IWSB is the restaurant and hospitality industry's only event focused exclusively on improving restaurant and hospitality bar programs. Interested individuals should submit on YouTube™ a 2-minute video of themselves preparing their best signature cocktail by 11:50 p.m. Central Daylight Time on April 1. The contestant must complete the entry form on www.winespiritsbeer.org and include the original written recipe and must use at least one product from the Bacardi portfolio.

Voting will take place on www.winespiritsbeer.org through Monday, April 11, 2011 until 5 p.m. Central Daylight Time. Six semi-finalists will be flown to Chicago to mix, stir and shake their signature cocktail at the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event on Sunday, May 22, 2011.

Pizzeria Via Stato
620 N. State, 312-642-8450
Just Bring Me Lunch! -- Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Pizzeria Via Stato is pleased to announce Just Bring Me Lunch, a quick, three-course menu option designed to provide a satisfying, delicious meal in a hurry, available Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., for only $9.95 per person. Just Bring Me Lunch includes a cup of the soup of the day, choice of sandwich on warm, crusty baquette and for dessert, chocolate tart. For only $4 more guests can get one of our thin-crust, tavern-style pizzas instead of the sandwich.

Taste of the Tap
Taste of Tap event, hosted by the Midwest Regional Office of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF on March 26 at the Kenmore Live Studio. The event will showcase an all-star cast of executive chefs: Tru's Gale Gand, Zed 451's Patrick Justice and Nacional 27's Tim Hockett. Proceeds from the evening will benefit UNICEF's water and sanitation programs and the effort to bring clean, accessible water to the world's children.  Throughout the night, the chefs will feature key ingredients from all three beneficiary countries: Vietnam, Togo and Central African Republic.

Tickets are $50 for adv purchase or $75 at the door.
Tickets are available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/155269

Easter Goodies

Bunnies from a GREAT local business
In all their glittering glory, truffle truffle's bunnies are hopping on to the sweet scene just in time for Easter. An artisanal chocolate and confections company, chef/owner Nicole Greene has reinvented the beloved bunny-shaped marshmallow by creating Boozy Bunnies, a fluffy treat in four adult flavors to upgrade Easter baskets everywhere. The four glittery goodies are inspired by classic cocktails and will arrive in a decorative wooden container complete with paper grass. The Boozy Bunnies, available for $15 for a set of four, may be purchased online at www.truffletruffle.com beginning Sunday, March 27 through Wednesday, April 27.

Easter Brunch
On Sunday, April 24, Sixteen - the stylish, modern American restaurant at Trump International Hotel & Tower® Chicago (410 N. Wabash Ave., 16th Floor) - will present a spirited Easter brunch created by Executive Chef Frank Brunacci from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The holiday festivities at the downtown Chicago hotel promise an especially entertaining afternoon for children, who will be greeted by the Easter Bunny and receive their own basket to fill with eggs and housemade candy during a lively Easter egg hunt, which will begin at 11:30 a.m.

The cost is $115 for adults and $25 for children (under 8 years of age) exclusive of alcohol, tax, and gratuity. Sixteen will also be open for Easter dinner from 6 to 9:30 p.m., and guests can choose to mark the holiday with one of Chef Brunacci's unique tasting experiences or order from the restaurant's seasonal a la carte menu.

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