Food Fun Friday

Food Fun Friday

This weekend is like Summer Purgatory! Last hurrah before Labor Day and college football starts in earnest, 2 weeks away from bear’s kicking the season off at home. But there is some cool stuff going on and coming up. I’ll be wandering the food truck event on Saturday sponsored by Timeout while soaking in the sun and gloating I don’t live in a hurricane zone.

Have a fun and safe weekend.

Newest Burger Bar
On August 29, Joe and Mac Boumaroun, brothers and restaurateurs best known for bringing Aladdin's Eatery to Chicago, will unveil the city's newest gourmet dining establishment,25 Degree -736 N. Clark, an upscale burger and wine bar. Located in Chicago's flourishing River North neighborhood, 25 Degrees puts a different twist on the traditional burger joint with the promise of an extraordinarily indulgent dining experience.

25 Degrees will be open on Sundays through Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; on Thursdays and Friday from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 3 a.m. Reservations will not be accepted, but large groups and parties are encouraged to call ahead.

Trump Freaky White Night Wine Dinner
Next month, Sixteen, the Michelin-rated dining destination at Trump International Hotel & Tower® Chicago, will host an unforgettable "Freaky White Night" wine dinner in partnership with Domaine Select Wine Estates which was named Food & Wine's 2010 American Wine Awards Importer of the Year. On Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 6:30 p.m., Beverage Director Rachael Lowe will welcome Domaine Select Representative Michael D'Amato - a self-proclaimed "wine freak" - and the pair will guide oenophiles through an exciting journey of seven hand-selected natural white wines that are uniquely created in accordance with celestial forces, including:

Sixteen's "Freaky White Night" dinner costs $150 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Space is limited. Reservations are required and may be made by sending an e-mail to

SushiSamba Brazilian Independence Day Celebration
SUSHISAMBA rio's pays homage to its culinary heritage by hosting a lively celebration to mark Brazil's Independence Day on Wednesday, September 7, 2011. The River North restaurant will feature a spectacular evening of Carnaval-costumed samba dancers and a live Brazilian band during performances that take place at 8 and 9 p.m.

Mercadito Celebrates Mexican Independence Day
To celebrate Mexican Independence Day, a holiday revered by Mexicans worldwide, Chef Patricio Sandoval of Mercadito(108 W. Kinzie St) will showcase his authentic recipes for the Mexican Independence Day Cooking Demonstration on Monday, September 12 from 6 to 9pm at Double A, located beneath Mercadito. Similar to the 4th of July, Mexico's Independence Day celebrations center around food. Chef Patricio will demonstrate how to make traditional celebratory dishes such as pozole soup and homemade fruit-filled tamales with the main event of a whole roasted suckling pig or lechón craved tableside for cooking demo guests. The cost is $55 per guest, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 312.329.9555.

Hawaiian Seafood Dinner at L2O
Tuesday, August 30, at 6:30 p.m.
In conjunction with the Supreme Lobster Company, seven of Chicago’s top chefs will create a seafood-filled menu, with proceeds benefiting the Hawaii Seafood Council. Chefs include:
Chefs Francis Brennan, Matthew Kirkley, and Stephanie Prida (L2O)
Chef Curtis Duffy (Avenues)
Chef Todd Stein (The Florentine)
Chef Paul Virant (Perennial Virant)
Chef Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia)
The evening starts with a cocktail reception and passed canapés at 6:30 p.m. The chefs will mingle with the guests until 7 p.m. when the dinner portion of the evening commences. The inspired multi-course menu with wine pairings will showcase each chef’s particular style while using seafood provided by Hawaii’s hard-working fisherman. The cost is $175 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required, and should be made by calling Meredith at 773-868-0002 or emailing

Sepia Wine Dinner
Sepia restaurant will be hosting on September 19. The Michelin star-rated restaurant is teaming up with Brooks Winery to present a four-course tasting menu paired with a unique lineup from the Oregon winery. The event will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner. The cost is $95 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 312.441.1920.

With summer coming to an end in the coming weeks, Chicago diners can look forward to bringing the party indoors at River North hot spot SUSHISAMBA rio (504 N. Wells Street). The restaurant, with its worldly cuisine continues the Sushi & Sake 101 series; the signature sushi and sake classes led by Sake Sommelier Hayes Swope. Guests can sample SUSHISAMBA's 60 plus sake offerings paired with delectable bites whilelearning the art of sushi and how to make it at home, led by Sushi Chef Shigeru Kitano.

Sushi & Sake 101 classes are held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. They are $75 per person and limited seating is available. Classes will be held on the following dates:
Tuesday, September 13
Tuesday, October 11
Tuesday, November 8
Tuesday, December 13
Reservations for Sushi & Sake 101 are recommended and can be made by calling the restaurant at 312.595.2300. Gift cards to classes are available for purchase at SUSHISAMBA rio.

Custom House
Summer Vacation Photo Contest
With August being the most popular vacation month, Custom House Tavern also announces a Facebook photo contest celebrating summer travel. The Custom House Tavern team wants to hear about guests' summer travels and dining adventures. All are invited to "like" the restaurant's Facebook page and share their favorite vacation photos on the wall. The fan whose photo has the most "likes" on August 31 will win an exclusive dinner for two prepared by Chef Hendrix. Entrants may submit up to three photos.

Hamburger Hop is BACK!
Tickets to the second annual Hamburger Hop - the kick off to Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet 2011: a celebration of food and wine - are now available at An ideal launch to a gourmet weekend, 15 of Chicago's top chefs will fire up their grills to compete in the Hamburger Hop, presented by Allen Brothers and MillerCoors' Blue Moon. This lively, interactive event - expected to draw1000 guests - will feature a panel of celebrity industry experts who will judge the juicy entries. Participants and judges to be announced soon.

Harris Theater Rooftop in Millennium Park
205 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601
Friday, September 23, 2011 from 6 to 9 p.m.
$89 per person, exclusive of taxes and fees. The Hamburger Hop is open to the public, and is ticketed separately from Chicago Gourmet and the Grand Cru. To purchase tickets and for more details, visit Attendees must be at least 21 years of age.

Mercadito Chicago Heats up Late Night with Taco Tues' & Agave Wednes'
Sizzling Summer Fiesta Starts after 9 P.M. with New Late Night Specials - When the sun sets on Chicago, the party at Mercadito (108 W. Kinzie St.) is just getting started. For partygoers looking to take advantage of summer nights, Mercadito introduces new late night specials of $2.75 Taco Tuesdays and Agave Wednesdays available after 9 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 312.929.9555.

Taco Tuesdays: Choose from 11 tempting taco varieties such as pescado, veracruzana, hongos, rajas, chorizo, pastor, camarón, carne, estilo baja, carnitas, and pollo for only $2.75 per taco after 9 p.m. (minimum order of 2; in restaurant only).

Agave Wednesdays: With approximately 125 tequilas on the menu ranging from Blancos, Reposados, Añejo, Extra Añejo and Mezcales, the knowledgeable Mercadito staff knows the different distinctions and taste tequila has to offer. Experts say that tequila offers more than 600 different flavors and aromas, and after 9 p.m. every Wednesday, guests will be guided through the tasting process by the educated staff with a complimentary small tasting of tequila. The tequila will change every week so guests can come back again and again for late night noshes and a 'spirited' education.

The Bedford
Rolling out two new weekly specials that are sure to cool cravings and start the summer off right! Whether you are looking for a drinks and light bites or a full dinner, The Bedford, will be offering unique weekly specials that are sure to please return customers or first timers alike.

Tuesday: Oysters and Bubbles
Looking for a romantic evening that won’t break the bank? Now perfectly paired with sparkling champagne. Expertly crafted by Executive Chef Mark Steuer, the oysters are made the “old-fashioned way” and are flavored with lemon and mignonette. For $25, couples or singles alike can enjoy a night of gossip, glamour, and romance… with bottomless glasses of bubbles and endless shells of oysters.

Wednesday: Farm Fresh Pre-Fixe
For the foodie fellow or dining darling, Wednesday’s at The Bedford are sure to please. Each Wednesday morning, Chef Steuer heads out to the local farms and farmer’s market to find what he will be cooking that night for dinner! Each pre-fixe menu will be offered for $25. The Bedford will announce via Twitter and Facebook what each Wednesday night menu will be…so, stay tuned to social media for those weekly updates on Twitter @thebedfordchi, or Facebook at

Joe Campagna is the Chicago Food Snob. A former restaurant General Manager, Server and Chef you can find him on twitter @chifoodsnob. You can reach him through email at Joe is retained as a compensated blogger by Pei Wei Asian Diner.


Leave a comment