Food Fun Friday

Food Fun Friday
Courtesy Mary Meyer Photography

Is summer here already? I like how we have two seasons now Summer and kinda, sorta Winter! If you haven’t seen the new space at the Four Seasons for Allium head over it looks modernized and Chef Kevin Hickey has always been able to throw down some great food. I’m hoping to hit some other fun spots soon as well. I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s post with Ina Pinkney, so much fun to write.

Hope you all have a fun weekend planned.

During World Water Week, March 19 to 25, restaurants in Chicago will participate in the UNICEF Tap Project – an annual nationwide campaign to provide clean water to children around the world. Patrons of participating restaurants are invited to donate $1 or more for the tap water they usually enjoy for free in an effort to reduce the number of children at risk of waterborne illnesses; the second highest cause of preventable childhood deaths globally – killing nearly 4,000 children every day.

UNICEF Tap Project Volunteers in Chicago will be supporting efforts by conducting local fundraising events and activities throughout the month of March. Taste of Tap will bring together local Chicago chefs, including Crux's Brandon Baltzley, Sprout's Dale Levitski Centered Chef's Ryan Hutmacher and A Razor, A Shiny Knife for a night of food, drinks and fun on March 23 at 7 p.m. The evening’s activities at Centered Chef Studio will also include live cooking demonstrations and a silent auction.

Purchase Taste of Tap tickets at For more information or to register as a volunteer with Tap Project visit

GCM Junior Board and Sepia present Growing Power’s Winter Market Menu on Wednesday, March 28, 6:30pm in the Private Dining by Sepia, 135 N. Jefferson St, Chicago. Cost for the event is $115 per person, inclusive of tax, gratuity and donation to Green City Market

This multi-course dinner will spotlight winter products from numerous local farms, including a broad variety of ingredients from Growing Power and additional items from Genesis Growers, Mint Creek, and Seedling Farms, with a portion of proceeds benefitting Green City Market.

The evening will begin with a welcome reception at 6:30 p.m., featuring cocktails from Head Bartender Josh Pearson and hors d'oeuvres. A multi-course dinner will follow, crafted by Chef Zimmerman and featuring produce and ingredients sourced from Green City Market vendors. For reservations, please call Sepia at (312) 441-1920 for reservations.

In advance of grilling season, Executive Chef Scott Walton of Markethouse Restaurant and Bar (611 N. Fairbanks) will introduce his new line of made-to-order sausages, bacons, pâtés, and mustards. The carry-out menu is inspired by Markethouse’s farm-to-table philosophy, as well as the need for a quality selection of meats to be cooked at home. For Walton, the housemade sausage program is a natural extension of his commitment to providing quality ingredients like the use of his rooftop garden and dependence on local purveyors.

The made-to-order sausage menu, available for viewing on on April 1, will be offered seven days a week during the restaurant’s normal business hours. Markethouse requests that customers place their orders at least 48 hours in advance by e-mailing

New Southern, Biodynamic Dinner
As Chef Art Smith has embraced a healthier style of cooking and a fitness-focused lifestyle, he’s been on the vanguard of a New Southern cuisine. This April sixteenth, Table Fifty-Two invites you to enjoy five courses of new and healthier takes on traditional Southern cuisine paired with six different biodynamic wines by wine director Mark Gallagher.

Courses will include Smoked Trout to start, paired with Leclerc Briant, “Cuvee Extra”, Brut, Champagne NV and Filet of Tenderloin with the first Spring mushrooms and berries paired with a duo of Chateau La Roque Pic Saint Loup Rouge, Languedoc 2007 and Nicolas Joly “Clos de la Bergerie” Chenin Blanc, Loire 2007.
Come celebrate the start of Spring and all the bounty of vegetables and fruits soon coming to the farmer's market with wines produced in the most natural way possible, including a stunner from the founder of Biodynamic practice.

Table Fifty-Two, 52 West Elm Street, Chicago, Monday April 16th, 7 PM, $90. Per guest inclusive. Make reservations by calling (312) 573-4000

A new dinner game will be born on Wednesday, April 11 at 6:30pm, when Henri (18 S. Michigan Ave.) invites adventurous diners to witness Chicago's finest bartenders and Executive Chef Dirk Flanigan participate in Le Mysterieux Festin, which is an innovative evening of culinary roulette that presents a five-course Grand Tasting of cocktails and cuisine.

Prior to the one-of-a-kind affair, Henri Spirits Director Clint Rogers and co-Host Eric Hay (Wirtz Beverage) will invite Bartenders Ronnie Higgins (Bangers and Lace), Kris Von Dopek (Duchamp), Luke LeFiles (Hot Chocolate), Mike Page (Vie), and Josh Pearson (Sepia) to select one ingredient at random from hundreds of options to serve as a featured element of their cocktail. Their chosen ingredient will also determine the flavor profile that Chef Flanigan must feature in that specific course's dish. While both parties will know the secret ingredient they have in common, neither will learn how the other plans to utilize it until the pairing comes together. The evening's menu will reflect this lottery of ingredients, where the winning combination of flavor profiles will be a true testament to the talents behind the bar and in the kitchen. 

Henri's Le Mysterieux Festin costs $100 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity, which includes hors d'oeuvres and the five-course dinner with cocktail pairings. Seating is limited to 60 guests.  Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling 312.578.0763 or by visiting

In October 2011, the owner of Barrio Urban Taqueria, Dorian Menchaca, began decorating his restaurant with canvas art from close friend and well known tattoo artist, Tony Reyes. The artwork depicted “Dia de los Muertos” or “Day of the Dead” with a funky-style, bright colors, intricate skulls and detailed flowers.  Tony’s artwork instantly became a hit at the restaurant and now, five months later, guests can still see the original pieces from “Dia de los Muertos” plus Tony’s most recent work flanking the walls of Barrio.

Tony’s newest endeavor is a clothing line to add to his already popular Ready2Die brand which includes custom footwear, tattoos and paintings. The new clothing line will make its Chicago launch at Barrio where guests can meet and mingle with Tony and view and purchase his unique products. Guests attending the launch will also have the chance to sample some of Barrio’s signature passed appetizers and margaritas- chicken and vegetable sopes, quesadillas, guacamole, Rehab Margarita, Smokey Roja Margarita and the Diversey Pkwy Margarita.

Monday, April 9, 5-7 p.m.
The event is complimentary.  Tony’s pieces start at $50 and up.
Barrio Urban Taqueria, 714 W. Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614 -- 773-360-8316
Reservations are required.

Meatless Friday for Lent
Once Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 22, it is a quiet and calm time filled with customary food and family gatherings. At Rio’s D’Sudamerica, guests can enjoy some of the traditional Lent specials with a focus on a popular grain, Quinoa, which originated in Peru. Wednesday, February 22 and every Friday through April 6. Rio’s D’Sudamerica, 2010 W. Armitage, Chicago, IL 60647, 773-276-0170

The menu at Sabor Saveur boasts delicious fish and seafood dishes throughout the year, so during Lent season, Chef Yanitzin Sanchez enjoys adding specials that guests can enjoy throughout the winter and spring. This year, Chef Yanitzin will offer one appetizer and two entrees that are perfect for honoring Lent. Wednesday, February 22 and every Friday evening through April 6. Sabor Saveur, 2013 West Division, Chicago, IL 60622, 773-235-7310

Traditionally, the 40 days of Lent are honored with food and celebrations along with meatless meals on Ash Wednesday and every Friday and Saturday through Good Friday. Available daily at both suburban locations, guests can observe Lent at Pinstripes with meatless options from the regular menu along with Fish Fry Fridays! Wednesday, February 22 through Friday, April 6. Available for both lunch and dinner.
Pinstripes Northbrook, 1150 Willow Road, Northbrook, IL 60062, 847-480-2323
Pinstripes South Barrington, 100 West Higgins Road, South Barrington, IL 60010, 847-844-9300

Passover Deals
This Passover, gather your family and friends and feast at Glenview House during the seven-day Jewish holiday. Chef Grant Slauterbeck will feature four Passover specials including his house made matzah, a traditional unleavened bread eaten during the holiday. The specials will be available all week for dine-in or carryout.

  • Matzah ball soup with house made matzah $4
  • Chicken liver pate $9
  • Sweet & slow brisket with roasted new potato, cauliflower, and apple jus $16
  • Blueberry and apple crisp $6

Saturday, April 7 through Friday, April 13
Glenview House, 1843 Glenview Road, Glenview, IL 60025 -- 847-724-0692

Don’t Be Plagued By Seder
Does the gathering of a Seder plate make you sweat? Would crossing the Red Sea seem easier that preparing gefilte fish and brisket? Make this night different from all others with The Goddess and Grocer’s Passover catering menu. From the Kiddush and Karpas to the anticipated search for the Afikoman, The Goddess has it covered. From Thursday, April 5 to Sunday, April 15, The Goddess offers everything from a fully stocked Seder plate to new ideas for unleavened dishes. Highlights of the menu include:

  • Soups and Appetizers: Chicken and Matzo Ball Soup (6.00/pint), Potato or Sweet Potato Latkes (6/15.00), Balsamic vegetable platter (45.00)
  • Salads: Chopped salad (36.00), Cucumber salad (7.50/pint)
  • Main Courses: Braised Beef Brisket (18.00/lb), Matzo Crusted Chicken Breast (9.50/ea), Matzo Lasagna vegetarian available (50.00/half pan)
  • Sides: Sweet potato kugel (30.00/pan), Tzimmes (9.00/lb), Honey Glazed Carrots (7.50/lb)
  • Desserts: Flourless chocolate decadence cake (50.00), Coconut macaroons (6/15.00)
  • Wine: We carry Ricanati Sauvignon Blanc/Riesling and Cabernet/Merlot, which are both Kosher for Passover. (12.00-14.00)

All items on The Goddess and Grocer’s Passover catering menu will be for sale in-store at its three locations (Gold Coast – 25 E. Delaware, Bucktown – 1646 N. Damen and Elston – 2222 N. Elston) from Thursday, April 5 through Sunday, April 15. Orders must be placed 48 hours in advance. The complete menu is available here. Orders can be made by calling (773) 292-7100 or emailing A credit card is required to secure orders. Delivery is available for an additional fee.

Don't passover Seder this year, let Feast Restaurant + Bar in the Gold Coast host your first or second night meal! From the Seder plate to gefilte fish and brisket, Feast invites guests to bring their Haggadah and sit back, relax and enjoy Passover without all of the work. The prix-fixe menu (45.00 per person, minimum group of 4) offers the traditional appetizers: Seder Plate (available for the first two nights) Chopped Liver, Gefilte Fish and Chicken Matzo Ball Soup. The entrees, red wine braised brisket, roasted chicken and sautéed whitefish are served family style and guests can choose from chocolate nemesis cake, lemon tart or chocolate ganache cheesecake for dessert.

For those looking for just a taste of Passover, the menu will also be available a la carte. Prices exclude tax and gratuity. Kosher for Passover wine will also be available for purchase. Both the prix-fixe and a la carte menus will be available from Friday, April 6th until Saturday, April 14th at Feast Gold Coast. Reservations are highly recommended for the prix-fixe dinner. The complete menu is available here. Reservations can be made by calling (312) 337-4001 or visiting

From house made traditional dishes to welcoming families to have their own Seder dinner at the restaurant on April 6 and 7, Steve's Deli has your Passover holiday covered. Leave it to Steve’s Deli in the River North neighborhood of Chicago to give four alternate ways to get a delicious Passover meal on the table with absolutely no cooking by anyone but Steve’s. This Passover, April 6 and 7, 2012 you’ll find everything from house made apple walnut charoset, matzo balls, gefilte fish, roast brisket of beef, roasted lemon chicken to Steve’s popular chocolate banana cake. 

  • Delivery: Got a crowd? Steve’s will deliver everyone’s favorite Passover dishes right to your door. Just give Steve’s a call at least 24 hours in advance, place your order, and we’ll arrange a time to have your meal delivered.
  • Pre-Order/Pick-up: Pre-ordering is recommended for more than 5 people. Place your order and Steve’s will have it ready for you to pick-up. Order from our Passover menu any time up to 24 hours before you want to pick it up. Drive up to our door and somebody will be there to bring your order right to your car.
  • Carry Out: Steve’s Deli counters will be filled to the brim with all the dishes on our Passover menu. Stop by, select your favorites and enjoy.
  • Dine-in: Steve’s encourages friends and family to enjoy the traditions of the Seder dinner right in the restaurant. Since we opened, families have felt comfortable having their own Seders. And diners are welcome to bring their own Seder plates. They can read from the Haggadah, pass the Seder plate and enjoy all the traditional dishes served to them tableside. Reservations are strongly recommended!

Passover Menu:'sChicago%20Passover%20Menu%20&%20cover2012.pdf

Steve’s Deli extended hours: Friday April 6, from 9 AM to 8 PM and Saturday April 7 from 9 AM to 8 PM
Curbside pick-up: Orders must be placed a minimum of 24 hours in advance. Pick-ups are scheduled in 2-hour time slots.

Steve’s Deli -- 354 West Hubbard, between Orleans and Kingsbury
phone: 312-467-6868
fax: 312-467-6872

Leave the Hunting to the Kids
On Easter Sunday there’s enough on any host’s plate without worrying about what to serve their guests! Between hiding eggs, assembling baskets and convincing Uncle Joe to dress up as the bunny, the to do list can be extensive. This year, let The Goddess and Grocer spring new life into your Easter meal. Highlights of the menu include:

  • Brunch: Frittata Breakfast or Vegetarian style (45.00), French Toast Bananas Foster (45.00), Breakfast Beads Banana or Zucchini (16.00)
  • Appetizers: Easter Platter (75.00), Baked Brie (45.00), Devilled Eggs (9.00/dozen)
  • Salads/Sides: Spring Pasta Salad (45.00), Creamy Scalloped Potatoes (6.50/lb), Baby Carrots with Mint and Honey (6.50/lb)
  • Main Courses: Spiral Cut Country Ham (55.00), Salmon En Croute (12.50/ea)
  • Desserts: Easter Basket (55.00 /75.00), Spring Decorated Cupcakes (21.00/6)
  • Whole Cakes: Strawberry Lemon Cake (45.00/65.00), Coconut Cream Cake (45.00/65.00)

All items on The Goddess and Grocer’s Easter catering menu will be for sale in-store at its three locations (Gold Coast – 25 E. Delaware; Bucktown – 1646 N. Damen; and Elston – 2222 N. Elston) from Friday, April 6 through Sunday, April 8. Orders must be placed by Tuesday, April 3 at 3pm. The complete menu is available here. Orders can be made by calling (773) 292 7100 or emailing A credit card is required to secure orders. Delivery is available for an additional fee.

On Sunday, April 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Executive Chef Thomas Lents will present a sophisticated, yet spirited Easter brunch celebration at Sixteen - the chic, fine dining restaurant at Trump International Hotel & Tower® Chicago (410 N. Wabash Ave., 16th Floor). While gourmands delight over the afternoon's lavish spread, Sixteen's younger diners will revel in lively entertainment, featuring a festive Easter egg hunt, complimentary photo shoots with the Easter Bunny, and a petting zoo featuring adorable ducks, chicks, and other cute farm animals.

Sixteen's Easter brunch costs $125 for adults and $35 for children (under 8 years of age) exclusive of alcohol, tax, and gratuity. Sixteen will also be open for Easter dinner from 5:30 to 10 p.m., and guests can choose to mark the holiday with one of Chef Lents' exciting tasting experiences or order from the restaurant's seasonal a la carte menu.

Reservations are highly recommended for both Easter brunch and dinner and may be made by calling 312.588.8030.

On Easter Sunday, April 8th, The Signature Room at the 95th enhances this family holiday experience with two dining options. First, from 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., the talented culinary team provides a delicious array of locally-sourced selections for a memorable hybrid brunch feast – one that allows guests to indulge in enticing starters and desserts from the buffet, and individual plated entrees served at the table for a truly sophisticated feast. During the Hybrid Brunch Buffet, live piano music provides a festive air and from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., the Easter Bunny hops in to greet kids of all ages. A second option offered from 6-10 p.m. allows guests to choose from the classic a la carte dinner menu while enjoying the sparkling city views high above the Magnificent Mile.

For children, favorites including chicken fingers, mac and cheese shells and buttered broccoli will be served. All children go home with a goodie bag prepared by The Signature Room’s heralded Pastry Chef.

THE SIGNATURE ROOM: 875 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Easter Hybrid Brunch Buffet Hours: Served 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Easter Bunny Visiting Hours: 11 a.m.– 3 p.m. All children take home a goodie bag prepared by The Signature Room’s Pastry Chef.
Price: Adults: $65.00; Children (4-12 years old): $25.00; Under 3, Free
Easter Evening Dinner: Served 6 p.m. – 10 p.m., featuring the classic a la carte menu
Reservations recommended: 312-787-9596 or via

Bring in the family and celebrate Easter with a traditional Peruvian feast. Rio’s D’Sudamerica will be offering a Sunday lunch buffet which will include many of Peru’s most popular dishes. The buffet comes complete with eight main dishes, side items and a signature dessert traditionally served on the holiday. The lunch buffet will take place on Sunday, April 8, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and is priced at $23 per person (not including tax and gratuity).

Rio’s D’Sudamerica, 2010 W. Armitage, Chicago, IL 60647

As Spring returns so does the popular weekend brunch menu at Sabor Saveur created by Chef Yanitzin Sanchez. Guests are sure to welcome the homecoming of Chef Yanitzin’s brunch menu, combining traditional Mexican dishes with her classic French influences and touches. Sunday brunch menu items begin at $16.95 per person and include coffee, buñuelos (cinnamon crisps) and choice of entrée. Brunch returns on Easter Sunday, April 8 and will continue every Saturday and Sunday following.

Sabor Saveur, 2013 West Division, Chicago, IL 60622

Easter Sunday is a time to gather with family and in Mexico it’s the perfect morning to feast on Mexican breakfast favorites. Owner, Dorian Menchaca, grew up on Mexican breakfast dishes and wanted to bring his favorite recipes to his restaurant, Barrio Urban Taqueria.

Beginning Easter Sunday and every Saturday and Sunday to follow, Barrio will offer a spread of both Mexican breakfast favorites and traditional American dishes. Beginning Easter Sunday, April 8 and every Saturday and Sunday following. 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

$25 per person includes bottomless mimosas; $10 per kid (12 and under) includes glass of orange juice.
Barrio Urban Taqueria, 714 W. Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614

This year for Easter, the whole family can take part in the all-day celebrations at Pinstripes. Beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday morning, join in for an egg hunt around the venue! Kids will have a chance to search for the colorful eggs and receive special prizes. The Easter bunny will be on-hand for photo opportunities and to ring in the special holiday. Pinstripes will also be offering a gourmet brunch through 3:00 p.m. including an endless spread of Easter favorites from carved prime rib, fresh seafood, waffles, made-to-order omelets, salad bar, delectable desserts and more. The buffet is priced at $28 per adult includes one mimosa; $14 kids 6-12 years old; kids 5 and under free.

Pinstripes Northbrook, 1150 Willow Road, Northbrook, IL 60062 -- 847-480-2323
Pinstripes South Barrington, 100 West Higgins Road, South Barrington, IL 60010 -- 847-844-9300

March Madness Specials
In honor of the college basketball craze, Barrio Urban Taqueria will be offering food and drink specials whenever the NCAA men’s basketball games are televised. Specials will include $15 Mexican beer buckets, $20 craft beer buckets and Mexican-style wings (10 for $7, 15 for $10 and 20 for $13). The juicy chicken wings at Barrio are tossed in a honey chipotle sauce made with honey and fresh chipotle peppers.

Be sure to catch the Men’s Championship game on April 2 when Barrio brings a little of New Orleans to Chicago with their Mardi Gras beads giveaway all night long. Guests wearing lucky strands of beads will win $25 gift certificates valid towards lunch, dinner or carryout at Barrio.

Every men’s NCAA March Madness televised game March 11 through April 2. Barrio Urban Taqueria, 714 W. Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614, 773.360.831

Wicker Park upscale sports bar The Fifty/50 (2047 W Division St) will show all of the March Madness games on its 18 flatscreens with sound and will offer drink specials all day/night of NCAA tournament games. The NCAA tournament kicks off on Tuesday, March 13 and Wednesday, March 14 with the “First Four” games.

Roots Handmade Pizza (1924 W Chicago Ave) will show all March Madness games on its 12 flatscreens with sound and will offer drink specials throughout the NCAA tournament. The NCAA tournament kicks off on Tuesday, March 13 and Wednesday, March 14 with the “First Four” games. Roots will have $5 “Madness” shots on special from open to close every date during March Madness. All day/night for the NCAA National Championship Game on Monday, April 7 the following additional specials will be the following:

  • $2 12oz “Old Man Cans” -- Blatz, Hamm’s, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Red Dog, and Budweiser.
  • $3 16oz tall boy “Old Man Cans” – Schlitz, Special Export, Busch Light, and Old Style Light.

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 also contributes to Chicago.

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