Food Fun Friday

Food Fun Friday

It’s been a heat wave of a week and a quiet lull of a weekend before the big 4th of July holiday…do you take the weekend before or after off??? Definitely going to watch some Euro 2012 this weekend and then hit Emporium Arcade to play some video games. When video games kept high scores!

Yusho introduced a $20 brunch last week – choice of Ramen, drink and soft serve! Also, it’s time to get Dosed again at Dose Market in the River East Art Center on Sunday…

Have a fun safe weekend.

Taste of the Nation Kickoff Event at Paris Club is Wednesday night June 27th! Take the pledge to end childhood hunger, and your $25 entrance fee can be deducted from your ticket for the August 8th gala at Navy Pier. Come support a great cause.

During the month of July, Michelin star-rated Sepia (123 N. Jefferson) will celebrate its five-year anniversary by giving back to the community that helped launch its success. Throughout the month, Sepia will donate $5 from every check in the restaurant and $500 from every event booked in July and August at Private Dining by Sepia, and will distribute the collective sum evenly to three local non-profit organizations: the Chicago Children’s Choir, One Million Degrees (formerly the Illinois Education Foundation), and Meals on Wheels Chicago.

To further commemorate the milestone and thank Chicago diners for patronizing the restaurant over the past five years, Sepia will also offer a complimentary amuse cocktail, crafted by Head Bartender Josh Pearson, with each food purchase. This signature libation entitled “A New Chapter,” features Templeton Rye, housemade strawberry syrup, and fresh lemon juice. To make a reservation at Sepia during its fifth-anniversary celebration, please visit or call 312.441.1920.

Texas Hold'Em Charity Poker Tournament & Casino Night to benefit the Jesse White Foundation and new Jesse White Community Center at the Hard Rock Hotel on Friday, June 29th at 5:30 p.m. Top prizes include: 5 Star Vacation Packages Seat in the Qualifying Tournament for the World Series of Poker at Hammond Horseshoe Box Seats to Sporting Events Gift Certificates to Top Chicago Restaurants, Hotels, Spas and much, more! To get tickets and more info check out their website for tickets.

On Sunday, August, 12th, Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood, will welcome the second celebration of Street Food Artistry, an exploration and adventure of the arts for all ages, families, locals and visitors alike. Street Food Artistry will take place at the Zhou B. Art Center, located at 1029 W. 35th St., from 1PM - 7PM. The festival will include street art and face painting, photography exhibits with Chicago art lovers and gallery owners curators, a Food Truck Pavilion, a sound stage, mixology sessions featuring adult beverages for starters. Sponsors for the event include: Time Out Chicago, beverage partner, Coca-Cola (SmartWater and Fuze brands) and Whole Foods Market. All activities, food and beverage are included in a single ticket price with crafts and additional beverages available per purchase. Tickets for the festival are $35 (early bird) and $40 after July 1 for adults and $15 for children and available for purchase at

Barcito! - Amigos of Pintxo takes place every other Monday from 8 to 10 p.m. (with the exception of this coming Monday, June 11, which will begin at 9 p.m.). A portion of the sales from the series are donated to Common Threads - whose mission is to educate children on the importance of nutrition and physical well being, and to foster an appreciation of cultural diversity through cooking.

Chef Poli and Pintxo have confirmed the following lineup of Amigos through November:
• July 9 - Chris Macchia of The Florentine
• July 23- Merlin Verrier of Graham Elliot
• August 6- Jason Hammel of Lula Café and Nightwood
• August 20- Brian Huston of The Publican
• September 10- Andrew Brochu of Graham Elliot
• September 24- Dave Beran of Next Restaurant
• October 8 - Justin Large of Big Star
• October 22 - Matthias Merges of Yusho
• November 19 - Charlie McKenna of Lillie's Q

All are welcome to attend. Seating is available on a first-come-first serve basis.

Tavernita and Barcito are located in the heart of Chicago's River North neighborhood at 151 W. Erie St. Tavernita is open seven days a week. Lunch is available Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is served Sunday through Tuesday from 5 to 11 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Late-night dining is available on Friday and Saturday until 2 a.m. Barcito is open Sunday and Monday from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., Tuesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Glenmorangie Dinner at Gelnview House
With the tallest stills in Scotland, Glenmorangie ensures guests will enjoy the lightest, purest distilled spirits at the upcoming Scotch Dinner at Glenview House. Chef Grant Slauterbeck takes the flavor profiles of Glenmorangie favorites such as Nectar D’ Or and The Quinta Ruban and combines them with his exquisite cuisine in a four-course feast. Each artistic course showcases the unique flavor profiles of the Glenmorangie’s scotches. A representative from Glenmorangie will be on-hand to discuss the evening’s pairings and intrigue any scotch enthusiast.

Wednesday, June 27, 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. $60 per person all-inclusive; Reservations required.
Glenview House - 1843 Glenview Road, Glenview, IL 60025 - 847-724-0692 - - @gvhousebar

Ada St. presents an exclusive evening with Mark Pontius and Cubbie Fink of Foster the People as they guest DJ on Wednesday, June 20 at 11:30 p.m. The band members - best known for their Billboard Hot 100 hit "Pumped Up Kicks" - will entertain Ada St. patrons by spinning their favorite tracks from the restaurant's ample vinyl collection. Fifty percent of the evening's proceeds will be donated to the band's Do Good Project that supports local charity Music Works.  $20 per person - Price is inclusive of one cocktail. Tickets can be purchased at the door only beginning at 10:30 p.m., and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited to 100 guests.
Ada St. - 1664 N. Ada St., (773) 697-7069

2 Sparrow, located in Lincoln Park 553 W. Diversey, is offering fans headed to Cubs games a complimentary house made doughnut by Chef Gregory Ellis! Guests just have to show their ticket and breakfast is served! 2 Sparrows serves a selection of delicious doughnuts such as maple bacon and strawberry chocolate.

Bistronomic - featuring Chef/Partner Martial Noguier's innovative interpretation of French bistro classics - is pleased to announce a two-course lunch special, specifically designed for diners on the go in Chicago's Gold Coast beginning Wednesday, June 20.  Whether seeking a light bite between shopping, or a power lunch with colleagues, the restaurant's creative midday menu, efficient service, and wallet-friendly prices are ideal for any guest.

Available Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Chef Noguier's menu allows diners to select a soup, salad, or dessert with selected entrees for $18 (exclusive of tax and gratuity). Bistronomic's a la carte lunch offerings are also available. The menu can be viewed here.  The restaurant's charming, Parisian-style patio is now open for the summer. Large and private parties can be accommodated upon request.  Please call (312) 944-8400.

PL8 Simply Asian will celebrate a culinary tour of the Far East this summer with three events, each featuring a different Asian destination. Guests can experience summer food and wine with Far East flair without even leaving Chicago!

  • Japan- Sake, Maki and Beer
    Thursday, July 12
    The first summer celebration destination is Japan, where guests can mix and mingle on PL8’s outdoor patio and indulge in a tasting of Japanese beer, Sake Sangria and Sparkling Sake Coolers. PL8 will also feature a variety of hand-crafted maki rolls by Chef Chris Traynor, including teriyaki beef skewers and vegetable Tempura. Chef Traynor will also be on-hand to show guests how to prepare the perfect maki roll at home.
  • Journey to the South Pacific
    Thursday, August 9
    Guests visit the South Pacific Islands for a festive and dynamic celebration featuring Tiki-inspired libations such as Suffering Bastards, Mai-Tais, Zombies and the Tiki Puki Punch. PL8 will feature Polynesian theme appetizers including pu-pu platters filled with favorites such as BBQ Ribs, Rumaki, Crab Rangoon Chop Sticks, and other Polynesian specialties. Polynesian dancers will be performing to authentic island music.
  • Final Destination Singapore and the Philippine Islands
    Thursday, September 13
    PL8 will tantalize your taste buds with Singapore Slings, RumTinis and San Miguel Beers. Guests can sample an assortment of Malaysian and Philippine appetizers like Shanghai Lumpia, Kilaw Crisps, Curried Samosas and Ukoy. PL8 Chef Jose Galvan will demonstrate how to prepare a traditional dish at home using authentic ingredients and flavors.
    July 12, August 9 and September 13; 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    $25 per person, all-inclusive for each event

PL8 Simply Asian - 736 West Northwest Highway, Barrington, IL 60010 - 847-382-1988

In honor of the first official weekend of summer, Epic Burger will host a BYOB beer swap at its Gold Coast location (40 E. Pearson) on Saturday, June 23. Craft beer fanatics and die-hard PBR fans alike are invited to bring a six-pack (or four) of their favorite brew, then swap bottles with fellow beer drinkers while soaking up some sun on the new 20-person patio. As an added bonus, any Epic Burger Gold Coast customer who places an order with a beer in hand that afternoon will automatically receive 10% off their order. With the exception of 517 S. State Street, all Epic Burger locations are BYOB, welcoming guests to bring a bottle of beer, wine, or spirits to complement their meals with no corkage fee.

To celebration National Steak House Month in June, Michael Jordan's Steak House (505 N. Michigan) is offering their 8oz filet served with their signature crab cake for $50. For an additional $10, guests can complete their meal with a perfectly chilled martini. For Father's Day, Executive Chef James O'Donnell will present a few mouthwatering specials for the holiday, and each of the first "23" fathers who purchase Michael Jordan's favorite steak cut -- the Delmonico — with receive a complimentary signature steak knife.

2 Sparrows, in partnership with Tenuta Santome...invites wine enthusiasts to partake in the restaurant's monthly beverage dinner series on Friday, June 22 at 7 p.m. 2 Sparrows General Manager Steven Fladung will be on hand to guide diners through a four-course menu that pairs fresh, seasonal dishes from Executive Chef Gregory Ellis alongside Italian summer wines from Italy's famed Tenuta Santome winery.

Owned and operated by the Spinazzè family, Tenuta Santome is a third-generation winery located in Treviso, Italy that takes a modern route of production, which involves the dense planting of wines, the scrupulous selection of the grapes at harvest, and the use of innovative winemaking systems. For more information, visit the winery's website. $60 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations are required. Please call (773) 234-2320. Space is limited to 60 guests.
2 Sparrows - 553 W. Diversey Pkwy - (773) 234-2320

After selling out of pre-sale inventory last week in less than 24 hours, Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet 2012 is pleased to announce an exciting addition to this year's programming: the Chicago Gourmet Wine & Spirits Dinner Series. The series of special events will showcase premium wine and spirit selections from Southern Wine and Spirits of Illinois and will be accompanied by world-class cuisine from participating Chicago Gourmet restaurants.
Guests at the series will get an intimate sneak preview of what's on tap for September directly from chefs, mixologists, and Master Sommeliers. The series kicked off with a Les Amis du Chef event at Café des Architectes in the Sofitel Water Tower on June 7 featuring Master Sommelier Serafin Alvarado. Additional events are as follows:

  • Tuesday, June 26: Vino enthusiasts are invited to attend Cab is KING at Phil Stefani's 437 Rush (437 N. Rush St.). Janet Myers, Director of Winemaking for Franciscan Estate, will guide guests through an intimate five-course dinner featuring wines from the Franciscan Estate in Napa Valley as they are paired with the signature Milanese cuisine of Executive Chef Federico Comacchio. Cocktail and Hors d'oeuvres will be served at 6:30 p.m., with dinner following at 7 p.m. Tickets are $85 (plus tax and gratuity). Reservations are available now and can be made by calling (312) 222-0101.
  • Wednesday, July 18: Autre Monde Café & Spirits (6727 Roosevelt Road; Berwyn, Ill.)
    is pleased to announce a summertime Italian grilled feast, featuring the cuisine of Chefs Dan Pancake and Beth Partridge, with wines paired from Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois' Wildman portfolio. The evening will begin with hors d'oeuvres and prosecco on the restaurant's scenic outdoor patio, followed by a three-course dinner and wine pairing inspired by the wine regions of Italy represented in the evening's menu. The dinner is $70 per person (all inclusive). For reservations, please call (708) 775-8122.
    More events will be announced soon.

Maison (330 E. Randolph), Lakeshore East's new brasserie serving every day French fare from Executive Chef Perry Hendrix, has began offering a half priced raw bar Monday - Saturday from 10pm-11pm.

Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Chicago is gearing up for an eventful summer. Starting this week, Sullivan’s will hold a month-long fundraiser to benefit the soon-to-open world’s largest Ronald McDonald House® AND it begins its seasonal deal “Summer of ’79,” a special $79 three-course menu for two.

Ronald McDonald House® Fundraiser: Sullivan’s will offer its customers $25 gift cards in exchange for retailer gift cards of $25 or more. In preparation of its June 26 opening, Ronald McDonald House® at Lurie Children’s will use these gift cards to purchase essential items from its “wish list” and registry.

“Summer of ‘79”: From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Sullivan’s will feature a three-course menu for two for just $79. Guests can begin with one of Sullivan’s signature starters, including Chilled Asparagus Bisque with Jumbo Lump Crab & Chive Oil or their famous Iceberg Lettuce Wedge, then move on to a choice of Filet Mignon, Salmon Fillet, Roasted Chicken or Shrimp Francese paired with one of Sully’s signature house-made side dishes. Finish it off with a perennial dessert favorite such as Bananas Foster Bread Pudding, Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Mousse or New York-Style Cheesecake.
Sullivan’s Steakhouse, 415 North Dearborn, Chicago (312) 527-3510

Charlie McKenna, chef and owner of Lillie’s Q that serves award-winning competition BBQ along with Southern favorites in Bucktown (1856 W North Ave), will sell bracelets throughout the month of June that come with perks at the restaurant to honor his aunt who died of breast cancer.

Chef McKenna’s aunt, Katherine McKenna Brothers, died in 2000 after a seven-year battle with breast cancer. Charlie’s father, Quito (who was Katherine’s brother), and his uncle, Chris Brothers (who was Katherine’s husband), set up The Katherine McKenna Brothers Scholarship Fund several years ago. The fund provides scholarship money for students at the all-women's school Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia, where Katherine received her undergrad degree.
Patrons who donate at least $10 will receive one of the pink silicone gel bracelets -- which feature the Lillie’s Q name, Katherine’s initials (KMB), and a pig – and will also receive 10 % off all their tabs at Lillie’s Q for the lifetime of the restaurant. The only stipulation is that patrons must be wearing the bracelet to get the discount.

Patrons who donate at least $50 will receive one of the pink silicone gel bracelets, 10 % off all their tabs at Lillie’s Q for the lifetime of the restaurant, and one future reservation at Lillie’s Q. Lillie’s Q does not accept reservations otherwise. The only stipulation is that patrons must be wearing the bracelet to get the discount and reservation.

“My aunt was born in June, so that’s why we’re honoring her with this special fundraising effort for the entire month,” Charlie McKenna said. “She was a tremendous inspiration to me, and I miss her and think about her every single day. We’re hoping to raise $10,000 for her scholarship fund this June. If we hit that goal with the help of our customers, it’ll mean more to me than any award.”

To celebrate the launch of Santa Margherita Sparkling Rose, the brand created a limited edition nail polish kit with four wine-themed shades: Chianti, Pinot Grigio, Prosecco and Rose. They will be offered exclusively in Beauty Bar locations (and via Facebook). Here are the details: June 28 at Beauty Bar’s West Town location (1444 W. Chicago) Deal: Buy a glass of bubbly (or wine) and get a free manicure and Santa Margherita nail polish to take home. Additionally, Beauty Bar will be giving away beauty prizes, including full nail polish kits on the dates above. Santa Margherita will also be giving away 200 kits on its Facebook page, through June 30.

Picnic’s Yogi Bear would LOVE - HEY BooBoo
Steve's Deli delivers picnics just about anywhere Chicagoans gather in the summer
Just a few folks on your outing? Then everyone will need their own Sandwich Box. It comes with an overstuffed sandwich that can be selected off Steve’s carry out menu, a choice of potato salad, coleslaw or healthy coleslaw and a cookie or brownie…all for just $9.99.

  • Steve’s Trio Salad Picnic is great for groups of 5 or more and includes tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad or egg white salad. Plus it comes with tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, onions and pickles. Yes, there is healthy coleslaw, Swiss and Muenster cheese and a choice of bagels, rye, onion or Kaiser rolls. And it’s only $9.99 per person.
  • Steve’s Cold Cut Picnic includes roast turkey breast, lean corned beef, rare roast beef and turkey pastrami. It also comes with Swiss and American cheese as well as a choice of potato salad, coleslaw or healthy coleslaw. Pickles, mustard, Russian dressing and rye bread make it complete. And this is a deal at $7.99 per person and is recommended for groups of 5 or more.
  • Looking for something light on those hot summer days?  Steve’s Cheese and Fruit Picnic is the perfect choice. Seasonal fruit including cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, red and green grapes, strawberries, watermelon and berries are accompanied with an assortment of cheeses, Parmesan bagel thins, crackers and pita chips. A cool $5.99 per person.

It’s recommended that picnic orders be made 24 hours in advance but, if possible, Steve’s will do same day orders.  Contact: Steve’s Deli - 354 West Hubbard, between Orleans and Kingsbury - 312-467-6868

For the Oenophile in Nearby Millennium Park
Wine Totes from BIN 36 / Adjacent to Hotel Sax:  Available in BIN 36’s retail Market, custom-stocked wine backpacks come in two sizes:  two bottle totes for $22 and three bottle totes for $40.  Each tote includes a wine key, two wine glasses, and a personalized selection of cheeses, snacks, and other picnic-perfect accompaniments hand-curated by the BIN 36 cheese experts. Also available for purchase at BIN 36 are ‘Picnic Stix,’ a $14 set of three wire stakes that can be easily planted into the ground to hold up wine glasses and bottles.  (339 N. Dearborn St.; 312.755.9463)

For the Campesino in Nearby Grant Park
Spanish Demo and Picnic from Mercat a la Planxa / Adjacent to Blackstone Hotel:   Chef de Cuisine Cory Morris will demo how to put a Spanish twist on traditional picnic favorites. Following each demo, the chef will pack picnic lunches for guests to enjoy, such as bocadillos like the El Ravel with Ortiz Tuna and Celery Caper Aioli as well as the La Baceloneta with North Country Bacon, Egg & Cheddar. Priced at $25 per guest, the demo and picnic are offered on the following Saturdays at 12 pm: Saturday, June 30; Saturday, July 14; Saturday, August 11; Saturday, August 25. (638 S. Michigan Ave., 312.765.0524)

For the Indecisive in Nearby Daley Plaza
‘PICKnic’ from  Lobby Lounge at JW Marriott Chicago:  Executive Chef Michael Reich of the landmark, luxury hotel has created a menu for hotel guests and Chicago locals alike.  Priced at $30 for two people, guests can select three items from the “PICKnic” menu of locally-sourced, portable dishes and receive a JW Marriott Chicago branded picnic tote.  Half bottles of Apaltagua Chardonnay or Pinot Noir can be added for an additional $14. Picnic regulars are invited to bring back their picnic tote and restock throughout the summer months for only $20, which represents over 30% savings.   The ‘“PICKnic” menu will be available now until Labor Day.  (151 W. Adams St., 312 660 8200)

For the Sausage King in Nearby Milton Olive Park
House made Sausages from Markethouse Restaurant / Adjacent to DoubleTree Magnificent Mile:  Executive Chef Scott Walton will pack up a selection of house made specialty sausages (seafood, lamb merguez, veal and pork bratwurst, hot or sweet Italian pork, spiced apple chicken sausage), rolls, house made mustards (violet, apple cider or tarragon), and salads (Markethouse Chopped and Markethouse Garden Tomato, Cucumber and Basil).  Priced at $12 per person, Markethouse will offer these picnics throughout the month of July in honor of National Picnic Month. 
(611 N. Fairbanks Ct., 312.224.2200)

For the Foodie With Everything in Nearby Lakeshore East Park
Luxury Package from Filini Bar & Restaurant / Adjacent to Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago: This July, the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel will unveil a new luxury picnic package, featuring a lavish keepsake “basket” filled with an impressive presentation of the crème de la crème of canapés and caviar. Designed to make a romantic al fresco meal even more memorable, each dish will showcase the contemporary Italian flair of Filini’s Executive Chef Christian Fantoni. Price and additional details available upon request. 
(221 N. Columbus Dr., 312.477.0234)

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 and

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