With 9 days to go until next Sunday’s Chicago Triathlon, I’m starting to feel the nerves coming. This seems to be one of the last great Chicago weekends of summer with nothing taking over the city and the weather staying perfect. We’re weeks away from football season and cheering on the Sox’s in the playoffs, hopefully.
Lots of great summer fun still left to be had and some dining options for the high holidays coming up.
Have a fun weekend…
Lillie’s Q chef/owner Charlie McKenna will throw a charity fundraiser party featuring seven of his Chicago chef friends for the Lillie’s Q Inferno Imperial IPA release where 100% of the ticket sale proceeds will go directly to The Katherine McKenna Brothers Scholarship Fund form 7pm to 10pm on Tuesday, August 21 at Lillie’s Q.
All patrons will receive two 8 oz pours of the Lillie’s Q Inferno Imperial IPA and one Lillie’s Q Bourbon Cocktail – both of which will debut in Chicago at the fundraiser party. Chef McKenna, along with the other chefs listed below, will provide signature passed appetizers at Lillie's Q Inferno Imperial IPA Release Fundraiser Party.
* Stephanie Izard – Girl & The Goat
* Matthias Merges – Yusho
* Chris Pandel –The Bristol and Balena
* Mike Sheerin – Trenchermen
* Pat Sheerin – Trenchermen
* Greg Biggers – Café des Architectes
* Chris Curren – Stout Barrel House & Galley
There are only 100 tickets available for the Lillie's Q Inferno Imperial IPA Release Fundraiser Party for $100 each. Tickets must be purchased online at lilliesqfundraiser.eventbrite.com. Ticket sales end at noon on Monday, August 20. All proceeds from the ticket sales for the Lillie's Q Inferno Imperial IPA Release Fundraiser Party will go directly to The Katherine McKenna Brothers Scholarship Fund.
Chicago Gourmet's Supreme Shucker
Guests are invited to cheer on their favorite chefs at two preliminary qualifiers for "Chicago Gourmet's Supreme Shucker." Four shucky winners will go on to compete in the oyster shucking finals hosted by Supreme Lobster & Seafood Co. at Chicago Gourmet on Sunday, September 30 to take home a $2,000 grand prize along with bragging rights for out-shucking the city's finest culinary talent. A la carte specialty oysters - as well as wine selections and cocktails curated by Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois will be available for purchase at both events.
- Round 2: Chicago Gourmet's Supreme Shucker at BOKA: Sunday, September 16: The shuck-off continues at BOKA, 1729 N. Halsted St., where, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., the remaining 10 oyster-shucking finalists go head to head for another $500 cash prize and the chance to compete in the Final Four at "Chicago Gourmet's Supreme Shucker."
Judges for the semi-finals include ChicagoNow.com blogger Joe Campagna, Chef/Owner of Yusho Matthias Merges, and Ari Bendersky of Eater Chicago. Michael Muser, General Manager of the forthcoming Grace Restaurant, will emcee the event.
Chicago will play host to The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival presented by MasterCard from August 24, 2012 through September 6, 2012. As part of the two-week celebration, Michigan Avenue will set the scene for ‘A Magnificent Taste,’ a culinary event featuring popular local and national chefs who will cook up seasonal bites to raise funds for Common Threads, a Chicago-based organization dedicated to educating children from low-income families on the importance of nutrition.
Guests will sip and sample seasonal creations from well-known chefs, including Top Chef Season 9 Winner Paul Qui while enjoying rare access to The Magnificent Mile as it has never been offered before.
“I am thrilled to be part of an event that raises money for such a good cause and celebrates Chicago’s contributions to food and fashion. Michigan Avenue is one of the most iconic streets in the world and it is the perfect backdrop for what is sure to be a magnificent event,” said Qui.
Other participating chefs and restaurants include the following:
Anthony Martin of Tru
Arnie Tellez of Shaw’s Crab House
Doug Psaltis of RPM Italian
Lee Wolen of The Peninsula Chicago
Patricio Sandoval of Mercadito
Rick Gresh of David Burke’s Primehouse
Nathan Huntington of Argent Restaurant & Raw Bar
Ryan Poli of Tavernita
Joseph Rosetti of Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse
Federico Comacchio of Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush
Paul Katz of Sweetwater Tavern and Grille
The Signature Room at the 95th
‘A Magnificent Taste’ will take place on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 from 6:30pm to 9pm at Pioneer Court (401 N Michigan Avenue). General admission tickets can be purchased for $125 and VIP for $200 that will include an exclusive meet and greet reception with Paul Qui, 5:30pm – 6:30pm. Tickets can be purchased at http://tinyurl.com/AMagTaste or http://priceless.com/chicago. This event is a featured offering onwww.priceless.com/chicago. For more information on The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival, visit www.themagnificentmile.com.
On Tuesday, August 21, Chefs David Burke and Rick Gresh will host a Farm Drought Benefit Dinner to benefit Harvest Moon Farms, a certified organic vegetable farm located in Wisconsin's Driftless Region in Viroqua, WI. David Burke’s Primehouse and Executive Chef Rick Gresh work with Harvest Moon Farms regularly to source organic produce that is served in the restaurant daily.
Guests will be treated to cocktails and bites from 6:30pm-7pm in The James Chicago Lobby Bar before heading to David Burke’s Primehouse for a lavish seven course meal. This culinary experience will include a crudo course, farm egg course, heirloom tomato course, rooster ravioli, a pig course and more ($65 per person / tax and gratuity not included). Each course will be accompanied by a hand selected wine or cocktail pairing from Breckenridge Distillery.
Additionally, throughout the month of August, David Burke’s Primehouse and Nestlé Waters will donate $2 for every Acqua Panna or San Pellegrino bottled water sold. Proceeds will benefit Harvest Moon Farms. David Burke’s Primehouse is located at 616 N. Rush at The James Hotel. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 312.660.6000 or visiting www.jameshotels.com/davidburkesprimehouse.
Michael Jordan's Steak House, in the Intercontinental Hotel, is currently running 2 promotions to celebrate their one-year anniversary.
- 23 is the Magic Number. Throughout the 23 days leading up to August 23, Michael Jordan’s Steak House will surprise 23 lucky tables in the restaurant’s breathtaking dining room by completely covering the check for the group assigned with the 23rd ticket in honor of the anniversary.
- 1-Year Anniversary = $10 Anniversary Entree. In the sleek, stylish first-floor bar at Michael Jordan’s Steak House, Executive Chef James O’Donnell will serve a mouthwatering one-year anniversary dinner special for just $10 -- the 6oz Italian Beef-Style Hanger Steak accompanied with fries, onion jus and spicy giardiniera from That Pickle Guy, a local company based in Lisle. This special will be available for 23 days, from August 1 through the anniversary on August 23.
WET Deck at W Chicago Lakeshore
For those looking to avoid the crowds at this year's Air & Water Show while taking in unparalleled views and experiencing VIP treatment, the W Chicago Lakeshore's WET Deck viewing party is a can't-miss event. The recently opened outdoor sundeck, located on the 7th floor of the property, boasts unobstructed views of Navy Pier and Lake Michigan, allowing guests to capture every exciting moment. Guests during the weekend will enjoy a live DJ, specialty cocktails and summertime fare including hamburgers, hot dogs and portobello burgers from this chic, outdoor oasis.
$150 for adults, $25 for guests age 13-20, Free for children under 12 *Please note tickets are sold per day, not per weekend.
Tickets will be sold in advance and at the door. WET Deck at W Chicago Lakeshore - 644 North Lakeshore Drive- 7th Fl
Saturday, August 18 and Sunday, August 19 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Friday, August 17, guests can watch the practice viewing with WET Deck's regular a la carte menu.
BIN 36, in partnership with Time Out Chicago and Raved, today announces the launch of the first-annual “Real Men Drink Pink” breast cancer awareness campaign. From Friday, August 10 through Friday, August 17, Chicago’s top restaurants will join together in featuring specially-priced $10 rosé glass pours on their beverage menus to benefit Bright Pink, the only national breast cancer organization focusing on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women while providing support for high risk individuals.
Beginning on August 10 and running through August 17, the following restaurants will feature $10 rosé glass pours on their beverage menus in honor of Real Men Drink Pink: avec, BIN 36, Boka, Frontera, Naha, NoMI, Publican, Rockit, Sunda, Telegraph, Topolobampo, and Webster’s Wine Bar. All Real Men Drink Pink rosé product will be generously donated by distribution partners, with 100% of all proceeds benefitting the Bright Pink organization.
Enjoy the South of France at Le Bar this summer! Journey through the south of France with a celebration of music and food! Each night features cuisine by Chef Greg Biggers, wine and cocktails inspired from each of your favorite French summer destinations.
Soleil Thursdays this summer beginning at 5:30 p.m:
- 8|23 - Nice
- 9|13 - Bordeaux
Relax and enjoy an eclectic DJ set featuring French house music. A hotel stay in the South of France with Accor Hotels will be given away at each event! Le Bar - 20 East Chestnut Street, Chicago 60611
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:
• 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.
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!
- 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
Weekend Saturday Brunch Spots
SUSHISAMBA rio: The Peruvian, Brazilian and Japanese River North hotspot is dishing up favorites like quinoa waffles, feijoada and lobster eggs benedict alongside brunch cocktails such as Bahia punch, rum lattes and sakegria, a sake take on sangria. www.sushisamba.com
Lockwood: Located in the Palmer House Hilton, Lockwood serves a spectacular brunch with innovative takes on classics like a Benedict Oscar with poached eggs, sautéed spinach and fresh crab and Swedish breakfast of smoked salmon, lemon crepes and lingonberries and a wide variety of mimosa and Bloody Mary selections. www.lockwoodrestaurant.com
Mercadito: Guests can enjoy some spicy Mexican flair during the festive brunches all weekend at Mercadito. Choose from signature dishes like huevos ahogados served with crispy corn bread and chipotle hollandaise sauce or pancakes with manchego cheese, strawberries and cinnamon butter. Brunch sippers include cocktails like the Auntie Ox with green tea vodka, passion fruit, agave, orange and guajillo. http://www.mercaditorestaurants.com/chicago
Estate: Get a hair of the dog with cocktails like the cereal milk martini and whiskey for breakfast while refueling over the lobster mac and cheese or buttermilk pancakes with blueberry-lavender maple syrup. www.estateultrabar.com
Markethouse: Chef Scott Walton dishes up fan favorites all weekend such as Biscuits and Beignets. What makes them unique are the flavor pairings: a roasted beet beignet with goat cheese and maple blis, a Meyer lemon ricotta beignet with salted butterscotch and honey crisp apples, and biscuits with a variety of gravy offerings such as foie gras and brisket “burnt ends” gravy. www.markethousechicago.com
Hash House A Go Go: Opening in late July, the twisted farm food restaurant will offer delicious dishes like sage fried chicken benedict, meatloaf has with roasted red peppers, fresh spinach and smoked mozzarella; and made-to-order Bloody Mary’s. www.hashhouseagogo.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Joe also contributes to Eater.com Chicago and mydailyfindchicago.com