Food Fun Friday

Food Fun Friday
Why this picture...because it makes me laugh!

I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving. I’ve hit a bit of a writing “wall,” of late. It’s equal parts, recovery from minor surgery, holiday insanity, day job and well not finding motivation on what to write. This is not an invitation to tell me about some new menu item. I get a lot of those and if I wrote about one I’d write about them all and I would want to kill myself after 3 days!

I’ve got some things in the hopper coming up with the holidays and the end of year push. I’m motivating to the end of year predictions but I’m curious if I should work too hard in case the Mayans got that gravity thing right.

Regardless, there are lots of fun events coming and going through the end of the year. Start making those Holiday and New Year’s Eve plans – ya, I have no idea what I’m doing either!

Join Ada St. for Movie Nights, a celebration of our favorite films...Every Monday at 10:00pm
Here is the full line-up for the next several weeks...

  • December 3: A Christmas Story
  • December 10: Home Alone
  • December 17: Elf

To make a reservation for 11/19 beginning at 9pm, please, The Ada Street Team - 1664 n. ada st. chicago, il

David Burke’s Primehouse Executive Chef Jove Hubbard’s upcoming Hot Chocolate Program.  After a long cold day of shopping, guests and passersby can warm their chilly hands with a hot mug of chocolaty goodness. From November 23 – December 21, Cup o’ Jove, a temporary pop-up shop will offer a unique variety of hot chocolate flavors with new surprises every week. Cup o’ Jove will be located at the entrance of J Bar, the hotel’s bar and lounge, and will be open each Friday from 3pm – 5pm for five weeks. The innovative recipes are concocted by Jove Hubbard, executive pastry chef at The James’ renowned restaurant David Burke's Primehouse. Some of Jove’s delectable creations include Hot Milk Chocolate with pumpkin, spiced marshmallows and Ceylon cinnamon caramel, and Mocha Hot Chocolate with Bailey’s whipped cream and chocolate-covered espresso beans. Those interested can follow David Burke’s Primehouse on Twitter and Facebook to find out what the new flavors will be each week. or

TWO Restaurant and Bar's evening of pig and beer Thursday, December 13. Homestead Natural Pork will be introducing their heritage Hampshire pork to the Chicago market in a special  4-course dinner with 4-pairings of craft beers from Chicago’s Revolution Brewery. (Note: The beer will flow all evening!)
Starting at 6:30 pm guests will begin the evening by sampling Fried Pig Face, and house made Rillette and Sausage.

They will sip craft beers as well as meet a farmer who raises legacy Hampshire hogs, a brewer from Revolution Brewery and TWO’s executive chef Tom Van Lente. Tickets are $75 and are available now at the restaurant. Dinner will begin at 7:30 pm and includes:

TWO Restaurant and Bar is located at 1132 West Grand Ave, Chicago IL, 60642 Phone (312) 624.8363 Visit our website at

Johanna Brannan Lowe, the British ex-pat proprietress of West Town’s vintage kitchenware shop Martyn George, welcomes shoppers to a holiday party with an anglophile bent on Saturday, December 15, 2012, from 4 to 8 p.m.
Those seeking an extra-special gift for the cook on their list can browse the shop’s well-curated collection of culinary objects, all hand-selected by Johanna, a food and prop stylist, for their uniqueness and beauty. For the consummate host: painted china platters and crystal decanters. For the cocktail lover: 1960s-era etched glass barware. For the baker: milk glass mixing bowls and English glass cake stands.

While pondering their purchases, guests will enjoy merry holiday tunes, nosh on royal pies from Pleasant House Bakery and sip mulled wine. Traditional English Christmas crackers will be available for guests to pull at the event, each containing cards with dollar amount discounts on purchases. Terms and conditions apply, and the cards will be valid through January 31, 2013.

Martyn George will open as usual at 12 p.m. on Saturday, December 15, and the holiday shopping event begins at 4 p.m. For more information, please call 312.340.4666.

The wonderful holiday festivities taking place at the historic Palmer House Hilton in the famous lobby which is now decorated for the holidays with trees, wreaths, and lights and celebrations are in full swing.
Holiday sweets - Pastry chefs in the making can warm up with hot chocolate and cupcake decorating with the hotel’s pastry team from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. every Saturday through December. For adults with a sweet tooth, Lockwood restaurant will offer cake pop flights and cupcakes from 8pm until midnight each Friday and Saturday through December. For some tea with that dessert, an afternoon tea service will be held in the famous Palmer House lobby every Saturday and Sunday in November and December from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. Prices for the tea service are $38 for adults and $18 for children. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Lockwood at 312.917.3404.
Tuba Christmas in the Grand Ballroom - On Saturday, December 22, 400 Tuba players will fill the historic Grand Ballroom at the Palmer House Hilton. Starting at 12 noon, tuba players of all ages will perform “Merry Tuba Christmas—A Concert of Christmas Music,” orchestrated in honor of music professor and creator Harvey Phillips.

The Atwood Café, located on the busiest retail cross-section in the Loop (Washington & State Street), welcomes back Holiday Tea Service this year, an act that has become a holiday staple for hungry shoppers and loyal families.

The historic bistro’s Holiday Tea Service includes a selection of eight Loose Leaf Tea options (black, green, white and herbal varieties) topped off with cumin or chamomile infused honey and a glass of bubbly (for an extra cost). Atwood Café (1 West Washington Street) - November 17 & 18; November 24 & 25; December (entire month, sans December 25), from 2-3:30PM - $35/adult and $20/child (12 and under); Prosecco is an additional cost of $10+ per flute) Reservations are required; please call 312-368-1900 to reserve your table.

Double A, the cocktail lounge located below Mercadito (108 W. Kinzie St.), has served as an industry watering hole for nightlife professionals since opening in 2009. Now, bartenders can face off against their friends and colleagues for a $4,000 prize from Pernod Ricard and Estrella Damm in the Double A Bar Joust competition. See how Double A is “getting ready to rumble” and all the details with the Double A Bar Joust.

The Double A Bar Joust is open to all with bartending experience. Interested participants should enter here at by Thursday, September 27. Bartenders are asked to submit any “behind the bar” experience as well as both a classic and creative cocktail recipe that can be served the night of their joust.

The rules are simple: The bartender to attract the largest crowd and bring in the most cash wins the joust. The 16 amateur and professional bartenders (must have some bartending experience) will enter a bracket system featuring four rounds of competition. In each Bar Joust, two competitors will face off from 7 until 11 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays at Double A—mixing their own signature cocktails in addition to serving shots, beer, and more. Double A’s resident “referee” and mixologist Paul Sauter will check the registers and update the score throughout the night. Team costumes are encouraged, and guests will be asked to show their loyalty by sticking to their mixologist’s side of the bar, based on the physical divider line drawn down the middle of Double A. The winner of each round will not only receive their tips for the night, but 10% of all their own sales from that night.

The Double A Bar Joust competition will take place on the following dates:
Semi Finals: Mondays of November 26 and December 3
Final: Monday, December 10
Bar Joust rules, brackets and schedule can be found at

Tavernita is pleased to announce the addition of Tippling Nights, a new monthly wine and spirits dinner series. Led by the award-winning Tippling Bros. - Paul Tanguay and Tad Carducci - as well as Chef/Partner Ryan Poli, the series provides guests with an opportunity enjoy a delicious and educational evening in the vibrant, fun setting for which Tavernita has become known. Each dinner includes a four-course menu showcasing Chef Poli's Spanish-inspired cuisine as it is paired with carefully selected wines or specially crafted cocktails. Paul, Tad and Chef Poli will guide the experience, along with brand ambassadors who will share insights about the evening's featured products. The cost to attend is $55 per person (exclusive of tax and gratuity).

Additional dinners in the lineup include:
• December 11: Holiday-inspired warm up with Belvedere Vodka

Reservations are required and may be made by calling (312) 274-1111.

Le Bar at Sofitel is celebrating Solstice - a journey through northern France. One Thursday a month will feature a different region of northern France with inspired food, wine and cocktails and a live DJ

• December 13: Alsace region
• January 24: Alps region
• February 7: Brittany region
• March 7: Normandy region

In partnership with Wirtz Beverage Illinois, Henri’s Spirited Dinner Series is co-hosted by Beverage Development Manager Eric Hay, as well as Thomas Mooneyham, who oversees the bar program at The Gage. Each date is dedicated to one genre of spirit, chosen and provided by Wirtz Beverage. The beverage gurus and their teams must craft five cocktails featuring the chosen spirit and provide their cocktail menu to the Henri team to utilize in the development of the complementing dinner menu. Every dinner begins with a reception featuring a pair of punches – one each by Clint and Thomas – presented with passed hors d’oeuvres. At the seated dinner, each guest bartender creates his signature drinks, which are paired with Chef Dirk Flanigan ‘s French-inflected five-course meal.
Henri’s Spirited Dinner Series showcases top mixology talent from the following establishments. The lineup includes:

  • Cognac Wednesday, December 5, 2012 Michael Simon & Team - Carriage House
  • Gin Wednesday, January 23, 2013 Danny Shapiro & Team - Scofflaw

Each Spirited Dinner is priced at $100 per person (excluding tax and gratuity) and begins at 6:00 p.m. Reservations are required. Please call 312.578.0763. Seating is limited

SUSHISAMBA rio is ringing in the fall with their hit Sushi & Sake 101 classes, teaching guests how to master the art of making maki and tasting sake! As you may know, the restaurant that continues to host the Sushi & Sake 101 series; the signature sushi and sake classes are led by Sake Sommelier Hayes Swope. Guests can sample SUSHISAMBA’s 60 plus sake offerings, gain insider tips from SUSHISAMBA’S chefs and enjoy Peruvian and Brazilian inspired dishes, all while learning the art of sushi and how to make it at home, led by MasterSushi Chef Shigeru Kitano.
Tuesday, December 11
Tuesday, January 8

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.

Want to See Santa?
Whether you’ve been naughty or nice this year, bring in the whole family to Pinstripes and enjoy a complete Sunday brunch spread and visit with Santa. The savory and sweet brunch buffet is complete with gourmet waffles, made-to-order omelets, carved prime rib, smoked salmon, bagels, fresh shrimp, flatbreads, salad bar and even a ‘Kids Corner’. Nothing brings more holiday cheer than a full dessert bar fit with a chocolate fountain, homemade marshmallows, cheesecake, brownies and fresh fruit.

anta will be making his way around Pinstripes to mingle with families, snap photos and take requests for holiday wish lists! Sunday, December 9 and Sunday, December 16 - Brunch from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m; Visit with Santa 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.Brunch $20 per person for adults; $12 for kids 6-12; Free for kids 5 and under. $3 mimosas; $5 bloody Marys.

Reservations are recommended.  
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
Pinstripes Oak Brook - 7 Oakbrook Center Mall, Oak Brook, IL 60523 - 630-575-8700

Christmas Eve and Day Dining
Palmer House - Christmas with the Family - The hotel offers an elegant Christmas Eve dinner on Monday, December 24 with an a la carte menu. On Christmas Day, a holiday brunch buffet with dishes like roasted peppered prime aged rib of beef with Yorkshire pudding and horseradish cream. The brunch buffet will be offered from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and a la carte dinner service will take place at 5:00 p.m. The brunch is $65 for adults; $55 for seniors; $30 for children under 12; children under six are complimentary (prices do not include tax and gratuity).

Bistronomic, Chef/Owner Martial Noguier's charming bistro located just off the Magnificent Mile, will feature a French-inspired, three-course Christmas Eve prix fixe menu on Monday, December 24 from 5-10 p.m. With a cozy atmosphere, impeccable service and exquisite cuisine, Bistronomic lends the ideal setting for a memorable holiday celebration.

Composed from seasonal, local, and sustainable ingredients, Bistronomic's menu options include traditional items, vegetarian varieties and Parisian specialties for $49 (exclusive of tax, gratuity and beverages). Diners are invited to select one dish from various options for each course:

Reservations for Christmas Eve at Bistronomic are required. Please call (312) 944-8400.  The price for two courses for children is $20 and $10 for those under five years of age.

New Year’s Eve
Bistronomic, Chef/Owner Martial Noguier's charming bistro located just off the Magnificent Mile, will feature two seatings for guests to ring in 2013 with a French-inspired prix-fixe feast on New Year's Eve. On Monday, December 31 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Bistronomic will offer a pre-revelry four-course chef tasting dinner.  For the second seating, from 7:45 p.m. to 11 p.m., Bistronomic invites guests to indulge before the 2013 resolutions kick in, with a five-course gala menu and complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Additionally, Chef Noguier has prepared a surprise menu for adventurous diners looking for extra excitement on the final evening of 2012!

The two seating options include:
• 5 p.m.- 7:30 p.m.- Four Course Chef Tasting Menu: $60 per person or $85 per person with wine pairing
• 7:45 p.m. -11 p.m.- Five Courses Gala Chef Tasting Menu: $80 per person or $105 per person with wine pairing
Reservations are required; please call (312) 944-8400.  Bistronomic will also be open on New Year's Day, Tuesday, January 1, for brunch service (10 a.m.- 2:30 p.m.) inviting guests to enjoy bottomless mimosas or start the year off right with delicious salads and other healthful brunch favorites.   

bellyQ (1400 W. Randolph), Bill Kim's Asian barbeque restaurant that opened this fall in partnership with Michael Jordan and Cornerstone Restaurant Group, invites all "belly"-enthusiasts, whether bellyQ, Urban Belly or belly shack, to toast to 2013 at bellyQ this New Year's Eve.  For the first time, Chef Kim will be serving up flavorful fare from all three restaurants under one roof with several stations, including:

• Dumpling Domain: An imaginative take on dumplings
• belly shack: Korean/Puerto Rican fusion fare
• Urban Belly: Bites from the mouthwatering noodle & dumpling restaurant  
• Asian Pizzeria: Pizza with Chef Kim's signature Asian flare
• Dessert Coma: A sampling of decadent desserts from all three restaurants 
• Sake Station: Sip sakes from around the world

For revelers that snag a spot to this festive celebration, doors open at 8 p.m. and the DJ will kick off the party at 9 p.m. For $125, guests can dine and imbibe all night at the unique food and sake stations while also enjoying their choice of specialty cocktails, draft beers and well drinks.  Prices listed are exclusive of tax and gratuity. A credit card is required to hold New Year's Eve reservations. For reservations or additional information, please call (312) 563-1010 or visit

Roots Handmade Pizza (1924 W Chicago Ave) will throw an all-inclusive New Year's Eve Party featuring a five-hour premium bar package, a food buffet, midnight champagne toast, party favors, and a DJ spinning all night long that will start at 8pm on Monday, December 31.

Tickets must be purchased in advance online for the Roots New Year's Eve Party at Early bird tickets are available for $50 each from now until December 25. Regular tickets are $60 each starting December 26, and ticket sales end at 5pm on Monday, December 31.

Wicker Park upscale sports bar The Fifty/50 (2047 W Division St) will throw an all-inclusive New Year's Eve party starting at 8pm on Monday, December 31 featuring a five-hour premium bar package, a food buffet, midnight champagne toast, party favors, and a DJ spinning all night long.

Tickets must be purchased in advance online for The Fifty/50's New Years Eve Party at Early bird tickets are available for $50 each from now until December 25. Regular tickets are $60 each starting December 26, and ticket sales end at 5pm on Monday, December 31.

Tickets to both include the following:
* Five-hour premium open bar (from 8pm until 1am) that includes all premium liquor, all draft and bottled beer (except bombers), all wines by the glass, Red Bull, and soda. Shots and bombs are not included in the package, and all shots and bombs are $5 each. Cash bar available from 1am until 2am.
* Two-hour buffet (9pm-11pm) of Roots food including pizza, appetizers, salads, and more.
* Midnight champagne toast.
* Party favors.
* DJ spinning all night long.

 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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