Food Fun Friday

Food Fun Friday

Morning All!!! Ready for some fun this weekend….

For the record, I didn’t take PEDs during the course of the last few years of blogging AND I am real! I swear it, no catfish here. Lots of fun events coming up and Valentine’s is just weeks away.

Here’s the action…

bellyQ (1400 W. Randolph Street, 312-563-1010) is celebrating the return of the Chicago Blackhawks with a special promotion at the restaurant on their first home game, Tuesday, January 22. Guests donning jerseys or who show their game tickets will receive 25% off their entire bill that evening. The restaurant will also be offering an ongoing promotion on Chicago Blackhawks game days, where guests who show their tickets to the game will receive a complimentary order of the Addictive Edamame.

Chef Amanda Downing is spicing things up at Rockit Bar and Grill, located at 22 W. Hubbard, to give Chicagoans a break from the bone-chilling weather with the return of the Fifth Annual Chilifest starting Monday, January 21 – Friday, January 25. Each day, Rockit Bar & Grill will push the envelope even further on this beloved American staple by turning it into the most innovative “warm-you-up-from-the-inside-out” chili offered in Chicago!

In addition to these special offerings, Chef Amanda will prepare Vegan Chili ($10) lentils, soy sausage, edamame, bell peppers, cumin, tomatoes, Chili Mac ($14) four cheese mac & cheese, turkey chili, shredded cheddar jack cheese and Chili Cheese Fries ($10) crispy french fries, turkey chili, cheddar cheese, jalapenos, available everyday during Chilifest. For more information on Rockit Bar & Grill’s Fifth Annual Chilifest, visit www.rockitbarandgrill.com.

Bistronomic will celebrate the French tradition of La Chandeleur, also known as crêpes day, on Saturday, February 2 by offering a special menu, featuring signature, seasonal, homemade crêpes.  Often associated with the Catholic holiday of Candlemas and pagan traditions, some say Chandeleur celebrates the return of sunny days (crêpes symbolize the sun), while others say that making crêpes using flour left over from the harvest ensures prosperity in the coming year.
Bistronomic will offer a three-course prix fixe La Chandeleur menu for $28.  A two-course lunch menu will also be offered for $20 with the main course and a choice of soup or dessert.  Prices are exclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations are recommended and available at 312) 944-8400.

To celebrate Michael Jordan's 50th birthday this February, Michael Jordan's Steak House is pulling out all the stops. With locations in New York on the balcony overlooking Grand Central Terminal, in Chicago on the Magnificent Mile and in Connecticut at the Mohegan Sun, each restaurant will offer a five-course Terlato wine dinner February 17 that will take guests on a journey of the basketball legend's life and career through the past five decades. Additionally, each restaurant will offer a celebratory slice of decadent chocolate cake to all tables that dine on Jordan's birthday, February 17.

Finally, fans from coast to coast will have the rare opportunity to bid on 15 bottles of wine hand-selected and autographed by Michael Jordan, as well as 3 autographed 'Official NBA' basketballs, with all proceeds benefiting Citymeals-on-Wheels in New York City, Meals on Wheels in Chicago and Community Renewal Team in Hartford, Connecticut.
Dinner is $125 exclusive of tax and gratuity. For reservations for the five-course wine dinners on February 17, please call: Chicago: (312) 321-8823

Now you won’t wish another Manic Monday was Sunday, thanks to the Atwood Café! Now through December 2013, the downtown American bistro will be serving “Flutes & Frites” every Monday from 5pm until close. For only $10.00 per person, a fizzy flute will be accompanied by a trio of specialty fries and dipping sauces dreamt up by Executive Chef Derek Simcik. In addition to bubbles, patrons can expect to see (and taste) lots of sea salt, parmesan and aioli.

The Atwood Café is located adjacent to Kimpton’s Hotel Burnham, at 1 W. Washington Street. For more information please call 312-368-1900 or visit www.atwoodcafe.com.

25 Degrees is launching a new Sunday night dinner program called "Southern Fried Sundays," featuring, you guessed it…Southern Fried Chicken! The special kicks off early next year on January 13th, 2013. Every Sunday guests can feast on Chef Tim Goodell's Southern cooking with the eatery's new Fried Chicken special for $12 (includes two side dishes, choose from mashed potatoes, gravy, mac & cheese, collard greens, coleslaw and cornbread, additional sides are $4 each).

Rockit Ranch Productions is pushing the “Country” genre envelope with a new Saturday night party called “The ACE Country Club” at its much talked about American-Asian culinary mash-up Dragon Ranch Moonshine & BBQ. At the center of it all, as the clash of “Country” & (Night)”Club” might suggest, Rockit Ranch will be “mashing up” Dragon Ranch Country music favorites, with the best in Hip-Hop, Pop, Rock, EDM – currently raging at its other award winning venues, Rockit and The Underground.

The ACE Country Club will take place from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. on Saturday nights starting January 5, 2013.  For more information or to reserve a table, visit www.DragonRanch.com or PR Manager Deanna Dugo at 312.765.9370 or Deanna@RockitRanch.com.

The Florentine (151 W. Adams) just started offering a new Happy Hour special. Any guests who dine at the bar Monday through Friday from 4-6pm will receive a complimentary pizza with purchase of an alcoholic beverage.

BEL 50 (738 N. Clark) is launching a new promotion on Sundays. Customers who order a breakfast waffle sandwich anytime on Sunday (8am to 8pm) will be offered a complimentary Bloody Mary or Mimosa with their order. This will be offered for the months of December and January.

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

• 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:

  • 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

Valentine's Day

Chicago’s most romantic restaurant, Geja’s Café, 340 W. Armitage Ave, sets hearts on fire with an eight day Valentine’s Festival including Double Anniversary Discount on Monday, February 11th, where couples will receive a double discount on their food purchases with proof of total years married.  On Love Note Tuesday on February 12th, all guests are encouraged to bring in a copy of their most meaningful love note that was written to their significant other at some point in the relationship.

The writer of the most romantic and heartwarming love letter will win dinner for two, once a year for the number of years the note is old (limit $150 per visit). The Valentine’s Day dinner package includes Geja’s creamy Gruyere cheese fondue, a glass of champagne, Geja’s salad with tangy Dijon vinaigrette, entrée fondue of Beef Tenderloin, Lobster Tail and Jumbo Shrimp, Geja’s luscious flaming chocolate dessert fondue with coffee. Tickets go on sale Sunday, January 13 at 9:00 a.m. For information, visit www.gejascafe.com.

After recently completing the World’s Longest Candy Cane at 51 feet on December 8, Chef Alain Roby is reaching new heights at his All Chocolate Kitchen, 33 S. Third St in Geneva, on Valentine’s Day, February 14, with a 20-foot enchanted chocolate tree in the middle of the store, made with 1,200 lbs of chocolate. The All Chocolate Kitchen is also offering a delicious Dessert & Coffee package for two, which includes raspberry crème brulee with a sugar rose for $14.99. Reservations are available by calling 630.232.2395. A Certified Master Chef of Pastry and Sugar Artistry, and Hall of Fame member in both Pastry Art & Design and Chocolatier magazines, Chef Roby is internationally known for his talent in creating sugar and chocolate masterpieces. He also holds the record for World's Tallest Cooked Sugar Building and World's Tallest Chocolate Sculpture. For more information, visit www.AllChocolateKitchen.com.

The Ultimate Romance Dinner Package for $2,000 AND the four-course prix fixe menu for $95 at The Signature Room at the 95th. First, The ULTIMATE Romance Dinner Package offers an exclusive, private dining setting for two in a candle-lit private room in which to share a gourmet menu complemented by Dom Perignon Champagne, live musical entertainment, and more.  Availability is limited and reservations are accepted through February only.
The entire Signature Room® Ultimate Romance dinner package includes:

  • Sophisticated butler service in a private dining room set for two
  • One dozen red roses in a vase to take home
  • A bottle of chilled Dom Perignon champagne upon arrival
  • Cocktail and wine service throughout dinner
  • A gourmet four-course menu selected from the dining room’s seasonal dinner selections
  • Private musical entertainment
  • Minimum cost of $2,000 plus gratuity
  • Additional arrangements can be made directly with your private event planner

Second, The Signature Room at the 95th® offers couples an exclusive Valentine’s Day four-course prix fixe menu served only Thurs., Feb. 14 and Sat., Feb. 16. Lunchtime on Valentine’s Day and other mealtimes surrounding the holiday weekend will offer the classic a la carte menu for guests. The Valentine’s Day menu includes gourmet appetizers, a choice of homemade soup or fresh salad, an exceptional entrée, one glass of champagne per person for a bubbly toast, and a sweet ending with housemade dessert, plus soft drinks, tea and coffee all for $95 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity.

Bistronomic Chef/Owner Martial Noguier invites guests to begin a love affair with French cuisine this Valentine's Day. From Thursday, February 14 through Sunday, February 17, diners will enjoy a three-course prix fixe menu for $55 (exclusive of tax and gratuity). Based entirely on recipes from Chef Auguste Escoffier, the father of modern French cuisine, the menu features a variety of classic dishes tailored for the season and updated with Chef Martial's modern approach, as well as vegetarian options. Reservations are highly recommended and available at (312) 944-8400.

For Valentine's Day, couples can heat up the romance with a Latin-inspired five-course meal at Skokie's Libertad.  Executive Chef Armando Gonzales has designed a menu that showcases indulgent ingredients, zesty flavors and pink accents, perfect for a celebratory meal.  The atmosphere at Libertad, featuring dark wood, red walls and dim lighting, makes for a romantic ambiance to enjoy a cozy dinner with that special someone.  Food lovers can sneak away to Skokie to enjoy this fiery menu in an intimate setting.

The prix fixe menu includes a glass of champagne, and is priced at $50 per person.  An extensive wine list to accompany the meal, curated by award-winning consulting sommelier Shebnem Ince, is available for guests to select bottles or by-the-glass options.  A seasonal cocktail list designed by beverage expert Adam Seger also offers unique creations to really spice up the evening. For more information about about celebrating Valentine's Day at Libertad, call (847) 674-8100 or visit the restaurant's website.

Sepia's sexy vibe and chic atmosphere will set the tone for an unforgettable Valentine's Day. On Thursday, February 14th, we welcome romantics to dine under candlelight and indulge in an over-the-top menu full of aphrodisiacs and bold flavors.  James Beard Award-nominated Chef Andrew Zimmerman created a decadent menu for the holiday, paired with exquisite wines expertly selected by Wine Director Arthur Hon. The four course menu includes fanciful dishes like Kusshi Oysters with grapefruit, black pepper, and tarragon; Seared Sea Scallop with yuzu-kumquat marmalade, celery root, and coffee; and Grilled Wagyu Beef with foie gras croquette, pommes anna, and black trumpet mushrooms. As if the night wasn't sweet enough, Pastry Chef Cindy Schuman completes the meal with a variety of dessert delights.

The four-course prix-fixe menu is $90 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity, with an optional wine pairing for an additional $65. For more information about our Valentine's Day menu, or to make reservations, please call 312.441.1920 or visit www.sepiachicago.com.

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 chicagofoodsnob@hotmail.com. Joe has also contributed to Eater.com Chicago and mydailyfindchicago.com.

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