Food Fun Friday

Food Fun Friday

The last weekend for February! Where does time go? Hope you all have a fun weekend planned. I will be at Poutinfest on Sunday – come say hello! Ok it’s bad out and I want to get out of work early so enough gabbing…

Here’s some fun food events…

The Florentine…is excited to host their First Annual Oscars Viewing Party to celebrate the 85th Academy Awards. Once arriving at the luxurious JW Marriott, “paparazzi” will be on hand to capture shots of the dressed-to-impress crowd on the red carpet. Upon entering The Florentine, guests will be greeted with complimentary Oscars-themed cocktails from Grey Goose, Bombay Sapphire East and San Pellegrino, including:

  • Silver Limings Playbook: Don Julio Silver, Grapefruit Pellegrino Sparkling Juice & Fresh Lime
  • Zero Dark Thirsty: Double Espresso, Godiva Dark Chocolate & Pisa Liquor
  • Miserable Mary: Sapphire East Gin, Zing Zang Bloody Mary & Old Bay
  • Mi Amour: Grey Goose, Grand Marnier, Chambord, Cranberry & Prosecco
  • Cherry Pi: Grey Goose Cherry, Amaretto, Fresh Lemon & Cherry Jam

Note: All Oscars-themed cocktails will be available throughout the weekend (2/22-2/24).

The special night will also feature passed hors d’oeuvres by Executive Chef Chris Macchia including:

  • Lincoln Logs: Stacked House Smoked Salmon Cannoli
  • Hush Puppies: Speck and Cornmeal Fritter
  • Canadian Caper: Oil Poached Tuna and Caper Salad
  • Shrimp d'Jango: Shrimp & Grits
  • Life of Pie: Mini Chocolate, Fruit & Vanilla Pies will be hand passed

Prizes will be given throughout the night, including an overnight stay in a Luxury Suite at the JW Marriott Chicago (valued at $450-$600) to the movie-guru with the most accurate ballot. Reservations are required. Please call (312) 660-8866 or visit  $25 per guest, exclusive of tax and gratuity

It’s written in the stars! Cru Kitchen & Bar (25 E. Delaware Pl.) is hosting an Oscar® Viewing Party from 5:30-10:30pm on Sunday, February 24 with nominee themed cocktails and prizes.

Sip on the Lincoln (a traditional Old Pal cocktail) with Old Overholt Rye, Campari, Vermouth and orange bitters; the Amour (Clover Club) with Death’s Door Gin, raspberry, lemon and egg white; the Zero Dark Thirty (Blood and Sand) with Famous Grouse Scotch, Cherry Heering, Punt e Mes and orange; and more! The special drink of the evening is Cru’s take on a spiked sweet tea—the Hushpuppy—with Pimms, lemon juice, simple syrup and ice tea, inspired by Beasts of the Southern Wild.

For more information on Cru, call 312.337.4001 or visit

Friday, February 22, 2 Sparrows will be welcoming Virtue Cider for a dinner highlighting the Chicago-based craft cider company's offerings, along with a complementing menu from Chef Gregory Ellis.  Acclaimed Brewmaster and Founder of Virtue Cider, Greg Hall, will be in attendance, along with others from the team, to personally present their craft ciders, including a first look at the brand new "The Mitten."  February in Chicago is all about cider, with two world-class events taking place, including CiderCON, a mix of education and networking opportunities for cider producers from February 6-9, ending with Cider Summit on February 9, the largest tasting of artisanal ciders from around the world.

The Virtue Cider dinner will begin at 7:00 pm and is priced at $50 per person, including all three cider varieties.  Additional tastes of the ciders will be poured during the fourth course. Reservations for both dinners are required by calling (773) 234-2320.

On Tuesday, March 12, 2013, Sepia executive chef Andrew Zimmerman welcomes executive chef and owner Gerard Craft from St. Louis (Niche, Pastaria, Taste by Niche, and Brasserie by Niche) into his kitchen for a collaborative dinner at Private Dining by Sepia (135 N. Jefferson St.). The two nationally-acclaimed chefs have both recently been named as semifinalists for the 2013 James Beard Award Foundation Awards, a fifth nomination for Craft and second nomination for Zimmerman. Best known for their work with Midwestern farmers and purveyors, the five course “Modern Midwest” dinner, including wine pairings and a welcome cocktail reception, will celebrate the best, seasonal product of the region. The one-night guest chef dinner, beginning at 6 p.m., is priced at $115 per person, and reservations, along with a credit card number, are required and can be made by calling 312.441.1920.

Promotions and Specials

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).

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.

Dinner/Drinks Series

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

• March 7: Normandy region


This Passover, gather your family and friends around a table at Glenview House and feast on traditional Seder favorites. Chef Grant Slauterbeck will feature a 3-course unleavened Passover Tasting Menu including his twist on celebratory dishes eaten during the week-long holiday. The special menu will be available for both lunch and dinner. Monday, March 25 through Tuesday, April 2 from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. $35 per person, not including tax and gratuity. Reservations are recommended. Passover is menu available for dine-in only.

Glenview House - 1843 Glenview Road, Glenview, IL 60025 847-724-0692

St Patrick’s Day

Guests are in for a ‘lucky’ weekend filled with some St. Patrick’s Day food and drink specials when Suite 25 celebrates the time-honored holiday. After a day of dying the river green, Irish parades and the sound of bag pipes filling the streets, head on over to Logan Square’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration destination and take back $4 Jameson shots and $8 Irish Bomb specials at Suite 25. Open for lunch and dinner both Saturday and Sunday of the holiday weekend, guests are sure to enjoy a festive treat from the kitchen – Corned Beef Sandwich $8 served with a bag of chips. Guests can also continue to celebrate well into the night and enjoy menu favorites including Incan Tater-Tots, Suite 25 Burger, or Chicken Cesar Wrap.

Friday, March 15 from 5:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m., Saturday, March 16 from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m. and Sunday, March 17 from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m Reservations are not required.

Suite 25 - 2529 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 - 773-360-7478 @suite25

On Saturday, March 16th, Bridge Bar (315 North LaSalle), located along the Chicago River, invites guests to the fifth annual St. Patrick’s Day bash, “Dye One On.” Celebrate the Chicago tradition of dying the river green with friends and refreshments on Bridge Bar’s open-air riverfront veranda.

Come out of winter hibernation and enjoy Chicago’s 52-year tradition of river dying. From 9-11am, Bridge Bar will feature a ticketed breakfast buffet overlooking the Chicago River for $30/person. Executive Chef Kevin Schulz is whipping up gourmet scrambled eggs, sausage, ham, corned beef hash, Potatoes O'Brien, baked beans and buttermilk biscuits. The package includes two complimentary drinks to kick-off the day’s libations. Guests are invited to choose from Green Beer ($4), Guinness ($6), Bloody Mary ($7), Magners Cider ($6) and Jameson Jello Shots (2 for $5). To make reservations, call 312.822.0100.

The scene is all too familiar – the green Chicago River, the sound of bag pipers filling the streets of Chicago and parade attendees dressed alike in shamrock hats and glasses. No matter how you honor St. Patrick’s Day, Poag Mahone’s is your destination for an all-day festive celebration just minutes from the river, six blocks from the parade and a hop away from Union Station and the Quincy brown line stop.

Roll out of bed, throw on your green attire and stop in for Chef Gretchen Hollen’s breakfast buffet including all of the traditional Irish favorites from scrambled eggs to corned beef hash, sausage and hash browns for just $4.95 per person. Thirsty? Poag Mahone’s will be serving up ice, cold brews perfect for toasting the day with your fellow mates. After 11:00 a.m., Poag’s will be offering a special St. Patrick’s Day menu with favorites like corned beef and cabbage, corned beef sandwiches and juicy Grass Fed burgers to soak up the day’s worth of stout and lagers. Leprechauns of all ages are invited to enjoy the lively sounds of The Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band and dance an Irish jig at 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Saturday, March 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Closed on Sunday. Breakfast Buffet is served from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Special dining menu will be available from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Poag Mahone’s - 333 South Wells Chicago, IL - 312-566-9100

Come celebrate the luck of the Irish at Sweetwater Tavern and Grille’s 4th annual St. Pat’s  Bash on Saturday, March 16th, beginning bright and early at 9 a.m. Located just steps away from the Chicago River at 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Sweetwater’s beer garden is the perfect place to kick off the holiday!

Guests will enjoy live music and $4 green Miller Lite drafts, $6 Guinness, $7 Jameson shots, and $10 Car Bombs under the tents on Sweetwater’s patio. St. Patty’s Day swag will be provided, including beads, hats and other goodies to all partygoers. From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., guests will enjoy a 15-minute traditional bag pipe performance beginning at the top of each hour.

For those looking for some Irish flavors, Sweetwater will offer Hot Corned Beef with swiss on rye, served with fries ($9.95) or the Big Baby burger with Guinness-infused cheddar, lettuce, tomato, pickles and chipotle aioli, topped with housemade onion rings ($12.99).

For more information, visit

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 has also contributed to Chicago and

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