Food Fun Friday - Memorial Day Edition

Food Fun Friday - Memorial Day Edition

A bunch of fun events, rides to concerts, festival tickets and more!!

Have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend.

The Illinois Restaurant Association has announced that pre-sale tickets for the sixth annual Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet 2013 will be available for a limited time beginning Thursday, May 30 at 10 a.m. at While supplies last, tickets will be sold at $119 per person, per day, or $199 per person for a Weekend Pass. This pricing represents a 25 percent savings over regularly priced tickets, which are $159 per person, per day, or $265 per person for a Weekend Pass. Prices exclude taxes and fees.

Additionally, tickets to the hugely popular Grand Cru Tasting - which takes place from 2-4 p.m. each day of Chicago Gourmet and features the world's finest wines and presentations with the nation's top Master Sommeliers - will be available for purchase during early registration. New this year, the Grand Cru will showcase the cuisine of premier chefs from around the world. Tickets are $199 per person, plus the cost of general admission.

The Hamburger Hop - a burger showdown between the city's top chefs - will take place on Friday, September 27. Tickets for that event will go on sale at a later date.

Cru Kitchen & Bar (25 E. Delaware Pl.) and Lagunitas Brewing Company join forces for a collaborative Beer Dinner on Thursday, May 30 for $45 per person (plus tax and gratuity). A 6:30 p.m. reception is followed by a three-course dinner at 7 p.m. To make reservations, call Cru at 312.337.4001.

The Pony in Lakeview will host a bus trip to the Zac Brown Band concert at Alpine Valley on Saturday, June 8. For $50 per person, guests will enjoy a luxury coach bus ride to and from Alpine Valley with refreshments on the bus (concert tickets not included). Before and after the concert, guests can indulge in the Saturday specials at The Pony including $4 Bloody Marys and $4 Mimosas. Registration will begin at 2 p.m. in the bar, and the bus leaves promptly at 4 p.m. Guests can sign up online at

Oak Street Beach Food + Drink for the summer season! Memorial Day weekend will welcome Chicago’s go-tobeachbar. Only 15 steps from the blue waters of Lake Michigan, OSB has a fresh new food and beverage menu. Beachgoers will enjoy items such as a cocktail bucket, watermelon salad, oyster flight and bánh mì sandwich. Their Pig Roast Series begins on Memorial Day (Monday, May 27) from 2-6 p.m. for $40 per person. The holiday feast includes a roasted pig, perfectly paired sides, beer and cocktails.

On Friday, June 7, 2 Sparrows will host the Petaluma, CA-based brewery to showcase five different varieties of Lagunitas’ craft brews, matched with a five-course menu by Chef Gregory Ellis.  Diners will enjoy a seasonal prix fixe menu with Lagunitas pairings for every course, including a combination of year-round favorites and seasonal picks. The Lagunitas Beer Dinner begins at 7 p.m. and is priced at $60 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Seating is limited to 60 guests and reservations are required by calling (773) 234-2320.

LeaderBar Drafthouse & Eatery, located in Avondale at 3000 W. Irving Park Road in Chicago, will celebrate National Burger Day, Tuesday, May 28, by offering $1 Leader Burgers with the purchase of any craft beer. LeaderBar is the perfect place to kick-back and enjoy a burger, watch the latest sports game, or spend an afternoon sipping craft brews on the lushly landscaped 75-person beer garden or sidewalk patio.

LeaderBar is excited to offer neighborhood fans their outstanding Leader Burger for just $1 with the purchase of any craft beer. The Leader Burger is the house favorite, smothered in Merkts cheddar and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and house sauce. Normally sold for $9.95, the $1 Leader Burger price is our way of honoring America’s love affair with charred beef on National Burger Day! LeaderBar Drafthouse & Eatery is located at 3000 W. Irving Park Road at Sacramento.  LeaderBar is open Monday-Friday, 12pm-2am; Saturday 12pm-3am; Sunday 12pm-12am. For additional information, please visit or call 773.478.2337.

Dinner Series

Storefront Company(1941 West North Avenue), a recent recipient of the 2013 Michelin Bib Gourmand award, is excited to share the upcoming roster for the spring Discovery Dinner Parties – the Wicker Park restaurant’s ongoing series of experiential and education dining events. The calendar is as follows:

  • Tuesday, May 28 – 32 Via Dei Birrai In true Discovery Dinner Party form, Storefront Company hosts an evening of international exploration as guests enjoy dinner paired with a line of newly imported Italian Beers, co-hosted by Importers Alberto Minardi, Zack Pass, and Miguel Silva. Dinner party guests will be amongst the first in the country to taste this special line of Italian craft brews.

Tickets for all events are $79 per guest (including wine/beverage pairings), and must be reserved in advance by calling Storefront Company at 773.661.2609. Guests are encouraged to get social as they discover by utilizing the #SFCoDiscovery hashtag, and engaging with @StorefrontCo on Twitter and Instagram, as well as throughout the evening.

Cheese lovers rejoice! Le Bar will reignite its Après Work cheese promotion this spring and summer, inviting guests to enjoy a rotating cheese flight paired with a wine flight for the special price of $18. The program, curated by Chef Greg Biggers and Pastry Chef Leigh Omilinsky, features the region’s top cheese producers alongside an expertly paired wine flight. Make Le Bar your Après Work destination to enjoy the following featured cheeses and wines:

June - Prairie Fruits Farm, Champagne, IL

  • Ash-Coated Black Goat - La Poule Blanche (Sauvignon Blanc & Chardonnay blend), Languedoc, France
  • Brie-style Angel Food – The Seeker Pinot Noir, Puy de Dôme, France
  • Moonglo Raw Goat’s Milk – Louis Jadot Chardonnay Mâcon Village, Burgundy, France

July - Zingerman’s, Ann Arbor, MI

  • Ypsi Grape Leaf Wrapped Goat Cheese – Grappa Merlot, Italy
  • Great Lakes Cheshire Cow – The Seeker Pinot Noir, Puy de Dôme, France
  • Manchester Cow’s Milk – Joel Gott “815” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, USA
  • Lincoln Log Goat’s Milk – La Poule Blanche Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc, Languedoc, France

Après Work takes place Monday through Friday from 3-7 p.m. and highlights Le Bar’s in-depth cheese program. Each cheese and wine flight combo is specially priced at $18. For updates and news for Le Bar, please visit or call (312) 324-4000.



Geja¹s Café, 340 W. Armitage, the legendary fondue and lovers landmark, will celebrate its 48th anniversary with a series of special events the week of Sunday, June 30th through Thursday, July 4th. In addition to offering its traditional anniversary discount of 48% off all food bills during the 5-day Anniversary Celebration, Geja's will also host its fourth annual recipe contest and third annual poetry challenge. Geja's also invites all aspiring fondue foodies to submit an original dipping sauce recipe to accompany Geja's meats and seafood entrée. To enter, contestants should send their recipe and explain why the sauce should be served on Geja's Café's entrée platter. The winning recipe, in addition to being featured at Geja's during the anniversary week, will also win a dinner for 6 with selected fine wines. Recipes must be submitted between Saturday, June 1st and Sunday, June 23rd to be considered. Both recipes and poetry entries should be submitted to In the subject line please put Recipe or Poetry Contest.

French restaurant Le Bouchon, 1958 N. Damen in Chicago, led by legendary French Chef Jean-Claude Poilevey, is proud to announce its 20th year of bringing Paris to the streets of Chicago.  To kick off the 20th anniversary celebration, Jean-Claude’s son, Sous Chef Oliver Poilevey, who has recently joined the restaurant, will create a special seven course “Nose to Tail” dinner Sunday, June 2 at 7 p.m. He will also be lending his contemporary vision to re-conceptualize several of the restaurant’s traditional Lyonnaise menu items.  The dinner is $60 per person.  To continue the week-long celebration, all entrees served from Monday, June 3 until Saturday, June 8 will be $19.93 each.

Roots Handmade Pizza (1924 W Chicago Ave) will throw its Two-Year Anniversary Party from 11am until 2am on Wednesday, May 29 that will feature food and drink specials, free samples of the new “Chef Series” pizzas by Rick Ortiz of Antique Taco and Chef Chris Curren of Homestead, and free birthday cake from West Town Bakery & Diner.

All of Roots’ malt crust Quad Cities pizzas will be 20% off during its One-Year Anniversary Party (dine-in only). Drink specials include $2 6oz pours of the Roots House Brew by Two Brothers Brewing Company, $3 Cazadores tequila and 42 Below vodka chilled liquor tap shots, and $5 Grey Goose vodka cocktails from open to close during Roots’ Two-Year Anniversary Party.

Free slices of birthday cake provided by Roots’ sister and adjoining restaurant West Town Bakery & Diner will be given out to paying patrons in the evening during the Roots Two-Year Anniversary Party as well.

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

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