Food Fun Friday - Mother's Day and more...

Food Fun Friday - Mother's Day and more...

My apologies that this regular post has been derailed for way too long. My regular day job has been uber busy and finding time to write anything has been tough and sometimes the last thing I want to do after a long day! BUT, I feel I have found a way to get back on the horse and make sure I write on a more regular basis…

With that…check out some of the fun events happening and a recap of all things Mother’s Day at the end. Some of the reservations for Sunday may be oddly timed since it’s so last minute…I know, I didn’t make mine until recently, but don’t tell mom!

Have a fun and hopefully dry weekend…

Table Fifty-Two, Chef Art Smith and Julie Latsko’s signature Gold Coast restaurant, is delighted to celebrate the release of Chef Art Smith’s “Healthy Comfort” with a Book Release Signing on Saturday, May 11th at 2 PM. The event will feature small bites inspired by the brand-new cookbook from this James Beard Award-winning author, and Chef Art will be present to sign copies of “Healthy Comfort,” graciously offered for sale by Barbara’s Books. Table Fifty-Two, 52 West Elm Street - May 11th at 2 PM The Event is Free. RSVP is requested at 312.573.4000

ENO Wine Bar on the Magnificent Mile (505 N. Michigan, 312-321-8738) has an exciting event coming up next week. On Tuesday, May 14, Eno will welcome Margy Kaye of Sweet Margy Confection Diva, a Chicago area favorite, for an evening of toffee making classes and custom wine pairings. For $35 per person, guests will be able to sign up for one of two classes taught by Margy Kaye while enjoying wines personally selected by Jen Winterburn, ENO’s Wine Director.

Executive Chef Jose Garces invites acclaimed chef Paul Kahan (avec, Blackbird, The Publican) to Mercat a la Planxa (638 S. Michigan Ave.), the modern tapas restaurant inspired by Spain’s Catalan region, for a pork-centric guest chef dinner on Saturday, May 18. The two renowned chefs along with Mercat’s Chef de Cuisine Cory Morris crafted the five-course menu to celebrate Spain’s prized ingredient of Iberico pork. The dinner will feature Fermin Iberico from Wagshal’s Imports with many different preparations. A sangria reception kicks off the celebration with a cortador de jamón, or master jamon carver, on hand to slice paper-thin tastings of the delicacy. The event costs $125 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 312.542.3600.

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 14 – Goose Island Beer Company : Vintage Collection Join Sarah Busen and Susan Wolcott in exploring Chicago’s own Goose Island Brewing’s five vintage brands, including the new Bourbon County Stout, perfectly paired with Chef Moscatello’s seasonal fare.
  • 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.

Carnivale continues Carnivale University Spring Quarter with Tequila 101 on Wednesday, May 15. Carnivale's Mixologist Daryl Freeman will lead this premium tequila tasting paired with delicious appetizers from Carnivale's newly appointed Executive Chef Rodolfo Cuadros. Freeman will introduce four well-respected and authentic tequilas including Casa Noble, El Tesoro, Herradura and El Jimador. As a special treat, Casa Noble owner Jose Hermosillo will be in attendance to explain the history of the brand. All class participants will have the opportunity to taste the tequila on its own to understand the subtle nuances and dimensions of the spirit. $25 per person  Reservations required; call (312) 850-5005 or visit

Poag Mahone’s brings two American classics together at the first annual Burger and Brews Reception honoring both May’s National Burger Month and American Craft Beer Week (May 13-19). Guests are invited to the cocktail-style reception featuring juicy burger bites created by Chef Gretchen Hollen and beer samplings from Founders Brewery.

Every guest will receive a complimentary gift from Founders Brewery in addition to a raffle ticket for the chance to win some fantastic Founders Brewery prizes. And for all the craft beer aficionados, Poag Mahone’s will be raffling three separate four packs of the limited imperial stout, Founders Brewery KBS. The Burger and Brew Reception will be on Tuesday, May 14; 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event, including mini burgers and beer sampling, is priced at $30 per person, including tax and gratuity. Reservations are required by calling 312-566-9100. Poag Mahone’s 333 South Wells, Chicago, IL 312-566-9100

Mother’s Day

If mom’s more interested in comforting brasserie fare, Little Market Brasserie is the spot. Chef Ryan Poli has crafted a special Mother’s Day brunch sharing menu with new twists on classic brunch dishes. . The brunch costs $35 per guest and includes four items for the table, and one complimentary brunch cocktail or drink from the juice bar. Check out the full menu here, and make a reservation by calling (312) 640-8141.

bellyQ -1400 W. Randolph St., 312-563-1010Chef Bill Kim is serving his full menu on Mother's Day and is giving out complimentary caramels to all moms dining at bellyQ. Try for one of the grilling tables to give Mom an interactive experience and don't forget to try the Thai Style Fried Chicken and Passionfruit Ice for dessert.BEL 50 - 738 N. Clark St., 312-496-3948

Make Mother's Day a Sunday Funday at unique waffle sandwich spot, BEL 50. Treat Mom to a waffle sandwich entree for breakfast, lunch or dinner and she'll receive a complimentary mimosa on Sunday, May 12. Try favorites like the Burrata with fresh basil leaves, peppery extra virgin olive oil and flaky salt or the Chicken N' Waffle featuring free-range chicken breast with a light, crispy panko breading, a sweet and tangy honey-mustard glaze and a tart apple slaw.

Bistronomic - 840 N. Wabash Avenue, (312) 944-8400

Chef/Owner Martial Noguier invites diners to celebrate Mother's Day with a charming French brunch at Bistronomic, the Gold Coast's favorite contemporary French bistro.  On Sunday, May 12, Bistronomic will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and offer a three-course prix-fixe menu made especially for mom for $35.  Bistronomic's menu includes an array of delectable seasonal dishes, including vegetarian options and a two-course children's meal option for $20.  Bottomless mimosas are also available for an additional $15.  All prices are exclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations are highly recommended and available at (312) 944-8400.

The Boarding House - 720 N. Wells St., 312-280-0720

The River North restaurant's intimate dining room, showcasing proprietor Alpana  Singh's carefully curated, 450-bottle wine list and  a menu of rustic, New American cuisine, will be the highlight of mom's day. The restaurant's  full dinner menu will be available and reservations may be made between 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

ENO Wine Bar - 505 N. Michigan Ave., 312-321-8738

ENO is a true believer that chocolate is the way to mom's heart. Stop by the cozy, casual wine bar and pick up a box of 4 gourmet chocolate truffles ($25) from one of the Midwest's premier chocolatiers, Gail Ambrosius. Ask the knowledgeable and friendly staff for the perfect bottle of wine to pair with the sweet treats and really impress mom.

The Florentine - 151 W. Adams St., 312-660-8866

Chef Chris Macchia is pulling out all the stops for Mother's Day at The Florentine. The Italian restaurant is offering mothers a special amuse bouche to begin as well as a take home sweet treat to bookend their decadent brunch, which includes: Panettone French Toast, Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Preserves, House Cured Smoked Salmon and Bagels, Omelet Station, Ham and Lamb Carving Stations, Assorted Panini, Artisanal Meats and Cheeses, Chilled Shrimp, Oysters on the Half Shell and more. Moms can also take advantage of the Bloody Mary Bar or Unlimited Mimosas for $12 per person. Brunch is $55 per person and $20 for children under 12. Please call for reservations, 312-660-8866.

The Gage - 24 S. Michigan Avenue, 312-372-4243

On May 12, Mom reigns supreme at The Gage. The iconic restaurant - featuring European-inspired, rustic American fare in a refined and lively setting - will offer its a la carte brunch, lunch, and dinner menus alongside special offerings by Chef de Cuisine Peter Coenen. Mom and the whole family will delight in items such as Lobster Bisque, Spring Melon and Prosciutto, Crepes Florentine, Beef Tournedos, and Chocolate Strawberry Mousse. Bartender Thomas Mooneyham will also present an array of celebratory cocktails, including The Gage's signature Bloody Caesar, Mimosas, Bellinis, and more. The Gage is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. Reservations are highly recommended. Please call 312-372-4243.

GT Fish & Oyster - 531 N. Wells St., 312-929-3501This Mother's Day, celebrate mom with acclaimed Chef Giuseppe Tentori's recently launched signature brunch menu. Open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., dishes such as Sarah's French Toast, Smoked Whitefish Quiche, Shrimp and Grits and Crab Benedict are sure to be crowd-pleasers. Kids options include classics such as pancakes and fried chicken, and no brunch is complete without an assortment of specialty beverages. Alcoholic offerings include mimosas, bellinis and bloody marys, while non-alcoholic options include peach cider, espresso and a section of fresh juices. Reservations are highly recommended. Please call 312-929-3501.
InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile - 505 North Michigan Ave., 312-944-4100This Mother's Day, the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile invites guests to show Mom their appreciation for her love and support by treating her to an afternoon of culinary delights. On Sunday, May 12, Executive Chef Randy Reed will present a lavish brunch buffet, offering an endless array of gourmet specialties for guests of all ages. Set inside the historic downtown Chicago hotel's gorgeous The Continental Dining Room, Mother's Day brunch will offer two seatings at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Mother's Day brunch costs $78 per adult and $30 per child, ages five through 12. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 312.321.8798.

Michael Jordan's Steak House - 505 N. Michigan Ave., 312-321-8738

Executive Chef James O'Donnell is serving up a special for moms who love steak this Mother's Day with his Wagyu Ribeye with Ramp Hollandaise, Blue Crab and Haricot Vert ($52). Start out with the popular Garlic Bread with Wisconsin Roth Kase Buttermilk Blue Cheese Fondue ($8) and finish with the 23 Layer Chocolate Cake ($14) to give Mom the ultimate Michael Jordan's Steak House experience.

mk The Restaurant - 868 N. Franklin, 312-482-9179

On Sunday, May 12, the casual fine-dining restaurant will treat all moms to a special gift bag and the recognition they deserve. Mother's joining for dinner will receive a complimentary champagne toast along with a gift bag that includes:

  • A $25 gift card to the Bucktown boutique p.45, a landmark destination for innovative clothing and accessories from new talent discoveries as well as internationally recognized collections
  • A $25 gift card to Michael & Michael Salon, a premier hair salon in River North
  • A $25 gift certificate to return to mk
  • A take-home treat from Pastry Chef Stephanie Mazzone

The restaurant will be serving dinner starting at 5:30. Reservations are recommended and may be made by calling (312) 482-9179. Full menu and mk's notable wine list may be viewed online.

Sixteen - 401 N. Wabash Ave., 312-588-8151 - 10:30 am - 3:00 pm

This Mother's Day, guests of Sixteen can treat mom to an unforgettable experience. The Michelin-rated restaurant will feature an elaborate brunch, fit for a queen. Guest may indulge in a raw bar display with Alaskan King Crab, Snow Crab claws, and oysters on the half shell. The buffet will also feature chef stations featuring hand-carved prime rib of beef as well as made-to-order pancakes and risotto. All moms will also enjoy a sweet takeaway from James Beard semi-finalist, Executive Pastry Chef Patrick Fahy. Mother's Day brunch cost $145 per person, $40 for children under 8 years of age. Reservations are recommended and may be made by calling (312) 588-8030.

The Talbott Hotel - 20 E. Delaware Place, 800-825-2688

Treat Mom to a staycation with one of the special packages available at the luxury, boutique Talbott Hotel in the heart of Chicago's Gold Coast. Hire a babysitter? Pamper the special lady in your life with the "Personally Yours Romance Package" which includes an upgrade to a luxurious suite, embroidered luxurious bathrobes with guests' initials, personal concierge and late checkout. If Mom has a soft spot for shopping, treat her to one of two shopping packages, including "The 900 North Michigan Shops & Bloomingdales Package" with deluxe accommodations, a $50 gift card to The 900 Shops, an exclusive gift bag including a makeup consultation at Mario Tricoci and late checkout, or the "Water Tower Shopping Package" featuring deluxe accommodations, $50 gift card to Water Tower Place, exclusive tote bag and a Water Tower manicure pedicure set. Please call 1-800-825-2688 for rates and reservations.

Tavernita - 151 W Erie, 312-274-1111

Celebrate Mother's Day at Tavernita with a spirited brunch. The restaurant will offer a 4-course sharing menu, brunch cocktail, and a special surprise for Mom. Brunch costs $35 per guest and will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Prices exclude tax and gratuity. Guests joining for dinner will enjoy the regular sharing style menu from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Reservations are recommended and may be made by calling 312-274-1111.

Tortoise Club - 350 N. State St., 312-755-1700

Opening early on Sunday just for Mother's Day, Executive Chef Gray McNally is preparing a special a la carte menu to treat moms looking for a cozy, classic restaurant with a great ambiance for conversation. The menu will offer brunch, lunch and dinner dishes from 11:30am to 8:00pm.

WAVE 640 N. Lake Shore Drive, 312-255-4460

Chef Greg Elliott is offering the full menu along with a brunch buffet that includes: carving stations, omelets stations, a smoked salmon platter, and a chef's selection of mini pastries, just to name a few. $35 for adults and $18 for children. Call ahead for reservations, 312-255-4460.

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and Cucina Paradiso is preparing a delicious brunch perfect for the whole family. On Sunday, May 12   from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., guests can enjoy a delightful array on dishes, all served buffet style. Cucina Paradiso is also offer a wide variety of desserts which are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. Guests can choose from an assortment of Mini Pastries, Italian Butter Cookies, and Biscotti. Adults can enjoy brunch for $25/person and children (12 & under) are $13/person. Prices include coffee, hot tea, iced tea, juices, and soda. Children under 5 pay their age. Cucina Paradiso will also be open for dinner at 5pm with the full dinner menu available. Reservations are required for brunch and dinner. Visit or call 708.848.3434 for reservations.

Treat the special woman in your life to Mother’s Day brunch at Hoyt’s Chicago. Enjoy a relaxing meal with loved ones, with options including caramel monkey bread, sweet ricotta crepes, egg white frittatas and more. Hoyt’s also has the Mother’s Day gift covered with a festive assortment of mini macaroons, wrapped for mom to take home. May 12, 2013, from 6:30 am– 3:00 pm - $25 per person. Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant at 312.346.9870 or by visiting

It’s all about mom at the scenic Fulton’s on the River Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday, May 12 from 10am to 3pm.Featuringa chef’s table byExecutive Chef Kevin Schulz, complemented by unparalleled river and city views, this celebration is not to be missed. Available for 42.95/person and 15.95/person for children 12 and under, guests also have the option to toast mom with the Fulton’s on the River signature Bloody Mary and Bellini Bar (an additional 12/person). Seats are limited so please call 312.822.0100 to make reservations. For more information, visit or call 312.822.0100. Fulton’s is located at 315 North LaSalle in downtown Chicago.

Drury Lane, 100 Drury Lane, provides the perfect setting to celebrate Mother’s Day.  On Saturday, May 11 at 3 p.m., Drury Lane invites Mothers and Daughters to enjoy high tea in the gorgeous new French Room, followed by a performance of the critically-acclaimed, Tony Award-winning musical OLIVER! at 5 p.m. On Sunday, May 12 from 10:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., Drury Lane features a lavish Mother’s Day Brunch that diners of all ages will enjoy.  An annual tradition, this year marks the first Mother’s Day Brunch following Drury Lane’s extensive renovation of its lobby, lounge and ballroom spaces.  Reservations are required by calling 630.530.8300 in advance.   The buffet-style Mother/Daughter Tea is $22/per person.  For tea and tickets to see OLIVER!, the package is $71/per person. The Mother’s Day Brunch buffet is $35.00 for adults, $15.00 for children ages 6-12, $10.00 for children ages 3-5, and children ages 2 and under are free.  Champagne, Mimosas and Bellinis are included.  Free parking is available to all guests as well. Reservations for both events are required by calling 630.530.8300.  For more information, visit

Held in the newly renovated Paris Ballroom of Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco, the special “Mother’s Day Grand Buffet” will be catered by South Water Kitchen’s Executive Chef Roger Waysok and feature: five dedicated culinary stations (Omelet Station, Smoked Salmon Station, Kid’s Station, Carving Station and Dessert Station) and a buffet filled with Chef Roger’s specialties like Vanilla Bean French Toast, Garlic Whipped Potatoes and Crab Cakes with Avocado Aioli. Additionally, a tableside Mimosa and Bloody Mary cart will be making the rounds for mom (additional cost). Sunday, May 12 from 9am-3pm - Paris Ballroom in Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco Chicago (225 N Wabash) $40/person and $15/child under 10-years-old (alcohol not included) Call 312.236.9300 to make a reservation.

For those looking to treat mom to an upscale Chicago experience, Lockwood restaurant at the Palmer House Hilton is the perfect fit. This Mother’s Day, Executive Chef Joseph Rose has crafted an exceptional buffet menu for families to celebrate mom. The brunch buffet runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and costs $65 for adults, $55 for seniors, and $35 for children ages 6-12 (children under 6 are complimentary). Prices exclude tax and gratuity. For the full menu, see here, and make a reservation by calling (312) 917-3404.

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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