Food Fun Friday -Chicago Craft Beer Week

Food Fun Friday -Chicago Craft Beer Week

I can’t believe it’s snowing! Who knows when Spring will arrive but we have Craft Beer Week (scroll to the bottom for those specials) going on in town and some fun events around that as well as some great dinners in the near future.

Check out the latest podcast of 20?s with chef Chris Macchia at The Florentine and have a good weekend.

Feeding the soul takes on a whole new meaning at the fifth installment of Found’s popular Moveable Feast dinner series. Proprietor Amy Morton will host a five course “Inspirational Dinner” with longtime cause Inspiration Corporation on Tuesday, May 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Garfield Park’s Inspiration Kitchen (3504 W. Lake St.).

Joining Morton will be Found’s Executive Chef Nicole Pederson, a slew of nationally acclaimed chefs who have worked with Nicole previously, including Paul Ferzacca (La Tour), Jason Hammel (Lula Café), Mike Simmons (Rootstock), and Melissa Trimmer (C-House), and a team of young student chef volunteers from Inspiration Corporation who will help prepare and serve the meal.

Tickets for the event are $80 per person (exclusive of tax and gratuity) and can be purchased here. Proceeds from the evening will be donated to Inspiration Corporation, an organization that provides essential social services to Chicagoans hit hardest by homelessness and poverty, and inspires its participants to take action to improve their own lives.

The Langham Chicago’s Travelle lounge announces the recent launch of their Pink Taxi cocktail, available for purchase throughout the month of May in support of Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure, held in Chicago on Sunday, May 11.

The Pink Taxi cocktail, offered in the Travelle lounge, features Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Licor 43, and pomegranate juice topped off with a pink homemade lollipop and miniature keepsake pink London taxi. Guests can order the Pink Taxi cocktail for $25.

The Langham Chicago is contributing 20% of all cocktail sales in support of Susan G. Komen’s “Race for a Cure” Mother’s Day run, held annually in Chicago’s Grant Park. As a race sponsor the hotel is stationing their vintage, pink British taxi at one of the race stops for both runners and supporters to view and enjoy.

Travelle Lounge, located on the 2nd floor of The Langham Chicago - 330 N. Wabash Avenue

Dine for a good cause at Cucina Paradiso on Tuesday, May 20th as the restaurant will be donating 15% of all sales to the Rachel G. Smylie Memorial Scholarship, a scholarship established to support students who wish to travel to Tanzania to volunteer their time to help individuals in Africa.

The Rachel G Smylie Memorial Scholarship was founded by the Smylie family in remembrance of their daughter, Rachel Smylie, whose life was taken too soon while studying abroad in Africa this April. Rachel, who was a junior at the University of Michigan, was born and raised in the Oak Park community, and is known for her zest for life and willingness to help others.

Inspired by Rachel’s life message, Cucina Paradiso is honored to raise money in support of the scholarship, and hopes you can dine with them to celebrate Rachel’s life, while also opening the doors for future students continue Rachel’s journey.

For those who cannot dine with us, we encourage you to visit the Geography of Hope Website to donate to the Rachel G. Smylie Memorial Scholarship at:

Cucina Paradiso will be open for dinner at 5pm with the full dinner menu available. Reservations are accepted. Visit or call 708.848.3434 for reservations.

On Tuesday, June 10, Roka Akor Chicago, 456 N Clark, and The Japan America Society of Chicago invite guests to taste and discover a variety of premium sakes straight from Japan for the society's 21st Annual Sake Tasting event. Experts from seven of Japan's finest sake breweries will set up tasting stations around the restaurant, and welcome guests to ask questions and interact while tasting the different sakes. Home to one of the largest sake collections in the country, Roka Akor will offer a selection of contemporary Japanese appetizers for guests to enjoy during the tasting.

The cost of the event is  $70 per ticket includes; Tickets can be purchased here.

The Boarding House - the restaurant uniquely-owned by Master Sommelier Alpana Singh - will host a new series featuring signature pizzas and wine pairings selected by different sommeliers each month.  Aptly named "Let's Eat Somm Pizza!", the series highlights the popular coupling of pizza and wine, as well as shines a light on the impressive sommelier talent found throughout the city. Rachael Lowe, Spiaggia's newly appointed sommelier, will kick off the series this month.

May 2014

  • Sommelier: Rachael Lowe, Beverage Director & Sommelier at Spiaggia
  • Pizza: West Loop Salumi Spanish Chorizo, Dates, Manchego Cheese, Roasted Piquillo Pepper Sauce ($14)
  • Wine: Anima Negra AN/2, Mallorca ($13 a glass)
  • Tasting notes: Situated in the southeast of Mallorca, Anima Negra winery produces its wines on the old country estate of Son Burquera. This unique red is made from old vine Callet, Mantonegre-Fogoneu and Syrah. Deep ruby-red in color, ÀN/2 has complex aromas of savory spices, wild raspberries, dark cherry fruit and a hint of violets and smokiness. The fruit forward notes provide a nice contrast to the smokiness and spice of West Loop Salumi's Spanish chorizo (made with Rioja wine) and roasted piquillo pepper sauce while balancing the sweetness of the dates and saltiness of the Manchego cheese.

June 2014

  • Sommelier: Arthur Hon, Sepia
  • Pizza: Hawaiian: Pineapple, Ham, Mozzarella cheese, Tomato Sauce
  • Wine: 2005 Yves Breussin, Vouvray Moelleux Réserve, France
  • Tasting Notes: Made from the Chenin Blanc grape, Vouvray is a most versatile wine. It may range from crisp and lean to syrup-like nectar. Yves Breussin's sweeter moelleux evokes honey, pineapples, pear, peach and tropical fruits which provides the perfect foil for the saltiness of the ham while enhancing the sweet tanginess of the pineapple.

July 2014

  • Sommelier: Fernando Beteta, Master Sommelier, Tenzing
  • Pizza: Spicy Italian Sausage, Shaved Fennel, Fennel Seed, Mozzarella, Olive Oil, Salt and Cracked Pepper.
  • Wine: 2012 Mauro Molino Barbera d'Alba, Italy
  • Tasting Notes: Served lightly chilled, the wine enhances the anise flavors from the fennel, and the bright acidity is refreshing. The wine is low in tannins with no oak and doesn't overpower the spiciness from the sausage.

The "Let's Eat Somm Pizza" special will only be available in the restaurant's bar and is offered daily with the exception of Sundays. Pricing will vary slightly each month based on selected wines and toppings. For more information visit or call (312) 280-0720.

Craft Beer Week

Howells & Hood

o   When: Wednesday, May 21 at 6pm

  • What: Howells & Hood hosts California-based Anderson Valley Brewing Company Open House. As an authority in Chicago’s craft brew scene, Howells & Hood will receive the “lion’s share” of Anderson Valley’s supply brought to the Chicago area. Throughout the event, craft selections will be served in full-sized ($8 - $16) and 6-ounce tasting portions ($4 - $8). The most exclusive featured craft will be the Peachy Barl Sour Ale (5.7% ABV). This brew is created by aging Anderson Valley’s Mowkeef Saison in local wine “barls” with fresh peach puree and the brewery’s proprietary wild Horse Tongue Wheat culture for two years.

Howells & Hood (435 N. Michigan Ave.)

Craft Beer Flight

“Unknown Favorites” Flight: Great Divide Colette:  Farmhouse Saison, Green Flash West Coast IPA, Southern Tie, Un*Earthly Double IPA, Ommegang Three Philosophers:  Belgian Quadruple/Lambic

Beer-Infused Food Feature

Lagunitas IPA Slagel Farms Pork Bratwurst: Spicy Beer Mustard, Beer Braised Sweet Onions

Sweetwater  (225 N. Michigan Ave.)

Featured $4 6-ounce Beer Tasting

Revolution Anti-Hero: Features a blend of four hop varieties which creates a crisp bitterness and imparts massive floral and citrus aromas.

Beer-Infused Food Feature

Revolution Anti-Hero Braised Short Ribs: Garlic Mashed Potato, Fried Onion Strings, Grilled Asparagus

South Branch (100 S. Wacker Dr.)

Featured $4 6-ounce Beer Tasting

Deschutes Chainbreaker: Brewed with wheat and pilsner malt; this IPA displays citrus aromas from Cascade and Citra hops that meld with the esters of Belgian yeast

Beer-Infused Food Feature

Chainbreaker Grilled Octopus Salad: Chainbreaker braised kale, Parmesan cheese, roasted fingerling potatoes & jalapeño, crispy chorizo, and Chainbreaker citrus vinaigrette

The Boundary (1932 W. Division St.)

Beer-Infused Food Feature

Lagunitas IPA Marinated Salmon: Grilled Baby Bok Choy, Pear, Onion, Baby Pickles

Old Town Pour House (1419 N. Wells St.)

Featured $4 6-ounce Beer Tasting

Allagash Saison: Saison is hopped with Tettnang, Bravo and Cascade hops, and fermented with a traditional saison yeast strain exhibiting notes of spice and tropical fruit in the aroma

Craft Beer Flights

“Staff Favorites” Flight: Firestone Walker Double Jack, Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven B.V. La Trappe,Brouwerij Bosteels Kwak, and Brasserie DuPont Saison DuPont

Allagash Flight: Saison, White, Black and Curieux

Beer-Infused Food Feature

Michigan Apple Cider Braised Pulled Pork Sandwich: White BBQ sauce, Dragons Milk Stout fried onions, served on a Kaiser roll

Old Town Pour House (8 Oak Brook Center)

Featured $4 6-ounce Beer Tasting

Anchor IPA: Made with 2-row barley malt and fresh whole-cone hops, its bright amber color, distinctively complex aroma, spiky bitterness, malty depth, and clean finish unite to create a uniquely flavorful, memorable, and timeless craft IPA

Craft Beer Flights

“Unknown Favorites” Flight: Tyranena Rocky's Revenge, Southern Tier 2x IPA, Metropolitan Krankshaft Kolsh, Green Flash Hop Head Red

Beer-Infused Food Feature

Michigan Apple Cider Braised Pulled Pork Sandwich: White BBQ sauce, Dragons

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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