Food Fun Friday - Derby, Cinco de Mayo and Burgers

Food Fun Friday - Derby, Cinco de Mayo and Burgers

Back from vacation and glad to be home with so many fun events in Chicago! Some great dinners next week and events for the Derby and Cinco de Mayo if you scroll down! Mother's Day to come soon on it's own post...

Have a safe and fun weekend!


Frontier will host their monthly "So You Think You're a Foodie" chef's table on Wednesday, April 30 at 8 p.m. For $65 per person, guests will indulge in a mystery five-course tasting menu showcasing unique and delectable fare specially prepared by Pioneer Tavern Group Corporate Executive Chef Brian Jupiter. The April menu will feature Oysters and Wagyu Beef. Optional course pairings are available for an additional $25. The specific menu items and course pairings will not be unveiled until that evening.

Space is extremely limited. www.thefrontierchicago.comto the 48-hour cancellation policy.

Guests are invited to enjoy the next best thing to ringside seats for the Mayweather vs. Maidana fight on Saturday, May 3 at 8 p.m. at the Kerasotes ShowPlace ICON Theatre located in the South Loop. ShowPlace ICON will broadcast the fight as Floyd "Money" Mayweather and Marcos "El Chino" Maidana face off at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. The fight will be presented live on the big screen in the auditorium, which features cutting edge digital cinema projectors with 26,000 watts of power for distortion-free listening.

This will be a select 21+ title wherein adult beverages can be served. Open only to those 21 years of age or older; valid ID required.

COST: $25 per person (food and drink not included)

RESERVE: Advance ticket purchase available. Visit: Guests must be 21 years and older.

Frontier invites Chicagoans to enjoy an authentic Louisiana crawfish boil on Sunday, May 4 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. For $35 per person, guests will enjoy an all-you-can-eat crawfish boil complete with potatoes and corn on the cob prepared exclusively by Pioneer Tavern Group Corporate Chef Brian Jupiter.

Raised in New Orleans, Chef Jupiter has always believed that the Southern comfort style of cooking is a true art form, and he refers back to many recipes derived from closely held family secrets. Through his eclectic recipes, Chef Jupiter strives to elevate the status of "soul food" and Cajun/Creole cooking to the level of more widely recognized cuisines.

RESERVE: Purchase tickets HERE


Cooking Classes

Nando Milano Trattoria is delighted to announce the first series of cooking classes being offered at the Wicker Park establishment on Sundays in April. Led by Executive Chef Alessio Vullo, Nando's cooking classes will focus on "fare de mangiare per la famiglia" or family style meals, combining the tradition of family togetherness and the love of Italian food. Each week participants will learn how to create one of the delicious Vullo family recipes. Following each lesson, participants are welcome to invite a guest to enjoy the special meal they have helped prepare.

Classes will be held on Sundays in April from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Cost is $80 per person. Classes are limited to 10 people and are on a first come first serve reservation basis. *Note there will be no class on April 20 due to the Easter Holiday. For more information or reservations call (773) 486-2636



Tavern On Rush will host its third annual Kentucky Derby Party on Saturday, May 3 beginning at 9am. Guests are encouraged to dress in honor of the Derby, as the best hat will be awarded a bottle of Dom Perignon awarded immediately after the race.  The restaurant will celebrate all day with special $10.50 Maker's Mark Mint Juleps and a dedicated Derby menu including Kentucky Burgoo Soup, Crispy Churchill Fried Chicken Chopped Salad, “Run for the Roses” Potato Chip Basket and Kentucky Bourbon Banana Bread Pudding.

On Saturday, May 3, Chicago q will host their second annual Derby party, Derby q, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Guests can view the races inside Chicago q's main dining room or outside on the tented, heated patio. Tickets are available for $42, and include a Southern-style, all-you-can-eat buffet and a drink, and can be reserved by calling 312.642.1160. A portion of the ticket fee will be donated to Ronald McDonald House® near Lurie Children's.

Enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet, prepared by Chicago q Chef/Partner Lee Ann Whippen. The buffet will include Chicago q traditional dishes along with Kentucky Derby themed dishes such as ham and biscuits with q mustard sauce, Southern style roasted corn pudding, Kentucky Derby pie with pecans and chocolate, and much more.

After the first drink on the house, Chicago q's full cash bar will be available as well as Kentucky Derby themed specials including a Makers Mark Mint Julep for $7. Guests can also enjoy "The Derby" a specialty drink, where a portion of this drink's proceeds will be donated to Ronald McDonald House®.

Throughout the day, there will be numerous contests including the best Derby Hat Contest, Best Dressed Gentlemen Contest and many more ways to win some fabulous prizes. Guests will be able to bet on derby horses for a chance to win Blue Door Farm Stand retail, Chicago q gift cards and bounce backs, house made sauces, rubs, and pickles from Chicago q, Maker's Mark goodies, and more!

Guests are invited to join LUXBAR, 18 E Bellvue Pl, Chicago, for a day at the races to celebrate the 140th Kentucky Derby. With 16 HD flatscreen televisions with sound on showing the race, LUXBAR is the perfect spot to catch all the Derby action. Guests will enjoy festive cocktails including Mint Juleps and a best hat contest. The winner will receive a $250 gift card.


Cinco de Mayo

Tavern on Rush invites Chicagoans to celebrate Cinco de Mayo on Rush Street with festive food and drink specials in the bar and lounge. Featured dishes include Tortilla Chips (served with Salsa Olé; $2), Homemade Tamales (filled with pork, served with salsa and sour cream; $2 each) and Steak Tacos (topped with cheese, lettuce and salsa, $1 each). Guests will enjoy $3 bottles of Corona all day.

Popular Latin fusion restaurant, Maya Del Sol in Oak Park, is hosting its BIGGEST Cinco de Mayo party yet on SATURDAY, May 3rd. Doors will open at NOON on Saturday, with a special Mexican-themed menu and drink specials. Later in the day, the party continues with food stations featuring guest chefs, a drink package, and live music.

The guest chef food stations will open at 5pm, with appearances from Armando Gonzalez from Libertad, Carlos Garza from Carnivale, among other notable Chicago chefs including Jona Silva. They will be serving traditional Mexican street food with a twist, including tacos, tamales, ceviche, and more. Live music will kick off at 5pm with Guitarra Azul, followed by Joe Rendon & Friends at 8:30pm.

In addition to the celebration on Saturday, Maya will feature a traditional Mexican-themed menu all weekend, live music on Friday night from David Blamires, a special Mexican-themed Sunday Brunch buffet, and drink specials on Monday, May 5th.

Reservations will be taken on Saturday, May 3rd, but will be limited after 5pm. The remaining seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. For more details about our Cinco de Maya celebration, contact Paul Abu-Taleb at 708-358-9800

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, Chef Patricio Sandoval of Mercadito (108 W. Kinzie) will be celebrating with his annual Cinco de Mayo Cooking Demos on Monday, April 28 and Tuesday, April 29. Chef Patricio Sandoval will pay tribute with dishes inspired by the holiday’s true origins, the historic Battle of Puebla in 1862. He will share how to plan the perfect Cinco de Mayo fiesta and serve up history with Mexican twists on French classics, like Camarones a la Nicoise, epazote-marinated, head-on shrimp with Nicoise salad of chipotle bernaise sauce and chicharron.  The cooking demonstrations will take place at Double A below Mercadito at a cost $65 per guest, including five dishes and cocktail pairings.

You can see the 5-course menu here with cocktail pairings for each including the The Professor and Mary Ann, Bacardi Select, pineapple, lime juice, morita syrup, and applewood smoked glassware. The demos start at 6:30 pm. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 312.329.9555.

National Burger Month Specials in May

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse Celebrates National Burger Month with Jeff Mauro’s Burger

At the 2013 Chicago Gourmet Show, Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro, partnered with Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse for the Hamburger Hop. Together they created the Crunchy Cherry-Pepper Burger, which received the “People’s Choice Award.” Due to its popularity, Gibsons added the delicious burger to its lunch menu, which guests are invited to enjoy throughout the month of May in honor of National Burger Month.

The burger is ten ounces of USDA Gibsons Prime Angus topped with fried cherry peppers, creamy jalapeño Havarti and engine sauce (mayonnaise, Korean chili paste, capers, rice wine vinegar, garlic, honey salt and pepper) on a housemade bun, $14. CHICAGO HOURS: Lunch: Daily, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. | Dinner: Daily, 3 p.m. - 12 a.m. | Bar: Daily, 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.

LUXBAR 18 East Bellevue Place | Chicago, IL 60611| (312) 642-3400 |

In celebration of National Hamburger Month this May, LUXBAR invites guests to enjoy burgers and sliders created by Executive Chef Shaun Connolly. Featured burgers include the Gourmet (Havarti cheese, tomato, arugula, bourbon-bacon jam, jalapeno relish, housemade bun, $16), LUX Royale (American cheese, sautéed onions, LUX pickles, pretzel bun, $12.50), Turkey (white cheddar, avocado, tomato, onion, rolled oats bun, $12.75) and Veggie (arugula, hot pink mayo, rolled oats bun, $11).

LUXBAR proudly serves ground Gibsons USDA Prime Angus Beef. Gibsons Restaurant Group is the only restaurant in the country to have their own USDA certification; LUXBAR serves USDA Process Verified Gibsons Prime Angus Beef. More information about this certification available upon request.

HOURS: Monday - Friday: 11 a.m. - 12:00 a.m., Saturday - Sunday: 8 a.m. -12 a.m. |

Bar: Monday – Friday: 11 a.m. - 2 a.m., Saturday: 8 a.m. - 3 a.m., Sunday: 8 a.m. - 2 a.m.

TAVERN ON RUSH - 1031 N. Rush St. | Chicago, IL 60611 | 312.644.9600 |

Tavern On Rush, a Gold Coast favorite, invites guests to try its lineup of mouthwatering burgers in celebration of National Hamburger Month this May. Executive Chef John Gatsos chargrills all of his burgers, which enhances the flavor of the meat and ensures a nice crust outside and juicy center. Burgers include Tavern Angus Burger, Kobe Beef, Turkey, Naked Veggie, and the Tavern Steak, a delicious blend of short rib, brisket and ground chuck. Sliders including Angus and Filet Mignon are also available.

HOURS: Monday - Friday: 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. | Saturday: 9 a.m. - 3 a.m. | Sunday: 9 a.m. - 2 a.m.

Newport Bar and Grill - 1344 W Newport Ave

Newport Bar and Grill invites Chicagoans to celebrate National Burger month with their new $8 craft burger lunch special available Wednesday through Friday 11am-3pm. The restaurants 10 oz black angus patties are USDA certified, locally sourced, fed 100% vegetarian diet and hand selected by their distributer.

Featured selections include The Bayou, black angus, Andouille sausage, remoulade, fried egg, pepper jack, and cajun seasoning on a pretzel bun, the Mighty Buffalo, black angus, caramelized onions, grilled mushrooms, bacon, bleu cheese, and buffalo sauce on a pretzel bun, and The Texan, black angus, chili, fried serrano peppers, cheddar-jack, and fried egg on Texas toast.

The restaurant will extend the $8 craft burger offer through dinner time on Wednesday, May 28 in honor of National Hamburger Day. *All burgers come with French fries. Customers can substitute any black angus patty for ground turkey or vegetarian bean patty for no extra charge.

HOURS: Monday: 3 p.m. - 2 a.m. | Tuesday: 3 p.m. - 2 a.m. | Wednesday-Friday: 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. | Saturday: 10 a.m. - 3 a.m. | Sunday: 10 a.m. - 2 a.m.

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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