Food Fun Friday

Food Fun Friday

Are you ready for some football? College or pro there is a buzz in the air now that the king of sports has begun its season. Also, seems like loads of new things are starting, must be that start of the school year mentality we all grew up with.

New Pinkberry in Old Town, menu changes at Hoyt’s, Markethouse, Ruxbin, Texas de Brazil, DMK selling a Pigskin Burger, benny’s Chop House is honoring Chicken Month with some add dishes and loads of other fun events and contests below – Dublin anyone (Half Way to St. Patty’s)? With so much going on I’m going to kinda section stuff off to make it a bit easier to follow such a long post!

BIG Events!
Greater Chicago Food Depository
The charity is beginning its fall run of event dinners at various Chicago restaurants. For more info and tickets go to – tickets are $150 each and all proceeds go to benefiting the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The restaurants and dates are: 
September 27, 2011 – The Publican – hosting a Food Drive the Saturday before
October 24, 2011- Boka
October 31, 2011 – NAHA

Hamburger Hop is BACK!
Tickets to the second annual Hamburger Hop – the kick off to Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet 2011: a celebration of food and wine – are now available at An ideal launch to a gourmet weekend, 15 of Chicago’s top chefs will fire up their grills to compete in the Hamburger Hop, presented by Allen Brothers and Miller/Coors’ Blue Moon. This lively, interactive event – expected to draw1000 guests – will feature a panel of celebrity industry experts who will judge the juicy entries. Participants and judges to be announced soon.

Harris Theater Rooftop in Millennium Park
205 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601
Friday, September 23, 2011 from 6 to 9 p.m.
$89 per person, exclusive of taxes and fees. The Hamburger Hop is open to the public, and is ticketed separately from Chicago Gourmet and the Grand Cru. To purchase tickets and for more details, visit Attendees must be at least 21 years of age.

Meals on Wheels Chicago
Meals on Wheels Chicago announced the chef line-up for the 23rd Annual Meals on Wheels Celebrity Chef Ball to be held at the historic Macy’s on State Street (111 N State) on October 14, 2011.   Host Chefs Stephanie Izard of Girl & the Goat, Chris Pandel of The Bristol and Paul Virant of VIE and Perennial Virant will join Host Mixologists Charles Joly of The Drawing Room and Lynn House of Blackbird to welcome 80 of Chicago’s finest chefs and eight of the Windy City’s top mixologists to the singular chef event of the year and one of Chicago’s longest-running culinary fundraisers. 

Known as The Chef’s Table, the first event of the evening is a seated dining experience with live cooking and cocktail pairings by celebrated chefs and mixologists that takes place from 6 to 8 pm. Priced at $325 per ticket, The Chef’s Table provides guests with a more intimate dinner option. 

Priced at $125, the Chef’s Tasting Party takes place from 8 pm to 12:30 am as a reception-style ball.  Attendees can savor countless chef tastings, premium cocktails, wine and beer, silent auction, casino gaming, an interactive photo station, a live band – Rock Candy, and Chef-DJ David Ochs from Girl and the Goat.

Half Way to St. Patty’s – Trip to Dublin?
St. Patty’s Day may be a little more than six months away, but Irish-owned pub chain
Claddagh Irish Pubs has plenty of reasons to celebrate the approaching “Halfway to St. Patty’s Day” holiday. The Irish-owned pub chain is launching a new website to house menus, information, images and activities taking place in each of its 15 pub locations across the Midwest.

Getting guests and fans into the spirit of celebration, Claddagh Irish Pubs will be giving away a trip for two to Dublin, Ireland, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2012, and will host mini-celebrations on September 17 – “Halfway to St. Patty’s Day” – at each pub location. To enter, guests just need to visit the new and complete a limerick and e-mail registration, and must be present at their local Claddagh Irish Pub on September 17 at 7:00 p.m. when the winner is announced.

Winner of the contest will receive two round-trip tickets to Dublin in March 2012, hotel accommodations for Thursday, March 15, to Sunday, March 18. The trip also includes a visit to the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, and hospitality at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, provided by Guinness. To learn more about Claddagh Irish Pubs, view images of the pub locations and menu items, or to view a calendar of pub events, visit

Football Specials and Fun
Lillie’s Q, where chef/owner Charlie McKenna serves award-winning competition BBQ along with Southern favorites and sides in Bucktown (1856 W North Ave), will give away one free order of boiled peanuts (regularly $4) to every paying patron wearing Florida State gear while the Seminoles are playing on Saturdays starting September 3.

Lillie’s Q will also sell the boiled peanuts for only $1 to every paying patron wearing any SEC (Southeastern Conference) team gear while their teams are playing during college football Saturdays.

Lillie’s Q will show Florida State and SEC (Southeastern Conference) games on its three flat screens. McKenna is a proud Florida State graduate and a longtime SEC football fan.

DMK Pigskin Burger! The Pigskin Burger contains root beer braised, naturally raised pork, an all grass-fed beef patty, aged organic Wisconsin cheddar, bread & butter pickles, onions & love.  It’s $10 and available every home and away Bears game.

Frontier, on Milwaukee in West Town, has a $15 buffet from 12-3pm every NFL Sunday with $5 Bloody Marys or Mimosas, $15 Miller/Coors Buckets, $20 Craft Sampler Bucket, or $20 Hurricane & Colada Pitchers!

Wine Dinners and Other Fun Specials!
Trump Freaky White Night Wine Dinner
Next month, Sixteen, the Michelin-rated dining destination at Trump International Hotel & Tower® Chicago, will host an unforgettable “Freaky White Night” wine dinner in partnership with Domaine Select Wine Estates which was named Food & Wine’s 2010 American Wine Awards Importer of the Year. On Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 6:30 p.m., Beverage Director Rachael Lowe will welcome Domaine Select Representative Michael D’Amato – a self-proclaimed “wine freak” – and the pair will guide oenophiles through an exciting journey of seven hand-selected natural white wines that are uniquely created in accordance with celestial forces, including:

Sixteen’s “Freaky White Night” dinner costs $150 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Space is limited. Reservations are required and may be made by sending an e-mail to

Sepia Wine Dinner
Sepia restaurant will be hosting on September 19. The Michelin star-rated restaurant is teaming up with Brooks Winery to present a four-course tasting menu paired with a unique lineup from the Oregon winery. The event will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner. The cost is $95 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 312.441.1920.

Raid mk The Restaurant’s Cellar on Tuesdays!
Step out of the early week doldrums and into mk’s cellar because all wines are 50% every Tuesday now through the end of September!

This offer is available every Tuesday from now through September 30th and is not valid with other promotional offers or gift certificates. Our philosophy is that wines are to be tasted, not wasted. We let them sit around the cellar just long enough to age gently, and then it’s time to drink them up!

Jewish High Holiday Catered Menus
Chicago’s favorite gourmet food store The Goddess and Grocer is pleased to announce its catering menus for the Jewish High Holidays, designed to celebrate the holidays without the stress of cooking. Diners who need delicious solutions to their Rosh Hashanah (September 28-30) and Yom Kippur (October 7-8) gatherings can select from an abundance of freshly prepared soups, salads, appetizers, entrees, sides, desserts and platters from The Goddess and Grocer’s menu, featuring classic holiday favorites with a signature Goddess touch.

Available from Tuesday, September 27 to Sunday, October 8, The Goddess and Grocer’s menu offers specialties that will satisfy everyone’s taste buds when celebrating the New Year or breaking the fast during Yom Kippur.

All items on The Goddess and Grocer’s holiday catering menu will also be for sale in-store at its three locations (Gold Coast – 25 E. Delaware; Bucktown – 1646 N. Damen; and Elston – 2222 N. Elston) beginning September 27.

Orders must be placed by Monday, September 26 at 3pm, and can be made by calling (773) 292-7100, sending an e-mail to, or faxing details to (773) 292-7117. A credit card is required to secure orders. Delivery is available for an additional fee.

Mercadito Celebrates Mexican Independence Day
To celebrate Mexican Independence Day, a holiday revered by Mexicans worldwide, Chef Patricio Sandoval of Mercadito(108 W. Kinzie St) will showcase his authentic recipes for the Mexican Independence Day Cooking Demonstration on Monday, September 12 from 6 to 9pm at Double A, located beneath Mercadito. Similar to the 4th of July, Mexico’s Independence Day celebrations center around food. Chef Patricio will demonstrate how to make traditional celebratory dishes such as pozole soup and homemade fruit-filled tamales with the main event of a whole roasted suckling pig or lechón craved tableside for cooking demo guests. The cost is $55 per guest, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 312.329.9555.

Fun Classes
SushiSamba Announces Fall/Winter Lineup for Sushi & Saki 101
With summer coming to an end in the coming weeks, Chicago diners can look forward to bringing the party indoors at River North hot spot SUSHISAMBA rio (504 N. Wells Street). The restaurant, with its worldly cuisine continues the Sushi & Sake 101 series; the signature sushi and sake classes led by Sake Sommelier Hayes Swope. Guests can sample SUSHISAMBA’s 60 plus sake offerings paired with delectable bites while learning the art of sushi and how to make it at home, led by Sushi Chef Shigeru Kitano.
Sushi & Sake 101 classes are held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. They are $75 per person and limited seating is available. Classes will be held on the following dates:
Tuesday, September 13
Tuesday, October 11
Tuesday, November 8
Tuesday, December 13

Reservations for Sushi & Sake 101 are recommended and can be made by calling the restaurant at 312.595.2300. Gift cards to classes are available for purchase at SUSHISAMBA rio.

Lockwood Wine Classes
This fall and winter, step into the beauty that is the historic Palmer House Hilton and experience a wine journey like no other! The Bar at Lockwood, located in the Lobby of the property, will continue with The Regional Wine Journey – an exploration of the world’s most thriving wine destinations. This series of bi-weekly classes will be held every other Tuesday from September through December 2011.
Hosted by Lockwood Wine Director Sasa Sinanagic, each class will feature a different region while focusing on the history and individual fermenting process native to that region. The classes run from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and are $25/per attending oenophile. The price includes wine pairings along with a selection of charcuterie, cheese and other various accompaniments.
The following schedule will be explored this season:
September 6, 2011: Port
September 20, 2011: Madeira
October 4, 2011: Riesling
October 18, 2011: Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot
September 6, 2011: Wines of Austria
November 1, 2011: Malbec
November 15, 2011: Wines ofCroatia
November 29, 2011: RedBordeaux varietals
December 13, 2011: Syrah/Shiraz
December 27, 2011: Madeira
Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (312) 917-3404 or online at

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 is retained as a compensated blogger by Pei Wei Asian Diner and also contributes to Eater Chicago.


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