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DINING Sushi-san's lunch, Chicago Gourmet, Tax Day specials
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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—River North spot Sushi-san, 63 W. Grand Ave., is now open for lunch. Sushi-san offers two fixed-priced lunch specials in addition to the full menu: the build-your-lunch option Express #1 ( $16 ) and the OH-MY-KAZE ( $22; three pieces of salmon, three pieces of nigiri and six pieces of maki ). See

—The pre-sale for the annual Bon Appetit presents Chicago Gourmet ( Sept. 28-30 in Millennium Park ) will start Thursday, April 12, at 10 a.m. While supplies last, tickets for the Grand Tasting will be available at $156 per person, per day, or $288 per person for a weekend pass. This year's theme is "Rock the Fork." See .

—On Tuesday, April 17, Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash Ave., will offer its Baked Alaska dessert for $4.17 in honor of Tax Day. Bistronomic is open for dinner on April 17 from 5 to 10 p.m. For reservations, call 312-944-8400.

—Also, Chiya Chai, 2770 N. Milwaukee Ave., will offer cocktails for $4.17 all day in honor of Tax Day. Signature cocktails include the CC Cool, with fresh cucumber juice, fresh lime juice, vodka, cilantro and triple sec; the Golden Chai Russian, with natural coffee liqueur vodka, masala mix, cumin, coriander and turmeric; and the Maharaja, with gin, cardamom, rosewater, pandanus ( exotic tropical plant ) essence, cinnamon, blueberry juice, fresh lemon juice and triple sec. Chiya Chai is open April 17 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; call 773-360-7541.

—Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., has its own Tax Day specials. There is a special menu of items that are all $4.17. The menu includes Jake Jr. with fries, fried pickles, parmesan garlic fries, spinach and artichoke dip, plain nachos, Short's Brewing Company's Local Light Lager, and House Cocktails featuring Aloo Vodka.

—Evanston Thai restaurant NaKorn, 1622 Orrington Ave., has announced its new spring and summer menu items starting with the beginning of Thai New Year on Friday, April 13. NaKorn is bringing back its coconut cream pie parfait, and will have new dishes such as Bangkok Chinatown stir-fried longevity noodle with shitake mushrooms, green cabbage, asparagus, spring carrots, scallions and crispy tofu cubes; tuna and rice cubed yellowfin tuna, salmon roe, jicama, turnips, cucumbers and cilantro marinated in our special Thai seafood nahm jim, served over Thai jasmine rice; and coconut milk-poached prawns. See .

—A former bookkeeper for West Loop eateries was arrested April 4 for allegedly stealing more than $600,000, reported. Renee M. Johnson allegedly wrote hundreds of unauthorized checks to herself from her employer, One Off Hospitality. The company owns several bars and restaurants in the Chicago area, including Blackbird and Avec. Johnson was charged with one count of mail fraud ( which could get her up to 20 years in prison ) and made her initial court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan.

—Beatrix Market is now open on DePaul's Loop campus at 23 E. Jackson Blvd. This is the second standalone location and is the fourth of its kind in Chicago. New to this two-story location is a pizza counter serving slices and individual deep-dish pizzas with gluten-free options available, as well as a make-your-own yogurt bar. Also unique to this location is the Mexican bar with rotating options including spicy chicken tamales, chicken tinga, pork carnitas and tortillas. The market will also include a Beatrix coffee bar and house-made bakery favorites like Emmy's gluten-free cream-cheese coffee cake and angel food cake muffins. See .

—Pink Taco, 431 N. Wells St., has opened in the former Bull & Bear spot. From the signature Pink Taco ( $15 ), filled with achiote chicken, black beans, avocado, arbol salsa, cotija cheese, habanero and pickled onions, to The Ape, featuring sweet potatoes three ways topped with cactus salsa and cotija cheese, all tacos are served on fresh corn tortillas, made to order. Lobster enchiladas ( $22 ) are another favorite. See .

—Throughout April, Steak 48, 615 N. Wabash Ave., is selling one of its items for a cause. Proceeds from the brioche chocolate chip bread pudding will be donated to American Heart Association, in celebration of the association's annual Heart Ball.

—Old Town Pour House, 1419 N. Wells St., is offering Apps & Taps specials at $4 apiece. Guests can enjoy the day's selections of tap beers or red or white wine at half price. Food specials include Bavarian pretzel bites with IPA gouda cheese sauce; beer-battered fried pickles with buttermilk herb sauce; cheese curds, cornmeal battered with white cheddar served with smoked tomato coulis; and firecracker rolls with "spiedie"-marinated spicy Cajun chicken, with a vegetable medley and avocado cream. Large groups are encouraged to try the giant pretzel, a 1.5-lb. Bavarian pretzel available exclusively during happy hour.

—For National Eggs Benedict Day ( Monday, April 16 ), spots will celebrate the previous weekend. For example, Chez Moi, 2100 N. Halsted St., will have items such as the Classique ( $13; poached eggs, sliced ham and white truffle hollandaise ), Florentine ( $11; poached eggs, spinach, shallot and white truffle hollandaise ) and Au Salmon Fume ( $14; poached eggs, smoked salmon, white truffle hollandaise, and topped with capers ). See .

—Cornerstone Restaurant Group will celebrate Chef Bill Kim's debut cookbook, Korean BBQ: Master Your Grill in Seven Sauces, on Tuesday, April 17, 6-9 p.m., at bellyQ, 1400 W. Randolph St. The event will feature six guest chefs who will head grill stations fashioned after food stalls, with each chef taking on a recipe from the book. Tickets are $50 each, and will include food, a signed copy of Korean BBQ and a Suntory Toki drink; visit

—In honor of Earth Day ( April 22 ), I/O Godfrey Executive Chef Nathaniel Cayer will share his mixology techniques with guests. On Wed., April 25, at 7 p.m., Chef Cayer will lead a Conscious Cocktailing Class, teaching attendees how to use leftover ingredients such as herb stems and citrus peels to create craft cocktails. Tickets are $75/person or $125/pair; visit

—To celebrate Earth Day, LH Rooftop will offer a limited-time four-course tasting menu showcasing these sustainable seafood dishes. Available April 20-28, the menu ( $45/person ) will include a bay scallop chip with lime, red onion, and cilantro; cured Arctic char with fermented red beets, buttermilk yogurt and fennel pollen; grilled barramundi with spring pea nage, fava beans, red pepper and chive flowers; and a goat yogurt semifreddo. All of the proceeds from this special Earth Day menu will benefit the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.

—FRIO Gelato is getting into the Cinco de Mayo spirit with limited-edition flavors at its Lake View and Evanston shops. Offerings include tequila and lime, Mexican hot chocolate, horchata and palto ( avocado ).

—Shore Club, 1603 N. Lake Shore Dr., will return to the Chicago dining scene on Saturday, May 11. Described as an "upscale dining option and event space," it is set to feature a newly developed set of programming and activities this year ( including morning workout classes on the beach to a cold towel service in the cabanas ). The Patio at Shore Club, which features lunch and dinner service on a first-come-first-serve basis, will add an additional bar and a new set of lighting for evening dining. There will also be The Oasis at Shore Club and The Restaurant at Shore Club. See .

—Tarralyn Jones, cancer survivor and the mother of Chicago Bear Christian Jones, and NBC-5's Zoraida Sambolin, also a cancer survivor, are hosting Mother's Day High Tea Brunch on Sunday, May 13, 1-3 p.m., at The Drake, 140 E. Walton Pl. Admission is $100-$150; visit . The dress code is upscale, and hats are encouraged.

—Bernie's Lunch & Supper will host its first wine dinner on Monday, May 14, 6:30-9:00 p.m., in the main dining room. For $75 per person, guests can enjoy a four-course dinner with Oregon pinot noir wine pairings and a welcome champagne toast. Space is limited, and reservations can be made by calling 312-624-9892.

—Signature '18 at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show—a modern take on the traditional keynote—welcomes 66th Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice for a discussion with National Restaurant Association President/CEO Dawn Sweeney. The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show runs May 19-22 at McCormick Place. For more information about this year's Show, visit

—Long Grove's Chocolate Fest will take place May 18-20 at 308 Old McHenry Rd., Long Grove, Illinois. According to a press release, "While children roam the village in search of chocolate treasures during the famed Chocolate Scavenger Hunt, local vendors on cobble-stone streets wheel out chocolate-infused creations, everything from chocolate pudding pie pops to burgers lathered in BBQ chocolate sauce." See .

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