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DINING Cochon555 winner, Lent offerings, St. Patrick's items
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-03-12

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—Chicago "Prince of Pork" Chef Daniel Espinoza, of Cantina Laredo, came out on top at the annual pork-centered event Cochon555. Espinoza will represent Chicago at Grand Cochon—the national finale on Sept. 15—in Chicago. Johnny Contraveos, the head bartender at About Last Knife, took home the trophy for Punch Kings, Cochon555's spirit competition. The event raised $3,500 that will support Piggy Bank, a charitable foundation and start-up farm in Missouri that serves as a kickstarter for emerging family farms.

—On Fridays through April 19, Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., will be serving three different $12.95 specials. They are buffalo cauliflower, portobello Reuben and Filet-O-Jake's ( beer-battered cod, fried crispy and topped with American cheese, housemade tartar, lettuce and tomato served on a brioche bun with fresh-cut fries ). Also, there are cocktails such as the Bourbon Pear Smash and Rosemary's Berry.

—Gene & Georgetti Rosemont, 9421 W. Higgins Road ) is offering meatless Friday options during Lent. They include fish & chips ( beer-battered Alaskan Cod, served with house made chips, malt vinegar and chipotle mayonnaise; $22 ); pretzel-encrusted whitefish ( with fingerling potatoes, drizzled with a whole grain mustard sauce; $25 ); striped bass ( pan-seared with livornese sauce, served with roasted lentil; $28 ); and cioppini ( a classic seafood stew made with shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, seasoned with oregano, thyme and basil; $26 ); and pan-seared scallops, with mushroom risotto; $32 ).

—Kizuki Ramen and Izakaya, in Lincoln Park and Wicker Park, will offer a $1 sake bomb special with any ramen purchase for the week leading up to St. Patrick's Day. Guests can also upgrade to kale noodles for free with their ramen purchase ( normally $1.50 ).

—Drawl, 2423 N. Clark St., is celebrating St. Patrick's Day with an Irish spin on its Whiskey 101 night on Thursday, March 14, 7-9 p.m. Glendolough will be sampling drams along with a special cocktail from the Drawl team featuring pear and spice.

—Chicago q, 1160 N. Dearborn St., is hosting a five-course St. Patrick's dinner with whiskey pairings on Friday, March 15, at 7 p.m. The event is priced at $135/person ( tax and gratuity included ). https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chicago-q-st-patricks-day-whiskey-dinner-tickets-56652267457.

—On Saturday, March 16, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Morton's The Steakhouse will celebrate St. Patrick's Day at its 65 E. Wacker Dr. location. There will be specials on items such as shepherd's pie, Guinness beef stew, fish and chips, and others; also, bar bites like prime mini-cheeseburgers, mini-crab cake BLTs and others will be $10. ( There will also be drink specials. )

—On March 16-17, SafeHouse Chicago, 60 E. Ontario St., will have shamrock-colored beer and other menu specials for St. Patrick's Day. Specials include $7 Irish Sours, Irish Car Bombs or the Leprechaun ( Jameson Black with tonic water and lemon ). Guests can also get a taste of corned-beef hash with the weekend's sandwich special: The Raven—housemade corned beef on marble rye with melted Swiss, sauerkraut, and top secret dressing.

—LH Rooftop ( 85 E. Upper Wacker Dr., 21st floor ) will host two St. Patrick's Day events this year. Brunch in Etoile is $45/person and provides an Irish brunch buffet at 8 a.m.-3 p.m. for enjoyment during the river dyeing; reservations can be made by emailing rsvp@londonhouse.com or calling 312-253-2317. Also, there will be rooftop St. Patrick's Day celebration ( 8 a.m.-noon ) on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd floors; visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/river-dyeing-party-at-londonhouse-chicago-tickets-54439821973.

—On March 16-17, St. Patrick's Day parade partygoers can fuel up at Hubbard Inn, 110 W. Hubbard St., with a breakfast buffet and premium open bar from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 16. On Sunday, March 17, Hubbard Inn will host a $20 St. Patrick's Day bottomless brunch featuring a choice of mimosas, Bloody Marys or Guinness with the purchase of a brunch entree ( 90-minute limit on bottomless drinks ). Tickets start at $70 and can be purchased by visiting https://www.eventbrite.com/e/st-pattys-day-hubbard-inn-tickets-54677163869.

—Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., will have St. Patrick's specials on Saturday, March 16. They include $5 for Green Old Style, $6 for Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale, $7 for Jameson and $8 for Irish Mules with Jameson + 'Q' Ginger Beer.

—JoJo's Milk Bar, 23 W. Hubbard St., is serving the wild Irish Milk Bomb milkshake for St. Patrick's Day. Offered on St. Paddy's Day weekend, this over-the-top creation has a mint chocolate base and pot o' gold sprinkled collar, then topped with plenty o' whipped cream, a rainbow candy ribbon, a chocolate-covered leprechaun marshmallow, a shamrock sugar cookie and an optional shot of Jameson.

—The Lounge at The Robey, 2018 W. North Ave., will be hosting a party on Sunday, March 17, at 9 a.m.-4 p.m. with DJ J.Larroc starting at 12 p.m. until the party's done. They will be serving a special cocktail called the Shamrock Swizzle ( gin, basil-snow pea-arugla syrup, citrus ) for $11.

—Frontier, 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave., is hosting a St. Patrick's Day brunch on March 17 at 10 a.m.-3 p.m., with drink specials. Frontier will serve $30 mimosa buckets, $30 IPA beer buckets and build-you-own Ketel One Spritz cocktails starting at $8. Large parties should contact jen@pioneertaverngroup.com for reservations.

—Lottie's Pub, 1925 W. Cortland Ave., will celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a variety of events on Saturday, March 16, beginning at 9 a.m. Festivities will begin with its annual St. Patrick's Day Brunch Buffet. The $30 ticket includes all-you-can-eat eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits & gravy, hash browns, tater tots and chicken tenders, plus green beer and mimosas at 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Tickets are available at LottiesPub.com .

—The Original Mother's, 26 W. Division St., will mark St. Patrick's Day on Saturday, March 16, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.; neighboring spot She-nannigans, 16 W. Division St., will do the same the following day at the same time. There will be a "Kegs 'n Eggs" breakfast buffet ( with Budweiser and Bud Light ). Tickets start at $35 each; visit OriginalMothers.com and She-Nannigans.com .

—Easy Bar, 1944 W. Division St., will open at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 17, when guests can refuel with a happy hour at 3-5:30 p.m. featuring $5 glasses of rose and $5 Moscow Mules. Specials available all evening include $2 Miller High Life bottles and $5 shots of Jameson Caskmates IPA edition.

—The VIG Chicago, 1527 N. Wells St., will mark St. Patrick's Day on Saturday, March 16, 8 a.m-12 p.m. Tickets start at $30 each, and will include six top-shelf drink vouchers ( honored until noon ), entry with no line until 11 a.m., passed appetizers with brunch and Irish favorites, and more. See http://www.thevigchicago.com/st-patricks-day.

—On March 17, The Lounge at the Hotel Robey, 2018 W. North Ave., will be open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. There will be $4 beer and $7 Jameson shots., with J.Larroc spining 12-4 p.m. Also, it will be serving a special cocktail called the Shamrock Swizzle ( gin, basil-snow pea-arugla syrup and citrus ) for $11.

—Daisies, 2523 N. Milwaukee Ave. is serving corned beef and cabbage pierogis on March 15-17. Daises' pierogis are inspired by chef Joe Frillman's childhood growing up in the Midwest. The current dinner pierogis are served with potato, mussels and beer you cook with and, for brunch, fried pierogis with honey, farmers cheese and seasonal jam.

—On Wed., March 20, I|O Godfrey's all-seasons rooftop will open two hours early at noon to celebrate International Day of Happiness with an all-day happy hour event. The happy hour celebrates the happiest day of the year with deals on food and beverage throughout the day, including discounts on items such as wines, cocktails and food items such as I|O Godfrey's truffle fries, sushi, tacos and more. A portion of proceeds from the day's sales will benefit Action for Happiness, the founding organization of International Day of Happiness.

—Stan's Donuts & Coffee will open its 11th and most distinctive store to date Saturday, March 23, in west suburban Oakbrook Terrace. This will be the donut maker's first store with a drive-through, an outdoor patio; also, with 59 seats, it's the largest Stan's yet. Also, guests can look forward to Stan's coffee and espresso beverages featuring estate-grown beans and blends developed for the donut shop by Passion House Roasters, a small-batch Chicago roaster.

—Fulton Market Kitchen, 311 N. Sangamon St., is hosting a "Taste of the South" evening with Jack Daniel's on Wed., March 27, 8-11 p.m. The evening will include a Jack Daniel's single-barrel collection tasting table, Jack Daniel's cocktails, Southern-inspired food stations by Chef Chris Curren, painting of Jack Daniel's Barrels and live entertainment from Nicholas Barren. Tickets are $80 each; visit http://bit.ly/FMKJackDaniels.

—FRANGO is extending its exclusive luxury boutique through May at The Shops at North Bridge ( first floor, at the entrance off 520 N. Michigan Ave. ). Through March 31, customers who spend $100 at participating retailers at The Shops at North Bridge will receive a 30-piece box of Milk Mints from the FRANGO boutique.

—Ocean Prime has announced the official opening of its Chicago location this April. Located in the Shops at LondonHouse at the corner of North Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, the restaurant will be open for weekday lunch and nightly dinner. See Ocean-Prime.com .

—The 11th Annual Baconfest Chicago returns April 5-6 at the UIC Dorin Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd., with new restaurants and returning favorites over three sessions. New restaurants include 90 Miles Cuban Cafe, Copper Fox Gastropub, About Last Knife, Taureaux Tavern, NoMI, Vinci and Flight Club, among many others. Admission is $60-$160 each; visit https://baconfestchicago.com/.

—Taste of Iceland is returning to Chicago this spring with a new roster of cultural programming taking place across the city on April 11-14. In its fourth consecutive year, the four-day festival hosted by Iceland Naturally gives Chicagoans an opportunity to experience Iceland's rich culture first-hand through the country's food, spirits, music, literature, film and more. See https://icelandnaturally.com/article/taste-iceland-chicago-2019/.

—The second I Heart Halal event will take place at Navy Pier, Festival Halls A & B, 600 E. Grand Ave., on April 12-14. The event will feature an expanded food court that will showcase restaurants throughout the city—plus restaurants at Navy Pier ( including Frankie's Pizza by the Slice, Big Bowl and Big City Chicken ) will be serving up halal-prepared foods throughout the weekend. Visit IHeartHalal.com .

—The 3rd Annual Somm Madness, presented by Chicago-based hospitality group DineAmic, returns April 14, at 4 p.m. at Builders BLDG, 222 N. LaSalle St. Once again, the nation's wine and sommelier community, along with passionate wine enthusiasts will come together for a blind tasting tournament. Sixty-four individuals from across the country will go head-to-head to advance to the championship round with the hope of taking home $10,000 in cash. Tickets are $100 each; visit SommMadness.com .

—Argentine steakhouse El Che Steakhouse & Bar, 845 W. Washington Blvd., will celebrate National Malbec Day, April 17, with the country's favorite wines. For $30, each guest can order a blind tasting of three Malbecs and will be given a tasting profile card to pick out the key points of each wine. As determined by general manager and sommelier, Savannah Witmer, those guests who profile the wines correctly will receive a complimentary full glass pour of their favorite Malbec—available to redeem that day or another date.

—Windy City Smokeout will be held July 12-14 at a new location right outside of Chicago's United Center. Hosted by Bub City and Joe's Bar, the event is the first official outdoor music festival to take place at the West Loop arena's 250,000 square-foot parking lot along Madison Street. Some of the country acts slated to perform are Old Dominion, Jessie James Decker, Parker McCollum, LANCO and Muscadine Bloodline.

—Tapas Valencia, 1530 S. State St., feature flamenco dancers and a Spanish guitarist every Saturday at 7-10 p.m. Culinary items include black-bean soup with chorizo; remolacha ( gold and red beets with lamb's ear lettuce, asparagus and avocado with a honey cumin mustard vinaigrette, topped with soft goat cheese ); tapas such as queso con pacanas, patatas con aioli and pollo a limon; and much more. Visit TapasValencia.com .

—To celebrate Women's History Month, Virgin Hotels Chicago gets into the spirit ( literally! ) of the March holiday honoring women's contributions to history and society with four female-focused cocktail-fueled parties. Continuing through March 12, 19 and 26, the festivities begin in the Commons Club at 6 p.m. with one of the four CAS-chosen guest bartenders shaking up her drink inspired by an influential woman in history and featuring Moet Hennessy spirits. Virgin has partnered with Causing a Stir ( a Chicago-based non-profit created by two local female bartenders with a vision to increase diversity, leadership and mentorship in the hospitality industry ) and Babes Only, an organization of female Chicago creatives.

—The long-awaited Chicago location of Nobu—the renowned Japanese restaurant and hotel brand backed by Robert De Niro—is finally slated to open on Randolph Row this year, Eater Chicago noted, citing UK's The Week. Word of Nobu coming to Chicago first broke in 2013, but a ceremonial groundbreaking didn't happen until June 2016.

Send items to Andrew@WindyCityMediaGroup.com, or follow on Twitter @Azygous60610 or on Instagram at azygous333.


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