Italian Loop restaurant The Florentine ( in the J.W. Marriott Hotel ) is offering its annual summer picnic baskets. The featured baskets include Saluti! ( chef's selection of meat and cheese, olives, crackers, dried fruit and nuts. Choice of red or white wine; $35 ), Estate Italiana ( mixed green salad, chicken panini, rosemary dusted chips, cannoli. Choice of red or white wine; $50 ), Ciao Bella ( mixed green salad, grilled semi-boneless Cornish hen, roasted potatoes, charred broccoli and cannoli, with a choice of red or white wine; $75 ). Sides include imported burrata, Caesar salad, pasta salad, cannoli, tiramisu, grilled vegetables ( $10 per addition ).
Husband-and-wife team Chef Tim Graham and Beverage Director/Sommelier Rebekah Graham have opened the Midwestern-inspired Logan Square spot Twain at 2445 N. Milwaukee Ave. Twain is Influenced by the couple's extensive collection of spiral-bound women's club cookbooks from the 1940s through the present as well as Tim's central Missouri upbringing. Named after author Samuel Clemens' famous pen name, Mark Twain, their shared vision of a restaurant is in partnership with restaurateur Branko Palikuca, co-owner of The Dawson, Topaz Cafe and Citrine Cafe. See TwainChicago.com .
The Palm Chicago ( in the Swissotel Chicago, 323 E. Wacker Dr. ) now has breakfast service every day. Items include crab cake Benedict ( $21 ), lobster omelette ( $22 ), and New York steak and eggs ( $22 ), among others. Visit https://www.thepalm.com/restaurants/chicago/.
New Orleans-inspired Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods, 1415 N. Wood St., has launched a weekday happy hour menu. Available Monday-Friday at 4-6 p.m, Happy Hour specials include Ã»fried chicken ( white or dark meat, served with honey, biscuit ) and signature cocktails like the La Louisianne ( Jim Beam Rye, Benedictine, Carpano Antica, St George's Absinthe, Peychaud's ) and the Papa Doble ( Cruzan White, Fresh Grapefruit & Lime Rhum Agricole, Maraschino Liqueur ). See https://www.inamaetavern.com/.
A new restaurant/bar has replaced the Fulton Market space Honey's vacated in January, Eater Chicago reported. It's called Eleven Eleven, and former Honey's team member Ahmed Braimah owns the spot and has assembled a new food and beverage team. They've only opened the main bar on the first floor and they'll unveil the second floor ( called Next Level ) at a later date.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts is bringing back its chocolate glazed doughnut on the first Friday of every month beginning Friday, Sept. 7, at Chicagoland's Krispy Kreme shops, located at 17815 S. Halsted St. in Homewood and 9150 S. Western Ave. in Evergreen Park. Visit KrispyKreme.com/ChocolateGlaze.
Through Sept. 12, Gemini, 2075 N. Lincoln Ave., will be offering its signature cocktail, The Squirtskyan on-draft mix of two types of vodka with lime and sodafor $9, as the spot marks its ninth anniversary. Also, Pastry Chef Tish Kim is making a special funfetti birthday cake with vanilla buttercream frosting; a free slice, adorned with a candle, will be given out Sept. 9 to Gemini diners, one per table. In addition, a selfie contest is underway: Tag @geminichicago in a photo taken at the restaurant for a chance to win a $99 Gemini gift card; the winner will be chosen Sept. 12.
Lark's outdoor patio, the largest in Boystown, will transform itself into Boystown's most fabulous outdoor Oktoberfest biergarten from Friday, Sept. 14, through Sunday, Oct. 14. During Oktoberfest, Lark will feature a special draft-beer flight. Guests can choose four beers from Lark's draft-beer collection, served on a special tray; the price is $10. Lark also will offer a special beer stein to take home. The restaurant is at 3441 N. Halsted St.
Bon Appetit presents Chicago Gourmet's event Hamburger Hop returns Friday, Sept. 28, on the Harris Theater Rooftop at 6-9 p.m. To celebrate Chicago Gourmet's overall Rock the Fork theme, the evening's DJ will spin crowd-pleasing, old-school jams while 15 chefs compete for the title of burger champ. The competitor line-up includes chefs from Miller's Pub, Virgin Hotels Chicago, Kinzie Chophouse, Cochon Volant Brasserie and other restaurants; chef/author/TV figure Carla Hall and Chef Tony Mantuano are among the judges. Visit www.chicagogourmet.org/page/HamburgerHop. Chicago Gourmet's events will take place at Millennium Park on Sept. 26-30; visit https://www.chicagogourmet.org/.
The James Beard Foundation ( JBF ) announced the cities and dates for its sixth annual Taste America national culinary tour: Sept. 28-Nov. 17. Chicago will share the dates of Oct. 26-27 with San Francisco. Chicago events include the Taste Chicago Benefit Dinner on Oct. 26 at Prime & Provisions/Builders BLDG, and free demos on Oct. 27 at Michigan Avenue's Sur La Table with Karen Akunowicz and Big Jones chef Paul Fehribach. See https://www.jamesbeard.org/tasteamerica.
Noyane, 101 E. Erie St., is offering a special branded lunchbox promo with a portion of the proceeds go toward CPS just in time for back to school. Guests can add the souvenir lunch box to their orders for $9 to donate ( $5 going to CPS fundraisers ) through Sept. 30 during Lunch & Dinner service ( opens at 11 a.m. daily ). Noyane will be donating proceeds to the Back To School Campaign.
On Sunday, Sept. 30, at noon-10 p.m., Thalia Hall and Dusek's Board & Beer are hosting the 4th Annual Blocktoberfest. Located outside Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport St., the free event will feature a variety of craft beers and specialty cocktails for purchase. In addition, there will be items such as Dusek's soft pretzels with house-made beer mustard ( $4 ); garlic sausage served with chips, sauerkraut and beer mustard ( $5 ); and local apple streusel ( $5 ). There will also be DJs like Jesse De La Pena, Darryn Jones and Yessenia G.
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