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  WINDY CITY TIMES

DINING Free cheeseburgers, Fulton Market dinner, Baconfest coming
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-03-19

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—To celebrate M Burger's ninth birthday on Wed., March 20, the chain is giving away one free single cheeseburger with any purchase at all Chicagoland M Burger locations. In addition, guests can enter for a chance to win M Burger Shakes for a year, by texting "Birthday2019" to 70717 through March 20. See http://mburgerchicago.com/free-burger-birthday/.

—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.

—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/.

—The Press Room Executive Chef Jeff Williams is teaming with Steve Smith, owner of Smith Devereux Wines, and The Publishing House bed and breakfast for an intimate wine dinner on Thursday, March 21, 6:30-9:30 p.m. at The Publishing House, 108 N. May St. Williams' menu will include deviled quail egg; herb toast; creamed mushrooms with duck tongues and ramp powder; and pawpaw ice cream, among other items. Tickets are $100 each; visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sojourn-suppers-featuring-smith-devereux-tickets-56650982614.

—Pork & Mindy's and Mariano's have partnered to open Chef Jeff Mauro's Creative BBQ restaurant inside more than 25 Kroger Co.-owned Mariano's stores. The grand opening of Pork & Mindy's at Mariano's took place March 16 at Mariano's in Bronzeville on Chicago's South Side, with a second store opening on Wed., March 20, in northwest suburban Park Ridge.

—Italian Village Restaurants, 71 W. Monroe St., is debuting its first private wine label, Castello di Monsanto, "Monrosso," Chianti DOCG 2015. For the first time in the restaurant's 91-year history, Italian Village has partnered with Castello di Monsanto from Italy to create a private label bottle exclusive to the Italian Village brand. Visit https://italianvillage-chicago.com/.

—Taste of Iceland is returning to Chicago 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 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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