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DINING 'Friends' pop-up, Avli opens, Chicago Wolves
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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—Replay Lincoln Park, 2833 N. Sheffield Ave., has transformed into a Friends-themed experience open through Sunday, Nov. 25. Fans will be able to hang out in Monica's apartment as well as Chandler and Joey's place, or sit back and sip on a cup of coffee at the one-and-only Central Perk. Photo opportunities, themed cocktails and plenty of special events will be offered throughout the run. See .

—Avli Taverna ( 1335 W. Wrightwood Ave. ), the first offering from the recently formed Avli Restaurant Group, is now open in Lincoln Park. Paying homage to Greek tradition and mythology, the restaurant is meant to evoke Philoxenia, a welcoming of strangers and an eagerness to show hospitality; to present Meraki, putting the best of one's self into cooking and work; and to offer the experience of Kefi, living life joyfully. Menu items include Avli lamb burgers, Greek village salad and warm rice pudding, among other offerings.

—At a Nov. 10 food-packing event at Allstate Arena with Feed6 and Northern Illinois Food Bank, local hockey team the Chicago Wolves created and packed nearly 100,000 meals for food insecure veterans and neighbors, helped by hundreds of local volunteers. For more about the Wolves, visit More about the food bank is at, and more about Feed6 is at .

—Steakhouse STK Chicago, 9 W. Kinzie St., will celebrate its third anniversary with a three-ring circus-themed celebration Wed., Nov. 21. There will be specialty cocktail tastings, chef's hors d'oeuvres and sweet surprises at 5:30-7:30 p.m., with a dinner party after those. Admission is $40 each; see For dinner reservations, email to secure a VIP table.

—"Friendsgiving" will take place at Brickhouse Tavern, 3647 N. Clark St. The baseball-themed hotspot will celebrate the holiday on Thursday, Nov. 15, 7-9 p.m. For $25 per person, guests will indulge in a Thanksgiving buffet complete with carved turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, salad, rolls and mini-desserts. Guests will also receive two drink tickets to pair with their meals. Visit

—In St. Charles, Illinois, Francesca's by the River, 200 S. Second St., will be hosting a special Nose to Tail Wine Dinner on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 6;30 p.m. The dinner features six courses each paired with a different wine. The cost is $85/person, plus tax and gratuity; visit

—WellDone Hospitality, the group behind Cochon Volant Brasserie ( 100 W. Monroe ), has opened its newest French-inspired brasserie and bar, Taureaux Tavern, located within the historic One Financial Place Plaza at 155 W. Van Buren St. Taureaux Tavern will offer multiple areas of service and year-round patio alongside Executive Chef Mike Sheerin's ( Blackbird, Jean-Georges, WD-50 ) menu. Taureaux Tavern is open Monday-Friday at 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. See

—Traditional ethnic cooking will be showcased on the Callen Chef's Stage at the 75th annual Holiday Folk Fair International at the State Fair Park Exposition Center in West Allis, Wisconsin, on Nov. 16-18. The demonstrations will include items from Wales, India, Burkina Faso and Italy, among other places. Admission at the gate will be $12 for adults; $8 for children ages 6 to 12; children under 5 will be admitted at no charge. Visit or call the International Institute of Wisconsin at 414-225-6225.

—As a way to warm up in preparation for or following the Magnificent Mile's Lights Festival on Saturday, Nov. 17, Claridge House Chicago's lobby, 1244 N. Dearborn St., will offer complimentary hot cocoa to hotel guests and Gold Coast passersby. Guests who would like to enjoy more than dessert can make a reservation at Juniper Spirits & Oysters via Reserve to enjoy the ground floor seafood- and gin-focused restaurant.

—The Gwen's pop-up bar, the Curling Cabin, makes its debut Saturday, Nov. 17, at 521 N. Rush St. Following the Festival of Lights, attendees can walk one block over to The Gwen Hotel to see the wood-paneled cabin/bar and enjoy a game of curling on the rink. The Curling Cabin will feature seating for up to 10 guests, with additional standing room available on the cabin's front porch. Guests can enjoy a selection of winter menu items and hot cocktails from The Gwen's culinary team, or reserve playing time on the hotel's outdoor curling rink.

—Thanksgiving dinner will be offered at Ace Hotel Chicago's City Mouse, 311 N. Morgan St. Patrons can enjoy meat, wine and four servings of mashed potatoes served family-style and curated by Executive Chef Pat Sheerin—and there will be vegan holiday favorites on offer. Dig into roasted turkey, whole grain risotto, poached shrimp and pumpkin pies. The cost is $56/person. Visit

—Italian spot 312 Chicago, will serve a tradition Thanksgiving four-course menu on Thursday, Nov. 22, 5-9 p.m. Items will include acorn squash soup, homemade pesto lasagna, Italian-style roasted turkey, roasted salmon and pumpkin cheesecake, among other items. The costs are $60/person and $25 for children 12 and younger; see .

—On Nov. 22, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Chicago Chop House, 60 W. Ontario St., will feature a Thanksgiving feast including a family-style menu serving a whole turkey and including a choice of mushroom, sage and wild rice stuffing or oyster dressing; stuffed artichokes, green beans with sliced almonds, Brussels sprouts roasted with honey and butter, and homemade cranberry sauce. ( Also, guests take home all of the leftovers to enjoy the next day. ) Individual Thanksgiving dinners feature a five-course menu including Waldorf salad, roasted turkey, chocolate lava cake and much more. Call 312-787-7100 to find out costs and to make reservations.

—Fairmont Chicago-Millennium Park, 200 N. Columbus Dr., is offering a chef-made "Thanksgiving at Home Dinner." Diners can order, pick-up and experience a holiday spread prepared by Fairmont Chicago Executive Chef Sean Curry, complete with an American Bronze turkey, a variety of side dishes, dessert and more, on Thursday, Nov. 22. The Thanksgiving at Home Dinner package costs $275 plus tax and serves eight; people can visit and place orders through Friday, Nov. 16.

—Frontier Chef Brian Jupiter's Thanksgiving menu is available throughout November and on Thanksgiving day for pick-up and delivery. Holiday favorites include smoked turkey ( $75-95 ), Chef Brian Jupiter's famous five-cheese mac ( $40 ), seafood gumbo ( $50 ), traditional mashed potatoes ( $30 ), cornbread stuffing ( $35 ), kale-and-apple salad ( $35 ), string beans ( $30 ), buttered rolls ( $16/dozen ) and sweet-potato pie ( $20 ). The feast serves a minimum of 12 people for $24/person. For ordering details, visit

—Both Chicago-area locations of Truluck's Seafood, Steak, and Crab House will be open on Thanksgiving 12-9 p.m. Truluck's three-course Thanksgiving menu—priced at $40 for adults and $16 for children 12 and younger—includes items such as lobster bisque or New England clam chowder; herb-roasted turkey breast; and classic pumpkin pie with eggnog whipped cream. See

—The Dearborn's pie program includes a choice of key lime ( graham cracker crust, key lime curd, vanilla cheesecake, toasted meringue ), Dutch apple ( traditional pie crust, Granny Smith-and-gala apple filling, streusel topping ), brown sugar pumpkin ( traditional pie crust, spiced pumpkin custard, mascarpone whip cream ) and bourbon pecan ( butter crust, caramelized pecans, brown sugar, bourbon ). Pre-order by calling 312-384-1242 at least 48 hours in advance. Pies are $35 each and are available now through Jan. 2.

—On Thanksgiving, Texas de Brazil will open at 11 a.m., and guests will enjoy the full rodizio-style menu that includes the 50-item salad area and selection of churrasco grilled meats. Along with this, a variety of traditional Thanksgiving fare will be offered, such as roasted turkey, stuffing and other holiday side dishes included with regular dinner pricing.

—LondonHouse Chicago, 85 E. Upper Wacker Dr., has announced the appointment of Samantha Santiago Torres as executive pastry chef. Santiago Torres began her culinary career by studying at the prestigious Camilo Jose Cela University in Madrid, Spain with a Ferran Adria Chair Professorship. Visit .

—Travelle at the Langham, 300 N. Wabash Ave., now has art-inspired signature cocktails. The restaurant's new cocktail menu is influenced by famous works of art, and all of the selections were hand-chosen by the Travelle bar team. For example, the Midori Garden—evocative of Hiroshi Yoshida's "In the Botanical Garden"—features Monkey 47 gin, banana liqueur, lavender syrup, lime juice, matcha, cream and egg for a concoction reminiscent of the Japanese landscape. See

—Bar Cargo, 605 N. Wells St., is now offering a special white-truffle pizza topped with 15 grams of truffles straight from Alba, Italy. The pizza features the spot's traditional 96-hour Roman-style crust, sunny-side-up eggs and 15 grams of white truffles for $100. Guests must call 312-929-0065 at least 24 hours ahead to reserve it, and people can add truffle shavings ( for $75 ) to any other pizza on the menu.

—Ludlow Liquors, 2959 N. California Ave., is hosting a "Christmas Sucks" pop-up Nov 29-Jan. 1, 2019. Guests can enjoy creepy "Christmas decor, tragic family holiday photos and a special menu of not eggnog all month long," a press release noted. See .

—The Barn Steakhouse is kicking off their winter wine dinner series with a special event Wed., Dec. 5, featuring acclaimed California winemaker, Greg Brewer, from Brewer-Clifton Winery. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., people will join the hostess-owner of The Barn, Amy Morton, for a meet-and-greet in the Winter Garden Room with Brewer. Dinner will follow in the loft space. The dinner costs $100 per person ( excluding tax and tip ); visit "An evening at The Barn Steakhouse with Greg Brewer of Brewer-Clifton" at .

—Chef StephenB and Get in the Kitchen's Jason Bailin will team for The Golden Girls-themed pop-up "Party On The Lanai!" on Friday, Dec. 7, 7-10 p.m., at 3617 N. Broadway. Items will include Rose's St. Olaf Salad and Big Daddy's Beef Short Rib, among other items. Tickets ( $79 each; no refunds ) are at

—Brewpoint Coffee, a cafe and roastery located in Elmhurst, is offering a variety of gift sets, including the Brewpoint Brewer Box, featuring two 12-ounce coffee blends and a pour over brewer ( $60-$75 ); the Female Empowerment Box, featuring two 12-ounce coffee blends from women producers ( $35 ); and more. See

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

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