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DINING Honey-themed dishes, Gaijin opens, Rum Tour and Gin Fest
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-11-12

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—Forest Park spot The Heritage, 7403 Madison St., has several dishes that sport the honey from its own rooftop as well as 10 off-site locations in Lake Zurich and Barrington. They include honey pie, nightshade salad ( eggplant, tomato, parmesan foam and honey vinaigrette ), Humboldt fog goat cheese, Herbaceous ( coconut confit chai, honey, sweet orange peel and lemon ), and ricotta and honey toast. See TheHeritageForestPark.com .

—Chef Paul Virant ( Vie; Vistro ) has opened Gaijin—the city's first okonomiyaki-focused restaurant—at 950 W. Lake St. Gaijin's menu showcases okonomiyaki, a savory pancake-type dish that is cooked on a griddle. This traditional Japanese comfort food is offered in two styles: Osaka and Hiroshima. Also, pastry chef Angelyne Canicosa ( Vie; Vistro ), nominated for Jean Banchet Rising Pastry Chef of the Year in 2018, brings her dessert expertise to Gaijin with Japanese-inspired sweets. See GaijinChicago.com .

—LuxeHome, in cooperation with Wine Spectator Magazine, presents "CHILL, an International Wine & Culinary Event" on Thursday, Nov. 14, 6-8:30 p.m. CHILL brings together local food, drink and design amidst the ambiance of LuxeHome—the world's largest collection of premier boutiques spanning over 200,000 square feet on the first floor of theMART. Tickets are $125-$145 each; visit https://chillluxehome.tix123.com/.

—Rums of Puerto Rico will present its 2019 Pop-Up US Rum Tour. The fifth stop of the tour is in Chicago on Thursday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m.-2 a.m. at Broken Shaker at Freehand Chicago, 19 E. Ohio St. This event is FREE and open to the public with RSVP; visit RumCapital.com .

—SX Sky Bar, 808 S. Michigan Ave., will host the Chicago Gin Fest on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2-5 p.m. Attendees will enjoy 20+ varieties of gins of various origins and styles. Tickets are $20-$30 each; visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chicago-gin-fest-at-sx-sky-bar-tickets-73153290461.

—ZED451, 739 N. Clark St., will host a Friendsgiving Feast on Wed., Nov. 27, and Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, Nov. 28, including a special bar menu and cocktail takeover for football fanatics. Admission is $59/guest for each event, excluding tax and tip. Reservations are recommended; visitZED451.com or call 312-266-6691.

—For Thanksgiving, Shaw's Crab House, 21 E. Hubbard St., has a large carryout menu with appetizers, sides, and pies to go. ( People are urged to order at least 48 hours in advance. ) Shaw's Crab House-Chicago will be open to dine in Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28.

—The Goddess and Grocer has a Thanksgiving catering menu for those who want to opt out of cooking but still entertain guests. A portion of the Thanksgiving menu will be available in stores Nov. 18-Dec. 1. All catering orders must be placed by Monday, Nov. 25, by 5 p.m. To place an order, call 773-292-7100 or email catering@goddessandgrocer.com . Thanksgiving Day deliveries will be available 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

—Texas de Brazil domestic locations will open early at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 28, for Thanksgiving. All day, diners will enjoy the family-owned Brazilian steakhouse brand's traditional rodizio-style dinner menu plus standard Thanksgiving dishes including roasted turkey with gravy, cranberry relish and sweet potato casserole. An award-winning wine list, specialty cocktails and desserts are all available a la carte. Dinner pricing varies per location.

—theWit Hotel Executive Pastry Chef Toni Roberts has Thanksgiving desserts available for purchase at ABitOfTheWit.com, and ready for pickup at State and Lake Chicago Tavern, 201 N. State St. Among other things, the menu includes three favorites, including a traditional pumpkin pie ( $20 ); chocolate cream s'more pie ( $24 ); and a Golden Chocolate Peanut Butter Turkey ( $28 )—three pounds of dark Valrhona chocolate filled with a creamy peanut butter filling and dotted with chewy peanut butter Rice Krispie treats.

—For Thanksgiving, Grant Park Bistro, 800 S. Michigan Ave., will be offering a special three-course prix fixe menu for $45 per person ( 50-percent off for those younger than 12 ), excluding tax and gratuity. Items will include mushroom ravioli, roasted turkey, grilled salmon, turkey-and-brioche dressing, apple streusel pie and more. Reservations are recommended and can be made at Resy.com or GrantParkBistro.com .

—This Thanksgiving, Krispy Kreme is making holiday dessert "Easy as Pie" with their new collection of Dutch Apple Pie, Chocolate Kreme Pie and Cherry Pie doughnuts. These treats are available at Chicagoland shops located in Homewood, Evergreen Park, Hillside and Chicago ( at Block 37 ) through Thanksgiving. Also, on Saturday, Nov. 23, guests also can get two dozen doughnuts for $13 while supplies last at Chicagoland shops. Customers can redeem the offer on two Original Glazed dozens or one Original Glazed dozen and one assorted dozen, using a barcode available at www.krispykreme.com/offers/friendsgiving ( limit two redemptions at special price per customer ).

—There will be Breakfast with Santa at Hotel Zachary, 3630 N. Clark St., on Nov. 30-Dec. 22 ( Saturdays and Sundays only ). Admission is $60 each for those 13 and older, and $20 each for those 2-12. Reservations can be made at Resy.com . In addition, there's a Teddy Bear Tea Nov. 30-Dec. 29 ( Saturdays and Sundays only ), with seatings at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; admission is $35-$55 each; visit http://bit.ly/327F6mF.

—Chef Ben Goodnick of Summer House Santa Monica, 1954 N. Halsted St., is hosting a four-course white truffle wine dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 7-9:30 p.m. Each of the savory courses will feature white truffles shaved tableside, and all of the dishes will be paired with both an Old and New World wines. The price of the dinner is $75/person, tax and gratuity not included; visit https://www.leye.com/event/old-vs-new-world-white-truffle-wine-dinner/.

—Propelled by fan enthusiasm and support—a successful Kickstarter raised more than $30,000 for the expansion—Sketchbook Brewing's expanded tap room is being unveiled to the public Thursday, Nov. 14, beginning at noon in Evanston at 821 Chicago Ave. Among the new features are a 12-foot roll-up window, stadium seating and a new coaster wall ( where patrons can post their hand-decorated coasters ). See SketchbookBrewing.com .

—The Talbott's Italian Beef Juice Challenge $10 will kick off outside the Talbott Hotel, 20 E. Delaware Pl., during the annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 22-23, 3-9 p.m. The challenge begins with a shot of Malort, followed by a cup of warm bone broth and a side of sweet or hot giardiniera to finish.

—Indian restaurant ROOH Chicago, 736 W. Randolph St., will start Sunday brunch Nov. 24, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Diners may expect to find dishes including a lamb chapli burger served on a brioche bun with laccha onion, pickle and ROOH masala fries; the prawn pepper fry Benedict served on brioche with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce; buttermilk pancakes served with salted jaggery ice cream; and more. See ROOHChicago.com .

—S&T Provisions, 3804 W. 111th St., is offering a cash prize, WGN-TV reported. Store owner Brian Giaretta has hidden a golden ticket in plastic; it's hidden, protected from the elements—and worth $2,000 and has the words "golden ticket" on it. On Thanksgiving, S&T will donate pizza setups. Every time donations reach an increment of $100, another clue is released; Giaretta posts them online on the deli's Facebook page ( "S & T Provisions" ).

—In honor of Men's Health Awareness Month, Bassment ( Chicago speakeasy-style lounge ), 353 W. Hubbard St., will be donating a portion of proceeds to the Movember foundation from purchases of the brand's signature cocktail, The Bathtub ( $20 ). Now through the end of November, guests can enjoy the vodka-based craft cocktail served in a bathtub and garnished with rubber duckies ( complete with unique moustaches ), in spirit of Movember.

—Executive Chef Doug Psaltis is no longer with Chicago's largest restaurant group, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises ( LEYE ), Eater Chicago reported. While LEYE didn't provide the details behind Psaltis's departure, three people who have worked at or are currently employed by LEYE said that Psaltis attacked a colleague at RPM Steak, grabbing and violently shaking him by the shoulders. He also allegedly insulted the man, who has been a long-time kitchen receiver, by using a pejorative for the mentally disabled.

—Jacob Bickelhaupt, the chef who attacked his former business partner and spouse, Alexa Welsh—leading to the closure of their restaurant, 42 Grams—is now suing his ex-wife, according to Eater Chicago. The lawsuit demands $250,000 to cover lost food and liquor sales at his new fine dining restaurant, Stone Flower, which opened in May in Bucktown. According to the filing, a July 2017 agreement stated that "neither party shall speak disparagingly of, make derogatory statements about, or ridicule, or defame the other."

—Greek spot Avli, which will soon open its latest restaurant concept in River North at 702 N. Wells St., has brought on Greek American chefs John Boudouvas ( Francesca Group; Mia Figlia ) and Billy Alexopoulos ( Maple & Ash; Etta ) to lead culinary operations under Chef/Managing Partner Louie Alexakis. Having had success with the menu in Lincoln Park with popular modern Greek dishes like honey & fig saganaki and Kataifi prawns, the cuisine at Avli in River North will aim to elevate the Greek dining experience in the Midwest and expose diners to a richer palate of Greek flavors.

—About Last Knife, 168 N. Michigan Ave., announced the appointments of Rodney Staton to executive chef and Joey Hejtmanek to sous chef. Besides various beef cuts ( e.g., bone-in ribeye, New York strip ), there are bar snacks, meats and cheeses, small plates ( e.g., spicy tuna crudo, charred octopus ) and larger items ( such as crab cakes, warm quinoa bowl, and burger and fries ). See ALKChicago.com .

—Cafe Spiaggia, 980 N. Michigan AVe., will be hosting its annual Feast of the Seven Fishes this holiday season, on Thursday, Dec. 19. Chef/Partner Tony Mantuano and Executive Chef Eric Lees will offer a seven-course menu of seafood that celebrates Italy's coastal bounty, and there will be seatings available at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Admission is $75/person; visit https://www.exploretock.com/cafespiaggia/.

—The Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence—which recognize culinary originality and talent in the Chicago area—announced the nominees for its 2020 honors. The winners across 15 categories—including Chef of the Year, Restaurant of the Year, Best New Restaurant and others—will be announced at the Jan. 19 Jean Banchet Awards, an event that benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Just a few of the nominees include Chefs Erick Williams ( Virtue Restaurant & Bar ), Leigh Omilinsky ( Bellemore, Cold Storage, Swift & Sons ) and Jess Galli ( Middle Brow Bungalow ) as well as spots such as Brindille, Oriole, Galit, Kumiko, Gibsons Italia and Machine: Engineered Dining & Drink.

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


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