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DINING 'Impossible' burger, 'Top Chef' winner, St. Patrick's Day items
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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—Wrigley BBQ, 3555 N. Broadway—known for smoked platters of pulled pork and brisket—is offering the Impossible burger. Accompanying other vegetarian dishes, this burger piles pickles, tomato, coleslaw, avocado, garlic vegan mayo and a vegan Memphis Sweet BBQ sauce atop a meatless patty. See

—Local Italian eatery Spiaggia's executive chef, Joe Flamm, has been named the winner of the 15th season of Bravo's cooking show Top Chef, NBC News noted. Flamm—who was raised in Ashburn and now lives in Humboldt Park—won with a four-course Italian meal, beating fellow South Side native Adrienne Cheatham, who is from Hyde Park but now lives in New York City. The upscale Spiaggia is at 980 N. Michigan Ave. in Chicago.

—St. Patrick's Day celebrations will soon be taking place. For example, The Kerryman, 661 N. Clark St., will host its annual Parade Day Party on Saturday, March 17, at 8-11 a.m. "Paddy Package" tickets are available for $45, and include all draft beers, well liquors, Bloody Marys and an Irish breakfast roll. See

—Garrett Popcorn will have Irish Kettlecorn on March 16-17. The corn is lightly glazed in emerald green with a touch of pure cane sugar and a hint of salt. See and visit the shops in Chicago and at O'Hare International Airport. ( However, the shop at Navy Pier is closed for remodeling and will re-open in late spring/early summer. )

—This St. Patrick's Day, Wicker Park's The Fifty/50, 2047 W. Division St., will mark the holiday. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., partygoers can indulge in all-inclusive call liquors, Domestic beer, Jameson drinks, Irish stout and heavy passed appetizers for $30. Booths and tables are available for purchase as well. See

—For St. Patrick's Day, Lawry's The Prime Rib, 100 E. Ontario St., will offer the tableside Meat & Potato Martini ( $15 ), made with Chopin potato vodka and two large olives stuffed with horseradish and prime rib. The Meat & Potato Martini is the first cocktail to be served tableside at this steakhouse. Visit

—LiqrBox, 873 N. Orleans St., will open its doors at 8 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day. Menu items will include Not Irish Tacos ( scrambled eggs, caramelized onions, diced red pepper and Chihuahua cheese topped with salsa verde on corn tortillas ), St. Patrick's Pockets ( orned beef & cabbage, carrots and potatoes in a crispy fried wonton served with cherry pepper aioli & whole grain-honey mustard sauce ) and reuben sliders ( corned beef, sauerkraut, and melted Swiss cheese, topped with Thousand Island dressing on a mini-hoagie roll ), among other dishes. See .

—Mortons The Steakhouse, 65 E. Wacker Pl., will be offering a special menu 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with items like mini-fileet sandwiches for St. Patrick's Day on March 17. There will also be music from Bear & Jakes Acoustic.

—Travelle Kitchen + Bar, 330 N. Wabash Ave., invites guests to watch the Chicago River get dyed green from above. Starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 17, the lounge opens early for guests to reserve bar tables ( with a $50 minimum spend per person ) to take in the view. A breakfast buffet with assorted morning favorites will be available for $50, which includes a Guinness or mimosa. Reservations are required; visit or call 312-923-7705.

—West Town Bakery is taking over Homestead on the Roof's rooftop, 1924 W. Chicago Ave., for a pop-up St. Patrick's Day brunch filled with traditional Irish classics, including house corned beef and cabbage and rasher of Ham. The brunch is from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., and is $29.95 for adults and $11.95 for kids. Guinness, Irish coffees, green bellini, and Jameson specials with also be available for purchase. Reservations will be available through OpenTable and walk-ins if space is available.

—Hampton Social is celebrating St. Patrick's Day at both of its locations ( 353 W. Hubbard St., Chicago; 705 Village Center Dr., Burr Ridge ) with a green twist on its "Frose" cocktail. Available March 17 in Chicago, the Green Frose will be $10. It's made with white peach puree, rose and Tito's Vodka, and garnished with peach sugar and a mint leaf.

—Land & Lake Kitchen ( at LondonHouse, 81 E. Upper Wacker Dr. ) will have St. Patrick's Day specials. On Saturday, March 17, there will be a traditional Reuben with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing on rye bread for $12; corned-beef hash with two sunny-side-up eggs, potatoes, Swiss cheese and corned beef for $14; and 22 oz. Bud Light drafts for $6. Visit .

—Bedderman Lodging Food & Beverage Director Sarah Jordan returns to her Irish roots this St. Patrick's Day, offering an all-day "Are You Irish Enough?" breakfast ( $17 ) at DropShot Coffee & Snack Bar, 312 W. Chestnut St., on March 16-18. Located inside River North boutique hotel FieldHouse Jones, the breakfast is an overflowing plate of Irish sausage, back bacon, white and black pudding all from Winston's Sausage on the South Side, seared tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, and baked beans served with toast, and coffee or tea. See .

—The Pony Inn, 1638 W. Belmont Ave., will celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a brunch buffet and all-day specials on Saturday, March 17. A $30 brunch buffet includes all-you-can-eat eggs, bacon, sausage links, hash browns, doughnuts, Nutella poppers, Texas toast, cheeseburger sliders, chicken tenders and French fries, plus green beer and mimosas at 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Tickets are available at .

—Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., will kick off St. Patrick's Day with the spot's famous Pre-Soak Breakfast on Saturday, March 17, 8-11 a.m. The breakfast is $3.17 per person ( yes, that's correct ) and includes a buffet featuring corned beef and hash, breakfast sausage, hash browns, pancakes with whiskey syrup, scrambled eggs, emerald fruit salad, and grilled Irish soda bread. Drink specials include green beer pints ( $5 ) and Irish whiskey cocktails ( $4 ). See .

—On special for St. Patrick's Day weekend, Hakka Bakka, 1251 W. Fullerton Ave., has created a festive Shamrock green lassi—a mango-blended yogurt-based drink dyed green—for $3.50 each available on Saturday, March 17, and Sunday, March 18. Also, guests will enjoy Hakka Bakka's authentic chaat menu. See .

—Easy Bar, 1944 W. Division St., will open at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 17. There will be a happy hour at 3- 5:30 p.m. featuring $5 Bloody Marys and $5 Moscow Mules. Easy Bar will also offer $10 Car Bombs from open to close.

—Cupitol Coffee + Eatery ( in Evanston, and near Navy Pier in Chicago ) will offer housemade corned beef hash and eggs all day on Saturday, March 17, for $11 to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Both Cupitol locations are open on Saturday, March 17, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

—Chief O'Neill's Pub & Restaurant, 3471 N. Elston Ave., will hold its 18th annual St. Patrick's Festival on March 16-18. On March 17, the spot will re-create the ancient traditional Celtic pig roast, slow-roasted over our outdoor hickory and peat fueled Barb-B-Q pit. Then, there's the Saturday and Sunday Brunch Buffet, with corned beef and cabbage, Irish shepherd's pie and the legendary Chief O'Neill's Fish & Chips, among other offerings. Also, the Trinity Academy of Irish Dance and the Windy City Shamrocks are slated to perform on Friday, March 16. See

—Francesca's on Chestnut, 200 E. Chestnut St., has a new brunch menu. A few of the items include French toast ( $10 ), consisting of thick-cut brioche and chef's seasonal inspiration; shrimp and grits ( $17 ), with talian polenta, South Carolina shrimp, tomatoes and herbs; and arancini Benedict ( $13 ), with crispy risotto, prosciutto, poached egg, hollandaise and house potatoes. See .

—Vanille Patisserie invites Chicagoans to celebrate National Macaron Day and the first day of spring ( March 20 ), with proceeds supporting Special Olympics Chicago. All four locations will donate 10 percent of all in-store and online sales on National Macaron Day to the organization. See .

—Bounce Sporting Club, 324 W. Chicago Ave., is touting its new charred cauliflower steak. The gluten-free dish is accompanied by za'atar, labneh, toasted almonds and raisins. See

—The Lunchroom, 70 W. Madison St., is now open for breakfast and lunch at 7 a.m.-2 p.m. inside the building lobby. Items include egg sandwiches, breakfast and lunch boxes, bakery items, mac 'n cheese dishes, sandwiches and salads. See .

—Del Frisco's, 58 E. Oak St., is holding a Champagne reception on Saturday, March 23, at 6:30 p.m. Executive Chef Javier Fuentes will offer passed apps ( e.g., seared foie gras, prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella di bufala and charred octopus ), scallop crudo, adobo-rubbed New Zealand lamb loin, 45-day aged prime ribeye and apple bread pudding. The cost is $125 per person, plus tax and gratuity; call 312-888-2499 to RSVP.

—Spiaggia, 980 N. Michigan Ave., will have one of its rare brunch openings on Easter Sunday, April 1, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Chef/Partner Tony Mantuano, and Executive Chef and Top Chef Season 15 winner Joe Flamm have put together a four-course shared and individual brunch menu, inspired by the flavors and traditions of Sardinia. For $65 per person, guests will enjoy a frittata with asparagus, sausage and ricotta; culurgiones ( Sardinian ravioli ) with fava beans, pecorino and ricotta; choice of roasted lamb with fregola and roasted pepper pesto, or swordfish with fennel, carrots, blood orange, Castelvetrano olives and almond; and artichokes with fonduta and bottarga. The meal will conclude with the desserts known as seadas. RSVP at

—Winnetka's Restaurant Michel, 64 Green Bay Rd., will serve Easter brunch 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. ( There will also be dinner at 4-8 p.m. ) There will be duo of spring pea souffle & "cappuccino"; chilled jumbo lump crab and warm crab cake, roasted garlic and parsnip puree, sweet pea sauce; French rolled omelet with a selection of fillings, three strips of bacon, toasted brioche, crisp potato gateau; and chocolate dacquoise bombe with creme anglaise, among other offerings. Admission is $56 each ( and $28 for children under 10 ); call 847-441-3100.

—The Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort has announced the return of its Easter brunch in the Grand Ballroom. On Sunday, April 1, two seatings ( 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. ) will feature a chef-driven buffet, a petting zoo, a children's crafts area and a visit from the Easter Bunny. Tickets for the affair are at

—NoMI Kitchen at Park Hyatt Chicago, 800 N. Michigan Ave., will celebrate Easter with an all-day affair ( 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ). Ten stations will offer everything from breakfast and brunch favorites, to a carving station, to shellfish and sushi with dishes like roasted leg of lamb, grilled octopus soba, whole roasted chicken, duck confit salad and smoked cheddar cavatappi; there will also be an extensive selection of sweets from Jean Banchet-nominated Executive Pastry Chef Greg Mosko. The cost is $165/person; visit or call 312-335-1234.

—Celebrate a delicious Easter Sunday with family and friends at Northbrook's Prairie Grass Cafe, 601 Skokie Blvd. Easter Brunch, April 1, will be served buffet style at 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m; the price is $51 for adults and $18 for children 10 and younger. See .

—Band of Bohemia, 4710 N. Ravenswood Ave., will offer its new brunch menu 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Easter Sunday, April 1. Chef Ian Davis is featuring a variety of new sweet and savory brunch items, including osetra reserve caviar crepe cake ( smoked sturgeon, creme fraîche, cultured butter ), chicken & biscuits ( nori biscuit, sriracha aioli, tempura fried chicken ), Bohemian creme donut ( chocolate stout glaze, bohemian malted filling ) and the Foiesicle ( blackberry, white chocolate, chamomile, spruce ). Call 773-271-4710 or visit .

—River Roast, 315 N. LaSalle St., will serve Easter brunch 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The cost $55/person, $18 for kids 5-12, and free for kids under 5. Items will include glazed ham with fruit gastrique; mashed potatoes with roasted garlic; charred cauliflower with lemon and parmesan; lLocal beets with candied pecans, goat cheese and balsamic; whole cedar-plank salmon; and key lime pie and mini-carrot cakes, among other items. RSVP at 312-822-0100.

—In celebration of Iceland's centennial, Iceland Naturally invites Chicagoans to Taste of Iceland. Returning for its third year, Taste of Iceland is back for eagerly awaiting locals with a four-day program throughout the city taking place Thursday, April 5- Sunday, April 8. Venues will include Baptiste & Bottle, The Dawson, Martrys, Marshall's Landing and even the movie venue The Music Box Theatre. See .

—Baconfest Chicago—a walk-around tasting event featuring creative bacon dishes from local chefs—will take place April 6-7 at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Blvd. Since 2009, Baconfest has raised more than $400,000 enabling partners like the Greater Chicago Food Depository to distribute more than 1.2 million meals to hungry people in the area. Just a few of the restaurants that will be represented this year include Bar Roma, Candyality, Chop Shop, Wrigley BBQ, PR Italian Bistro, Old Town Social, fourteensixteen and Honey Butter Fried Chicken. See for tickets for more info.

—With an all-star cast of chefs who specialize in whole animal cooking paired with farmers responsibly raising heritage breed pigs, Cochon555 returns to Chicago on Sunday, April 8, 4-7:30 p.m. The all-inclusive feast hosted by the Hilton Chicago Hotel, 720 S. Michigan Ave., will feature a hundred-plus prominent chefs, farmers, sommeliers, distillers, brewers and barkeeps. This year, competing chefs include Mario Garcia of Kitty O'Sheas, Cory Morris of Boleo at the Kimpton Gray Hotel, Ryan Burns of The Blanchard, Andres Padilla of Topolobampo and Carlos Gaytan of Mexique. For tickets ( $130-$200 each ), visit

—The first-ever Halal lifestyle festival in America, "I Heart Halal," will showcase the range of contemporary U.S. halal at Navy Pier, Festival Hall A, Friday, April 13-15. This new three-day festival will provide a welcoming space for anyone interested in Halal living embraced by U.S. Muslim consumers. See .

—Long Grove's Chocolate Fest will take place May 18-20 at 308 Old McHenry Rd., Long Grove, Illinois. According to a press release, "While children roam the village in search of chocolate treasures during the famed Chocolate Scavenger Hunt, local vendors on cobble-stone streets wheel out chocolate-infused creations, everything from chocolate pudding pie pops to burgers lathered in BBQ chocolate sauce." See .

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

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