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DINING Ina Mae Tavern, South Shore brunch, Gemini anniversary
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-09-11

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—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 half price 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/.

—South Shore Arts will host the 75th Annual Salon Show Celebration Brunch on Sunday, Sept. 16, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Center for Visual & Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Rd., Munster, Indiana. ( The 75th Annual Salon Show exhibit will run through Nov. 8. ) Admisson is $75 each; see http://www.southshoreartsonline.org/75th-annual-salon-show/.

—Through Sept. 12, Gemini, 2075 N. Lincoln Ave., will be offering its signature cocktail, The Squirtsky—an on-draft mix of two types of vodka with lime and soda—for $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.

—The team behind Parachute—one of the most-acclaimed dining experiences in the country—is working on a new restaurant down the street from their Michelin-starred original, Eater Chicago reported. Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark have filed building permits and applied for a liquor license for a yet-to-be-named new restaurant with an outdoor patio at 3472 N. Elston Ave.—less than a block south of Parachute.

—Mercat a la Planxa's Executive Chef Diego Amat competed on Food Network's new show Bite Club—and he wants to share a taste of his experience with Chicago, with an alligator paella. Priced at $68, the special paella features alligator, butifarra negra, chorizo, rabbit, shiitake mushrooms and piquillo peppers in a pan of Valencia rice. It will be at Mercat, 638 S. Michigan Ave., while supplies last.

—About Last Knife ( ALK ), the new bar and steakhouse concept adjacent to the ground floor lobby of the Hotel Julian Millennium Park, announced the appointment of Dan Weiland as executive chef. Weiland formerly worked at Blackbird and Avec, and most recently at Forbidden Root.

—Christopher Huizar, Nick Barone and Chef Matt Skolarus have opened Merchant—a full-service American restaurant and bar serving seasonal, regional and scratch-made food—in the old Dunlays space at 3137 W. Logan Blvd. The 1,700-square-foot space has 130 indoor seats, 60 outdoor seats and a versatile event space. Guests can enjoy elevated twists on infused favorites in the form of broccoli gratin, arancini, chorizo raviolo and more. Visit www.merchantchicago.com .

—Optima Chicago, 1252 N. Wells St., is turning the Marquee Lounge on the second floor into a Piano Bar Friday nights in September at 9 p.m.-1 a.m. There will be live entertainment provided by Windy City Dueling Pianos. Each week will feature a different musician and a variety of musical genres, and guests are encouraged to request their favorite songs.

—Through Sept. 14, people can visit any of Garrett Popcorn's Chicago shops at 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and purchase 69-cent treat-size bags of Garrett Mix, which combines CaramelCrisp and CheeseCorn. Also, on Sept. 17-23, Garrett fans are invited to indulge in a classic tin of any signature recipe, in any signature tin design, for $19.49, available in Chicago shops. Garrett is marking its anniversary this month.

—On Wed., Sept. 19, 5:30-8:30 p.m., NoMI Kitchen sommelier Jillian Riley will host an interactive tasting of selections from Champagne Billecart-Salmon in celebration of its 200th anniversary. The tasting and reception is part of the Park Hyatt's Masters of Food & Wine series. The cost is $125 each, plus tax and fees; visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/masters-of-food-wine-200th-anniversary-billecart-champagne-dinner-tickets-47325858918.

—"Lights, Camera, Cocktails"—the popular movie and mixology program that brings together fans of film and craft cocktails—is returning. The 2018 series kicks off Wed., Sept. 19, with the classic comedy Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and River North's Broken Shaker at ArcLight Cinemas -Chicago, 1500 N. Clybourn Ave.. The limited series will run monthly through Dec. 5. Tickets are on sale now at ArclightCinemas.com .

—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.

—To mark National Cheeseburger Day on Tuesday, Sept. 18, Veggie Grill is giving away a free VG Beyond Burger for the first 100 people in line at its two Chicago locations ( 614 W. Diversey Pkwy. and 204 N. Wells St. ) The VG Beyond Burger includes a burger by Beyond Meat, American "cheese", grilled onions, house made sauce, tomato, iceberg lettuce, sesame buns and fries.

—Starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23, HopCat, 2577 N. Clark St., will host Hoptoberfest, and continue the fun with Hofbrau beer dinner on Tuesday, Sept. 25. The beer dinner will feature a five beer, four-course menu for $40 per person with pairings of such brews at Hofbrau Original-Munich Helles and Oktoberfestbier-Festbier. Visit bit.ly/2LzKJ4L and Hopcat.com/chicago.

—Nacional 27, 325 W. Huron St., is celebrating 20 years with a three-day birthday bash on Sept. 27-29. Beginning Sept. 27, guests can enjoy a throwback menu featuring favorite dishes from 1998. On Sept. 28, guests will be transported to the atmosphere of a South Beach club featuring bottle specials, Latin beats and "Wear Your Miami Whites" for the dance party. The festivities continue at brunch on Sept. 29 with a mariachi band and signature N27 Sangria pitchers for $20. The main event will be a '90s dance party hosted by DJ-X. Guests will enjoy Latin hits from the '90s to today including Ricky Martin, Elvis Crespo, Shakira, Maluma, J.Balvin, Becky G and more. See http://nacional27chicago.com/.

—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/.

—In recognition of National Coffee Day on Saturday, Sept. 29, Caffe Umbria in Logan Square and River North will donate 10 percent of proceeds from the day to the Salt and Light Coalition. The Salt and Light Coalition is a Chicago-based non-profit dedicated to empowering female survivors of trafficking to find freedom through faith, self-care practices and job training. See CaffeUmbria.com .

—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.

—The Trotter Project is presenting its Second Annual Excellence Gala on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 5:30 p.m. at at Revel Fulton Market, 1215 W. Fulton Market—and the evening celebrating the achievements of culinary scholarship recipients as well as the legacies of Chefs Charlie Trotter and Homaro Cantu will feature headlining Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz. Andoni's visit is supported by a team of alumni from both Charlie Trotter's restaurant and Chef Homaro Cantu's Moto, as well as The Trotter Project culinary supporters; this all-star team is led by host of Cooking Channel's Carnival Kings and Top Chef's Richie Farina. Tickets are $500 each; visit TheTrotterProject.org/excellence-gala-2018/.

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


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