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  WINDY CITY TIMES

DINING MJ's patio, 'Big Gay Brunch,' Mexique closes
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-05-29

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—Michael Jordan's Steak House, 505 N. Michigan Ave., and Cornerstone Restaurant Group are offering outdoor seating with the opening of "The Patio" on Friday, June 1. Executive Chef Craig Couper's lunch menu is available 11 a.m.-3 p.m., with items like the garlic bread with bleu cheese fondue, Nueske's double smoked bacon, steak house cheeseburger and MJ's Prime Delmonico. From 3 p.m.-close, outdoor diners can enjoy the full bar food menu, with dishes like the wagyu meatballs, filet mignon, roasted vegetable flatbread and 23-Layer Chocolate Cake.

—"A Queer Pride Presents: BIG GAY BRUNCH" will take place Sunday, June 3, at Boiler Room, 2210 N. California Ave., 1-4 p.m. Chicago drag sashays from the nightclub to brunch, as there will be music, performances and pizza with Lucy Stoole and Trannika Rex, DJ [X]P and shows from drag up-and-comers. See http://do312.com/biggaybrunch.

—The West Town restaurant Mexique suddently closed after a decade of business—with chef Carlos Gaytan saying it was time to try something new, Eater Chicago noted. Mexique earned a Michelin star in 2013 and 2014, making Gaytan the first Mexican-born chef with a Michelin-starred restaurant. For now, Gaytan's going to focus on Ha, his new restaurant at the Hotel Xcaret in Mexico.

—Peruvian restaurant Tanta, 118 W. Grand Ave., has teamed with Luxardo and No. 3 London Dry Gin to officially kick off rooftop season with a Peruvian celebration on Tuesday, June 5, at 6-9 p.m. Items will include cebiches and pisco sours. Admission for each guest is $55, exclusive of tax and gratuity; visit https://www.tantachicago.com/tantaevents.

—Alpana Singh is returning to the WTTW show Check, Please!, according to ChicagoBusiness.com . Singh, who hosted the show for 10 seasons and left in 2012 after opening her first restaurant, said she has signed a two-year contract to host the popular show on WTTW where regular people dine at Chicago-area restaurants and give critiques through a roundtable discussion. Singh, who said WTTW contacted her earlier this year to gauge her interest in coming back, replaces Catherine De Orio, who beat out hundreds of candidates in 2013 to take on the show's hosting duties.

—Slated to open June 1 ( National Doughnut Day ), Reid Bar introduces locally sourced coffee, espresso and craft cocktails to a space adjacent to River Roast. ( To celebrate the opening, the first 50 guests will receive free doughnut holes with a purchase of coffee; doors open at 7:30 a.m. ) The new, rustic setting at 315 N. LaSalle St. pays tribute to the historic area of River North that gained notoriety as the city's "Red Light District" in the mid 1900s. A daytime menu specializing in coffee, cold press, tea and daily-made doughnuts is transformed on select evenings with the addition of curated cocktails and various spirits. See RiverRoastChicago.com .

—Arlington Height's Rack House, 222 E. Algonquin Rd., is unveiling its new Beer Garden Brunch, including Chef Bryant Anderson's decadent menu and massive Bloody Mary creation all served on the restaurant's Beer Garden. The 60-seat beer garden features its own bar and TVs, plus huge umbrellas for shade under the Chicago sun. Menu items include breakfast waffle nachos, a "hangover sandwich" ( with hickory-smoked brisket, fried egg, Merkts cheddar, chipotle mayo, arugula, tomato, onion and pickles on a toasted pretzel bun ) and the maple sausage sandwich. See RackHouseTavern.com .

—Sable Kitchen & Bar, 505 N. State St., is celebrating Negroni Week on June 4-10. Head Bartender Mike Jones has created a menu of gin, rum and whiskey iterations that are $12-15, with $1 of every cocktail sold donated to No Kid Hungry. For example there are the Caspartine ( $15 ), which has Appleton 12 rum, meletti, aperol and lemon pigtail inserted; and the Misterioso ( $14 ), which has Wild Turkey 101, Cynar, Punt e Mes, Averna, Regan's Orange Bitters, orange peel expressed and inserted.

—Spiaggia, 980 N. Michigan Ave., will host an exclusive dinner with Champagne Henriot on Thursday, June 7, at 6 p.m. The dinner will celebrate what Spiaggia Chef/Partner Tony Mantuano and Executive Chef and Top Chef winner Joe Flamm consider to be the next great food pairing: champagne and pasta. Tickets for this dinner are limited ( only 16 seats ) and available for $100 per person; visit https://exploretock.com/spiaggia/.

—On Friday, June 8, Chicago's The Gwen invites guests to Upstairs at The Gwen's renovated rooftop terrace for its "Rose Garden" cocktail soiree. At 5-9 p.m., guests will partake of still and sparkling rose, frose, rose sangria and rose-inspired dishes from Executive Chef Matt Jergens. The rose-inspired menu includes lamb loin with rose tahini, buttermilk fried chicken with rose and pink peppercorn labneh and burrata with rose vin cotto and puffed grains. Tickets are $59 each; visit TheGwenChicago.com .

—Rooftop spot Aire, 100 W. Monroe St. ( on the 24th floor of Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago ), is featuring a pop-up grill from Kuma's Corner to offer guests a new food experience this year on Saturdays at 4-9 p.m. Aire will continue to serve hand-crafted cocktails, seasonal, shareable plates and local craft beers. Visit Facebook.com/airechicago.

—Big Jones is hosting its Cookbook Dinner with Chef Todd Richards on Tuesday, June 12, at 6 p.m. Atlanta native Richards will celebrate his new cookbook, Soul: A Chef's Culinary Journey in 150 Recipes. Richards and Big Jones Executive Chef Paul Fehribach aim to take take diners on a culinary journey with a family-style dinner. Tickets are $65 each ( or $95 per couple ); call 773-275-5725 to RSVP.

—The 3rd Annual Transgender Community Ice Cream Social will take place Wed., June 13, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. Attendees at the free event will celebrate Pride on the rooftop deck while networking, listening to the sounds of DJ X-tasy and, of course, eating ice cream. The Center and Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream are co-sponsors.

—For National Lobster Day ( June 15 ), Palos Park's The Original Island Shrimp House, 12902 S. LaGrange Rd., is touting its lobster roll. Made with lobster, this Maine-style roll is served on a brioche bun topped with a mixture of fresh lobster, celery, mayo, fresh squeezed lemon and signature spice blend. See OriginalIslandShrimpHouse.com .

—Frontier will celebrate Father's Day with its All-You-Can-Eat Rib Fest on Sunday, June 17, 1-5 p.m. For $39 per person, guests can enjoy ribs, mac and cheese, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw and cornbread; $5 Half Acre drafts will also be available. Tickets can be purchased online in advance at thefrontierchicago.com/events/.

—The Ruin Daily, 328 S. Jefferson St., is again hosting whole animal roasts for the summer. The roasting begins on the first official day of summer ( Thursday, June 21 ) and will continue on the third Thursday of every month from June through September. For the first installment, a whole pig will roast throughout the day on the front patio and then, at 4 p.m., Chef Mario Manzini will carve it up to assemble tortas ahogada ( $10 ). See TheRuinDaily.com .

—Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya ( 1457 N. Halsted St. ) is teaming with the Japanese Cultural Center to host their first-ever Chicago Japanese Matsuri: A Traditional Japanese Summer Fest ( in the NEWCITY part of Lincoln Park ) on June 23-24. Japanese dishes, as well as drinks ranging from water to sake, will be available for purchase, although event admission is free. See chicagomatsuri.com .

—Through Sept. 2, Second City, 230 W. North Ave., combines comedy and brunch on Sundays at noon. Tickets for the event ( which includes a 45-minute improv show and bottomless mimosas ) are $40 each; visit https://www.secondcity.com/shows/chicago/improv-brunch/.

—Lawry's The Prime Rib is teaming with the Chicago Architecture Foundation to offer a Sunset River Cruise packag that involves one-stop shopping, dinner and a display of the city's architecture. The Sunset Cruise runs seven days a week through Oct. 5 and begins promptly at 5:30 pm at the southeast corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive ( lasting roughly 75 minutes ). The meal features Lawry's classics like the spinning bowl salad, California-cut prime rib with mashed potatoes and gravy, Yorkshire pudding and a mini-CC Brown's hot-fudge sundae. Pricing is $62-$119/person

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


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