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DINING NEWS Carlucci closing, Big Jones, FRIO Gelato
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.
2018-02-13

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—Joe Carlucci—proprietor and founder of Carlucci restaurant, in Downers Grove—announced that after 15 years, he has sold his restaurant. The restaurant's last day of service will be Sunday, Feb. 18. The first Carlucci Restaurant opened on Halsted Street in Chicago 30 years ago, and some of the brand's original employees came to work at the Downer's Grove location after it opened. The last week's menu will include Carlucci customers' all-time favorite pastas over the last 30 years, including linguini bombonato, orecchiette and radiatori. See CarlucciRestaurant.com .

—Big Jones, 5347 N. Clark St., will bring the Mardi Gras celebration to Chicago on Thursday, Feb. 15 ( as well as Chicago Restaurant Week ). Executive Chef/Co-Owner Paul Fehribach will offer a three-course meal for $33; traditional Louisiana selections include coush-coush, gumbo z'herbes, alligator and andouille sauce piquant, and whiskey corn baba, among others. The prix-fixe menu is available daily 5-10 p.m. and full table participation is required. See http://bigjoneschicago.com/.

—Argentine artisanal gelato producer FRIO Gelato is opening a new location in Evanston at 1301 Chicago Ave. FRIO Gelato has more than 30 homemade flavors, including dulce de leche ( argentine milk caramel ), malbec con frutos rojos ( malbec wine with berries ), queso y miel ( cheese and honey ), sambayon ( egg custard with marsala wine ) and yerba mate ( herbal tea ). FRIO is currently at 3721 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. Visit https://www.friogelato.com/.

—For Valentine's Day and other occasions, people can purchase the Ravage 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon ( $12.99 ) is a dark and robust red wine with r flavors of dark berries layered with vanilla and mocha. See RavageWines.com ( particularly, www.ravagewines.com/where-to-buy.php ) and Wine.com, or locally in places like Jewel Osco and CVS Pharmacy.

—The 4th Annual Uppers & Downers Festival—and celebration of coffee and beer—will take place Feb. 20-25. Some of the events will include an Irish coffee cocktail competition at Tack Room, 1807 S. Allport St. ( Feb. 20, 7-9 p.m. ); the Uppers & Downers Decaf: Preview Party at Publican Anker, 1576 N. Milwaukee Ave. ( Feb. 22, 7 p.m. ); and Uppers and Downers Festival of Coffee Beers at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport St. ( Feb. 14 at 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 4-8 p.m. ). See http://goodbeerhunting.com/events/2017/10/19/feb-24th-2018-chicago-uppers-downers-festival-pskd7.

—News: A federal judge has issued an arrest warrant for the former owner of Embeya, alleging that Attila Gyulai committed more than $300,000 in wire fraud and made other illegal financial transactions pertaining to his now-closed West Loop restaurant, Eater Chicago reported. Embeya closed in 2016, and Gyulai and wife Komal Patel have been AWOL, leaving a trail of debt stateside.

—Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., is hosting a cider tapping on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. ( in celebration of Cider Week ). Ciders on tap will include 2 Towns, Blake's, Pacific Coast, JK Scrumpy, Original Sin, Right Bee and Seattle Cider. See JakeMelnicks.com .

—Nothing Bundt Cakes, 1953 N. Clybourn Ave., is noting its second anniversary with a couple events. Friday, Feb. 16, is Gilda's Club Chicago Benefit Day; 20 percent of sales will be donated to Gilda's Club, which provides free support to those affected by cancer. And on Saturday, Feb. 17, the spot will provide free bundtlets for a year ( one per month, with purchase ) to its first 50 guests. See NothingBundtCakes.com .

—Wrigley BBQ, 3555 N. Broadway, is serving a variety of Lenten-friendly specials. Items include crawfish and shrimp po' boys, walleye sandwich and a BBQ salmon plate. See WrigleyBBQ.com .

—Mott Street, 1401 N. Ashland Ave., is hosting a Chinese New Year feast ( celebrating the Year of the Dog ), with a few updates. The 10-dish "Lucky Ten Treasures" dinner ( Feb. 16-27, Tuesdays through Sundays; $38/person ) will include such items as crispy tofu, steamed dumplings, everything wings, Mentaiko kimchi udon, dog stew ( with goat being used ), and crab brain-fried rice, among others. RSVP at mottstreetchicago.com/year-of-the-dog/.

—Aurelio's Pizza Chicago-South Loop, 1212 S. Michigan Ave., and Brain Bash Trivia are hosting the first in a series of trivia nights on Wed., Feb. 21, 6-9 p.m. The first trivia night will feature questions about the hit comedy series The Office. For more information and live updates, visit the "That's What She Said" trivia Facebook Event Page.

—Bernie's Lunch & Supper, 660 N. Orleans St., will host its second Ladies Night on Thursday, Feb. 22, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Bernie's will be offering a special Ladies Night cocktail menu with drinks like Don't Call me a Sushi Roll ( $12; Death's Door Gin, chartreuse, ginger liquor, wasabi simple syrup, jalapeno ginger syrup ), RUM-sicle ( $10; bourbon, ginger liquor, cinnamon syrup, cherry bitter, walnut bitters, angostura bitters ) and Wouldn't it be Nice ( $10; Death's Door ginger-infused vodka, aperol, lemon, pomegranate ). The night will also feature raffles; prizes include a $100 gift card from Re'Luxe Nail Spa and Boutique, one month of unlimited yoga at CorePower and more. RSVP at BerniesLunchAndSupper.com .

—The Park at Wrigley development will become home to a new dining and bar experience envisioned by Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon and Chef Tony Mantuano. The concept will be operated by Chicago-based Levy Restaurants. More info on the concept and menu to be released in late spring.

—Michael Jordan's Steak House, 505 N. Michigan Ave., is launching its Ballin' Brunch on weekends at 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Items will include fried chicken and bacon-cheddar waffles; plain waffles with fresh berries; smoked chicken wings; and BBQ shrimp and grits.

—Every Friday during Lent ( through March 30 ), Frontier, 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave., will offer Chef Jup's seafood menu. There will be the fish fry basket ( $15 ) in addition to raw oysters ( $1 each ), char-grilled oysters ( order of six for $16 ), BBQ shrimp with Johnny cakes ( $14 ), ahi tuna sandwich ( $14 ) and a shrimp po'boy ( $13 ). Reservations can be made by calling 773-772-4322 or visiting thefrontierchicago.com/reservations/.

—Various spots around the city hold trivia nights. A few are Lottie's Pub, 1925 W. Cortland St., which offers $2 tacos, $3 Dos Equis and $4 Dobel Tequila every Monday beginning at 8:30 p.m.; The Kerryman, 661 N. Clark St., which offers cash prizes every Tuesday at 7 p.m. ( with Geeks Who Drink sponsoring the contests ); and State Restaurant, 935 W. Webster Ave., which ( on Tuesdays, starting at 8 p.m. ) offers $1,000 to the top two teams,

—Howells & Hood, 435 N. Michigan Ave., is marking five years on Chicago's Magnificent Mile by treating guests to a carefully curated stash of Goose Island brews. At 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 1, Howells & Hood will tap varying years of five varieties of Goose Island's Bourbon County beers, including Bourbon County Stout, Bourbon County Barleywine, Bourbon County Coffee Stout, Bourbon County Proprietor's Blend and Bourbon County Stout Reserve. See HowellsAndHood.com .

—FamilyFarmed's 14th Annual Good Food EXPO will take place March 23-24 at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd. Among other things, Sarah Grueneberg of Chicago's Monteverde restaurant—fresh off her 2017 James Beard Best Chef Great Lakes Award—will receive FamilyFarmed's Good Food Chef of the Year Award and do a demo at Saturday's Good Food Festival's popular Chefs At Play stage. ( Other chefs lined up for the Festival include Rick Bayless of the Frontera restaurants; Jason Vincent of Chicago's Giant and City Mouse; and Judson Todd Allen, a Chicago native whose flavorful spice-forward cuisine is well-known to TV audiences. ) See GoodFoodEXPO.org .

—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 IHeartHalal.com .

—The Chicago French Market, 131 N. Clinton St., has announced four new vendors opening in February and March. They will include Lito's Empanadas, Firenze Italian Street Food, Tiger Ceviche and Pierogi Crib. Visit FrenchMarket.com .

Send items to Andrew@WindyCityMediaGroup.com or follow on Twitter @Azygous60610 .


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