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DINING Outdoor dining, JoJo's Milk Bar, First Slice Pie Cafe
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-04-22

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—The Hampton Social's downtown Streeterville location, 164 E. Grand Ave., is kicking off its first summer in the city with two patios: a four-season covered dining room as well as an expansive outdoor rooftop that offers seating for up to 62 guests. In addition, there will be menu favorites like the Jar of King Crab ( melted garlic butter, crab meat, grilled bread and grilled lemon ) and drinks such as the concept's frose ( Tito's handmade vodka, rose wine and peach puree ).

—Steakbar ALK, 168 N. Michigan Ave., will be opening its brand-new patio for the first time since opening in October. Guests can sip and dine with views of Millennium Park and people. The full menu will be available on the patio, including ALK's happy hour, which features a variety of food specials, $7 gin cocktails, $5 draft beer, and $6 glasses of prosecco and house wine. The happy-hour menu is available weekdays at 4-7 p.m.

—The restaurant at LH ( LondonHouse ), 85 E. Upper Wacker Dr., is tri-level. The 22nd floor's outdoor terrace provides a spot to enjoy Jazz Aage-inspired cocktails and reimagined American fare from Executive Chef Jacob Verstegen. The 23rd-floor cupola has 360-degree views in a beaux-arts, domed space. LH Rooftop is open 11 a.m.-12 a.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.- 12 a.m. Saturday-Sunday. Brunch and lunch reservations can be made via OpenTable; reservations for dinner can be made by calling 312-253-2317.

—JoJo's Milk Bar, 23 W. Hubbard St., has launched its happy hour. The late night or "reverse" happy hour is offered every day ( Monday through Sunday ) at 8-10 p.m., featuring $2 malort shots, $4 beers and $6 Tito's cocktails. Separately, JoJo's also always offers the Chicago Handshake — a shot of malort and an Old Style tall boy—for $10 ( no timing restrictions ), although during happy hour, the Chicago Handshake is $6. There are also over-the-top milkshakes ( which can be made boozy ) or diner favorites, like the JoJo's Fries, in addition to options from the creative beverage program.

—A Chicago-area pie shop and non-profit that feeds more than 700 people in need each week took home the $10,000 grand prize in a national business makeover giveaway. First Slice Pie Cafe, 5357 N. Ashland Ave., will unveil its new look—and dish out a year's worth of free pie for guests—in a full-scale celebration slated for Saturday, April 27, at 10 a.m. The first 50 guests in line will receive a punch card valid for free pie for a year. First Slice Pie Cafe was the winning recipient of the $10,000 makeover campaign by integrated marketing and signage specialists at AlphaGraphics, in cooperation with branding and advertising agency Awe Collective.

—The 20th Annual Chicago's Best WingFest took place April 13 at the UIC Pavilion ( now called Credit Union 1 Arena ). Among the restaurants that won were Son of a Butcher, Flo & Santos, Granero, Estrella Negra, Southern Branch Tavern & Grille, House of Blues, Rack House Kitchen & Tavern, The River Kitchen and Bar, CrossRoads Bar & Grill and McWethy's Sports Bar.

TheRumLab.com is holding the 5th Annual Chicago Rum Festival ( previously the Midwest Rum Fest ) on Saturday, April 27, at Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie Blvd., with more than 50 rum expressions to be poured. The event is divided in two sessions between 1-7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com/e/chicago-rum-festival-2019-tickets-51798475635; for more information, visit chicagorumfest.com .

—Chef Battle, a national cooking competition produced by Social Power Hour, will host the Midwest Regionals Sunday, April 28, 3-6 p.m., at STK Chicago, 9 W. Kinzie St. Chefs from Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas, Missouri and Michigan who won their local qualifying event will face off at the regional competition. The winning chef will win up to $500 prize to pay for travel costs to compete in the All-American Chef Battle in early 2020. Tickets are $15-$75 each; visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chef-battle-midwest-regionals-tickets-57147988171.

—Greek Easter is Sunday, April 28—and several Greektown restaurants will be open with items to mark the occasion. For instance, Artopolis will be offering Lenten Poikilia ( an assortment of dolmadakia, taramasalata, fava beans and a special salad with fish ), Lagana ( Lenten flatbread ), a variety of flavors of Halva ( almond, pistachio, vanilla and chocolate ) and Moustokouloura ( a Lenten cookie made with grape molasses and orange juice ). Also, on Greek Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, Athena will be open after the Anastasi Service for people to break their fasts by feasting on traditional pasta delicacies.

—Frontier, 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave., will celebrate Jazzfest with its annual all-you-can-eat crawfish boil on Sunday, April 28, with seatings at 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are $35 and include all-you-can-eat crawfish, corn and potatoes. Frontier will also offer $10 crawfish Monicas, $8 crawfish pies, $8 frozen daiquiris and $5 Abita specials, in addition to live music. Tickets can be purchased online at thefrontierchicago.com/happenings.

—Walton Street Kitchen + Bar, 912 N. State St., has announced changes both in the kitchen and on the plate. Thomas Leonard—who has been part of the Walton Street culinary team since it opened last year—has been promoted to executive chef. Also, there is a lunch relaunch, complete with lighter, veggie-forward dishes for summer. In addition, the On Bread section ( $15-$17 ) includes sandwiches ranging from Sweet pea toast and an open-faced cheesesteak to Walton's signature griddle burger with housemade tomato jam. The Mains section ( $13-$17 ) includes a Spanish-leaning chicken paillard and classic French omelette with vegetables to a sushi rice salmon bowl paired with a cucumber-ponzu salad.

—Just Salad is bringing back its popular Unlimited Salad Bowl. For $129, guests can purchase a green reusable bowl and receive one free salad every day in May. The Unlimited Salad Bowl is now available for purchase at justsalad.com/unlimited for a limited time.

—An unprecedented coalition of Chicago restaurants will hold a fundraiser on Thursday, May 2, with sales benefitting a domestic violence victim advocacy group, Eater Chicago reported. Participating venues include Bar Biscay, Funkenhausen, Longman & Eagle, Cherry Circle Room and Emporium Arcade Bar. They're donating money to Connections for Abused Women Coalition and their Children ( CAWC ), a 41-year-old women's shelter with presences in locations like Northwestern Memorial and Stroger hospitals. Event organizers are looking for more restaurants to add to the 27 already participating; email daniella@funkenhausen.com .

—For Mother's Day ( Sunday, May 12 ), Tied House, 3157 N. Southport Ave., will offer a Mom-osa consisting of prosecco, kiwi and elderflower for $11. Also, Chef Debbie Gold will be preparing handcrafted chocolate confections to be given to guests after the meal—for no charge. See https://www.tiedhousechicago.com/.

—Woven & Bound, at Marriott Marquis Chicago, will be offering a specialty Mother's Day menu for $32 a person that includes breakfast favorites, light bites and cocktails. Items will include fruit, housemade granola vanilla yogurt parfaits, smoked salmon, pastries, a carving board ( roasted lamb rack; ham-brined porchetta ), bottomless mimosa and Bloody Mary bars, and more. See https://www.marriott.com/hotel-restaurants/chimq-marriott-marquis-chicago/woven-and-bound-restaurant/5718135/home-page.mi.

—Lottie's Pub, 1925 W. Cortland St., will celebrate its 85th anniversary Saturday, May 18. To celebrate its longstanding place in Chicago, Lottie's is keeping the notorious party history alive by serving 85-cent burgers from 12-4 p.m. and 85-cent drafts all day. In 1934 Lottie's Pub, then known as Zagorski's Grocery, was turned from a neighborhood grocery store to a speakeasy at the prime of prohibition. Run by intersex individual Lottie Zagorski, the speakeasy became a popular spot for mobsters and politicians where horse betting, gambling, stripping and plenty of other vices thrived.

—A one-hour special from the James Beard Foundation ( JBF ) and Intersport, JBFA: Stories from the 2019 James Beard Awards, will premiere on The ABC Television Network on May 19. Audiences will experience the 2019 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards Gala, hosted by Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

—Ravenswood on Tap, the neighborhood's annual craft beer festival, returns this summer June 22-23. Back for its fourth year, the festival spotlights beer and spirits from local breweries along Malt Row, along with food, retailers, artists, live music and entertainment. For more information regarding Ravenswood on Tap, visit http://ravenswoodchicago.org/ontap/.

—Windy City Smokeout will be held July 12-14 at a new location right outside of Chicago's United Center. Hosted by Bub City and Joe's Bar, the event is the first official outdoor music festival to take place at the West Loop arena's 250,000-square-foot parking lot along Madison Street. Some of the country acts slated to perform are Old Dominion, Jessie James Decker, Parker McCollum, LANCO and Muscadine Bloodline.

—Brian Jupiter has changed Frontier's menu in anticipation of Chicago's warmer months. New additions to the "Snack" section of the menu, sold by the piece, include a smoked mushroom fritter ( muenster, confit garlic, rosemary, creamy chimichurri; $3 ) and, back by popular demand, the duck taco ( salsa, queso fresco, crispy potato, red onion, tortilla, cilantro; $5 ). Other new items will include antelope cheesesteak ( $24 ), cucumber salad ( $10 ) and blueberry bread pudding ( $9 ).

—Fisk & Co., 225 N. Wabash Ave., is offering Executive Chef Ashlee Aubin's new spring menu items. The restaurant is known for its mussels, and there are now items like salmon gravlax, spaghetti with lobster and crab, sauteed gnocchi and steak frites.

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


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