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DINING Puerto Rico benefit, Pi Day, women's luncheon
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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—Chicagoland chefs will come together Wed., March 14, to support the restaurants, hospitality and tourism in Puerto Rico that were all impacted by Hurricane Maria. "A Recipe for Relief: A Culinary Event to Benefit Hurricane Survivors" will be held at The Lakewood, 1758 W. Lake St., 6-9 p.m.; chefs slated to appear include Kevin Hickey ( Duck Inn ), Jimmy Bannos ( Heaven on Seven ), Carolina Diaz ( Terzo Piano ), Tony Priolo ( Piccolo Sogno ), Jason Chan ( Katana ) and many more. Tickets are $75 per person; visit

—River Roast, 315 N. LaSalle St., is kicking off the week leading up to St. Patrick's Day with a special pop-up restaurant March 10-17. J. Hogan's Pub will feature classic Irish pub food and a drink menu including Guinness Stout; it will be open 4-10 p.m. during that week. See .

—Stan's Donuts & Coffee is ringing in Pi Day, a.k.a. Wed., March 14, 2018, with a new Nutella hand pie for $3.14. ( The doughnut chain plans to give away the treats to students ( and their teachers ) from three lucky classrooms in the Chicago area. ) Stan's apple hand pie also will be available on March 14 at all nine Stan's locations for the Pi Day price of $3.14. After that, the hand pies will be available daily for $3.99 at all locations.

—Cupitol Coffee + Eatery, the all-day lounge located in Streeterville and Evanston, will offer its handmade savory pies for $3.14 each in honor of Pi Day on Wed., March 14. Pies, regularly priced at $5 or $5.50, include the spinach pie with spinach, leek, onion, dill and filo dough; spinach and fennel pie with spinach, onion, fennel and filo dough; meat pie with prime beef, onion and filo dough; cheese pie with feta, ricotta, semolina and filo dough; and a sweet pie option of bougatsa cream pie with vanilla, European butter dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar.

—Also, Chiya Chai, 2770 N. Milwaukee Ave., will offer sweet hand pies made with in-house chai spices for $3.14 on Pi Day. Pie options made with chai include apple chai pie and pumpkin spice chai pie. Additionally, Chiya Chai will offer blueberry and cherry pies that pair well with chai tea. Chiya Chai is open on Wed., March 14, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call 773-360-7541.

—Maple & Ash, 8 W. Maple Ave., will host a luncheon on Wed., March 14, titled "Women Empowering Women." Proceeds from the event ( with the company Holly & Tanager ) will benefit Time's Up Now, the organization dedicated to addressing the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that has kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential and providing legal and financial support for those who have been victimized. Admission is $100/person ( including tax and gratuity ), or $175 for two tickets; see .

—From the creators of Philadelphia-based honeygrow comes minigrow, which will make its grand debut in Chicago at 28 S. Wabash Ave. on March 20. minigrow's menu will feature custom mazemen noodle and salad bowls, cold-pressed juices and chocolate-chip cookies that are made in-house daily. Like honeygrow, minigrow's ingredients are always fresh ( there are no freezers in the minigrow kitchen ), and sourced locally and seasonally when possible. See .

—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

—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 (corned 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. Guests can refuel with a happy hour from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. featuring $5 Bloody Marys and $5 Moscow Mules. Easy Bar will also offer $10 Car Bombs from open to close.

—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 .

—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.

—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

— 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 .

—5 Loaves Eatery ( so named after the Biblical story involving the five loaves of bread and two fish ) is open at 405 E. 75th St. Menu items range from huge breakfast sandwiches to Southern fried chicken ( served with buttermilk biscuits or pancakes ) to salads to the Friday fish fry. 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 fraÃï®che, 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 .

—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 .

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