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DINING Pumpkin-carving party, 'Check, Please!,' Warhol dish
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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—Bernie's, 660 N. Orleans St., will host a pumpkin carving party/contest Wed., Oct. 23, 6-8:30 p.m. Guests can test their skills during the event for the chance to win a $100 gift card. Event tickets are available on Eventbrite for $15 each, and include one pumpkin, carving tools and one new fall cocktail.

— WTTW's Emmy-winning local restaurant review series Check, Please! returns for its 19th season with host Alpana Singh on Friday, Oct. 25, at 8 p.m. on WTTW11 and Season 19 will feature hot spots and hangouts from neighborhood favorites to award-winning fine dining—including the show's very first coffeehouse in episode one. Future episodes will feature eateries in Chicago's Fulton Market, Logan Square, Rogers Park, Ukrainian Village, Hyde Park and Old Irving Park neighborhoods, and in the suburbs as well.

—In a nod to Andy Warhol's famed "Campbell's Soup Cans" creation, Ocean Prime, 87 E. Wacker Dr., has created a unique, artful new interpretation of its warm butter cake garnished with fresh berries and a raspberry sauce. Diners will be able to enjoy their art and eat it too as the dessert replicates the well-known image right on the dish. Ocean Prime's specialty dessert will be offered through Nov. 20 for $15 per dish to celebrate the new Art Institute exhibit "Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again." RSVP at

—The Chicago Fresh Shop—owned and operated by Chicagoland Restaurants LLC, franchisee of Krispy Kreme—is the first of its kind in Illinois and marks the fourth of eight planned Krispy Kreme shops in the Chicagoland area. The shop will be located on the pedway level of Block 37 and be accessible by both the CTA Red and Blue lines.

—Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel, has appointed Executive Chef Christian Brassfield to oversee the catering and event services at the 1,641-room historic hotel. After graduating culinary school at The Art Institute of California-Orange County, Brassfield has worked at such hotels as Marriott International, The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe and The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.

—Hubbard Inn, 110 W. Hubbard St., will reopen Friday, Oct. 25, after months of renovations. While still incorporating elements from the original Hubbard Inn, guests will enjoy a new cocktail experience and artistic presentations of globally influenced American fare from Executive Chef Eric Babula ( Punch Bowl; City Works ), a Chicago-based chef originally from central Missouri.

—Executive Chef Zach Walrath will host a hands-on, pizza pie-making class on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 3 p.m. at The Florentine, 151 W. Adams St. At this interactive, in-kitchen experience, guests will master the techniques and garner the tools necessary to create The Florentine's signature wood-fired creations. The class is $50/person; visit

—Indian restaurant ROOH Chicago, 736 W. Randolph St., will celebrate Diwali with an exclusive, ticketed tasting menu ( $85/person ) on Sunday, Oct. 27. Selections, courtesy of Executive Chef Sujan Sarkar and Chef de Cuisine Sahil Sethi, will include dishes not currently available on the daily menu, such as tandoori cauliflower with dum ki gravy and nut crumble; and paneer pasanda with lababdar sauce, pepper and nigella chutney. Reservations can be made at

—On Oct. 28-Nov. 1, Molly's Cupcakes South Loop, 1150 S. Wabash Ave., will offer its Graveyard Cupcake. The sweet item is chocolate cake dipped in ganache filled with Oreo filling, topped with buttercream, Oreo crumbs, and a Milano Cookie gravestone and gummy worms.

— Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., has a unique Halloween offering. Available this month only, the Nightmare on Superior Street ( $16.95 ) features a habanero and cheddar patty, lettuce, tomato, pepper jack cheese, crispy jalapenos, XXXX mayo and ghost pepper dust on a black kumo bun.

—Benchmark, 1510 N. Wells St., will host an IT-themed party on Saturday, Oct. 26. Doors will open at 10 a.m., and costumes are strongly encouraged. A neighboring spot—80 Proof, at 1500 N. Wells St.—will host the Wells Street Asylum at 8-11 p.m. Presale tickets start at $40 each, and include a call drink package & passed appetizers.; visit

—Guests who visit Estelle's, 2013 W. North Ave., on Halloween night will enjoy a half off happy hour items ( except shots ) at 5-7 p.m., along with all-night specials like a $5 Halloween Mystery Shot, $4 featured drafts and $5 Tito's cocktails. Halloween party-goers can enjoy late night food until 4 a.m. as well as a $5 quesadilla ( chicken or cheese with sour cream and pico ).

—In honor of Dos Toros' 10-Year anniversary, the taqueria concept will be offering two items for $10 at Chicago locations on Wed., Oct. 30—the day of the brand's official anniversary. From 2 p.m. to close, and at participating downtown locations ( 1 N. Dearborn St., 300 S. Wacker Dr. and 205 W. Wacker Dr. ), guests will have the opportunity to order any two entrees from the menu.

—ED451, 739 N. Clark St., celebrates Halloween with cocktail specials, offered for $1 to those who come dressed in costume on Halloween, Thursday, Oct. 31. Guests can also get complimentary tarot card readings in the bar lounge at 6-8 p.m. Also, on Oct. 24-31, there will be $13 cocktail specials such as Sangre, Buckets of Blood and Blood & Bones.

—Brew Brew Coffee and Tea, an inclusive modern Mexican coffee shop, is reopening at 1641 W. 18th St. on Monday, Oct. 28. Guests will see familiar breakfast options, but with an earthy twist, that they can enjoy seated or on-the-go. Food items are in partnership with a local Chef Jay Ruff and are a collaboration of ideas from both sides. The drink menu features high-quality coffee roasted by the award-winning Passion House Coffee Roasters; options include a full espresso bar and a list of organic tea blends.

—Home Run Inn has announced the reopening of its original restaurant on Monday, Oct. 28, in Chicago's South Side at 4254 W. 31st St. The new restaurant is built next door to the original 1947 building and will seat up to 250 people, feature 42 drink taps and offer delivery.

—Kinton Ramen will open its second Chicago location this November in the city's Wicker Park neighborhood at 1426 N. Milwaukee Ave. Conceived by Founder James Hyunsoo Kim in collaboration with Executive Chef Aki Urata, Kinton Ramen Wicker Park will have 54 main dining room seats and 11 open-kitchen bar seats. The ramen styles are original, shoyu, miso, spicy garlic and spicy jalapeno, which each include accompanying slices of pork belly that are torched for added caramelization and flavor, or chicken breast slices.

—Benny's Chop House, 444 N. Wabash Ave., is offering various fall cocktails. They include Getting' Figgy Wit It ( Figenza fig vodka, lemon, sage, sparkling; $14 ), Fall Fizz ( Plymouth Gin, sloe gin, lime, soda; $14 ), The Nut Job ( rumchata, Dorda Chocolate Liqueur Bulleit Bourbon, caramel and pecans; $15 ), PSV… Pumpkin Spice Vodka ( Benny's Chop House Original Vodka, Kahlua Saint Brendan's Irish Cream, pumpkin spice; $15 ) and All That Glitters ( Brillet pear liqueur, Cointreau, gold sugar rim; $13 ).

—Fans of the Italian restaurant Balena ( which suffered extensive fire damage in 2017 ) are being invited Nov. 1-24, Wednesdays through Sundays starting at 5 p.m., a menu highlighting the favorite dishes from Balena courtesy of executive chef Chris Pandel at Dutch & Doc's, 3600 N. Clark St. Dishes such as the taglioni nero ( with sea urchin and crab ) and lemon kale orecchiette will be available. Reservations can be made via OpenTable or at

—Brass Heart, 4662 N. Broadway, will host a seven-course collaborative dinner with Moody Tongue Brewing Company on Wed., Nov. 6, 6-10:30 p.m. Tickets ( $130/guest ) are available at

—The culinary event Kouzina will return to the National Hellenic Museum ( NHM ), 333 S. Halsted St., 6:30-10 p.m., on Thursday, Nov. 7. The museum will present a collection of chefs—including Chef Louie Alexakis of Avli River North and Executive Chef Max Robbins of Longman & Eagle—showcasing signature dishes that have been influenced by Greek cuisine or culture. Tickets are $100 per person in advance or $125 at the door, and include food, wine and full access to the museum; visit or call 312-655-1234.

—Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry ( an event for those 21 and older ) is returning to Chicago for the 30th year on Friday, Nov. 8, at Revel Fulton Market. Notable chefs like Heather Terhune ( Tre Rivali ), Jon Brooks ( Beholder ) and Justin Sutherland ( Pearl & the Thief ) will be serving items. All of the proceeds support the No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger in this country. See

—Meals on Wheels Chicago's signature fundraiser, the Celebrity Chef Ball, is taking place Friday, Nov. 8, 6-11:30 p.m. at Morgan Manufacturing, 401 N. Morgan St. The evening of food and philanthropy brings more than 80 top chefs, mixologists and Chicagoans together to help homebound neighbors. Tickets are $200-$400 each; visit

—True Food Kitchen—the award-winning, seasonally inspired restaurant and bar involved with healthful dining that was founded by integrative medicine expert Dr. Andrew Weil—announces its second Illinois location, in western Chicago suburb Oak Brook. The 32nd restaurant for the health-driven restaurant brand will open its doors at Oakbrook Center on Wed., Nov. 20. Dishes will include the ancient grains bowl, organic Tuscan kale salad, inside out quinoa burger, spaghetti squash casserole, and the flourless chocolate cake.

—L.A. Burdick, 609 N. State St., now features The Burdick Cookie. The item includes chocolate, walnuts, local farm-fresh butter and eggs,and fresh vanilla beans.

—For Thanksgiving, Shaw's Crab House, 21 E. Hubbard St., has a large carryout menu with appetizers, sides, and pies to go. ( People are urged to order at least 48 hours in advance. ) Shaw's Crab House-Chicago will be open to dine in Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28.

—The Goddess and Grocer has a Thanksgiving catering menu for those who want to opt out of cooking but still entertain guests. A portion of the Thanksgiving menu will be available in stores Nov. 18-Dec. 1. All catering orders must be placed by Monday, Nov. 25, by 5 p.m. To place an order, call 773-292-7100 or email . Thanksgiving Day deliveries will be available 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

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

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