The James Beard Foundation's Taste America will present an inaugural kick-off reception on Thursday, Oct. 25, 6-9 p.m., at The Lakewood, 1758 W. Lake St. "Raising the BarJames Beard Foundation Celebrates Women Shaking Up Chicago's Beverage Scene," will welcome mixologists such as Julieta Campos ( The Whistler ), Natalia Cardenas ( Breakthru Beverage ), Jarmel Doss ( Aviary ), Julia Momose ( Oriole, Kumiko ) and Alpana Singh ( Master Sommelier and Host of Check Please! ) while launching the full weekend of Taste America events. Tickets are $100 each; visit https://www.jamesbeard.org/events/taste-america-chicago-kick-off.
The Trotter Project is presenting its Second Annual Excellence Gala on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 5:30 p.m. at at Revel Fulton Market, 1215 W. Fulton Marketand the evening celebrating the achievements of culinary scholarship recipients as well as the legacies of Chefs Charlie Trotter and Homaro Cantu will feature headlining Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz. Andoni's visit is supported by a team of alumni from both Charlie Trotter's restaurant and Chef Homaro Cantu's Moto, as well as The Trotter Project culinary supporters; this all-star team is led by host of Cooking Channel's Carnival Kings and Top Chef's Richie Farina. Tickets are $500 each; visit TheTrotterProject.org/excellence-gala-2018/.
Baptiste & Bottle, 101 E. Erie St., is encouraging guests to dress up for brunch on Oct. 27-28 for a chance to win a free Baptiste Dinner ( $100 gift card ) each day. Guests must post a photo next to the Bloody Mary bar and tag @baptistechicago on Instagram to be entered into the contest. ( In addition, Halloween-themed Bottomless Bloody and mimosa bars are $26 for each. )
Z Bar, the rooftop lounge at The Peninsula Chicago, has planned two days of "Z is for Zombie" festivities on Friday-Saturday, Oct. 26-27. DJ and producer Alyson Calagna, who curated the bar's global playlists, will spin from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Oct. 26, followed the next night by Chicago DJ Cloudstomper. Also, there's the Zombie cocktail ( $13 ), featuring overproof rum, grenadine, cinnamon, falernum and a lime-candy "eyeball" garnish. There is no cover charge and there will be complimentary face-painting. More details on the costume contest and prizes can be found at www.facebook.com/events/251416168854871/ .
The River North spot Jake Melnick's Corner Top, 41 E. Superior St., is celebrating Halloween all month long with its Nightmare on Superior Street Burger ( $16.95 ). Jake's half-pound fresh beef patty is hand-packed with habanero and cheddar; topped with lettuce, tomato, crispy jalapeno bottle caps, pepper jack cheese and XXX mayoas well as a dash of ghost pepper dust. There's also The Detroit Pan Pizza ( $15.95 ), which features a squared crust with caramelized cheese; variations include pepperoni or spicy Italian sausage.
Commonwealth Tavern, 2000 W. Roscoe St., will host a Halloween Party on Saturday, Oct. 27. There will be a $30-per-person package from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. that includes call drinks, Miller Lite drafts, wine and an appetizer buffet. Halloween costumes are highly encouraged. For tickets, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/commonwealth-tavern-halloween-party-tickets-50712955816 .
"Barbarella: Halloween Tea with Darling & Friends" will take place Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Ace Hotel restaurant Waydown, 311 N. Morgan St., at 7 p.m. The "Duchess of Chicago," Darling Shear-Squire will host this month's special Halloween edition of High Tea Social Club. Inspired by 1960s futurism and all things Barbarella, High Tea is free and open to the public, featuring music and performances from resident DJ Mister Wallace, Darling, Lucky Stiff, Saya Naomi, ALEXA GRÃ† and Eva la Feva.
The Halloween dumplings at urbanbelly, 2400 N. Damen Ave, sport an orange-colored filling, thanks to pumpkin and sweet potato. Served with green papaya, they're $1.75 a piece and available Monday, Oct. 29 through Saturday, Nov. 3.
On Tuesday, Oct. 30, 7-10 p.m., HopCat-Chicago, 2577 N. Clark St., will host its Ravinia Beer Dinner, featuring fall comfort foods with specially selected beers from Highland Park-based Ravinia Brewing Company. Guests can enjoy a five beer, four-course menu for $40 per person; visit www.eventbrite.com/e/beer-dinner-w-ravinia-tickets-49153105261 .
Parlay at Joy District, 112 W. Hubbard St., invites Chicagoans to its new Sunday "Brunch So Hard" buffet, available now on Sundays 10 a.m.-3 p.m. For $50 per person ( $30 for food only ), guests can partake of the brunch buffet and mimosa bar. Parlay's brunch will feature a DJ spinning, and Sunday NFL games will be shown on 19 100-inch LED TVs and a 200-inch projection screen. To RSVP, visit www.parlaychi.com/reservations/ .
Boleo and Vol. 39 announced their new beverage director: Josh Relkin, who now oversees the beverage programs at both concepts located at The Kimpton Gray Hotel in the Chicago Loop. He brings 15 years of industry experience to his new position as beverage director, including previous stints at Sable Kitchen & Bar, The Sixth and, most recently, as head bartender of Proxi.
The Illinois Restaurant Association will host an "Awesome 80's" Chef's Table Benefit Friday, Nov. 2, 6-10 p.m., at Morgan MFG, 401 N. Morgan St. Presented by Sysco and the National Restaurant Association, the 41st Annual Chef's Table celebrates and honors the food service industry while featuring some of the best bites Chicago has to offer. Just a few of the restaurants taking part will include Bar Takito & Takito Kitchen, Taureaux Tavern, The Dearborn, Eli's Cheesecake Company and Pinstripes. Tickets are $250 each; call 312-787-4000 or visit illinoisrestaurants.org .
Italian spot Locanda, 201 E. Walton Pl., will host a special dinner in partnership with winery Azienda Valentina Cubi on Wed., Nov. 7, at 6 p.m. Owner and winemaker Valentina Cubi will be on hand to guide diners through each pairing. The four-course dinner costs $80 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. RSVPs can be made by calling 312-397-8800 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
Vanille Patisserie will once again offer Thanksgiving pie. The Chicago patisserie will offer five pies this year along with its usual lineup of French confections. Thanksgiving pie flavors include pumpkin with cinnamon whipped cream, apple streusel, pecan, maple cream with mascarpone whipped cream, gingersnap streusel and chocolate Nutella French silk. Due to popular demand, orders for Thanksgiving pies will begin Nov. 1. Vanille's Thanksgiving pies are $28.95, or $25.95 each for two or more. See VanillePatisserie.com .
Celebrating the legacy of Le Francais, six chefs are uniting for one evening to pay homage to the famous French restaurant at Winnetka's Restaurant Michael, 64 Green Bay Rd. On Tuesday, Nov. 6, 6-9 p.m., guests can join Chef Michael Lachowicz ( George Trois and Restaurant Michael ), Chef Patrick Chabert ( 20 year Chef-de-Cuisine at Le Francais ), Chef Roland Liccioni ( Les Nomades ), Christopher Koetke ( saucier at Le Francais; dean of culinary education at Kendall College ), Chef Mark Grosz ( Oceanique ) and Chef Matt McMillin ( Cooper's Hawk Restaurants ) for a five-course menu. Admission is $150 each for the menu only ( including a $25 nonrefundable deposit ); wine is additional. See RestaurantMichael.com .
LuxeHome will present CHILL, an International Wine & Culinary Event on Thursday, Nov. 8. The gourmet celebration, in cooperation with Wine Spectator Magazine, will take place within the ambiance of LuxeHome, the world's largest collection of premier boutiques, on the first floor of theMART ( 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza ) and will support three Chicago-area charities. Visit luxehome.com/chill .
Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash Ave., will offer a special menu for Beaujolais Nouveau Day on Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 15-18. The three-course, prix fixe menu will be offered for dinner 5-10:30 p.m. for $39 per person, not including tax and gratuity. Culinary items will include house country pate, braised short ribs Bourguignon, Baked Alaska Belle Helene and more.
Dos Urban Cantina, 2829 W. Armitage Ave., will celebrate its third anniversary on Monday, Nov. 19, at 6 p.m. ( until close ) with a BBQ potluck. The celebration will be $65/person, and includes tax and tip; the package includes white wine, red wine and beer from Half Acre. Purchase tickets at dosurbancantina.com/event/anniversary or at the door.
Fairmont Chicago-Millennium Park, 200 N. Columbus Dr., is offering a chef-made "Thanksgiving at Home Dinner." Diners can order, pick-up and experience a holiday spread prepared by Fairmont Chicago Executive Chef Sean Curry, complete with an American Bronze turkey, a variety of side dishes, dessert and more, on Thursday, Nov. 22. The Thanksgiving at Home Dinner package costs $275 plus tax and serves eight; people can visit fairmontchicago.wufoo.com/forms/z169kzka15atqzv/ and place orders through Friday, Nov. 16.
Frontier Chef Brian Jupiter's Thanksgiving menu is available throughout November and on Thanksgiving day for pick-up and delivery. Holiday favorites include smoked turkey ( $75-95 ), Chef Brian Jupiter's famous five-cheese mac ( $40 ), seafood gumbo ( $50 ), traditional mashed potatoes ( $30 ), cornbread stuffing ( $35 ), kale-and-apple salad ( $35 ), string beans ( $30 ), buttered rolls ( $16/dozen ) and sweet-potato pie ( $20 ). The feast serves a minimum of 12 people for $24/person. For ordering details, visit bit.ly/FrontierThanksgiving .
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