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  WINDY CITY TIMES

DINING Stefani dinner, sushi spot opens, Baconfest, drag event
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-03-26

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—Stefani Prime is hosting a special Italian wine-pairing dinner on Thursday, March 28, at 6755 N. Cicero Ave., Lincolnwood; arrival is at 6:30 p.m., and the dinner starts at 7 p.m. Stefani Prime is the latest concept by the Stefani Restaurant Group ( Bar Cargo, MAD Social, Riva, Castaways and more ). Tickets are $80 per person and reservations are taken via phone at 847-696-6755. The event will be hosted by Italian wine specialist Teresa Spada, who will take guests through each wine.

—Sushi chef B.K. Park's West Loop 22-seat omakase Mako, 731 W. Lake St., is now open. ( Omakase—which means "I will leave it to you" in Japanese—is a formal dining experience where the entire menu is left exclusively in the hands of the chef. ) The set menu of up to 25 bites ( $175 per person ) is a creative exploration of unique cuts of fish and luxury ingredients. See MakoChicago.com .

—The 11th Annual Baconfest Chicago returns April 5-6 at the UIC Dorin Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd., with new restaurants and returning favorites over three sessions. New restaurants include 90 Miles Cuban Cafe, Copper Fox Gastropub, About Last Knife, Taureaux Tavern, NoMI, Vinci and Flight Club, among many others. Admission is $60-$160 each; visit https://baconfestchicago.com/.

—On April 6, Tack Room, 1807 S. Allport St., an event at 8-10 p.m. will feature one of drag performer Wanda Screw alongside Chicago pianist Kevan Eftekhari for a live sing-along. Also, there will be cocktails like the Tack Room Paloma, with mezcal banhez, grapefruit, squirt, lime and house sugar; or the Michoacan Old Fashioned, with Buffalo Trace bourbon, gustoso aguardiente, agave nectar and bitters.

—Donnie Wahlberg, Paul Wahlberg and St. Charles Mayor Raymond Rogina broke ground March 22 on the newest Wahlburgers location in St. Charles, Illinois. The casual dining burger concept founded by brothers Mark, Donnie and Chef Paul Wahlberg— and subject of A&E Network's Emmy-nominated reality show—will feature burgers, sandwiches, sides and specialty drinks. The approximately 5,000-square-foot space will be located at 855 S. Randall Rd. in, St. Charles, in the Meijer shopping center.

—Launching on Saturday, April 13, and continuing Saturday, May 18, and Saturday, June 1, Travelle at The Langham, 330 N. Wabash Ave., will present a calligraphy workshop brunch series taught by two local instructors: Ricki DiCola of r + ink and Julie Wildman of Wildman Designs. The fee ( $65/each ) covers class, supplies, brunch and a glass of Champagne; call 312-923-7705 or visit TravelleChicago.com .

—Frontier will conclude its weekly Sunday night Game of Thrones ( GoT ) dinners and viewing parties on Sunday, April 14, 5-7 p.m., with a wild-boar feast and viewing party of the final episodes of season seven. Tickets are $30, and include the feast with sides, Game of Thrones tarot-card readings, costume contests with official GoT prizes and more. Cocktails include The Cersei Lannister ( half-bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon served in a porron ), and several more. Tickets can be purchased online at thefrontierchicago.com/happenings.

—Taste of Iceland is returning to Chicago with a new roster of cultural programming taking place across the city on April 11-14. In its fourth consecutive year, the four-day festival hosted by Iceland Naturally gives Chicagoans an opportunity to experience Iceland's rich culture first-hand through the country's food, spirits, music, literature, film and more. See https://icelandnaturally.com/article/taste-iceland-chicago-2019/.

—The second I Heart Halal event will take place at Navy Pier, Festival Halls A & B, 600 E. Grand Ave., on April 12-14. The event will feature an expanded food court that will showcase restaurants throughout the city—plus restaurants at Navy Pier ( including Frankie's Pizza by the Slice, Big Bowl and Big City Chicken ) will be serving up halal-prepared foods throughout the weekend. There will also be headlining performances by Grammy-winning Chicago native Lupe Fiasco on April 12, at 8 p.m. and a comedy showcase starring with Muslim stand-up comics on April 13 at 8 p.m.. Visit IHeartHalal.com .

—The 3rd Annual Somm Madness, presented by Chicago-based hospitality group DineAmic, returns April 14, at 4 p.m. at Builders BLDG, 222 N. LaSalle St. Once again, the nation's wine and sommelier community, along with passionate wine enthusiasts will come together for a blind tasting tournament. Sixty-four individuals from across the country will go head-to-head to advance to the championship round with the hope of taking home $10,000 in cash. Tickets are $100 each; visit SommMadness.com .

—For Tax Day ( Monday, April 15 ), Hubbard Inn, 110 W. Hubbard St., will offer Mad Men-themed specials 4-7 p.m. ( They include $2 king-crab legs, $5 Manhattans and martinis, and more. ) Also, the bar/restaurant will play 1960s movies including James Bond, The Graduate, Sound of Music, West Side Story and The Good The Bad and the Ugly along with '60s music from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, The Beach Boys and Bob Dylan.

—Chef/Partner Tony Mantuano and Cubs Manager Joe Maddon revealed that "Maddon's Post" will serve as the official name of their forthcoming two-story 7,400 square foot restaurant, opening this May. Located at 1119 W. Waveland Ave., Maddon's Post will be steps from historic Wrigley Field and part of Gallagher Way, the entertainment district in the heart of the Wrigleyville neighborhood. Staffers include Executive Chef Aaron Thebault ( who just spent 8 years working alongside Stephanie Izard at Girl & the Goat, most recently as chef de cuisine ) and Wine Director Rachael Lowe ( a Food & Wine "Sommelier of the Year" in 2016 ).

—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.

—SX Sky Bar—the new two-floor lounge and nightclub concept at 808 S. Michigan Ave., adjacent to the recently transformed Hotel Essex—has announced the appointment of Christopher Suzuki as chef de cuisine. Suzuki oversees menu creation, staffing, training and product execution at the soon-to-open upscale lounge.

—Cargo Food Authority—a restaurant concept that opened its first location in the lobby of downtown Minneapolis' Target Center in late 2018—has announced its second outpost directly outside of Wrigley Field at the corner of Addison and Clark in Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood. Cargo Food Authority anticipates a summer 2019 opening.

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


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