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DINING Trotter Project event, DropShot, Lolla specials
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times...

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—The Trotter Project teams celebrity Chef Elizabeth Falkner and Margeaux Brasserie Executive Chef/Charlie Trotter's restaurant alum Brent Balika on Wed., July 25, to pay homage to legendary chef Charlie Trotter and support The Trotter Project's Pillars of Excellence Program at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, 11 E. Walton St., 6-9 p.m. A four-course menu will pair Macallan cocktails and selected wines from Robert Houde of Robert Houde Wines. Tickets are $125 each; visit

—DropShot Coffee & Snack Bar, 312 W. Chestnut St., the all-day cafe and coffee shop located inside River North boutique hotel FieldHouse Jones, now has Texas breakfast tacos. Catering to early-morning commuters and hotel guests, people can purchase the tacos 7- 9 a.m., which includes an order of two tacos and an eight-ounce cup coffee for $6.

—Seasonal spot Castaways, 1603 N. Lake Shore Dr., is offering "Frozen Lolla Lemonade" Aug. 1-6 in honor of Lollapalooza. The drink, featuring Absolut Lime Vodka and lemonade, will sell for $9 each. Castaways serves lunch and dinner every day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and drinks from noon to 11 p.m. Menu items include beachside fare like fresh salads, wraps, sandwiches, quesadillas and more. See .

—Festgoers headed to Lollapalooza on Aug. 3 to catch headliner Bruno Mars or The National are invited to enjoy a special pregame happy hour at Hubbard Inn, 110 W. Hubbard St., that includes a complimentary dinner-menu tasting at 4-7 p.m. Patrons are invited to sample the new menu from Executive Chef Jason Hedin with FREE passed appetizers such as the seasonal flatbread, manchego croquettes, Moroccan lamb meatball, ahi tuna tartare, chimichurri cured king salmon, spring cassolette, truffled sliders, and spiced Merquez flatbread. See .

—Sable Kitchen & Bar, 505 N. State St., will celebrate music fans with an unlimited $5 draft beer promotion to festivalgoers wearing their Lollapalooza wrist bands. The hotel bar will offer the promotion, Thursday-Friday at 4 p.m.-closing and Saturday-Sunday at 10 a.m.-closing.

—On the last Sunday of each month, Z Bar ( at The Peninsula Chicago, 108 E. Superior St. ) will host a hands-on Wanderlust class in its intimate private dining room, where guests will immerse themselves in the history and stories of specific cocktails, spirits and ingredients. The intimate classes accommodate only 10 guests and will be held at 5 p.m. on the last Sunday of every month, starting July 29. The cost of the class is $75; to RSVP, email .

—To celebrate the 10th anniversary of urbanbelly in August, Chef Bill Kim is bringing back three dishes from urbanbelly's very first menu. Each dish will be offered for 10 consecutive days at both urbanbelly locations: 1400 W. Randolph St. and 1542 N. Damen Ave. On Aug. 1-10 is Asian Bolognese with udon, Korean chili paste, cucumber, onion and basil ( $13 ). The next dish, to run Aug. 11-20, will be shortrib-fried rice, featuring three bone-in shortribs ( $13 ). The third special, available Aug. 21-31, will be soba noodles with bay scallops, Thai basil and chili threads in a chicken pho broth ( $15 ).

—After 29 years of anonymity, Chicago Tribune restaurant critic Phil Vettel has decided to reveal his face, Chicago Tonight noted. Besides saying that more of the larger/more upscale restaurants were beginning to recognize him ( making things unfair for smaller spots ), he said on the show, "We have a series of events planned in August—more than 100 events—under the umbrella term 'Tribune Food Bowl.' And I thought if I were going to be able to participate in any of the panel discussions that were going to be part of that, that this was as good a time as any."

—Baltimore became the largest city in the United States to bar soda and other sugary drinks from restaurants' kids' menus, reported. Mayor Catherine Pugh actuall signed the Baltimore City Healthy Kids Meals Bill in April, but it didn't go into effect until mid-July. Restaurants will be limited to offering children's meals with flat, sparkling or flavored water with no added sweeteners; milk or non-dairy alternatives; or 100-percent fruit juice.

—Jonathan Gold, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times food writer who helped reinvent food writing by training his eye on Los Angeles' street food and little-known treasures, has died at 57 of pancreatic cancer, TheWrap noted. His death follows the loss of another well-lnown food critic, Anthony Bourdain, who similarly elevated street food and hard-to-find culinary gems to a place alongside fine dining.

—Portsmith, 660 N. State St., has launched its first-ever Oyster Takeover Series, a curated lineup of seasonally inspired oysters in a weekly rotating collaboration with a collection of Chicago culinary talent. Guests will experience the first series of this kind at a value of $5 per each specialty oyster. This series is helmed by Portsmith's Executive Chef and Partner Nate Henssler and features an all-star lineup of Chicago chefs, including Justin Diglia of Joe's Stone Crab, Brian Enyart of Dos Urban Cantina, Stephen Gillanders of S.K.Y., Bill Montagne of Nico Osteria, Christo Vlahos of Portsmith and Mark Steuer of Funkenhausen. See .

—In honor of its third consecutive year in Humboldt Park ( at 3021 W. Division St. ), Sangria Festival is expanding from one to two days, Aug. 18-19, noon-10 p.m. The fest is an homage to Latino culture, with authentic foods, arts, and performances all weekend in benefit of local charities. The food and drink at this year's Sangria Fest will present a variety of global options, including Mija Sangria Red & White, Juicy Luzy Sangria with Ruby Red, Pear, Pomegranate & Mango, Tapas Valencia ( paella ), Jeannie's Flan, Taco In A Bag ( nachos ), Boulevard Lounge ( Impossible Burger ), BLVD Pizza Bar, Flash Tacos, Sweet Lady Flan and more. Tickets are $25-$60 each; see .

—Staytion Market & Bar, 1 W. Wacker Dr., is offering specially themed mixology classes every Thursday at 5-7 p.m. They include "Drink Responsibly At Lolla!" - Hydrate while you dehydrate ( Aug. 2 ), "Air and Water" — Aviation cocktail variations ( Aug. 16 ), "Wizard World"- Comic book hero inspired cocktails ( Aug. 23 ) and "Jazz Classics" - jazz-inspired classic cocktails menu ( Aug. 30 ). See

—In anticipation of its late-summer opening, Ballyhoo Hospitality's Walton Street Kitchen + Bar ( @waltonstreetchicago; 912 N. State St. ) announced the debut of an additional concept within a concept named The Lounge. Hidden away in a separate space one floor down from the restaurant and bar, The Lounge explores the world of distilled spirits in an intimate, library-like setting. Walton Street Kitchen + Bar is slated to open in late summer. See .

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