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DINING urbanbelly goes retro, Portsmith series, Chelsea Room
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.

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—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. Through Aug. 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 ).

—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 .

—The Chelsea Room, an art-and-music driven lounge and bar, is open at 221 N. Clark St. The Chelsea Room is inspired by the art scene of the '70s and '80s, paying homage to famous contemporary artists while giving a nod to today's artists. There are 11 beers on tap as well as cocktails ( $11-$14 each ) such as The Chelsea, made with rosemary-infused vodka, citrus and crème de violette, topped with champagne; the Suzie Q, with tequila, orange curacao, lemon, mint simple syrup and fresh water; and the El Coco, with chocolate whiskey, cinnamon simple syrup, Aztec chocolate bitters and a marshmallow melt. See .

—HopCat-Chicago, 2577 N Clark St, is raising commemorating National IPA Day on Thursday, Aug. 2, with a special $2 discount on all IPA beer. Also, the restaurant/beer house will introduce its newest arcade game, Cosmotrons—the first of its kind in Illinois; Cosmotrons allows up to four players to experience retro gaming combined with modern technology for a simultaneous spaceship battle. For more information, visit

—On Aug. 3 at 8 p.m., Chicago Loop spot Saucy Porka makes its Food Network debut on the hit show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives—just days after the July 30 grand opening of Saucy's all-new second location in Hyde Park. According to a press relesae, the "pork-centric fusion of Latin and Asian culinary traditions blends the flavors and spices of Puerto Rico, Mexico and Cuba with those of Asia." Saucy Porka's new location is at 1164 E. 55th St.; visit .

—Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar, 2700 W. Chicago Ave., is teaming with lowcountry and Half Acre Beer Company for their very first shrimp boil on Sunday, Aug. 5, 4-8 p.m. A ticket of $20 per guest includes lowcountry-style shrimp ( + its famous garlic sauce, which is optional ), fresh corn, potatoes, Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar polish sausage and a cold pint from Half Acre Beer Company. See

—Tanta, 118 W. Grand St., is teaming with No.3 Gin to host a rooftop happy hour Tuesday, Aug. 7, 5-7 p.m., featuring No.3 Gin cocktails that London-based bartender Johnny Munoz Iniesta will create. Iniesta, head bartender at London's Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar, will create items such as Shine & Brine, with No.3 Gin, Victory bitter, citrus juice, and olive brine syrup; The Clearside, with No. 3 Gin, mint shrub, lime juice, and Lustau Oloroso sherry; and St. James Mystery, with No. 3 Gin, Calvados, raspberry and sage syrup, lemon juice and soda. Drinks are $10 each; visit .

—The former Standard Market Grill space on the northwest corner of Fullerton and Clark will soon house a new Italian restaurant featuring thin-crust pizzas from a longtime employee of Phil Stefani's Signature Restaurants, Eater Chicago noted. Casati's should open in early August at 444 W. Fullerton Pkwy.

—The Food Truck Social brand will debut to the Near North community in August. The first-ever Near North Food Truck Social will take place Aug. 11-12 at 800-873 N. Sedgwick Ave., and will bring all the bells and whistles of its tenured sister food-truck social festivals ( Pilsen FTS, Logan Square FTS, West Town FTS ), in a more intimate package. Some of the participating food trucks will be from Giordano's, Da Lobsta, Pierogi Rig, Carnivale and Lucy's. Visit

—In celebration of Peruvian Independence Day ( July 28 ) and its five-year anniversary, Tanta, 118 W. Grand Ave., debuts three new specials running through Aug. 12. Specials include tiradito bachiche ( thinly sliced fresh fluke, 22-month aged parmesan sauce, crispy garlic, crisp faux fish skin and basil oil ), anticucho carretilla ( sweetbreads, veal heart, aji panca, marble potato, aji amarillo and huacatay sauce ) and paiche charapa ( the fish paiche, green plantain tacacho, double smoked baco, and mishkina steamed in a banana leaf—and garnished with cilantro and grilled pineapple chalaca sauce ).

—Chef Abe Conlon, the 2018 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Great Lakes, joins business partner Adrienne Lo to bring their Chicago eatery, Fat Rice, to Manhattan for a two-month residency at Chefs Club New York on Aug. 13-Oct. 13. Like Fat Rice Chicago, Fat Rice by Abe Conlon at Chefs Club New York will present many experiences under one roof, including an elevated dinner menu that will offer sneak peek of the next evolution of the restaurant's food program.

—Equality Illinois will host its annual MOMosa brunch Saturday, Aug. 18, 12-3 p.m., at Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted St. Tickets are $40 in advance, and $45 each at the door; all proceeds support Equality Illinois. 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 .

—On National Waffle Day ( Aug. 24 ), Oak Lawn's Fry the Coop will be offering $5 chicken & waffles. Fry the Coop's Chicken & Waffles ( normally $14 ) is served with fried chicken, smoked bacon, spiced butter and hot maple syrup. See .

—Broken Barrel Bar is slated to open this fall at 2548 N. Southport Ave. Executive Chef Bryant Anderson ( who has won awards at Chicago's Best Wing Fest, Bacon Fest, Mac & Cheese Fest and WACO Wing Fest ) will offer items such as the Flying Swine Sandwich, with pork belly, crispy chicken skin, house pickles and truffle-Dijon sauce; and roasted Brussels Sprout nachos, with crispy Brussels sprouts, fresno peppers, pickled red onions, radish, smoked cheddar sauce, cilantro and queso fresco.

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

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