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Dining: WingFest, Blackhawks/Duncan Keith events, chili cookoff
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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—The 18th Annual WingFest takes place on Sunday, March 5, 1-5 p.m., at UIC Pavilion, 525 S. Racine Ave. This will be the festival's inaugural year at UIC, a larger-than-usual venue that can accommodate more people and double the number of restaurants cooking up over 9,000 pounds of wings. Some of the 2017 WingFest participants include Rhyme or Reason, Howells & Hood, Chicago Culinary Kitchen, Son of A Butcher Tavern and River Forest Catering. See .

—The Boundary, 1932 W. Division St., brings guests from Wicker Park to the United Center with its last two Chicago Blackhawks Bus events of the 2016-2017 season. On Wed., March 1, and Thursday, March 9, Chicagoans can head to The Boundary for a drink before making the pilgrimage to the United Center at 6:15 p.m. on March 1 and 6:45 p.m. on March 9. Tickets are $95 and $80 respectively, which includes a ticket to the game; transportation to and from the United Center; and a Red Bull cocktail. See .

—Southern Cut Barbecue, 198 E. Delaware Pl., will host a three-course dinner with ESPN's Pat Boyle as well as special guests Blackhawks players Duncan Keith and Ryan Hartman. The cost is $95 per person ( excluding tax, gratuity and beverages ); RSVP to 312-280-8882 or .

—The Glenwood Sunday Market 8th Annual Heat It Up! Pro/Am Chili Cook-off & Fundraiser takes place Sunday, March 5, from 12-3 p.m., at Bar 63, 6341 N. Broadway. Professional and amateur chefs from across Chicago will showcase their chili-cooking expertise, giving attendees a chance to taste and vote for their favorite chili dishes. Tickets are $35-$45 each; visit

—Evanston restaurant The Barn, Rear 1016 Church St., turns down the lights on Saturday nights at 10 p.m., and transforms into the speakeasy-like experience, "After Hours." Drinks and salty snacks are available, as well as playing cards, backgammon, and dice. Apothecary bottled cocktails, created exclusively for After Hours by Beverage Director Michelle Sallemi, are served in vintage jars and include The Barn Raiser, which contains bourbon, lime juice and mint. Reservations are not necessary for After Hours unless a guest is looking for something incredibly special and intimate; see .

—Evanston restaurant Hewn, 810 Dempster St., invites guests to indulge in a night of bread and spirits with a March 8 after-hours event filled with tasting and demonstrations. Guests will begin the evening sipping on cocktails provided by FEW Spirits and tasting bourbon-themed appetizers from Hewn; also, the featured bread will be caramelized onion rye with bourbon. Tickets are $75 each for the 6 p.m. event; visit

—Garrett Popcorn Shops has announced the return of Buffalo Ranch Mix ( Buffalo CheeseCorn and Buttery Ranch ) for college basketball playoffs. The recipe is available for the first time ever in Shops and returns for online shopping . The mix is available March 1-April 3.

—The breakfast spot Yolk is now open in Marina City, 340 N. State St. Yolk's menu features items such as the red velvet French toast, with red velvet cake with swirls of cream cheese, dipped and grilled in Yolk's secret batter; and the Yacht Club Sandwich, a triple-decker sandwich made with toasted sourdough, turkey, ham, bacon, smashed avocado, tomato, cheddar, romaine lettuce and mayonnaise. See .

—Big Jones, 5347 N. Clark St., is offering several dishes for guests to have during Lent. Featured starters and snacks include the pimiento cheese made with Hook's Cheddar blended with pimientos and homemade Worcestershire sauce ( $6 ); and red snapper caveach, a ceviche of snapper, lime, jalapeno, virgin benne oil, fresh herbs, avocado and homemade saltines ( $10 ). Other dishes include crispy catfish ( $19 ) and hand-cut noodles and vegetables ( $18 )—the latter consisting of hand-rolled egg noodles with celery root puree, chanterelles, melted leeks and fried sage in Wisconsin Sheep Diary Cooperative Pecorino.

—Also regarding Lenten season, Steadfast, 120 W. Monroe St., is offering several dishes. Starting with Egyptian spiced mussels and a homemade bread service, diners can dive right into meatless entrees like fjord salmon, curried lentils and loup de mer. Call 312-801-8899.

—Nic's Organic Fast Food announces the opening of its first store on Thursday, March 2, in Rolling Meadows at 2101 Plum Grove Rd. Everything at Nic's is without hormones, antibiotics, GMO's, preservatives, artificial flavors or colors. Meats are humanely raised and sustainably sourced. The menu is at .

—Lowcountry, 3343 N. Clark St., an all-you-can-eat snow crab buffet in honor of National Crab Day on Thursday, March 9, 5-10 p.m. The bottomless feast will be $49.99; Lowcountry fills the buffet with other seaside favorites, including corn on the cob, red potatoes, honey butter jalapeño cornbread, potato salad, and cole slaw. Visit .

—River Roast, 315 N. LaSalle St., will host a comedic "chef roast" and dinner benefiting Pilot Light Chefs on Thursday, March 9, 6-9 p.m. This year's roast will feature Paul Kahan ( One Off Hospitality ), Tony Mantuano ( Spiaggia ) and John Hogan ( River Roast ), who will prepare a collaborative four-course dinner followed by a roast; WXRT host lin Brehmer will emcee. Tickets are $85; visit

—St. Patrick's Day special: Bernie's Lunch & Supper, 660 N. Orleans St., will team with Glendalough Distillery for a pop-up Irish cocktail menu March 11-18. Menu items include Irish coffee with Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey; Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey Old Fashioned; and an Irish Spritzer with Glendalough Poitin, Cinnamon Syrup, lemon, bitters and cider.

—Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., will host a St. Patty's Day "Pre-Soak" breakfast on Saturday, March 11, 8:30-11 a.m. A $2 ( ! ) buffet-style brunch includes scrambled eggs with cheddar, corned beef hash, mini-potato pancakes, Belgian waffles with whiskey syrup, emerald fruit salad, hickory smoked bacon and grilled Irish soda bread. See .

—American Craft Kitchen & Bar, 151 E. Wacker Dr., is offering a dinner buffet ( $24.95 per person ) for one night, March 11. Items will include homemade soups, boiled corned beef, lake trout filets with sticky bacon and flake almonds, and shepherd's pie. The buffet also includes assorted desserts and coffee, tea or soda. To make a reservation, call 312-565-1234, ext. 4496.

—All Bottleneck Management Chicago locations ( The Boundary, Old Town Pour House, Howells & Hood, Sweetwater Tavern & Grill, and South Branch ) will offer specialty Irish dishes Saturday, March 11, and Tuesday, March 14 through Monday, March 20. Dishes include corned beef reuben ( $14 ), Guinness lamb stew ( $16 ) and shepherd's pie ( $16 ).

—Travelle Kitchen + Bar, 330 N. Wabash Ave., invites guests to watch the Chicago River get dyed green from above. Starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 11, the lounge opens early for guests to reserve bar tables ( with a $50 minimum spend per person ) to take in the view. For those in search of a festive green libation, Travelle Kitchen + Bar is featuring the Cucumber Matcharita with mezcal, cucumber matcha juice, lime juice, Chareau Aloe liqueur and simple syrup. See .

—Hakka Bakka, 1251 W. Fullerton Ave., will bring back its chicken tikka wings Sunday, March 12-Monday, April 3, for March Madness. They are priced at $8 for eight pieces and include choice of a tikka ranch or cilantro aioli dipping sauce. See .

—Q-BBQ ( which has multiple suburban locations ) is bringing back its smoked corned beef for St. Patrick's Day as well as its Corona-battered cod for Lent. Q-BBQ specializes in authentic BBQ traditions from Memphis, the Carolinas, Texas and Kansas City. See .

—To kick off March Madness, all three Tuscany Restaurant locations will participate in a week-long March Lasagna Madness in which a different lasagna recipe will be showcased each day during the first week of the tournament. The special is available for dine-in or carryout and is $14 at lunch and $16 at dinner. See .

—Also for St. Patrick's Day, Frontier, 1072 N Milwaukee Ave., will open early on Friday, March 17. Guests can enjoy Chef Brian Jupiter's full menu beginning at 11 a.m., in addition to a $5 Irish Whiskey menu that will feature a variety of mainstream and small batch Irish whiskeys. See .

—Brindille, 534 N. Clark St., will be offering a Mother's Day tea on Sunday, May 12, 2-5 p.m. The tea service will feature Chef Carrie and Pastry Chef Craig's creations. Among the slated items will be crumpets, sandwiches, sweets, confections and, of course, tea. It will be $65/person, and there's limited seating. RSVP at .

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