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Dining news: Caffeinated Club launches; Lent specials
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2014-03-05

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—Caffeinated Club—a lightly flavored soda water with caffeine—held its launch Feb. 25 at the Public Hotel, 1301 N. State St. Each single-serving plastic, recyclable, BPA-free bottle of Caffeinated Club contains 12 ounces of filtered carbonated water, and is currently offered in lemon, raspberry, orange-grapefruit and clear ( unflavored ). See www.CaffeinatedClub.com .

—For Lent ( March 5-April 20 ), Chicago Cut Steakhouse, 300 N. LaSalle St., is offering various specials, including yellowfin tuna ( $37 ), Great Lakes whitefish ( $23 ) and Chilean sea bass ( $42 ). See www.ChicagoCutSteakhouse.com .

—In observance of Lent, Commonwealth Tavern, 2000 W. Roscoe St., will feature a hot buttered lobster roll special from Executive Chef Kevin Church. The dish will be available during Friday dinner hours starting at 4 p.m., at market price. See www.CommonwealthChicago.com .

—Phil Stefani's 437 Rush, 437 N. Rush St., invites Chicagoans to dine throughout the Lenten season and enjoy seafood specialties from Executive Chef Christian Fantoni. Highlights include the signature lobster bisque ( $8 lunch/$11 dinner ) along with fresh seafood dishes like Atlantic salmon, Pacific ahi tuna, Lake Superior whitefish and Pacific Chilean sea bass. See www.PhilStefanis437Rush.com .

—Frasca, 3358 N. Paulina Ave., brings back its Guinness Pizza—the only of its kind in the city—on March 17. Frasca's wood-fire oven pie goes for $13, and is made with a real Guinness stout crust and topped with bechamel sauce, roasted onions, fingerling potatoes, bacon, three cheeses and an egg. See www.FrascaPizzeria.com .

—According to an article on Mashable.com, data pulled by payments company Square found that Chicagoans tip more often than any other major city studied. In Chicago, customers tip 63 percent of the time with the average tip at 16.7 percent—roughly twice the 9.25-percent sales tax rate. Denver and Austin, Texas, were tied for second, with 62 percent of customers tipping.

—In honor of Aretha Franklin's birthday, Untitled Supper Club, 111 W. Kinzie St., will pay tribute to her on March 19, 7-10 p.m., with a night of live soul music by Chicago's Brooke and the Nice Things covering a selection of her greatest hits. Admission for the event is complimentary; RSVP at arethafranklintribute.eventbrite.com .

—Pizza Hut is testing a new innovation that would let guests order and pay using the table itself, according to NRN.com . The Plano, Texas-based chain of more than 6,200 locations in the United States announced via a YouTube video the development of an interactive table that functions essentially as a giant tablet app.

—Gino's East River North, 500 N. LaSalle St., is offering a St. Patrick's Day special on Saturday, March 15; there will be $4 Revolution Anti Hero pints and 50-cent jumbo chicken wings all day long. In addition, there will be a March Madness Final $4 menu with Anti Hero pours and appetizers such as deep-dish nachos, BBQ brisket sliders, smoked trout dip, lime shrimp ceviche, jumbo chicken wings and bacon marinara mini-meatballs. See www.GinosEast.com .

—Gratafy, an award-winning gifting platform, is expanding to the Chicago market. Users can treat friends, family and co-workers in Chicago by remotely sending food, drinks and more as gifts from an exclusive list of restaurant and bar partners. The app is free to download, and is available for iPhone and Android in the App Store or on Google Play. Also, see www.Gratafy.com .

—In honor of National Noodle Month this March, City Dough, 2955 N. Sheffield Ave., announces a "Design Your Own Pasta" contest. Amateur cooks are invited to share an original pasta recipe for a chance to be featured on City Dough's menu for the month of April and win a $50 gift certificate. See www.CityDough.com .

—Bombay Spice Indian Grill, 213 E. Ohio St., has introduced a new catering menu. Espousing a healthful approach, Executive Chef Sunil Kumar does not employ butter, cream or frying. Items include wraps, bowls and salads. See www.facebook.com/BombaySpiceGrill.

—Chicago q, 1160 N. Dearborn St., has added a Bloody Mary bar during weekend brunch ( 11 a.m.-3 p.m. ). For $10, guests can build their own Bloody Marys using ingredients such as tomato juice, okra, peppers, carrots, lime, bacon, pepperoni and horseradish, among others. Call 312-642-1160.

—Downers Grove restaurant Barbakoa, 1341 Butterfield Rd., has launched its Latin Series. The series takes place through April, with cooking-class demos and multi-course dinners. ( Argentinian items are in March and Peruvian ones in April. ) Each dinner costs $49 per person and each cooking class costs $35 per person. Advanced tickets are required and space is limited; call 630-852-2333.

—Japonais has collaborated with Chef Masaharu Morimoto to create the restaurant Japonais by Morimoto, which features a brand-new menu showcasing the chef's signature cuisine, a blend of Japanese and Western techniques. Located alongside the Chicago River, Japonais by Morimoto will open the downstairs lounge and riverwalk in the spring.

—Chris Dexter, Chris Freeman, Jared Van Camp and John Warken—who have opened Chicago restaurants Nellcote and RM Champagne Salon—have now launched Kinmont, 419 W. Superior St. With Duncan Biddulph ( Lula Cafe; Rootstock ) as executive chef, Kinmont is being promoted as "the first entirely sustainable fish & seafood restaurant in Chicago." See www.kinmontrestaurant.com .

—In celebration of the newly created Angel's Envy q Bourbon, Chicago q, 1160 N. Dearborn St., will host a special launch party with the bourbon distillery on Thursday, March 6, at 6:30 p.m. For $40 per person, guests can sample a selection of Angel's Envy cocktails with representatives from the label on hand for questions. Call 312-642-1160.

—Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House will celebrate Mardi Gras through Monday, March 10, with a New Orleans specialty, Shrimp etouffee ( $23.50; shrimp, andouille sausage, crawfish tails and rice smothered in sauce ). Guests will also enjoy a classic French Quarter cocktail, the Grasshopper ( $9; Smirnoff Vanilla vodka, RumChata, creme de menthe and creme de cocoa ). See www.hugosfrogbar.com .

—On Feb. 27, the Illinois Restaurant Association ( IRA ) presented six Living Legend Awards. Recipients included Rich Melman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises/Outstanding Restaurateur Award, Rick Bayless/Outstanding Chef Award, Turano Baking Company/Outstanding Vendor Award, Sysco Chicago/Sara Rowe ProStart Company Award, Kathryn Thanas, Lou Mitchell's /Humanitarian Award and Frank Sgro, Italian Village/Guardian of Tradition Award.

—The Chicago Bulls and Gibsons Restaurant Group will host the first "Chicago Bulls Insider Session: Championship Edition" at The Montgomery Club, 500 W. Superior St., on Wed., March 12, 5-7:30 p.m., according to NBA.com . The event will feature a discussion with former Bulls world championship players reminiscing about their favorite memories and highlights from the two three-peats. Visit visit Bulls.com/insider or call 312-455-4000.

—Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash Ave., is offering seasonal menus for Passover and Easter. The $35 three-course Passover menu ( available April 14-22 at 5 p.m. nightly; price does not include tax or tip ) incorporates Chef Martial's French technique and style into the traditional Jewish holiday cuisine. The three-course Easter Brunch Menu will be available on April 20, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m; the price is $29 for adults and $15 for children. See www.bistronomic.net .

Send items to Andrew@WindyCityMediaGroup.com or follow on Twitter @Azygous60610.


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