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Dining news: Cape Cod closing, grilled-cheese offerings, NYE options
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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—The Drake Hotel's Cape Cod Room—known as the restaurant where Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio carved their initials after getting married in 1954—will have its last service on New Year's Eve, according to NBC News. The closing comes as the Drake prepares for what it says will be a "historic renovation," according to the hotel's website. Well-known seafood dishes from the restaurant ( including Bookbinder soup, oysters Rockefeller, crab cakes, Cape Cod seafood boil and baked Alaska ) will become featured menu items at the hotel's Coq d'Or Restaurant and Lounge instead.

—Owner Nelson Fitch ( Independent Spirits ), General Manager Collin Moody ( Intelligentsia Coffee, Perman Wine Selections, Red & White Wines ) and Executive Chef Ryan Henderson ( Alder, Empellon Cocina, Momofuku, Maple & Ash ) have opened Income Tax, a wine-focused restaurant and gathering spot in Edgewater at 5959 N. Broadway. The wine list presents 15 by-the-glass options, as well as 70 bottles. Call 773-897-9165 or visit .

—Ronero, 738 W. Randolph St.—the Latin American-inspired rum bar from Owner Nils Westlind and Executive Chef Cory Morris—has opened. Morris, formerly of Rural Society and Mercat a la Planxa, features South American staples with contemporary touches, broken up into three sections: Para Compartir; Carnes, Aves, Pescado; and El Gran Show. See .

—Appellation Wine Bar & Restaurant, 5212 N. Clark St., is offering a "Build Your Own Grilled Cheeses" sit-down lunch. Guests can customize the grilled cheese of their dreams for $8 ( fries included, add-ons extra )—and there are 10 different gourmet cheeses to choose from, along with add-ons such as 'Nduja, Royal Ham, jam, smoked onion confit and more. Pastoral will also continue to serve its to-go sandwiches at its sandwich bar ( now served all day long ).

—Spiaggia, 980 N. Michigan Ave., will offer a classic New Year's Eve celebration complete with truffles, caviar and a champagne toast to the New Year. The first seating is from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and $250 per person for eight courses; the second seating is 8-11 p.m. and $300 per person for 10 courses. Wine pairings from award-winning Sommelier and Beverage Director Rachael Lowe are available for $175 per person. Reservations can be made online at

—Chef Luca Corazzina, who presides at 312 Chicago, will offer "Menu di Capo D'Anno" at the Italian mainstay, located at 136 N. LaSalle St. This four-course Italian prix fixe menu will be $75 per person + $35 with an optional wine pairing per course. Each course features a vegetable, fish or meat selection, with options like the Soufflé di Spinaci e Taleggio ( Spinach Soufflé, Taleggio Cheese Fondue ), the Ravioli di Granchio ( Jumbo Lump Crab Meat Ravioli, Saffron Cream Sauce, Fresno Peppers, Chives ) or the Costolette di Agnello ( Roasted Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb, Creamy Polenta, Tuscan Kale, Red Wine Lamb Reduction ). See .

—Acadia, 1639 S. Wabash Ave., celebrates five years this New Year's Eve. For those looking for a meal before a night of parties and fireworks, diners during the 5:30 p.m. seating enjoy canapes and a six-course tasting menu for $175 per person, and $125 with additional wine pairings. A second seating at 9 p.m. has an eight-course tasting menu with luxe additions for $275 per person, and $165 additional with wine pairings. Tickets are available for Acadia's New Year's Eve dining and after-party festivities by calling 312-360-9500 or visiting .

—For New Year's Eve, Honey Butter Fried Chicken is teaming with Try Caviar to launch Honey BUTLER Fried Chicken Fancy Pack. Chefs Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp will offer a New Year's Eve package available for delivery or pick-up that comes with an eight-piece set of fried chicken with truffle honey butter, eight cheddar and chive corn muffins, bacon pimento mac 'n' cheese with caramelized onions and garlic bread crumbs, duck fat smashed potatoes with champagne gravy, and chocolate toffee sandwich cookies with vanilla bean filling. Guests can place their orders for delivery through Try Caviar starting Dec. 24, and can place the order for pick up by calling the restaurant at 773-478-4000.

—ROOF on theWit will have a New Year's Eve French Kiss party. The event will feature a premium open bar and Champagne toast with classic French bistro fare created by Executive Chef Nathan Sears, served as small plates. Tickets start at $125 and are at

—Cafe Robey, 2018 W. North Ave., will have NYE options as well. Chef Bradley Stellings will serve a six-course meal, with seatings at 7-9 p.m. and 9-11 p.m. Also, the Robey Lounge, on the hotel's second floor, will welcome the new year with a jazz band starting at 9 p.m. and a raw bar serving bottomless champagne. Also, Up & Up, The Robey's rooftop lounge, will serve Perrier JouÃęt Belle Epoque alongside a dessert station, starting at 9 p.m. as well. Call 872-315-3050 for info and reservations.

—Bernie's Lunch & Supper, 660 N. Orleans St., will ring in the New Year with a specialty a la carte menu by chef Ryan Sand on Dec. 31. The 12-item one-night-only menu will feature dishes such as butter poached lobster lasagna ( kabocha squash, fontina fondue ), forged mushroom risotto ( parmesan-truffle mousse ), double-cut wood roasted pork chop ( braised Swiss chard, salsa verde ), and 36-hour short rib ( crispy sweet potatoes, five spice bordelaise ). Reservations can be made by calling 312-624-9892.

—G&O, 459 N. Ogden Ave., will offer a variety of dinner specials on Dec. 31 at 4-9 p.m., in addition to its full dinner menu. Specials by chef Cam Smith include pappardelle pasta with tomato, asparagus, artichokes, white wine, garlic, parmesan oregano ( $18 ); pan-seared salmon with miso ginger glaze, baby bok choi, parsnip puree ( $19 ); and 12-ounce strip steak with herb butter, asparagus, horseradish mashed potato ( $29 ). Reservations can be made by calling 312-888-3367.

—Fork, 4600 N. Lincoln Ave., is offering a four-course prix fixe menu ( $70 per person, with a $28 wine pairing ) for New Year's Eve. Some of the selections will include lamb confit, gold beet carpaccio, poached Dover sole, New York strip, red cabbage steak and chocolate eclair. See .

—French restaurant Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash Ave., will offer two seatings for New Year's Eve dinner and will also welcome guests to continue to ring in 2017 for New Year's Day brunch. To celebrate New Year's Eve, Bistronomic will offer a four-course chef's tasting menu for $65 ( or $95 with wine pairings ) during the first seating at 5-7:30 p.m. and a five-course chef's gala menu for $85 ( or $115 with wine pairings ) during the second seating at 7:45-11 p.m. The brunch menu will consist of two courses composed of an appetizer and an entree for $25; for $35, the brunch will be served with a mimosa. See .

—Devon Seafood Grill, 39 E. Chicago Ave., is offering a New Year's Eve Special and complimentary champagne toast at midnight. The New Year's Eve Special will feature either a one-pound lobster tail, or surf & turf that includes a six-ounce filet and eight-ounce lobster tail. The special includes two seasonal sides like cauliflower mash; Brussels sprouts with prosciutto; parmesan-herb roasted potatoes; and wild mushroom risotto. The New Year's Eve special is $60 per person, plus tax and gratuity. ( The regular menu will also be available. ) Call 312-440-8660 to RSVP.

—This New Year's Eve, Le Colonial, 937 N. Rush St., invites guests to celebrate 2017 with a three-course, authentic Vietnamese dinner, created by Executive Chef Quoc Luong. Items at the $75/person dinner include crab salad, grilled-shrimp salad and sauteed lobster. Call 312-255-0088 to RSVP.

—Troquet River North, 111 W. Huron St., will host New Year's Eve at 9 p.m.-2 a.m. There will be a DJ, a champagne toast, hors d'oeuvres and party favors. Tickets are $80 online at and at the door. Also, there will be a New Year's Day brunch at 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; the cost is $25.

—Michael Jordan's Steak House, 505 N. Michigan Ave., will ring in the new year with an old-school/new-school theme. The old school features tournedos rossini with lobster thermidor, while the new school has sliced A5 Wagyu strip with yuzu chile, spiced king crab and togarashi-dusted fingerling potatoes. The old school and new school offerings are available for $69 each. See .

—Kuzuki Ramen & Izakaya, 1482 N. Milwaukee Ave., will be open for lunch at 11 a.m. on New Year's Day, offering a choice of more than 10 bowls of ramen. Highlights include Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen ( rich pork broth flavored with Yamaguchi soy sauce, topped with black garlic oil ) and Yuzu Shio Ramen ( French sea salt, kelp and Japanese citrus ). See .

—Belly Up Smokehouse & Saloon, 1132 S. Wabash Ave., will have a "Toast to 2017" brunch on New Year's Day. There will be $20.17 drink specials ( bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys ) as well as dishes like smoked brisket hash as well as pork and grits. See .

—Commonwealth Tavern, 2000 W. Roscoe St., will open on New Year's Day at 10 a.m for a special "First Brunch of 2017," available until 3 p.m. As a Dallas Cowboys bar, Commonwealth will broadcast the game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles at 12 p.m. Specials will include $4 Tecate cans, $5 Miller Lite stadium cups and $4 Fireball shots. Commonwealth will also serve brunch on Monday, Jan. 2 beginning at 10 a.m. and broadcast all college bowl games.

—Oyster Bah, 1962 N. Halsted St., will offer brunch and lunch on New Year's Eve 11 a.m.-3:45 p.m., followed by a dinner service at 4 p.m. to midnight, featuring a special king crab entree and complimentary High Life ponies at midnight. On New Year's Day, some new brunch items will debut 10 a.m.-3:45 p.m., with dinner at 4-9 p.m. Reservations are recommended; call 773-248-3000.

—Sister restaurants Kinfork ( Schaumburg ) and Rack House ( Arlington Heights ) will host New Year's Day BBQ Pajamas Brunches. Among the items to be offered at Kinfolk are brisket Benedict ( $15 ), French toast with apple moonshine chutney and bourbon maple-syrup reduction ( $10 ), while Rack House will have chilaquiles ( $11 ) and the chef's "hangover cure" sandwich ( $12 ). See and .

—The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has announced the 20th anniversary of the Grand Chef's Gala, the organization's annual black-tie event. Presented by the Greater Illinois Chapter of The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the event will take place Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, 6 p.m.-12 a.m., at Navy Pier's Grand Ball Room. Emceed by The Food Network's, Jeff Mauro, 50 elite chefs and mixologists will provide guests with signature dishes, desserts and cocktails. Richard Melman, founder and chairman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, will be honored with the "Chicago Classic Award." See .

—Schaumburg's Shaw's Crab House, 1900 E. Higgins Rd., is offering a variety of sides and sweets currently available for order through New Year's Day. Some of the items include creamed and sauteed spinach, mashed sweet potatoes, lobster mac 'n' cheese, mini-crab cakes, lobster bisque and chocolate cake. Call 847-517-2722.

—On Wed., Jan. 11, at 6 p.m., Evanston's Hewn, 810 Dempster St., will host an event featuring bread made with the Marquis heritage variety of wheat from Hazzard Free Farm. Guests will experience this Midwestern bread experiment first-hand, as they will be among the first to try Hewn's bread made with the wheat. Tickets are $75 each; visit .

—At Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash Ave., on Feb. 10-13, Valentine's specials for two will be offered. The Valentine's Day menu features aphrodisiac-infused dishes to really set the mood on Tuesday, Feb. 14, with the three-course Parisian prix fixe menu available beginning at 5 p.m. The Valentine's Day dinner menu is $72 ( excluding tax and gratuity ) per person; some choices will include diver sea scallops, lobster ravioli, winter vegetable medley, thyme-roasted lamb and passionfruit meringue tart.

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