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Dining news: Chicago q's new menu; lobster festival
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2015-05-19

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—Chicago q, 1160 N. Dearborn St., has unveiled its new menu featuring creative appetizers and entrees alongside barbecue favorites from Chef/Partner and Pitmaster Lee Ann Whippen. Guests can enjoy appetizers like pork-belly corn dogs, q bacon and grilled elote; New entrees include shrimp brochettes, bacon-wrapped shrimp stuffed with Monterey Jack Cheese and poblano; the quesadilla, with a choice of brisket, pulled pork or pulled chicken; and bourbon vegetable kabobs, with a Kentucky bourbon glaze.

—The Great American Lobster Fest returns to Navy Pier Aug. 15-16, courtesy of New England Seafood Company, The Foxhole Chicago and Green Curtain Events. Featuring food, music and libations, the event will be open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. each day. This festival also takes place during the legendary Chicago Air & Water Show, plus there will be Saturday night fireworks off the pier. Visit www.americanlobsterfest.com .

—DryHop Brewers has collaborated with the Lincoln Park Zoo on a campaign that celebrates the crowned lemur. DryHop's brew is called "Take Me to Your Lemur," and one dollar from each beer ( a 5.5% cantaloupe and Clementine Wit ) sold at the brewery will be donated to the zoo's Crowned Lemur Wish List Fund. A beer-release party will be held Wed., May 13, at 6 p.m. at DryHop, 3155 N. Broadway. Visit www.dryhopchicago.com .

—For Chicago Craft Beer Week, Baderbrau Brewing Company is hosting a pig roast on Wed., May 20, 5:30-9 p.m., at Flo & Santos, 1310 S. Wabash Ave. Admission is $25; visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ccbw-sloopbeer-pig-roast-bbqbeer-bash-21-tickets-16978834150.

—South African-Portuguese restaurant Nando's Peri-Peri is opening three restaurants this year in Chicago, with the first location open for business Wed., May 20, at 953 W. Randolph St. The other eateries will open in Lake View ( 670 W. Diversey Pkwy. ) and Lincoln Park ( 1500 N. Clybourn Ave. ). Nando's, which operates restaurants in 23 countries, including Australia and Zimbabwe, first moved to the United States in 2008.

—Mexican-inspired restaurant Barcocina will open at 2901 N. Sheffield Ave. on Thursday, May 21, at 4 p.m. Executive Chef Matt Williams' menu highlights his modern take on Mexican-inspired dishes, with the entire menu built for sharing. Barcocina will also offer a beverage program that features a cocktails in three distinct categories: spicy, smoky and sweet. Call 773-687-9949.

—Schaumburg's Level 257 invites Pac-Man fans for the game's 35th birthday on May 22-23. There will be free bowling and games, as Chicago bakery Toni Patisserie will present the official birthday cake to Pac-Man on May 22. General admission to the event on May 22 is free and includes all gameplay and bowling for free, a DJ and live performances, competitions, plus a few surprises. VIP tickets are also available for $35 per person; visit www.eventbrite.com/e/celebrate-pac-mantms-35th-anniversary-at-level-257-tickets-16508171385. Visit www.level257.com .

—Chicago Sister Cities International will present its free annual Eurovision Song Contest Viewing Party on Saturday, May 23, 2—5:30 p.m. ( or when the contest ends ) at Moe's Cantina River North, 155 W. Kinzie St. A special Eurovision Song Contest cocktail will be available for purchase. The audience is encouraged to bring flags and paraphernalia to represent the participating countries and will vote for their favorite contestant. RSVPs are not required, but appreciated; visit www.ChicagoSisterCities.com .

—The Roscoe Village Wine Stroll, sponsored by Lush Wine & Spirits in partnership with Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce, will take place Thursday, May 28. Attendees can try more than 40 different wines of the world, including reds and whites, and check out boutiques and businesses along the way. All wine stops are located on Roscoe Street and Belmont Avenue and a complimentary wine trolley circles around Roscoe Village for convenience. The cost is $45-$60; visit rvccwinestroll.chirrpy.com .

—The inaugural Lincoln Park Wine Festival will take place Saturday-Sunday, May 30-31, 1-7 p.m., at Jonquil Park, 1001 W. Wrightwood ( Wrightwood and Sheffield ). Visitors can sample from a selection of more than 80 varietals. The cost is $60-$95; visit www.LincolnParkWineFest.com .

—The inaugural Wingout Chicago will take place June 6-7 at St. Michael, 1633 N. Cleveland Ave., 2-6 p.m. Wings seasoned different ways ( jerk, sweet BBQ, lemon pepper, ghost pepper and smoked, among others ) will be featured. Among the restaurants taking part are Jake Melnick's, Barn & Company, Output Lounge, Monti's and Old Crow Smokehouse. Tickets are $55; visit www.greencurtainevents.com/home/wingout-chicago/.

—Following a four-year hiatus when it was known as the Des Plaines Summer Fling, the Taste of Des Plaines has returned and will take place June 12-13. It will be a free event, with local restaurants ( such as Rosati's Pizza and American Wildburger ), chef-driven cuisine, family activities and tribute bands. Visit www.tasteofdesplaines.com .

—SausageFest Chicago will be held July 18-19 in Wrigleyville at the Cubby Bear. This year, Sausage King of Chicago contestants will compete to raise the most donations for Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit dedicated to honoring, empowering and serving injured veterans and service members, as well as their families. Visit SausageKingChicago.com .

—AMK Kitchen Bar, a new Americana-themed restaurant, is slated to open in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood ( at 1954 W. Armitage Ave. ) this spring. This is the first restaurant concept from Steven Tsonis of AMK Group. Inspired by classic eateries, AMK Kitchen Bar introduces a menu of burgers, sandwiches, wood-fired pizzas and main plates such as braised pork belly, bourbon BBQ salmon and buttermilk fried chicken. Small plates include a roasted beet-and-grilled watermelon salad as well as a Dorito pie. Visit www.amkchicago.com or call 773-276-4400.

—Fat Rice, 2957 W. Diversey Pkwy., is presenting new dishes. Among them are lamb vindaloo, tacho ( a traditional Macanese dish with Chinese cured sausage, bacon and duck, as well as spring vegetables, in a ham broth ), char-grilled sepia and batatada #2 ( a potato-based dessert resembling the texture of cheesecake, served cold with seasonal fruit compotes and garnishes ). Also, Fat Rice is consolidating its brunch service to Sundays only to make room for their upcoming lunch service and expansion of its dining room, bake shop and lounge. Visit EatFatRice.com .

—Chef/owner Darren McGraw has announced that Ampersand Wine Bar will open in Ravenswood ( at 4845 N. Damen Ave. ) in late June. McGraw worked for renowned chef Charlie Trotter, and opened Wolfgang Puck's Cut & Sidebar as well as Michael Mina and George Morrone's Aqua. Ampersand—with the name representing "the connection between ideas and possibilities," McGraw said in a statement—will open at 3 p.m. most days ( with afternoon tea service 3-6 p.m. ). Visit AmpersandChicago.com .

—The final restaurant lineup for Taste of Randolph Street ( June 19-21 ) has been announced. Restaurants include Nonna's, bellyQ, City Winery, Publican Quality Meats, La Sirena Clandestina, Soho House Chicago's Pizza East and Chicken Shop, and Tete Charcuterie, among others. There is a suggested $10 donation; visit www.starevents.com .

—Blue Door Farm Stand will soon move from 843 W. Armitage Ave. to 2010 N. Halsted St., serving its final meals at the former spot on May 30 ( closing early at 3 p.m. ). Farm Stand favorites like the Brussels and kale salad, fig and arugula grilled cheese, and even the retired sesame chicken salad will be available on the menu at the new spot. It will open at the new address a few days later.

—Kanela Breakfast Club—located in Lake View, Old Town and Wicker Park—has unveiled a revamped breakfast, brunch and lunch menu for spring and summer. Highlights include chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy, Nutella S'mores waffle, Monte Cristo and lemon blueberry pancakes.

—Viand Bar & Kitchen, 155 E. Ontario St., has debuted its spring menu from Executive Chef Tyler Nelson. The majority of the menu is naturally gluten-free, with a good mix of vegetarian dishes. Breakfash, lunch and dinner dishes include veggie hash and eggs, chicken and waffles, Bella Sandwich ( portobella, piquillo, provolone, golden raisin pesto, arugula and focaccia ), beer cheese fondue, pork belly and grits, and fish such as salmon and halibut. Visit http://www.viandchicago.com/.

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


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