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Dining news: Chop Shop, Fat Baby Tacos, Mother's Day offerings
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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—Chop Shop, 2033 W. North Ave., has unveiled new seasonal menu items and cocktails. Items include burrata ( $12 ), chicken thigh and caper berries ( $16 ) and blade steak ( $22 ) as well as drinks like Snow Melt Sour ( Breckenridge Reserve Bourbon, Nardini Mndorla, pineapple, demerara and Anogstura bitters ) and Stolen Mule ( Stolen Smoked Rum, Stirrings Ginger Liqueur, pineapple and lime ). Also, Chop shop offers Butcher's Burger ( $15 ), with half a pound of prime butcher's blend sourced from the in-house butcher and topped with aged cheddar, charred red onions, bacon & Chop Shop's secret sauce.

—Fresh-casual taqueria Fat Baby Tacos has opened at 109 W. Hubbard St. Managing Partners Colin Stanton and Shay Ghazimoradi have collaborated with Executive Chef Alex Placencia to offer like tacos and burritos in five distinct styles, such as slow-roasted chicken and carnitas, char-broiled steak and shrimp, and vegetarian-friendly queso and veggies. Other highlights include elotes, housemade chips and salsa, and fresh guacamole; the late-night menu ( Thursday through Saturday after 10 p.m. ) lists items such as pork and veggie tamales and a chorizo-and-egg burrito. See .

—To mark its first anniversary, urbanbelly Wicker Park, 1542 N. Damen Ave., is offering Belly fans $1 dumplings and $1 Passion Fruit Lemonade through Friday, May 12; there will also be new menu items and highlights such as pork and shrimp shumai dumpkings ( $6.25 for four ), urban bowls ( $6, additional costs with protein ) and broth cups ( $3 ). See .

—On Sunday, May 14, Dusek's Board & Beer, 1227 W. 18th St., will offer a Mother's Day brunch ( 9 a.m.-3 p.m. ) with various treats, including a spring vegetable strata that includes a bed of soft brioche, layered with seasonal grilled ramps, fresh purple asparagus and shaved Parmesan. There will also be a lemon poppy cake that includes a light piece of lemon cake served with house made raspberry preserves, basil powder and preserved lemon. See

—Shaw's Crab House Chicago, 21 E. Hubbard St., is celebrating Mother's Day with a Sunday brunch buffet priced at $75 for adults as well as $20 for kids 12 and younger. The buffet will feature a Grand Hot Buffet line with classic breakfast fare, plus Shaw's specialties, an omelet-and-waffle station with 13 available ingredients and the surf-and-turf station that includes lobster bisque, king crab legs and hand-carved beef. There will also be a cold seafood bar, heaped with sushi, oysters, shrimp, and smoked salmon. See .

—Mindy's Hot Chocolate, 1747 N. Damen Ave., is offering a seasonal brunch ( 10 a.m.-2 p.m. ) for Mother's Day. Among other things, there will be dishes such as savory offerings that include a seasonal quiche served with mixed greens; spring scramble with fresh farm eggs, seasonal veggies, crispy breakfast potatoes and grilled toast; and Mindy's burger made with Slagel Farms beef, organic bacon, Carr Valley three-year cheddar and pickles. Sweet dishes include Mindy's Donuts with in cinnamon sugar and a side of raspberry preserves; buttermilk pancakes with blueberry compote; and more. Visit

—ZED451, 739 N. Clark St., is hosting a Mother's Day brunch at 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Brunch will include breakfast favorites and unlimited lunchtime samplings table-side for $36.90 per person. Complimentary mimosas will be available for mothers. See .

—For Mother's Day, French restaurant Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash Ave., will offer a prix fixe menu. The three-course Mother's Day brunch menu will be offered from 9:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.; the cost is $42 per person, or $56 with the addition of bottomless mimosas, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Items will include Martial's Morther's Country Pate, Baked Alaska, Broccoli Quiche Lorraine and spring crepes, among others. See .

—Brindille, 534 N. Clark St., will be offering a Mother's Day tea on Sunday, May 14, 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 .

—Italian Village Restaurants, 71 W. Monroe St., invites moms to take a trip to Tuscany for a Italian Mother's Day feast. Available from noon to midnight, specials will include Mother's Blush ( bright-pink cocktail made especially for moms combining gin, fresh strawberries, basil and agave nectar, topped with prosecco; $12.50 ); spinach salad with salmon ( $26.50 ); and baked bone-in Virginia ham ( with pineapple glaze, served with scalloped potatoes and seasonal vegetables; $19.95 ). See

—The Estate by Gene & Georgetti, 9421 W. Higgins Rd., will host Mother's Day Brunch on May 14, with seatings beginning at 11 a.m. and available every half hour until 4 p.m. There will be classic brunch fare, an antipasto station, a pasta bar, kids' corner and complimentary mimosas ( MOMosas ), among other things. The Estate's Mother's Day Brunch costs $46 for adults, and $19 for children ages 11 and younger, plus tax and gratuity. Call 847-653-3302 or email; a credit cared is needed to hold reservations.

—Commonwealth Tavern, 2000 W. Roscoe St., will open at 10 a.m. on Mother's Day for a family-friendly brunch available until 2 p.m. Guests can enjoy a $3 Build-Your-Own Mimosa Bar and $6 Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar. Brunch highlights include Brunch Schnitzel ( herb aioli, smoked potatoes, pickled red onion, fried egg; $14 ), Pig Muffin ( maple pig head, farm egg, American cheese, English muffin; $12 ) and Belgian Waffle ( belgian style waffle with choice of fresh strawberries or bananas topped with whipped cream; $9 ). See .

—Il Porcellino, 59 W. Hubbard St., will mark Mother's Day with a grand Italian buffet at noon-8 p.m. The day's menu will feature an assortment of antipasti including insalata, fresh baked bread, salumi and array of cheeses, plus pasta stations showcasing il Porcellino's most popular dishes and a variety of signature entrees. Homemade pies and other sweet surprises will round out the festivities. Call 312-595-0800 or visit .

—Ema ( a Mediterranean restaurant whose name means "mother" ), 74 W. Illinois St., will celebrate Mother's Day with items such as sesame crepe with yogurt ricotta, berries, saba and orange; cured king salmon with dill, arak, fennel, labneh and caper leaves on "everything" housemade bread; and strawberry drop biscuit with white balsamic, black pepper, strawberry sumac jam and cream. Reservations are recommended; see .

—Mexcian restaurant Mercadito Chicago, 108 W. Kinzie St., will offer a Mother's Day brunch on, Sunday, May 14, with a special four-course brunch sharing menu including one complimentary cocktail per guest. Mother's Day Brunch is 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and costs $30 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Call 312-329-9555 or visit

—Revival Social Club, 1133 W. Granville Ave., is offering items for Mother's day. Entrees will include lemon ricotta pancakes, strawberry coconut French toast and Garcia chilaquiles. Also, there is the restaurant's monkey bread, which is made with cinnamon sugar dough, topped with vanilla ice cream, drizzled with caramel and served in a cast-iron skillet.

—Ada Street, 1664 N. Ada St., will include, for Mother's Day brunch ( 11 a.m.-4 p.m. ), takes on brunch classics like fried chicken thigh and waffles with bacon-infused maple syrup and apple butter, as well as peekytoe-crab pot pie with asparagus and English peas. Ada Street also has the flowers covered, offering bouquets for sale upon making a reservation; call 773-697-7069.

—At Cindy's, 12 S. Michigan Ave., DJ Dave Mata will spin tunes for Mother's Day while Chef de Cuisine Keith Potter will offer large-format brunch platters such as steak and eggs with stone-ground grits, mushroom conserva, fried egg, and crispy potatoes; or the cast-iron Dutch Baby topped with maple roasted pear, pomegranate molasses and creme fraiche. See .

—It's National Burger Month, and Estelle's, 2013 W. North Ave., will mark the occasion with half-price burgers on Mondays and a $10 Loaded Nacho Burger special on Sundays. Half-price burger selections on Mondays include the Patty Melt ( Swiss cheese, grilled onions served on Texas Toast; normally $10 ), Surfer Rosa Burger ( portobello, Swiss, red pepper; normally $12 ), Blue Velvet Burger ( blue cheese, bacon, grilled onions; normally $12 ), Roadhouse Burger ( spinach, roasted red peppers, black beans; $12 ) and the Point Break Burger ( pepper jack, grilled jalapenos, guacamole; $12 ). See .

—Michael Jordan's Steak House, 505 N. Michigan Ave., is celebrating National Burger Month with a different specialty burger each day in May. Just a few of the burgers on tap include May 14's The Hoosier Daddy ( Burton's Maple Glazed Bacon, Linz Heritage Angus Beef, Capriole Farmstead Goat Cheese, Three Floyd's Stout Mustard ), May 20's On Wisconsin! Burger ( Widmere Cheddar, Ruth Kase Blue Cheese Fondue and Nueske's Bacon Jam ) and May 27's The Madigan vs. Rauner ( advertised as "a burger that's full of it," with BFB Bun, Bacon, pulled pork, cheddar, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, special sauce, mushrooms, jalapenos, mustard and sliced ham ). See .

—STK Chicago, 9 W. Kinzie St., has unveiled its spring menu. Some of the new items include baby gem lettuce Caesar salad, grilled Spanish octopus, jumbo lump crab cake, Alaskan black cod and foraged mushrooms. Also, the restaurant is participating in the James Beard Foundation's Blended Burger Project with its "Juicy Lucy" Blended Burger—a foie gras and maitake mushroom burger with brie cheese, tart cherry mustarda and fire-roasted chiles on a housemade bun—that's available starting Memorial Day through July 31. See .

—In recognition of National Burger Month, Hakka Bakka Kati Rolls, 1251 W. Fullerton Ave., will offer a lamb shammi burger during the month of May, available for $8. A twist on traditional shammi kebabs from South Asia, the burger patties are handmade with minced lamb and Hakka Bakka's house blend. The burger will be served on a toasted brioche bun with onions, tomatoes, lettuce, sweet mango chutney and cilantro aioli. See .

—Wild Garden Foods will hit the road for a four-day food-truck tour around Chicago providing FREE meals at popular destinations and places in need. Facebook "likes" will power the tour, so for every new "like" on the Wild Garden page, a free Mediterranean lunch or dinner will be served. The tentative schedule is May 15 ( lunch: The University of Chicago, dinner: Mercy Home for Boys & Girls ), May 16 ( lunch: Michigan/Monroe, dinner: You Can Make It Women and Children Shelter ), May 17 ( lunch: Daley Plaza Food Truck Fest ) and May 18 ( Lunch: Wabash/Jackson ). See

—For Chicago Craft Beer Week, Sweetwater Tavern and Grille, 225 N. Michigan Ave., will host three events. On May 18, 5-7 p.m., there will be the dog-friendly Lagunitas Puppy Patio Party; on Friday, May 19, at 5 p.m., will be an event with Whiner Brewing Co.; and a finale on Thursday, May 25, with B Nektar Meadery. See .

—Also, to mark Chicago Craft Beer Week, The Boundary ( 1932 W. Division St. ) is tapping Bourbon County Stout on Thursday, May 18, with 13- and six-ounce pours being available while supplies last. In addition, Old Town Pour House Chicago, 1419 N. Wells St., will offer several tappings on May 18, including Goose Island, Bourbon County Barleywine; Founders, Kentucky Bourbon Stout; and Ballast Point, Calm Before the Storm, among others.

—On Friday, May 19, cocktail lounge Arbella, 112 W. Grand Ave., will celebrate its first anniversary with DJs Dark + Deep and Bridget Marie starting at 7 p.m. There will also be cocktail specials during the week, including Tempo Bello ( May 15 ) and Georgia Preserves ( ginger-infused vodka, peach tea syrup, rhubarb bitters, lemon and bubbles; May 19 ).

—Chicago's Jonquil Park, 1001 W. Wrightwood Ave., will again be home to the Lincoln Park Wine Festival, which will take place May 20-21. he park's two acres will be cordoned off and visitors can sample from a selection of more than 80 varietals. In addition to U.S. vineyards, among other countries represented will be Argentina, Chile, France, Italy, New Zealand and South Africa. The cost for a one-day individual wine tasting pass is $50, which allows the purchaser to sample ( with a souvenir wine glass ) up to 12 one-and-a-half ( 1.5 )-ounce wines. See

—Ronero, 738 W. Randolph St.—the Latin American-inspired rum bar and restaurant from Owner Nils Westlind and Executive Chef Cory Morris—has started lunch service 12-3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. There are items such as ensalada de palmito, hearts of palm, Belgium endive, radicchio, pear and hazelnuts, tossed in a coconut crema; anticuchos de pollo, chicken thigh skewers served with salsa verde; and carne ronero, skirt steak served with chimichurri rojo. See .

—The National Restaurant Association ( NRA ) announced the lineup of the nation's top celebrity chefs to share their culinary know-how on the World Culinary Showcase stage at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show®, taking place at Chicago's McCormick Place on May 20-23. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn the latest cooking practices and trends from Top Chef Masters winner Rick Bayless, Worst Cooks in America host Anne Burrell and Top Chef All Stars competitor Fabio Viviani; others slated to appear include Stephanie Izard, Ming Tsai and Robert Irvine. The World Culinary Showcase demonstrations run all four days of the NRA Show.

—The Travelle "Chef Collab" dinner series kicks off on Thursday, May 25, at 6 p.m. as Travelle Kitchen + Bar's Chef Ricardo Jarquin opens his kitchen to Chef Daniel Espinoza from new taqueria Holy Taco! for a family-style dinner. The five-course event will begin with guests seated at communal tables in Travelle's wine cellar. Admission is $65 per person, excluding tax and gratuity; call 312-923-7705 or call . ( In addition to the "Chef Collab" event, Travelle Kitchen + Bar, 330 N. Wabash Ave., will be open to the public for nightly dinner service. )

—For Memorial Day weekend, Kanela Breakfast Club ( all locations ) will offer al fresco, dog-friendly dining. Guests can sip on new seasonal cocktails all weekend long including the Cinnamon Toast Brunch ( vodka, Kahlua, Rumchata; $9 ), Ginger Paloma ( tequila, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, ginger syrup; $9 ) and Tony Danza ( Bison Grass Vodka, lemonade, iced tea, Peychaud's bitters, strawberry; $9 ).

—The West Loop Community Organization, StarEvents and Silver Wrapper have announced the music and restaurant lineups for the 21st Annual Taste of Randolph Festival, taking place June 16-18 at 900 W. Randolph St. Some of the musical headliners include Dawes, Moon Taxi and Emancipator Ensemble; and some of the participating restaurants include bellyQ, Nando's Peri-Peri Chicken, La Sardine, Grange Hall Burger Bar and Bar Siena. See

—Imperial Lamian, 6 W. Hubbard St., is gearing up for the ultimate Xiao Long Bao Eating Contest on the Hubbard Street patio on Wed., June 21. The Chinese restaurant invites dumpling lovers to enter the competition throughout the entire month of May by posting a photo eating XLB at Imperial Lamian, following and tagging @imperiallamianchi on Instagram, and using the hashtag #DowntheDumpling. Ten contestants will be chosen on Thursday, June 1, and will have 20 days to stretch their stomachs before the big day.

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