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Dining news: Cocoa + Co., Filini's cocktails, Primehouse closing
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-11-28

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—Cocoa + Co., 1651 N. Wells St., has a new cafe menu in partnership with Naha Pastry Chef Craig Harzewski. The Old Town cafe now has savory items on its menu, including empanadas (duck/squash/cannelloni bean; ratatouille), quiche tart and gluten-free baked oats. Also, Harzewski will take over crafting Cocoa + Co.'s signature items such as salted caramel brownies and chocolate-chip walnut banana bread. See https://cocoaandco.com/.

—Filini (located in the Radisson Blu Aqua hotel) has unveiled its winter beverage lineup. The program has rolled out options such as Tea for Two, featuring Few Breakfast and Death's Door gins, raspberry mint and fresh lemon juice served in a teacup; and Gone Campin', featuring Redemption Rye, green chartreuse, Zirbenz Pine liqueur, applewood smoke syrup and black walnut bitters, topped with a toasted marshmallow.

—After 11 years, the steakhouse inside The James Hotel—the restaurant that once employed celebrity chef David Burke—is closing, Eater Chicago noted. Primehouse (which opened in 2005 as David Burke's Primehouse) will serve its last steak Saturday, Dec. 9, in River North. The James is reportedly shutting down the steakhouse to make room for a new restaurant at 616 N. Rush St.

—Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, 58 E. Oak St., has announced a contemporary redoing of its main dining room and newly added private dining offerings. Additions/makeovers include new banquette and booth seating as well as a new marble table and even a new private dining room that accommodates up to 10 people. An additional semi-private dining space will be announced later this winter.

—Hard Rock Cafe Chicago, 63 W. Ontario St., is hosting the regional BARocker event that's part of Hard Rock's fifth annual global BARocker competition on Thursday, Nov. 30, 7-10 p.m. Bartenders from Hard Rock Cafes in Honolulu, Seattle, Detroit, San Antonio, Universal City and Chicago will be competing in the regional round, which will be judged by a panel of industry experts. See HardRock.com/chicago.

—Vanille Patisserie—specializing in authentic French macarons, French pastries, desserts and cakes—is opening its fourth location, this time in Hyde Park in the Harper Court, University of Chicago officer tower on 53rd Street. The grand opening weekend will be held in the 900-square-foot Hyde Park Vanille Patisserie, 5229 S. Harper Ct. Dec. 1-3. See VanillePattisserie.com .

—Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Thomas has opened his latest venture, 35 Sports Bar & Grill. The expansive bar and restaurant is located iR at 6801 Cermak Rd. in downtown Berwyn. The spot celebrates Thomas' performances as number 35: The venue features 35 beers on tap (including a variety of local craft selections, many of which are rotated seasonally) and 35 state-of-the-art TVs with zoned sound broadcasting sporting events from every corner of Chicago and the globe. Menu items include donut-ice cream sandwiches and, of course, The BIG HURT Burger. See 35SportsBarAndGrill.com .

—On Dec. 1-12, Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., will offer a different special wing of the day. Chef Nick Santangelo has come up with flavor combinations such as apricot siracha, Aaron's coconut red curry and grilled maple mustard wings ($13.95).

—Mon Ami Gabi, 2300 N. Lincoln Park West, will host a Veuve Clicquot holiday dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Executive Chef Nelli Maltezos will serve a four-course dinner paired with Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label and more. The event is priced at $75 per guest plus tax (gratuity not included). Space is limited; call 773-348-8886 for tickets.

—After dinner service on Thursday, Dec. 14, South Water Kitchen (225 N. Wabash Ave.) will close its doors for good—but not before draining its liquor cabinets, clearing off their shelves and turning up the music. On Saturday, Dec. 9, the Loop restaurant will host a Drink Us Dry! party at 5 p.m. until closing to celebrate the guests and employees who have contributed to South Water Kitchen's 15 years. (It was originally scheduled for Dec. 2.) The party will feature heavily discounted wines by the glass and bottle—including rare bottles normally not offered by the glass, heavily discounted rare spirits, discounted beer as well as a "kick the keg" with $5 drafts after 10 p.m. and complimentary bites of Chef Roger Waysok's greatest culinary hits.

—Mexican restaurant Mi Tocaya AntojerÃa, 2800 W. Logan Blvd., is hosting a series of mezcal dinners this winter, starting Thursday, Dec. 14 (at 6 and 8 p.m.), in conjunction with Mezcal Union, a mezcal producer from the Oaxaca region of Mexico. For $95 per person (inclusive of tax and gratuity), diners can indulge in a four-course meal. Visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mi-tocaya-mezcal-dinner-featuring-mezcal-union-tickets-40102264954.

—Cafe Spiaggia, 980 N. Michigan Ave., will host its Feast of the Seven Fishes on Thursday, Dec. 21, at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Chef Tony Mantuano and Executive Chef Joe Flamm will bring their Italian grandmothers' tradition to the table with a six-course sharable feast that will include steelhead tartar, fluke crudo and Italian Christmas cookies, among other items. Tickets can be purchased for $75 per person, with wine pairings available for an additional $25; visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/feast-of-the-seven-fishes-tickets-39016356974.

—Geja's Cafe, 340 W. Armitage Ave., will offer New Year's Eve guests fondue and champagne along with classical/flamenco guitar music. Geja's will feature three special reserved seatings on Sunday, Dec. 31, at 5, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Seatings will be $95-$130 each; visit GejasCafe.com .

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


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