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Dining news: Food-truck social, Taste of Greektown, Nick's Pizza hiring
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-08-23

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—The Logan Square Food Truck Social will return Aug. 25-27. The 2017 Logan Square Food Truck Social ( LoganSquareFoodTruckSocial.com ) will feature 24 food trucks per day in addition to a showcase of local restaurant and retail vendors. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Illinois Food Truck Owners Association and La Casa Norte / Northwest Food Partners Network.

—The Taste of Greektown returns for its 28th year on Friday-Sunday, Aug. 25-27, and will take place on the 400 block of South Halsted Street. A newer component will be the second annual Gyro Eating Contest at 6 p.m. on Saturday. ( Participants must be 21 or older. ) Fest hours are 4-11 p.m. on Friday and 12-11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. A $5 gate donation for adults benefits the Chicago Greektown Chamber of Commerce. See TasteOfGreektown.com .

—Nick's Pizza & Pub—serving pizza in Elgin and Crystal Lake for more than two decades—will open in Lincoln Square ( at 2434 W. Montrose Ave. ) in the fall. Aspiring team members can bring their resumes and secure applications at the Lincoln Square location throughout August. Formal interviews began Aug. 21 and training for hired team members begins in September. Visit NicksPizzaPub.com/chicago-hiring/.

—Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., is offering some interesting desserts. Among them are carnival fries ( house-made funnel cake strings tossed in powdered sugar and topped with vanilla ice cream, strawberries and caramel sauce ); warm apple-pie skillet; fried Oreos combined with a sundae; and the chocolate-chip cookie skillet sundae.

—Steakhouse Gene & Georgetti, 500 N Franklin St., is introducing Saturday Brunch for the first time in more than 76 years in its downtown location in River North. Saturday Bbrunch will feature a selection of signature menu items and Bloody Marys available 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dishes include Gene's frittata, a plain three-egg omelet and a pepper-and-egg sandwich, among others.

—Kicking off on Thursday, Aug. 24, the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, 540 N. Michigan Ave., will host a series of dinners atop the hotel's ninth-floor rooftop garden that's typically closed to the public. For each event, the hotel will partner with a different beverage partner, including local Lagunitas Brewing ( Thursday, Aug. 24, 5-8 p.m. ), Ramey Wine Cellars ( Tuesday, Sept. 12, 4-7 p.m. ) and Brickstone Brewing ( Thursday, Sept. 28, 5-8 p.m. ). Ticket prices range depending on the event from $35 to $65, exclusive of tax and gratuity; visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/childrens-miracle-network-rooftop-dinner-series-tickets-36932195190.

—The James Beard Foundation ( JBF ) announced the recipients of its 2017 Women in Culinary Leadership ( WCL ) program. Lauren Elmer of Chicago is among the 15 women who are set to participate in an eight-month mentorship program overseen by top industry leaders. Lauren will complete a Chef program overseen by James Beard Award winner Stephen Starr of Le Coucou in New York.

—Wild Onion Brewery has opened its second Chicagoland location in Oak Park at 1111 South Blvd. ( This is the second restaurant location for the Kainz family, who also own The Onion Pub and Brewery in Lake Barrington. ) The Wild Onion Tied House has revamped a theater building formerly known as The Playhouse Theater, which originally opened in 1913. The Wild Onion Tied House is open seven days a week, and will feature daily food and drink specials, brunch on both Saturdays and Sundays, and a Mug Club for its loyal beer-drinking customers.

—Pearl Brasserie, 180 N. Upper Wacker Dr., marks a return to classic French cuisine for Executive Chef/Partner Jason Paskewitz and is slated to open Wed., Aug. 23. Dishes will include items like avocado tartine with French bread, sliced avocado, sunny-side-up farm egg and tomato; and three presentations of Hudson Valley Foie Gras: seared with pain perdu, compressed berries and vanilla gastrique. See PearlBrasserie.com .

—Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash Ave., has announced Amanda Downing as the restaurant's chef de cuisine. Formerly executive chef and partner at Chicago's Rockit Bar & Grill and Rockit Burger Bar, Downing has joined Bistronomic Owner and Executive Chef Marital Noguier to oversee culinary operations.

—Loews Chicago Hotel, 455 N. Park Dr., will host an exclusive wine-tasting, preview show and meet-and-greet with folk/pop singer-songwriter Brett Dennen on Monday, Aug. 28, featuring Dennen Vacationer California Rose. The event will begin at 5 p.m.; tickets are $10, which includes a complimentary glass of Dennen Vacationer California Rose. all ticket sales will go to North Star Reach, a non-profit organization located on 105 acres in Pinckney, Michigan, that serves the Chicagoland area. See https://www.eventbrite.com/e/acclaimed-singer-songwriter-brett-dennen-hosts-wine-tasting-and-meet-greet-benefitting-north-star-tickets-36563302823.

—For National Gyro Day ( Sept. 1 ), Greektown has a number of places to enjoy. They include Athena ( 212 S. Halsted St. ), Pegasus ( 130 S. Halsted St. ), Santorini ( 800 W. Adams St. ), Greek Islands ( 200 S. Halsted St. ) and Mr. Greek Gyros ( 234 S. Halsted ), which is open until 4 a.m.

—The Neo-Futurists present Ensemble Member Dan Kerr-Hobert's The Food Show, partnering with Metropolitan Brewing to bring the site-specific world premiere to the brewery's new Avondale location, 3057 N. Rockwell Ave., through Saturday, Sept. 2. A press release says, "The Food Show, created by Dan Kerr-Hobert with the help of his cousin and Neo-Futurist alum Caitlin Stainken, explores how food brings us together and sets us apart." Tickets are $10-25; visit NeoFuturists.org or call 773-275-5255.

—Nando's PERi-PERi—the South African-Portuguese restaurant known for its spicy flame-grilled chicken—celebrates the opening of its flagship Chicago restaurant on Monday, Sept. 4, at 155 N. Michigan Ave. This new and highest profile location, at Michigan Avenue and Lake Street, will mark the 12th Nando's to open in and around Chicago over the past two years.

—Chicago Bourbon & Barbecue Fest will make its debut in the Roscoe Village neighborhood ( at Roscoe and Damen avenues ) on Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 9-10. Hours are noon-10 p.m. both days. Ticketed tastings of barrel-aged Southern bourbon whiskeys will be 2-6 p.m. each afternoon; with the purchase of a $40 daily tasting pass, ticket holders will be able to savor up to 12 bourbon samples ( a sample size is one quarter of an ounce ) in a souvenir tasting glass. Among the vendors selling barbecued treats will be Aussum Aussie Australian BBQ, Luella's Southern Kitchen, Robinson's Ribs and Bill's Grill. A portion of the $5 gate donation benefits the Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce. See BourbonAndBBQ.com .

—Italian Village Restaurants will present the 20th Annual Ferrari Fest at 71 W. Monroe St. on Sunday, Sept. 10, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. There will be special guest speakers, cake-cutting, an Italian buffet, wine-and-beer tasting and a Ferrari showcase, among other things. A $30 donation will benefit Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and Inspiration Corporation. See ItalianVillage-Chicago.com .

—SideDoor, 100 E. Ontario St., is teaming with Nueske's Applewood Smoked Meats and Tyranena Brewing Co. for a collaborative dinner on Wed., Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. The evening begins with an opening reception featuring BBQ-glazed bacon slab with bread-and-butter pickles, brat in a blanket and whole-grain mustard. Dinner courses include smoked duck breast with assorted melon, Belgian endive, mache lettuce and candied walnuts; pheasant consomme and pheasant dumpling; cherrywood bacon-wrapped colorado filet with lobster claw, fingerling potatoes, and balsamic; and bourbon maple-glazed bacon cannoli for dessert. Tickets are $75 per person, excluding tax and gratuity, and include five courses with Tyranena Brewing Co. pairings; email Shannon at stauschman@lawrysonline.com .

—Making a stop in Chicago on Friday-Saturday, Sept. 22-23, Brooklyn Brewery Mash presents Beer Mansion—an interactive, multi-room celebration of beer, food, music and community. Part of an international seven-city world tour, Beer Mansion makes its way to Morgan's on Fulton, 950 W. Fulton. with a two-day event featuring room after room of Brooklyn Brewery themed beer-tasting experiences, as well as home-grown Chicago breweries such as Solemn Oath, Hopewell Brewing Company, Marz Community Brewing. Also check out food from local restaurants such as Budlong Hot Chicken, an exclusive preview of Chef Danny Espinoza's Lobo Rey tacos, Bombay Wraps and more. Tickets ( $55 each ) are at BrooklynBreweryMash.com/Chicago.

—The second annual Say Cheese Fest will take place Sunday, Oct. 15, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at Concord Fifty-Five, 1355 W. Concord Pl. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit socialpowerhour.com or Eventbrite.

—The 17th annual Kohler Food & Wine Experience will take place Oct. 19-22 in Kohler, Wisconsin. The chef line-up includes Richard Blais, Alex Guarnaschelli, Stephanie Izard, Jeff Mauro and cast members from America's Test Kitchen. See KohlerFoodandWine.com .

—The James Beard Foundation ( JBF ) has announced that tickets for the fifth anniversary year of the Taste America national culinary tour are now on sale at JamesBeard.org/taste-america-tickets. Chicago's itinerary will kick off on Friday, Oct. 27, at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago with "A Night of Culinary Stars." On Saturday, Oct. 28, free in-store consumer events will take place at Sur La Table, 900 N. Michigan Ave.

—Kendall College Trust's ( KCT's ) Fried Chicken & Champagne Fest will take place Saturday, Nov. 4, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at the college's Skyline Room. A dozen of Chicago's award-winning chefs ( including Acadia's Ryan McCaskey and Monteverde's Sarah Grueneberg ) will make their best chicken renditions, while KCT Executive Director and Check, Please! host Catherine De Orio will host. Admission is $85-$195; visit https://kendallcollegetrust.org/events/fried-chicken-event/.

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


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