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Dining news: Frontier event, Geja's wildfire donation, Bottlefork closes
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-10-31

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—The Frontier, 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave., is hosting a special culinary experience on Wed., Nov. 1, 7-10 p.m., featuring a multiple-course dinner experience that will offer local, seasonal dishes accompanied with wines from Gentleman's Collection. This "Savor the Flavor" dinner will benefit The Movember Foundation—the global men's health organization that challenges men to grow mustaches for 30 days during the month of November to raise awareness and funds for testicular and prostate cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Tickets are $100 each; visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/savor-the-flavor-chicago-a-movember-supper-club-tickets-37045307512.

—Geja's Cafe, 340 W. Armitage Ave., will donate a portion of proceeds from a special list of California wines to those affected by the recent wildfires in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino. The restaurant, famous for its extensive wine list offerings, will feature a full page of wines beginning Nov. 1, with $10 per bottle donated directly to the fire relief funds in all three affected regions. All proceeds from this list will be donated to https://www.youcaring.com/mendocinonapasonomacountyfirerelief-977973.

—Bottlefork closed Oct. 29, ending a three-year run in River North, Eater Chicago reported. The restaurant, featuring small plates and quality beers, was a collaboration between Billy Dec's Rockit Ranch Productions and chef Kevin Hickey, who left Rockit in September; the spot opened in February 2014. Dec said they'd also consider selling their Wrigleyville restaurant, Rockit Burger Bar, 3700 N. Clark St.

—Also, Flirty Cupcakes has closed at 4631 N. Lincoln Ave., Eater Chicago noted. The brand started as food truck in 2010. They followed with a Little Italy location off Taylor Street in 2012, and then opening the Lincoln Square location in 2014.

—Freshii Inc. is closing all of its 18 restaurants inside Target Corp. stores, ending a two-year partnership between the companies, according to BizJournals.com . Seventeen of the fast-casual restaurants—most of them in the Twin Cites and Chicago—closed in the 13-week period that ended Sept. 24. The remaining location will close by year's end.

—Mago Grill & Cantina ( with locations in Chicago, Bolingbrook, South Barrington and Arlington Heights ) is celebrating Dia de Los Muertos with activities Oct. 31-Nov. 2. Differrent sites will have Patron Tequila or Jack Daniels pairing dinners. Tickets are $55 each; visit MagoGrill.com/events.

—Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash Ave., will host a two-course wine dinner with newly appointed sommelier Edy Orozco on the first Thursday of each month beginning Nov. 2. The first dinner will feature wines from France's Loire Valley paired with seasonal oysters with Nichols Farm diced apple, ginger and preserve lemon; and coq au vin with seasonal mushrooms, bacon lardons and shallot puree. The dinner is $59 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity; call 312-944-8400 to RSVP.

—The Illinois Restaurant Association will celebrate 103 years with a disco-themed evening as Chef's Table, presented by Old Crow Smokehouse and Sysco, will be held Friday, Nov. 3, at 6 p.m. at Morgan MFG, 401 N. Morgan St. The 40th annual reception brings together Chicago's food-service industry professionals to support the leaders of tomorrow. Proceeds from the event benefit the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Scholarship Initiative and statewide ProStart program. The cost to attend is $250 per person; visit IllinoisRestaurants.org .

—Scofflaw Group partners ( Andy Gould, Kristofer Nagy and Danny Shapiro ) opened The Moonlighter on Wed. Nov. 1—directly across the street from Scofflaw. the group's inaugural gin-focused concept that opened five years ago. Located at 3204 W. Armitage Ave., The Moonlighter is a neighborhood bar that has a 1,000-square foot indoor space that seats 100 guests. ( During patio season, The Moonlighter will open a sidewalk-facing outdoor space with a front porch and yard with built-in fireplaces. ) The place serves American fare such as six burgers, Topsy's Tacos ( deep fried beef taco, iceberg, American cheese, taco sauce ) and loaded fries; and beer, wine and cocktails.

—Pearl Brasserie, 180 N. Upper Wacker Dr., has launched a new three-course prix fixe menu for dinner, available Monday through Saturday evenings beginning at 5 p.m. and priced at $35. The nightly prix fixe allows guests to choose from several options for appetizer, entree and dessert to create a meal customized to their tastes. All dishes from the menu may also be ordered a la carte, and are priced from $11-15 for starters, $21-28 for mains and $8 for desserts. See PearlBrasserie.com .

—Nick's Pizza & Pub has now opened in Lincoln Square at 2434 W. Montrose Ave. Top-selling specialty pizzas include the Nick's Special, with cheese, sausage, mushrooms, onion and green pepper; The MEAT'ZA, with American bacon, pepperoni, sausage, garlic and mozzarella cheese; and Mexican Pizza, with taco sauce, seasoned ground beef, mozzarella and cheddar cheese, green onion, tomatoes, black olives and jalapeno peppers. See NicksPizzaPub.com .

—At 20 East, 20 E. Delaware Pl., Executive Chef Ryan Devitt now has a series of new fall menus. Items on the various menus ( which includes late-night offerings ) include pretzel nuggets, braised shortrib, tuna guacamole board and chili-lime cashews, among other things. Visit https://www.20eastchicago.com/.

—At Winnetka's Restaurant Michel, 64 Green Bay Rd., Chef Michael Lachowicz will conduct a cooking class on Saturday, Nov. 4, 12-3 p.m. Attendees will learn how to make several dishes for Thanksgiving, including a candied squash bisque, sweet potato gratin and ‹ginger-almond gelato. The class is $100 per person; call 847-441-3100 to register.

—Ronero owner Nils Westlind is teaming with America's Next Top Model winner Jaslene Gonzalez and Grammy-nominated salsa artist Frankie Negron to host a fundraiser for hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico on Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the restaurant, 738 W. Randolph St. For $40 each, guests can enjoy a menu of Puerto Rican passed apps from Chef Trevor Cole, a rum bar from Don Q Rum, live art from 1688Lbs, and lively musical performances, with all proceeds for the evening going directly to Unidos Por Puerto Rico. See https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-night-for-puerto-rico-tickets-39072711532.

—Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House, 58 E. Oak St., will host a dinner on Wed., Nov. 8, at 6:30 p.m. featuring the wines of Schramsberg and Davies Vineyards. Some of the culinary offerings will include house-smoked salmon, diver sea scallops, 45-day dry-aged ribeye and local cheeses ( with marcona almonds and truffle honey ). The cost is $195 each; call 312-888-2499 to RSVP.

—Emmy-winning chef Lidia Bastianich will be at the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, 325 Fawell Blvd., Glyn Ellyn, to share behind-the-scenes stories from her PBS show Lidia's Kitchen; provide an insider's view of the nuances, twists and turns of the restaurant business; and talk about her newest book, Celebrate like an Italian on Thursday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. WBEZ reporter Monica Eng will moderate. A book-signing in the MAC lobby will follow. Tickets are $39-$75; visit AtTheMAC.org or call 630-942-4000.

—Jackson Chance Foundation's Fifth Annual Playing It Forward Ping Pong Ball—an interactive ping-pong party benefiting neonatal intensive-care unit ( NICU ) families—returns Thursday, Nov. 9, at 5:30 p.m. at the Hard Rock Hotel, 230 N. Michigan Ave. Some of the highlights will include a table-tennis tournament; Chicago celebrities, including a few from Chicago sports teams; Chicago's own top-ranked table-tennis pros; and culinary treats and cocktails. Admission is $50-$225 each; visit JacksonChance.org .

—In recognition of Veterans Day on Saturday, Nov. 11, Hakka Bakka, 1251 W. Fullerton Ave., will offer a dine-in special featuring buy-one-get-one FREE kati rolls ( whole wheat wrap ), rice bowls or salad bowls with proof of U.S military ID ( one free item per identification ). Also, MAK: Modern Asian Kitchen, 1924 W. Division St., will offer veterans half off all orders. In addition, Phil Stefani Signature Restaurants would like to thank veterans for their service by offering them a freelunch or dinner entree ( up to $40 value ) on Nov. 11 at all Tuscany locations ( Chicago, Oak Brook and Wheeling ), and Weber Grill, 539 N. State St., will take $25 off veterans' meals ( dine-in only ) of $50 or more.

—Lawry's The Prime Rib, 100 E. Ontario St., has unveiled a full program of festive happenings throughout November and December. This year's lineup includes a dinner and drama package on Sunday, Nov. 19, featuring dinner at Lawry's and tickets to A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre, plus the inaugural Lunch with Santa on Saturdays in December ( Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 23, at 12:30-2:30 p.m. ). See LawrysOnline.com/lawrys-primerib/chicago.

—Executive Chef Luca Corazzina of 312 Chicago, 136 N. LaSalle St., has prepared a four-course traditional Thanksgiving menu available Nov. 23, 5-9 p.m. Items will include pesto lasagna, Italian-style roasted turkey, butternut-squash tortelloni and pumpkin cheesecake, among other things. The cost is $55/person or $25/child 12 and under. Reservations can be made online or at 312-696-2420.

—The Signature Room, 875 N. Michigan Ave., invites friends and family to welcome the 2017 holiday season with its annual Brunch with Santa event on Saturday, Nov. 25, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The brunch buffet includes chilled seafood, charcuterie, made-to-order omelets, and more; entrees such as banana nut bread French toast, fried chicken & waffles, brunch burger, and fusilli pasta; along with a seasonal hot chocolate station. While the adults sip on hot chocolate, coffee, or a mimosa, children can enjoy various holiday-themed activities, including cookie decorating, face-painting, holiday wish-list creation and a balloon artist. Tickets are $65 for adults and $30 for children under age 12. Reservations are required; call 312-280-0465.

—J Fairmont Chicago—at Millennium Park, 200 N.Columbus Dr.—will host its fourth annual "Cookies and Cheer," a luxury cookie exchange on Thursday-Friday, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m. "Cookies and Cheer" gives guests the opportunity to mix and mingle with Fairmont's culinary staff while enjoying wine tastings and sampling seasonal cookies. Single tickets for Cookies and Cheer are $60 on Thursday and $75 on Friday; visit Eventbrite.com .

—The Driehaus Museum, 40 E. Erie St., will have its Glitter & Gold Holiday Brunch on Sunday, Dec. 10. ( Doors will open at 10 a.m. for the 11 a.m. event. ) The brunch will include a Prosecco toast, elaborate buffet and live music. In the spirit of the season, tables will be shared. Tickets are $95 each for adults, and $45 each for children 23 and younger; visit DriehausMuseum.org/programs/view/glitter_gold_holiday_brunch_2017.

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


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