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Dining news: Hurricane Harvey help, mussel event, evil queen sing-a-long
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

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—Perry's Steakhouse & Grille ( 5 Oakbrook Ct., Oak Brook ) is offering a special discounted three-course menu that will be available during the entire month of September. For every meal served from the special discounted menu, $5 will be donated to the Houston Flood Relief Fund organized by Houston Texans star J. J. Watt. The three-course menu has been discounted to $49.95 and will include the choice of Wedge, Caesar or Kale salads followed by an entrees. Perry's has eight locations in the Houston area, and is among the many businesses that have suffered because of Hurricane Harvey.

—For the first two Sundays of September, Fig & Olive, 104 E. Oak St., will donate 5 percent of food sales to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The restaurant will also dontae 500 bottles of its olive oil to assist with the preparation of meals for people who are without homes or who are displaced.

—At Chez Moi, 2100 N. Halsted St., Chef Dominque Tougne will welcome guests to the "Moules Fest," with all-you-can-eat mussels for $25 on Sept. 8-17. There will be lobster-bisque mussels; marinieres mussels with white wine, shallots, parsley, butter and lemon; Belgian mussels with beer, leeks, cream and bacon; and Mediterranean mussels with chorizo, tomatoes, saffron rice, onions and basil. Reservations are encouraged; visit .

—On Sunday, Sept. 10, River North arcade bar Headquarters Beercade, 213 W. Institute Pl., will throw an evil queen-themed sing-a-long brunch at 12-3 p.m. Guests can expect a playlist full of childhood-favorite jams, drag queens dressed up in full princess ensembles ( glass slippers optional ), and a brunch buffet that includes bottomless mimosas as well cocktails such as Mad Hatter's Tea and Cinderella's Slipper. Admission is $32 each; visit

—Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar, 2700 W. Chicago Ave., now has a full menu, including breakfast. There are now breakfast/brunch ( and pastry ), lunch, dinner, happy hour and all-day caviar service. See

—Lincoln Square restaurant Bistro Campagne, 4518 N. Lincoln Ave., is dumping Bulleit Bourbon from its spirits list after learning of claims by Hollis Bulleit that she was fired from her family's business for being a lesbian, according to . Hollis Bulleit's allegations, detailed in a recent Washington Post article, were brought to general manager Todd Feinberg's attention by the restaurant's front-of-house manager. "Michael Altenberg created this restaurant with a social conscience," Feinberg said of Bistro Campagne's late founder. "That's philosophically where this restaurant is at."

—Arun's Thai Restaurant has announced its first-ever six-course tasting menu in addition to its traditional 10- and 12-course offerings. The condensed menu is available Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday for reservations between 5-6 p.m. for $75 per person. See .

—Mott St., 1401 N. Ashland Ave., is continuing to offer its summer cocktails. Just a few include Bae Is Fierce ( Chinaco Blanco tequila, Campari, mintmango syrup, lime juice and Off Color Fierce beer ), Kurt in Tokyo ( Rinomato Aperitivo, Kintaro shochu, white vermouth and orange bitters ) and Tiki Jones ( Tarragon-infused Neissen rum, El Dorado 3 rum, Ch Red Dog Bitter Aperitivo, lime juice, simple syrup and coconu milk ). See .

—Moretti's Ristorante & Pizzeria will open Friday, Sept. 8, at 3 p.m., and is located at 9519 W. Higgins Rd. in Rosemont, in the newly renamed Moretti's Rosemont Plaza. Moretti's will offer dine-in, carry out and delivery, as well as full service catering and hosted private events. The 10,000 square foot casual dining establishment will accommodate up to 200 people in the main dining room, 50 in a semi-private dining room, a 25-seat island bar and seating for more than 150 people in the outdoor garden. See .

— River Roast, 315 N. LaSalle St., has launched a new beverage program led by beverage manager Ken Pritz. Drinks include the Social House Smash, Laverne and Sherry and First Impression. There's also a Happy Hour Program; available for $35 per person, guests can reserve parties for two hours. ( The Happy Hour special includes a series of passed hors d'oeuvres and specialty beverage package. ) Beyond the cocktail menu, Pritz is bringing local Midwestern beers to River Roasts' 13 rotating taps.

—Maple & Ash, 8 W. Maple St., has announced that wine club Mavens & Aficionados is launching in September. Designed and curated by Head Sommelier Dan Pilkey and Maple & Ash Wine Director Amy Mundwiler, the club delivers unique and hard-to-find wines from across the globe to members' doorsteps on a quarterly basis; access to Maple & Ash services and reservations; and wine tips and recommendations from the experts at Maple & Ash. Members may opt for one of three levels: Semi-Pro ( $250/quarter ), Baller ( $500/quarter ) and IDGAF ( $1,000/quarter ).

—Q-BBQ is bringing back its smoked corned beef to mark the halfway point to St. Patrick's Day. The smoked corned beef is available for the following menu items: plate, sandwich, 2/3 meat combo, sliders, on a salad and by the pound for catering seven days/week at all locations. See .

—Thompson Chicago, 21 E. Bellevue Pl., now has Bill Montagne as chef de cuisine of the luxury lifestyle hotel. In this role, Montagne leads the culinary team at Thompson Chicago and onsite restaurant Nico Osteria, a seafood-inspired Italian concept helmed by One Off Hospitality Group and James Beard-lauded Chef Paul Kahan. New dishes include octopus carpaccio, hand-dipped sheep's-milk ricotta, albacore tuna confit and white Negroni poached halibut, among other items. There is also a "Meet & Eat with Chef Montagne" package that provides a front-row seat to Nico Osteria's kitchen and a personal introduction to Chef Montagne; call call 312-266-2100.

—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 .

—On Monday, Sept. 11, The Florentine, 151 W. Adams St., will launch its Grab & Go Lunch service, with dishes inspired by seasonal fare and crafted by Executive Chef Zach Walrath. Monday through Friday at 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., city visitors and local professionals may place orders for pickup to enjoy the restaurant's fare. The Grab & Go menu includes Italian Cobb salad, Tuscan kale salad, margherita pizza, chicken panini, the Americano burger and Italian cookies. Call 312-660-8866 or visit The Florentine.

—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 .

—Honey Butter Fried Chicken, 3361 N. Elston Ave., will celebrate its fourth anniversary on Thursday, Sept. 14, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. There will be $4 deals, such as Top Notch ( available on draft ) and orders of fried-chicken strips; also, they can indulge in a Birthday Confetti Dump Cake for $5. ( These offers are for inside dining only. ) See .

—Sam Adams' Lakeview Taco Fest returns for its fifth year on Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 16-17. The event will take place on Southport Avenue between Addison ( 3600 N ) and Roscoe ( 3400 N ) in the heart of the Southport Corridor; hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. both days. There will also be a kids' activity area ( art, inflatables and more ), arts & crafts, and visitors will be able to text vote for Chicago's "Best Taco." D.S. Tequila Company, Frontier, New England Seafood Company, Tacos Nietos and Beat Kitchen are a few of the restaurants that will participate.

—Revival Social Club, 1133 W. Granville Ave., will be serving German brunch specials Sept. 16-17, including the Oktoberfest Bloody Mary: a housemade mix with vodka and German-inspired flavors, garnished with a warm Bavarian pretzel, sausages and cheese, and with a Two Brothers Oktoberfest chaser. See .

—Maple & Ash, 8 W Maple St., is hosting a special, one-night-only collaboration dinner with Executive Chef Danny Grant and food pioneer-advocate Alice Waters on Monday, Sept. 18. "An Evening with Alice Waters and Danny Grant" will celebrate the launch of her memoir, Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook. Proceeds from the dinner's ticket sales ( $250-$1,000 each ) will go to the Edible Schoolyard Project; visit Eventbrite to purchase passes.

—Luke's Lobster opening its second location Sept. 19 in the Merchandise Mart. Among other things, the first 50 guests on Sept. 19 will receive a free lobster roll. Also, Luke's will preview its National Lobster Day special menu item—the Lobstah, Lobstah, Lobstah—which will be available nationally for one day only on Sept. 25. See .

—French spot Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash Ave., will offer a special menu for Rosh Hashanah staring Wed.-Friday, Sept. 20-22. Some of the items will include cured Faroe Island salmon with radishes, country mustard and leek potato salad; prime beef shortribs with Nichols farm eggplant caviar, ratatouille, nicoise olives and preserved lemon; and Bistronomic apple crepes, among others. The three-course, prix fixe menu will be offered for dinner from 5 to 10:30 p.m. for $39 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. See .

—Identita Golose, an international culinary organization that highlights contemporary Italian cuisine, returns to the United States for the fourth annual Identita Chicago on Oct. 7-8. Eataly Chicago, 43 E. Ohio St., will host the two-day event that will feature Corrado Scaglione, Davide Oldani, Sarah Grueneberg and other prominent chefs; four master classes; and an inaugural "Pizza & Pasta" event that will allow guests to eat their way through Eataly. Tickets are $48 each; visit

—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 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 .

—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 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

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