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Dining news: New Pastoral chef; Browntrout closing
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.

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—Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine has hired Jessica "Jesse" Williams as chef of Appellation—the company's new wine bar and restaurant that will be located within Pastoral Andersonville, 5212 N. Clark St., a space scheduled to open early this fall. A former Pastoral cheesemonger, she joins Appellation from Birchwood Kitchen in Wicker Park, where she served as head chef for nearly four years. Appellation, a new hybrid retail and 75-seat wine bar and restaurant, is Pastoral's largest project to date.

—Browntrout, 4111 N. Lincoln Ave.—which was one of the first restaurants to put forth the farm-to-table concept—will close Aug. 30 because of a lack of business, according to . Chef/owner Sean Sanders said that receipts are down 25 percent from August 2014. Browntrout opened in 2009 on what Sanders thought was a can't-miss section of Lincoln Avenue, and went on to earn five consecutive Michelin Bib Gourmands.

—The United Center and its hospitality partner, Levy Restaurants, are adding several chefs/restaurants to the venue, according to Zagat. Participating chefs include Paul Kahan with Big Star and Publican Quality Meats; Jared Van Camp, with Leghorn Chicken; Charlie McKenna, with Lillie's Q and LQ Chicken Shack; as well as Brian Jupiter, with Frontier, Lottie's Pub and The Pony. The project, dubbed Chicago's Plate, will start this fall.

—The Langham, Chicago ( 330 N. Wabash St. ) has named Gaylord Lamy as its director of operations; he was previously the hotel's food/beverage director. Prior to joining Langham, Lamy worked for Le Meridien Etoile and Hotel Meurice, meeting the food and beverage needs of these Paris-based hotels.

—Oyster on Halsted is an oyster bar and East Coast-inspired seafood restaurant opening in Lincoln Park ( 1962 N. Halsted St. ) in November. The concept was created in partnership with Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises' founder Rich Melman and the team behind Shaw's Crab House and Oyster Bar, including Shaw's Partner Bill Nevruz and Executive Chef Pete Balodimas. Chicagoans will be able to get a first taste of Oyster on Halsted at the 27th annual Oyster Fest taking place Friday, Sept. 11, 3-10 p.m; visit .

—Sepia, 123 N. Jefferson St., announces the introduction of its "Greatest Hits" menu that will be offered 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday in its bar and lounge area. For $6, guests can enjoy bites like duck liver mousse served with seasonal jam and toast, or grilled vegetable crostino served with ricotta salata. There will be special $6 cocktails as well. See .

—Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago ( 151 E. Wacker Dr. ), has created a five-course sushi-tasting menu ( $60 ). Offerings include a bacon dashi infusion, onigiri bento box, squid box, chawanmushi and spring water cake. There are also sake pairings ( for an additional cost ). Call 312-239-4491 or visit

—Sable Kitchen & Bar, 505 N. State St., has a new dinner and dessert menu. New Executive Chef Lawrence Letrero now has items such as grilled peach salad, lobster rangoon, lamb pops, churro ice-cream sandwich and littleneck clam flatbread. See for the full menus.

—Revolucion Mexican Steakhouse, 3443 N. Broadway, will host a three-course Moody Tongue beer dinner on Thursday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m. for $49. Food offerings will include tostada de pulpo ( grilled octopus ), chuleta al pastor ( marinated pork chop ) and espresso tres leches cake/molten chocolate cake. See .

—The Pony, 1638 W. Belmont Ave., will mark its seven-year anniversary on Friday, Aug. 28, with a customer-appreciation party featuring DJs and specials including $1 drafts, $1 pizza slices, $2 Tijuana Margaritas and $2 Front Porch Sour Whiskey Punch. Guests can also enjoy the "Pony Up Lounge" on the bar's second floor featuring a retractable roof. See .

—On Saturday, Aug. 29, Famous Dave's will introduce the Famous Dave's Amateur BBQ Competition at the seventh annual Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ benefitting Bridge Communities. All proceeds from the event will support Bridge Communities in its efforts to help transition homeless families in DuPage County to self-sufficiency. More than 60 teams will compete for trophies and bragging rights in three categories: Best Pork Ribs, People's Choice Sauce and Best Dish. Visit .

—Tiki lounge Three Dots and a Dash is launching its first-ever online store where guests can purchase the popular custom-designed tiki mugs, glassware and bar collectibles. The new e-commerce site is launching Sept. 1. Mugs start from $20 ( plus shipping ) and can be purchased at .

—Chicago's Best Summer WingFest—advertised as "a bigger and better version" of Chicago's Best WingFest—will be held Saturday, Sept. 5, 1-7 p.m., at the Bailey Auditorium, 1340 W. Washington St. Chicago's Best Summer WingFest will feature double the wing-slinging restaurants, live music, carnival games, a vendor market, craft beer and a full bar. Tickets for Chicago's Best Summer WingFest ( $40 ) will go on sale Wed., June 24, at 12 p.m; visit .

—Guests who visit Commonwealth Tavern, 2000 W. Roscoe Ave., during Labor Day weekend will enjoy brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday with a Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar for $6 each and Mimosa Bar for $3 each. Brunch highlights include Pupusa ( breakfast sausage, chihuahua cheese, red sauce, curtido, farm egg ), Pig Muffin ( maple pig head, farm egg, American cheese, English muffin ) and Kentucky Hot Brown ( smoked turkey, bacon, tomato, beer cheese, sourdough ). See .

—Frontier, 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave., will host a "Drunken Oyster Party" on Labor Day, Sept. 7., starting at 12 p.m. Specials will include $1 raw oysters, $4 Abita pints, and $50 bottles of Piper-Heidsieck champagne with a dozen oysters. See .

—Luca Corazzina, executive chef of 312 Chicago, will kick off his cooking classes on Saturday, Sept. 12, at 12 p.m., and continue every Saturday until Oct. 17. The month of September will be dedicated to "The Art of Fish" while October's classes will focus on "The Art of Pasta." Classes are $50/person, and include a light meal, recipe cards and a bottle of 312 aged balsamic. Visit .

—The Andersonville Development Corporation ( ADC ) is presenting the 3rd Annual Andersonville City Made Fest, the only all-local street festival that highlights Chicago-made beer, music and products in the historic Andersonville neighborhood. It will be Sept. 12 ( 12-9 p.m. ) and 13 ( 12-7 p.m. ) at 5000-5100 N. Clark St. There is a suggested gate donation of $5. See .

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