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Dining news: Pop's opens, Halloween items, Publican chef fired
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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—Pop's Italian Beef & Sausage will open its newest location at 157 W. North Ave. on Saturday, Oct. 28. Pop's will be giving away one of seven signature sandwich meals to the first 100 visitors; additionally, one guest will win free beef sandwiches for a year ( one a day for 365 days ) by entering his/her/their business card or contact information into a drawing.

—Revival Social Club, 1133 W. Granville Ave., is celebrating Halloween with double-feature movie night starting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31, showing Beetlejuice and Hocus Pocus. In addition, there will be $10 cocktail specials featuring the drinks Dead Man's Toe ( gin, limoncello, suze, chartreuse, lemon and saffron bitters ) and Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice ( vodka, port, cassis liqueur, lemon and bitters ).

—On Saturday, Oct. 28, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Shaw's Crab House, 21 E. Hubbard St., is throwing a costume brunch filled savory and sweet favorites, plus Halloween treats. Additionally, any guests in costume will receive a gift certificate for $25 that can be used towards that person's next Shaw's visit. Brunch is $59 for adults, $10 for kids ages 7-12, and free for children 6 and younger; reservations are recommended.

—There are places in the city and suburbs offering totals of thousands of dollars in Halloween costume contests Oct. 27-31. For instance, the Lion Head Pub/The Apartment, 2251 N. Lincoln Ave., will have "Cereal Killer" on Oct. 27 until 2 a.m.; all contestants will receive a complimentary cocktail party and gift cards to Ala Carte Entertainment bars and restaurants, and there's a first prize of $500 cash. Schaumburg's Drink, 871 E. Algonquin Rd., will have a first prize of $1,500 and a second prize of $500 on Saturday, Oct. 28. The costume contests for both start at midnight.

—Skokie spot Libertad will mark Oct. 31 ( Halloween and the start of Dia de los Muertos ) with various dishes. Offerings will include a flor de calabaza-stuffed pepper with corn, epazote and queso Oaxaca; giant prawns with Kabocha squash and poblano salsa; and shortrib with bamboo rice, grilled asparagus, queso cotija and Mama Rivera's special-occasion mole. See .

—On Saturday, Oct. 28, Apogee ( at the dana hotel and spa, 2 W. Erie St. ) will host a Beetlejuice-themed bash for Halloween ( complete with hors d'oeuvres and specialty cocktails ). VIP hour starts at 8 p.m., with general admission at 9 p.m.; tickets are $20 and are available at or 312-202'6060.

—Porkchop Chicago, 941 W. Randolph St., is hosting a Halloween costume party on Saturday Oct. 28, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. All partygoers must be in costume—and the most creative get-ups will win prizes at 11 p.m., when the winner of the costume contest are announced. Prizes include gift cards of $500, $250 and $150 for first, second and third place, respectively. RSVP at

—On Tuesday, Oct. 31, River Roast, 315 N. LaSalle St., 7-10 p.m., is hosting a Halloween event with Coquetel Spirits as well as guest bartenders Laura Green ( Duck Duck Goat ) and Chiyo Takemoto ( Cocquetel Spirits Co. ) Enjoy Halloween-themed punch, gourmet Jell-o shots, craft cocktails and bites from the bar. Tickets are $40-$50 each; visit "Halloween Pop-Up" at . ( Tips will be donated to the Disability Rights, Education and Defense Fund. )

—Cosmo Goss—the executive chef of Chicago's popular and award-winning Publican restaurants—was fired after ownership said he failed to take disciplinary action when a "personal" and "inappropriate" photo of a female employee was shared among staff without her permission, Eater Chicago reported. One Off Hospitality Group hired a legal firm to investigate the matter before firing Goss and a second employee—Antonio Molina, the general manager of Wicker Park's Publican Anker. While Goss wouldn't comment directly, he confirmed the incident and firing in a statement that expressed regret.

—Southern restaurant Big Jones, 5347 N. Clark St., has a full carryout/delivery menu. Fare is available for lunch and dinner Monday-Friday as well as dinner on Saturday and Sunday. Items include shrimp and grits, fried chicken, spicy glazed duck wings, voodoo greens and more; visit

—Tullamore D.E.W. has announced the U.S. release of its latest variant, Tullamore D.E.W. Cider Cask. Available in the U.S. market as a seasonal fall release, Cider Cask is the first whiskey to be finished in hard apple-cider casks. it's available in Chicago locations such as The Galway Arms, The Glenwood, The Riverview Tavern, The Butcher's Tap, Celtic Crown, The Full Shilling, Gideon Welles, Yak-Zies Diversey and Wrigley.

—Gibsons Restaurant Group has opened Gibsons Italia at 233 N. Canal St. A modern Italian steakhouse, the three-level restaurant and bar is the group's first downtown restaurant opening since 2005. Chef José Sosa oversees the menu of refined Italian dishes and American steakhouse dishes.

—Austin-based Tex-Mex restaurant Chuy's has opened its second Chicagoland location, this time at 1701 E. Golf Rd. in Schaumburg. Chuy's recently opened its first area restaurant in Warrenville, and is scheduled to open a third location in Orland Park in 2018. See

—Romano's Macaroni Grill filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to—although the Denver-based company emphasized the move is meant to try to get out from under leases on 37 closed restaurants rather than to downsize the reorganizing sit-down Italian eatery chain any further. Filing for Chapter 11 was viewed as the "more prudent course of action" after negotiations with a number of the lease holders broke down, the company said in a statement. Locally, Romano's is at O'Hare International Airport.

—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 a moustache 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

—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.

—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.

—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 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 .

—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 .

—South Water Kitchen, 225 N. Wabash Ave., will close after dinner service Dec. 3 to begin construction on a new concept slated to open in spring 2018. The new concept will continue to be operated by Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, the boutique hospitality company that currently operates Hotel Monaco Chicago, Hotel Palomar Chicago, Sable Kitchen & Bar, Hotel Allegro, 312 Chicago, Bar Allegro, The Gray, Boleo and Vol. 39. See .

Send items to or follow on Twitter @Azygous60610 .

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