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Dining news: Retro malt shop, 'Fried Chicken' recap, Thanksgiving options
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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—Retro-inspired malt shop Fizz Eatery & Soda Fountain, 7958 W. Belmont Ave., is featuring a brand-new throwback burger each week. Named in homage to Chef Bushnick's favorite pop icons from the '50s and '60s, each burger comes with at least two patties on a brioche bun and a side of fries for $12. Items include The Chubby Checker ( three patties, homemade root beer BBQ sauce and three slices of Wisconsin brick cheese ) and The Ritchie Valens ( chili-pepper fondue, pico and corn chips ); visit .

—Kendall College Trust's 3rd Annual Fried Chicken & Champagne Fest, held Nov. 4, raised scholarship funds for culinary, hospitality and business students in financial need attending Kendall College, as well as Chicago Public Schools ( CPS ) students attending the Trust's annual Culinary Camp. Guests tasted 12 different variations of the fried fare from Chicago's top culinary talent, all competing for the Golden Hen Award, decided on by a panel of industry experts; Chef Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde prevailed for her Italian-inspired "Chickie Chickie Parm Parm." Also, Leghorn's "Hot Popcorn Chicken," handcrafted by Chef Jared Van Camp, won the People's Choice Award.

—Cindy's, 12 S. Michigan Ave., is bringing back Pie in the Sky for Thanksgiving. Executive Pastry Chef Jove Hubbard offers his pastry creations Tuesday, Nov. 21, and Wed., Nov. 22, for pre-order and purchase at Cindy's. Items will include traditional pumpkin, maple creme fraiche, carrot cake and pumpkin chcoolate-chip whoopie pies ( $8-$20 ); visit

—Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., will have Thanksgiving dinner Thursday, Nov. 23, 12-2 p.m., in the Billie Jean King Gymnasium. The event is free, although space is limited. See

—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.

—French restaurant Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash Ave., will offer a special three-course, prix fixe menu for Thanksgiving on Thursday, Nov. 23. Guests may select from options including the artisanal smoked salmon salad, with celery root remoulade, Dijon mustard, chive oil and citrus caviar; hand-cut Yukon potato gnocchi, with cranberries, sweet potato, house-cured duck confit and aged red wine vinegar sauce; Belgium endive salad, with Maytag blue cheese, black mission figs, caramelized walnut and mixed green salad; and more. See .

—Southern restaurant Big Jones, 5347 N. Clark St., will have seatings at 1, 4 and 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving. All courses are available for $55 per person and $20 per child under 12. Dishes will include potted venison and duck, sourdough rye crackers, huckleberry conserves and sauerkraut; deep-fried turkey Cajun style, with giblet gravy and cranberry sauce; and Pumpkin pie, homemade graham-cracker crumble, vanilla bean ice cream and cane syrup; and others. See

—Shaw's Crab House in Chicago is hosting a traditional Thanksgiving buffet on Thursday, Nov. 23, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The buffet is priced at $75 per adult and $20 for kids 12 and younger ( exclusive of tax, gratuity, and beverages ). Items will include lobster mac 'n cheese, corn casserole, herb-roasted turkey, candied sweet potatoes, creme brulee, seafood bisque and much more; call 312-527-2722 or visit .

—Smoke Daddy, 1804 W Division St., is offering a Thanksgiving catering menu. The BBQ restaurant will offer house-smoked whole turkey ( 11 lb., $65; 20 lb., $90 ); pulled whole turkey ( 1 lb., $16 ); and glazed ham, a partial bone-in, smoked ham with a sweet mojo glaze ( half., $69; whole $129 ). Sides such as cornbread stuffing with sausage and spices ( $10 per quart ); Brussels sprouts oven-roasted with a lemon butter sauce ( $10 per quart ); and green-bean casserole ( $10 per quart ) as well as desserts like apple ( $22 ) and pumpkin pies ( $20 ) round out the menu. Visit

—Mott Street, 1401 N. Ashland Ave., is offering a Thanksgiving group catering feast for delivery. ( It's primarily for groups of 12-15 and 25-30 people. ) Items will include sweet potato with honey miso; roasted pork shoulder; and candied baby shrimp, chicken and kohlrabi salad; and other items. See .

—Winnetka spot Restaurant Michael, 64 Green Bay Rd., is hosting a family-style Thanksgiving dinner at 12-6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Dishes will include candied squash bisque with toasted brioche croutons; roasted Berkshire Farms pork tenderloin; sweet-potato gratin; and individual roasted pumpkin pie mascarpone cheesecake, among other items. The dinner is $55 each ( half-price for children younger than 10 ); call 847-441-3100 to RSVP.

—Michael Jordan's Steak House ( in the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile hotel ) will be open for Thanksgiving, running the full dinner menu all day as well as a festive "Taste of Thanksgiving" platter to share from Executive Chef Craig Couper. The platter will include tastes of turkey confit, maple roasted sweet potatoes, cranberry-apple relish, oyster mushroom stuffing and cornbread.

—Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, 58 E. Oak St., will be open on Thanksgiving. A prix-fixe menu is available, with items like butternut squash soup, harvest salad, turkey breast with apple-sausage stuffing ( and sides ), pumpkin cheesecake and pecan pie a la mode. ( The full menu will also be available. ) See

—Texas de Brazil in Chicago and Schaumburg will be open on Thanksgiving Day and has added roasted turkey and gravy, sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce to their standard menus. The menu features grilled meats carved tableside, including succulent lamb chops, leg of lamb, picanha, filet mignon, chicken breast wrapped in bacon, Brazilian sausages and more; also, the salad area includes 50 freshly prepared salads, soups and side dishes.

—The Florentine, 151 W. Adams St., is offering an Italian-inspired Thanksgiving dinner. Items will include butternut squash soup with Granny Smith apples, farro, pancetta and cinnamon cream; baby carrot salad; risotto with braised pork belly, smoked parsnip puree, crispy guanciale and sage; and a traditional turkey plate ( with focaccia stuffing ). Visit

—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.

—Chinese restaurant Imperial Lamian, 6 W. Hubbard St., has a new catering program. To ensure catering for events of all sizes, orders must be placed a minimum of 48 hours in advance. For more information and specifications on the catering program or to place an order, visit or call 312-595-9440.

—Nov. 28 is National French Toast Day, and Wrigley BBQ will be offering a one-day-only rendition with its cinnamon & apple stuffed French toast. This version will feature slices of Michigan Golden apples, homemade pecan syrup and powdered sugar. See

—Cocoa + Co., 1651 N. Wells St., has a new cafe menu in partnership with Naha Pastry Chef Craig Harzewski. The Old Town cafe now has savory items on its menu, including empanadas ( duck/squash/cannelloni bean; ratatouille ), quiche tart and gluten-free baked oats. Also, Harzewski will take over crafting Cocoa + Co.'s signature items such as salted caramel brownies and chocolate-chip walnut banana bread. See

—Brindille, 534 N. Clark St., will host "Architectural Tea with Carol Ross Barney" on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2-5 p.m. For this special service, architect Ross Barney will host and share her thoughts on the building of the RiverWalk and other famous Chicago projects. This includes a selection of exotic teas, scones, crumpets and jam, pastries, finger sandwiches and more. Admission is $65/person; RSVP at .

—Filini ( located in the Radisson Blu Aqua hotel ) has unveiled its winter beverage lineup. The program has rolled out options such as Tea for Two, featuring Few Breakfast and Death's Door gins, raspberry mint and fresh lemon juice served in a teacup; and Gone Campin', featuring Redemption Rye, green chartreuse, Zirbenz Pine liqueur, applewood smoke syrup and black walnut bitters, topped with a toasted marshmallow.

—On Dec. 1-12, Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., will offer a different special wing of the day. Chef Nick Santangelo has come up with flavor combinations such as apricot siracha, Aaron's coconut red curry and grilled maple mustard wings ( $13.95 ).

—After dinner service on Dec. 3, South Water Kitchen ( 225 N. Wabash Ave. ) will close its doors for good—but not before draining its liquor cabinets, clearing off their shelves and turning up the music. On Saturday, Dec. 2, the Loop restaurant will host a Drink Us Dry! party at 5 p.m. until closing to celebrate the guests and employees who have contributed to South Water Kitchen's 15 years. The party will feature heavily discounted wines by the glass and bottle—including rare bottles normally not offered by the glass, heavily discounted rare spirits, discounted beer as well as a "kick the keg" with $5 drafts after 10 p.m. and complimentary bites of Chef Roger Waysok's greatest culinary hits

—Mon Ami Gabi, 2300 N. Lincoln Park West, will host a Veuve Clicquot holiday dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Executive Chef Nelli Maltezos will serve a four-course dinner paired with Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label and more. The event is priced at $75 per guest plus tax ( gratuity not included ). Space is limited; call 773-348-8886 for tickets.

—Geja's Cafe, 340 W. Armitage Ave., will offer New Year's Eve guests fondue and champagne along with classical/flamenco guitar music. Geja's will feature three special reserved seatings on Sunday, Dec. 31, at 5, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Seatings will be $95-$130 each; visit .

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