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Dining news: Smylie Brothers dinner; St. Patrick's Day items
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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—On Wed., March 18, at 7 p.m., Evanston's Smylie Brothers Brewing Company is hosting its March beer dinner, "Bacon, Bourbon & Beer." Smylie Brothers' Executive Chef Grant Carey, Head Brewer Brad Pulver and FEW Spirits' Founder/Distiller Paul Hletko will mingle with guests and sample bacon-centered bites paired with the brewpub's seasonal beers and FEW's bourbon whiskey. Tickets are $50; call 224-999-7320 or stop by the brewery, located at 1615 Oak Ave.

—The City of Chicago's Small Business Center ( SBC ) in the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection is hosting "Food Truck Fests" with licensed City of Chicago food trucks from March through October at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., and Willis Tower, 233 S. Wacker Dr. Fest dates, times and participating trucks will be announced on the City's SBC social-media sites and using the hashtag #Chifoodtruckfests.

—For St. Patrick's Day, Meatloaf Bakery, 2464 N. Clark St., is creating shamrock-shaped loaves available in a variety of flavors. Everyday flavors include Herby Turkey Loaf, Loaf-A-Roma and No Buns About It Burger Loaf. Visit

—Weber Grill restaurants ( River North, Schaumburg and Lombard ) will be offering an Irish take on one of the restaurants' most popular dishes, beer can chicken, during St. Patrick's Day week. The restaurants will also be serving hand-trimmed corned beef, smoked with hickory wood for 10-12 hours, and then piled high on rye for sandwiches, and served with cabbage and potatoes.

—For Pi Day ( 3/14 ), Naperville's Kick's Chicken, 2728 75th St., is putting its spin on its chicken pot pie ( $7.99 ). A base of peas, carrots, onion and potatoes is topped with a puff pastry square that is brushed with garlic butter and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

—Howells & Hood, 435 N. Michigan Ave., opens early on Saturday, March 14 at 9 a.m. to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with the Annual Guinness Post-Parade Party. Dishes will include an Irish breakfast ( $14 ), featuring housemade sausage and cured bacon, black potato farls, baked beans, fried egg and brown bread; colcannon ( $12 ) with German butter potato, cavalo nero, Guinness brown bread and malt vinegar butter; and coddle ( $18 ) with braised blood pudding and bacon, potatoes, carrots and toasted barley. Visit .

—ROOF on theWit, on the 27th floor at 201 N. State St., will host a St. Patrick's Day bash on Saturday, March 14. The DJ line-up will include Avi Sic, Jordan Bernardo Midnight and Jonathan Toubin/New York Night Train. An Irish Bottle Service ( $100 ) includes a Guinness 6 Pack and Jameson Irish Whiskey ( 375-ml bottle ), and there will be other specials. Call 312-239-9502 for table reservations.

—Guests who celebrate St. Patrick's Day at Commonwealth Tavern, 2000 W. Roscoe Ave., will enjoy a traditional Irish platter prepared by Chef Donny Farrell that features corned beef and cabbage, with potatoes and carrots, for $12. Drink specials will include $5 20-ounce Guinness drafts, $7 Irish car bombs, $4 Green Miller Lite drafts and $4 Tullamore Dew shots. The specials will take place Saturday, March 14, and Tuesday, March 17.

—Slurping Turtle, 116 W. Hubbard St., blends Japanese comfort food with Irish staples with corned beef and cabbage ramen ( $14 ) offered Saturday, March 14, through Tuesday, March 17. For more information or to make reservations, call 312-464-0466, or visit

—Virgin Hotels Chicago, 203 N. Wabsh St., is hosting a very British St. Patrick's Day during Chicago's annual St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday, March 14, 6 a.m.-4 p.m. The hotel is converting its street level cafe, Two Zero Three, into a full beer garden serving Chicago's local brews and Bow Truss coffee, house-baked pastries and pretzels. Miss Ricky's and The Commons Club will also be serving specials.

—Level Two, 633 N. St. Clair St., is offering three cocktails in honor of St. Patrick's Day. They are The Emerald, devised of equal parts vermouth and 15-year-aged Redbreast Irish Whiskey; Blood & Sand, featuring 10-year-aged Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey, Cherry Heering, vermouth, and fresh squeezed orange juice; and Penicillin, with Irish Whiskey Connemara, lemon juice, honey and fresh ginger. For reservations, call 312-274-4444 or visit OpenTable.

—Schaumburg's Shaw's Crab House, 1900 E. Higgins Rd., is hosting another "Princesses and Pirates Brunch" on Sunday, March 15, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Kids and their parents are invited for a meet-and-greet with their favorite princesses and pirates and a kid-friendly buffet with shellfish and seafood, traditional breakfast items and a sweets table. The brunch costs $52 for adult and is free for kids 12 and younger; visit .

—Burger King has dropped fountain drinks from its kids' menu boards and they are no longer merchandised as part of Burger King Kids Meals, USA Today noted. The unannounced move late last month—under pressures from advocacy groups—follows similar announced moves in recent months by McDonald's and Wendy's. Instead of soft drinks, the BK menu for kids will offer fat-free milk, 100-percent apple juice and low-fat chocolate milk.

—Sports fans take note: In celebration of March Madness, Compass Bar, 433 W. Diversey Pkwy., will feature $20 craft and $15 domestic buckets as well as $6 chicken tenders throughout the tournament. Guests can catch the games on eight TVs throughout the bar. Visit .

—In related news, Glazed and Infused will mark March Madness with items such as the the jumbo doughnut ( $18 ), a glazed doughnut ring that is 16" in diameter. Sweetwater Tavern and Grille, 225 N. Michigan Ave., will have options such as smoked wings ( $12 ) and the Slam Dunk cocktail ( $9 ), with Bacardi Lemon, Goose Island Green Line and lemonade. Also, Old Town Pour House will have options such as the B-Ball Burger ( $14 ), with angus beef, barbacoa, bacon onion jam and cheddar; it's served with onion rings or parsley fries.

—Sable Kitchen & Bar and Hotel Palomar, 505 N. State St., are celebrating their fifth-year anniversary and hosting a special party on Tuesday, March 24. The space will be open to the public 5-7 p.m. There will be complimentary hors d'oeuvres ( such as crispy pork-belly BLTs ) and signature craft cocktails, as well as entertainers such as sketch artist Rosemary Fanti and DJ Brent Rolland.

—The luxury lifestyle hotel Thompson Chicago, 21 E. Bellevue St., llaunches the second annual "Golden Egg in the Gold Coast" event. All guests staying overnight on Saturday, April 4, have the opportunity to hunt for several color-coated eggs hidden throughout 10 hotel guest rooms that hold special prizes including complimentary in-room dining, drinks in Salone Nico, and the prized gilded golden egg hiding a complimentary overnight stay. Visit or call 312-266-2100.

—Oak Brook restaurant El Tapeo will offer a special a la carte Easter brunch on Sunday, April 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Items at the Spanish eatery will include Iberian eggs Benedict, Spanish omelet and Spanish cava mimosas, among other items. Children will enjoy a special Easter movie viewing, a coloring and separate cookie station, and will leave with bags filled with Easter candy and treats ( reservation required for families with children ). Visit .

—Easter brunch at the Florentine, 151 W. Adams St., is $55 for adults, $20 for children under 12; also, for the adults, access to the mimosa bar or unlimited Bloody Marys is available for an additional $15. Culinary fare will include buttermilk pancakes with blueberry preserves as well as carving ham and lamb stations. Reservations are recommended; call 312-660-8866.

—A10 Hyde Park Eatery & Bar, 1462 E. 53rd St., will be serving Easter brunch on Sunday, April 5, at 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Guests will start on a sweet note with an assortment of housemade pastries such as banana muffins, hot-crossed sticky buns and crystallized ginger scones. A selection of entrees will be offered, including lobster Benedict, chicken-fried q1uail and cinnamon-raisin French toast. The cost is $35 per person ( includes coffee or tea ); call 773-288-1010.

—Tortoise Club, 350 N. State St., will host an Easter buffet on Sunday, April 5, 11-7:30 p.m. Items include a Belgian waffle station, eggs Benedict florentine, a raw seafood bar and desserts, among others offerings. The cost is $22 ( children 5-12 )-$59 ( adults ). Visit .

—Devon Seafood Grill, 39 E. Chicago Ave., is offering a special Easter prix fixe menu prepared by Executive Chef John Cosnotti on Sunday, April 5, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Salad options include Maine lobster bisque, among others; entrees include center-cut filet, seared George's Bank scallops, bone-in pork chop and/or jumbo crab cakes; and dessert options are vanilla bean creme brulee, lava cake, berries and cream, and apple croustade. Call 312-440-8660 or visit .

—Modern French bistro Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash St., will offer a seasonally focused three-course Easter brunch menu on Sunday, April 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The price is $39 for adults and $19 for children 12 years and under. ( Bottomless mimosas are available to adults for $15 per person. ) The many offerings will include short-stack pancakes, Bistronomic deviled eggs, savory crepes, Scottish salmon salad and chocolate hazelnut bars, among others. NOTE: The a la carte brunch menu will not be available during Easter brunch. Call 312-944-8400 or visit .

—Moviegoers can treat their families to a film at the ShowPlace Icon Theatre at 150 W. Roosevelt Rd. this Easter. Movie highlights will include Home, Furious 7, Cinderella and Insurgent. Guests who are 21+ can enjoy $12 specialty cocktails in the lobby lounge as well as signature pizza, paninis, desserts, and meat and cheese plates. Movie tickets are $7.50-$13.

—In celebrating the James Beard Awards' inaugural debut in Chicago, the chefs of The Langham, 330 N. Wabash Ave., partner with the James Beard Foundation to host a Celebrity Chef Tour dinner on April 16 at 6:30 p.m. The Langham hotel's Executive Chef Anthony Zamora—along with Travelle's Chef Tim Graham and Pastry Chef Scott Green—will create a six-course menu in collaboration with past and present award-winning and nominated Chicago-based chefs, including Chef Chris Pandel of Balena, The Bristol, and Formeto's; Chef Giuseppe Tentori of GT Fish & Oyster; Chef Paul Virant of Perennial Virant and Vie Restaurant; and Chef Andrew Zimmerman of Sepia. Tickets are $190 per person, all inclusive. Reservations are strongly required, as there are only 125 seats available; call 312-923-9988 or visit

—The 5th Annual Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival ( APF )—presented by The Specialty Food Association—will take place Saturday, April 25, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Chicago French Market ( 131 N. Clinton St. ), which co-produces the festival with Pastoral. Greg O'Neill & Ken Miller, co-owners/co-founders of Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, created the APF to showcase the talents of local, national and international producers of high quality artisan foods and beverages.

—On Feb. 28, the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation welcomed 14 culinary teams and eight management teams composed of high school ProStart students from across the state to compete in the 14th Annual Illinois ProStart® Invitational. The culinary team from Technology Center of DuPage and the management team from Oswego High School won their respective competitions.

—White Oak Tavern, 1200 W. Webster Ave., will start weekend brunch Saturday, March 28. Among the slated offerings are housemade tamales, brunch salad, open-faced Cuban sandwiches and sourdough waffles; drink will include the Bloody Mary, beermosa and Ten Million Strong ( Rhine Hall oaked grappa, chinato and freshly squeezed orange juice ). Visit

—Stan's Donuts & Coffee is joining forces with John Manion, chef/owner of the West Loop Latin-inspired eatery La Sirena Clandestina, for a special donut collaboration for March. The third installment of Stan's monthly guest donut series features a salted dulce de leche "Squaresmarck" ( a square-shaped version of a classic bismarck ) through Friday, March 20, for $3.25 each at both Stan's locations ( 1560 N. Damen Ave. and 259 E. Erie St. ). Additionally, $.25 from every donut purchased will be donated to UN 86'd ( which helps restaurant professionals in need ); Manion sits on its board of directors. See .

—Lush Wine & Spirits offers charcuterie as well at neighborhood locations in the West Loop and Roscoe Village. ( The University Village site has closed. ) People can choose a flight of three from a selection that includes duck prosciutto, foie gras pate, cappicola, chorizo rioja, Pata Negra ham and more. Visit

—Atwood, 1 W. Washington St., has opened its downtown Chicago restaurant after a three-month renovation, unveiling a remodeled dining room and expanded bar area. March also marks the 120th anniversary of the famed Reliance Building, a National Historic Landmark now known as Kimpton's Hotel Burnham. Located inside its historical structure, Atwood is the first installment of Hotel Burnham's $4.1-million renovation, which will conclude with newly renovated guest rooms and public spaces this spring. Helmed by Executive Chef Brian Millman and Head Bartender Ray Anguiano, the opening will also mark the debut of new spring menus featuring seasonal American food and drink.

—In celebration of Women's History Month, Francesca's Restaurant Group pays homage to notable female leaders in the culinary world and beyond with specialty offerings at Francesca's Restaurants, Davanti Enoteca, and Glazed and Infused. For example, Glazed and Infused celebrates the World War II icon Rosie the Riveter with the special "We Can Donut!" doughnut, a play on the iconic "We Can Do It" inspirational poster. Visit .

—Eduardo's Enoteca, 1212 N. Dearborn St., is launching its spring menu. Culinary offerings include a grilled spring vegetable pesto pizza ( $16 ) and grilled pork tenderloin ( $22 ), among others. Spring cocktails ( for $12 ) include Purple Rain ( bourbon, splash of lemon juice, simple syrup, muddled blueberries, orange bitters and a lemon twist ), and others. Visit or call 312-337-4490.

—Dining Out for Life will take place Thursday, April 30, in dozens of cities across the nation—including New York City, one of the newest locations to help in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Chicago will also be among the 60 sites involved. Visit .

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