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Dining news: 'Stranger Things' pop-up, birthday bonbon, 'The Food Show'
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-08-29

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—Netflix's TV show Stranger Things has given rise to a pop-up bar in Logan Square thanks to the team behind Emporium Arcade Bar, Eater Chicago noted. The Upside Down is at 2367 N. Milwaukee Ave. ( at Emporium's pop-up space that housed Surf Bar ) and will last through the fourth week of September. There's seven cocktails, including two slushies, including Eleven's Eggo's, which has a maple syrup taste and is garnished with a waffle wedge. The hours are 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Wednesday through Friday; noon to 3 a.m. on Saturday; noon to 2 a.m. on Sunday.

—Burrito Beach launched a frozen custard birthday bonbon at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital location ( 251 E. Huron, Feinberg Pavilion, second floor ). The bonbon ( $4 ) features creamy, housemade vanilla custard sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies, and topped with sprinkles and a birthday candle.

—The Neo-Futurists present Ensemble Member Dan Kerr-Hobert's The Food Show, partnering with Metropolitan Brewing to bring the site-specific world premiere to the brewery's new Avondale location, 3057 N. Rockwell Ave., through Saturday, Sept. 2. A press release says, "The Food Show, created by Dan Kerr-Hobert with the help of his cousin and Neo-Futurist alum Caitlin Stainken, explores how food brings us together and sets us apart." Tickets are $10-25; visit NeoFuturists.org or call 773-275-5255.

—Il Tavolino—the Conrad Chicago's modern Italian cafe at 101 E. Erie St.—is launching a new menu, expanded hours and new programming. Executive Chef Thomas Hines joined the Conrad Chicago as the hotel executive chef in July. There are now expanded hours: Breakfast is offered seven days a week from 6:30-11 a.m., and an all-day menu is available Sunday-Thursday at 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Friday-Saturday at 11 a.m.-10 p.m. A few of the menu highlights include wild-mushroom penne, kale Caesar salad and prosciutto di San Danielle pizza. See IlTavolinochicago.com .

—Nando's PERi-PERi—the South African-Portuguese restaurant known for its spicy flame-grilled chicken—celebrates the opening of its flagship Chicago restaurant on Monday, Sept. 4, at 155 N. Michigan Ave. This new and highest profile location, at Michigan Avenue and Lake Street, will mark the 12th Nando's to open in and around Chicago over the past two years.

—On Sept. 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Maple & Ash, 8 W. Maple St., will go totally al freswco—but for one day only. Guests will be able to experience Maple & Ash; downstairs at sister concept Eight Bar and Patio; and feast and imbibe on Maple & Ash-only staples like the Fire Roasted Seafood Tower, caviar and steak all on the patio. Eight Bar and Patio will be turning into a mini-Maple & Ash, featuring select menu items. See MapleAndAsh.com .

—On Labor Day ( Monday, Sept. 4 ), several restaurants will offer brunch. Smoke Daddy, 1804 W. Division St., will open at 10 a.m. for brunch with offerings such as Smoke Daddy's Famous Bloody Mary and the Brisket Breakfast Skillet. Crosby's Kitchen, 3455 N. Southport Ave., will open at 8:30 a.m. and feature popular menu items such as its signature housemade monkey bread. Ella Elli, 1349 W. Cornelia Ave., will open at 10 a.m. with items such as mimosa bottle service ( $42 ); avocado toast served with a slow poached egg and everything seasoning ( $8 ); and stuffed brioche French toast made with chocolate, berries and cardamom-powdered sugar ( $12 ).

—Chicago's Shaw's Crab House is offering half off oysters in the Oyster Bar on Labor Day. Shaw's offers a variety of freshly shucked oysters, made-to-order sushi and more than 40 seafood dishes, including Alaskan king crab legs. See ShawsCrabHouse.com .

—Spanish restaurant Mercat a la Planxa will host its fourth annual Paella Cook Off on Thursday, Sept. 7, 6-9 p.m. Guests can enjoy samples of each of the paellas as well as tapas crafted by Chef Diego Lopez Amat and wine and sangria provided by Mercat's beverage team. Tickets are $50 each; visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mercat-a-la-planxas-4th-annual-paella-cook-off-tickets-36597321574.

—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 ChezMoiChicago.com .

—Chicago Bourbon & Barbecue Fest will make its debut in the Roscoe Village neighborhood ( at Roscoe and Damen avenues ) on Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 9-10. Hours are noon-10 p.m. both days. Ticketed tastings of barrel-aged Southern bourbon whiskeys will be 2-6 p.m. each afternoon; with the purchase of a $40 daily tasting pass, ticket holders will be able to savor up to 12 bourbon samples ( a sample size is one quarter of an ounce ) in a souvenir tasting glass. Among the vendors selling barbecued treats will be Aussum Aussie Australian BBQ, Luella's Southern Kitchen, Robinson's Ribs and Bill's Grill. A portion of the $5 gate donation benefits the Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce. See BourbonAndBBQ.com .

—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 HQRiverNorth.com/product-page/evil-queens-a-very-boozy-disney-sing-along-single-ticket.

—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 ItalianVillage-Chicago.com .

—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 stauschman@lawrysonline.com .

—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 HoneyButter.com .

—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 https://www.eataly.com/us_en/classes-and-events/pizza-pasta-meets-identit-golose-2017-10-07-3298.

—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.

—Making a stop in Chicago on Friday-Saturday, Sept. 22-23, Brooklyn Brewery Mash presents Beer Mansion—an interactive, multi-room celebration of beer, food, music and community. Part of an international seven-city world tour, Beer Mansion makes its way to Morgan's on Fulton, 950 W. Fulton. with a two-day event featuring room after room of Brooklyn Brewery themed beer-tasting experiences, as well as home-grown Chicago breweries such as Solemn Oath, Hopewell Brewing Company, Marz Community Brewing. Also check out food from local restaurants such as Budlong Hot Chicken, an exclusive preview of Chef Danny Espinoza's Lobo Rey tacos, Bombay Wraps and more. Tickets ( $55 each ) are at BrooklynBreweryMash.com/Chicago.

—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 socialpowerhour.com 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 KohlerFoodandWine.com .

—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 JamesBeard.org/taste-america-tickets. 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 https://kendallcollegetrust.org/events/fried-chicken-event/.

Send items to Andrew@WindyCityMediaGroup.com or follow on Twitter @Azygous60610.


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