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Dining news: The Walk-In, Chicago Gourmet, Stephanie Izard
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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—The Walk-In ( accessible through a walk-in cooler door at Red Star Liquor, 2727 N. Milwaukee Ave. ) has launched a new seasonal cocktail menu ( with items such as the Colorado Bulldog, a $12 concoction with vodka, coffee, coconut, cream and cola ), new daily happy-hour specials and a new "friendly as f*ck" attitude—so much so that its new web domain is . With indoor seating for 50 in a combination of booths, drink rails and bar space and outdoor patio seating for an additional 20, The Walk-In welcomes dog-friendly dogs both inside the bar and outside on the patio.

—Tickets are available for the 10th annual bon appetit presents Chicago Gourmet, being held Sept. 19-24. Some of the events include the Hamburger Hop ( Sept. 22 at the Harris Theater rooftop ), the Grand Tasting ( Sept. 23-24 in Millennium Park ) and the Rise & Shine Gourmet ( Sept. 24 at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel ). Just a few of the chefs slated to appear are Curtis Stone, Carla Hall, Stephanie Izard, Carrie Nahabedian, Art Smith, Mindy Segal and Tony Mantuano. See .

—To mark Chicago Gourmet's 10th anniversary, a mystery pop-up has been revealed. It will happen Sept. 21, 6-9 p.m., and it's the Italian Feast on the Chicago Riverwalk ( $175/person ). Presented by Performance Foodservice, guests will enjoy a multi-course dinner prepared by Chicago's beloved Italian chefs, including Sarah Grueneberg ( Monteverde ), Tony Mantuano ( Spiaggia, Cafe Spiaggia, Terzo Piano ), Tony Priolo ( Piccolo Sogno, Nonnina ) and Fabio Viviani ( Siena Tavern, Bar Siena, Barrio ). See .

—Chicago chef Stephanie Izard will team with Delicacies Jewelry for the second quarter of the 2017-2018 year of its charitable endeavor, the Chef's Table. Founded by Nicolle Nelson, the first-of-its-kind epicurean jewelry line's charitable efforts are spearheaded by the Travel Channel's Andrew Zimmern. Izard has selected Share Our Strength, a campaign to end child hunger in the United States, as the charity for her quarter beginning July 1; see .

—For National Hot Dog Day ( July 19 ), several chains are offering giveaways, special deals and free hot dogs. For example, participating Burger King locations are selling classic grilled hot dogs for 79 cents each throughout the entire month, while Sonic Drive-In will have All-American & Chili Cheese Coney dogs for $1 each.

—Restaurateurs Kevin and Brian Hahn have opened the doors to their third location, Main Street Pub, 204 W. Main St., St. Charles. Corporate Chef Scott Fisher and General Manager Chris Dodsworth are also on the team for the restaurant, known for its never-frozen, hand-pattied, half-pound Angus burgers. A ribbon-cutting ceremony with local dignitaries followed by a public grand opening party is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 3, at 4:30 p.m. at the new full-service restaurant and bar ( which is already open to the public ).

—Looking for frozen drinks? Check out Big Jones, 5347 N. Clark St., which has frozen juleps ( homemade rhubarb shrub, bonded Bourbon, mint and sugar ) as well as frozen rose juleps ( rose, roasted oranges, pineapple and rum ). There's also Bunny Slope, 15 E. Ohio St., which has the cognac-filled Chalet Frappe, the mulled German wine-infused Snow-Wein, the Alaskan Riesling-based Freeze-Ling and the dessert-like Apres Ski ( rum, crème de cacao, Amaro Averna and dairy ).

—Ronero, 738 W. Randolph St., the Latin American restaurant and rum bar on the West Loop's Restaurant Row, is now open for weekend brunch. There are buffet-style stations ( Breakfast, Crepes y Waffles, and Ceviches & Tiraditos ) as well as breakfast specials such as galletas y salsa ( queso fresco biscuits with chorizo gravy ) and mollettes ( tartine-style toasted torta bread with avocado, smoked salmon and sunflower sprouts ). See .

—Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants has opened its ninth Chicago area location in Oak Park at 950 Lake St. Menu favorites include pan-roasted barramundi, candied bacon and artisan cheeses, Southern hot chicken, and shrimp-and-scallop risotto. The company was founded in 2005 by CEO Tim McEnery. See .

—Lettuce Entertain You has opened ASAP Poke, a delivery-only restaurant that will be serving signature and make-your-own poke bowls and rolls. ASAP Poke is a collaboration between Chef Tim Hockett ( M Burger, Nacional 27 and Tallboy Taco ), Naoki Sushi's Chef Naoki Nakashima, and Chef Hisanobu Osaka. See .

—LondonHouse Chicago, 85 E. Upper Wacker Dr., will hold an adults-only prom-themed event on July 22, 6-10 p.m., to commemorate the hotel's one-year anniversary. In addition to celebrating the one year anniversary of LondonHouse Chicago, the event will benefit Dress for Success, a charity organization dedicated to empowering women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the career development tools. Admission starts at $125/adult, and it includes open bar and appetizers; visit .

—Latinicity is offering an interactive Columbian cooking class on Saturday, July 22, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. For $35 each, patrons will learn to make plantain fritters, corn and cheese arepas, ajiaco coup and fried mojarra. Visit

—Through Sunday, July 23, Tortoise Supper Club, 350 N. State St., will mark Martini Week by offering Ketel One Vodka or Broker's Gin martinis for $3.95 each with the purchase of an entree. See

—Mercadito Chicago, 108 W. Kinzie St., is celebrating National Tequila Day with a special prix fixe menu including a specialty Mercadito tequila cocktail of the patron's choice, available on Monday, July 24, 3 p.m.-12 a.m. The prix fixe menu costs $35 per person ( plus tax and gratuity ), and includes a trio of guacamole, two dishes of ceviches or botanas, four tacos, one side dish, a dessert and specialty tequila cocktail. Call 312-329-9555 or visit .

—Carnivale will host a beach party-themed brunch on Sunday, July 23, at 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. The brunch will include dishes like ricotta pancakes, chicken 'n waffles, DIY Bloody Mary bar, mimosa kits and specialty cocktails; for a complimentary mimosa, guests are invited to wear their best retro beachwear Special guests will include pinup models Ruby Spencer, Miss Tammi Savoy and Sadie North, and DJ AJ Dubbz and a photo booth will also be present. Reservations are strongly recommended; call 312-850-5005 or visit

—Chuy's, a Tex-Mex restaurant in the South, will open its first Chicagoland location in Warrenville on Tuesday, July 25. Chuy's opened on April 16, 1982, in an old, abandoned Texas barbecue joint in Austin, Texas. A few of the items include quesadillas, burritos, tacos, enchiladas and fajitas. See .

—ZED451, 739 N. Clark St., will host a "Meet Our Sommeliers" event on Thursday, July 27, 6-8 p.m. The event will feature a variety of wine samplings paired with artisan cheeses and charcuterie stations. Tickets are $35 per person ( excluding tax ) and are available at .

—For International Chicken Wing Day ( July 29 ), Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., is offering spicy pina colada wings. Jake's jumbo wings ( served with ranch dressing ) are fried until crispy, tossed in their house-made spicy pina colada sauce and garnished with toasted coconut.

—In recognition of National Chicken Wing Day on Saturday, July 29, MAK: Modern Asian Kitchen, 1924 W. Division St., will host a 29-cent wing "Flappy Hour" from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Guests can get their hands on MAK's signature Chicken Wangs for only 29-cents per wing with the purchase of any wine, sake, beer or soda ( minimum of five wings and maximum of 20 wings per order ). Also, all sake and wine is half-price from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 29.

—On Wed., Aug. 2, at 6:30 p.m., Chef Donny Farrell of Oyster Bah and Chef Cole Schweitzer of Bouefhaus will engage in a culinary battle at Oyster Bah, 1920 N. Halsted St. Not only will the winner take home the crown, but he will also receive a $1,000 gift certificate to present to the charity of his choice ( the Mental Health Association of Greater Chicago for Farrell and the Alzheimer's Association for Schweitzer ). The four-course dinner costs $59.95 per guest ( not including tax and gratuity ) and reservations are required. See .

—Chef Trevor Teich of the Claudia pop-up restaurant welcomes Chef Jake Bickelhaupt—formerly of two Michelin star 42 Grams restaurant—to join him for four exclusive collaborative fine-dining pop-up dinners on Friday, Aug. 11, and Sunday, Aug. 13. Also, tickets are still available for Teich's solo summer ten-course Claudia dinner on Friday, July 28, with seatings at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $225-$325 each; visit .

—The 16th installment of The Local Tourist's AlphaBeer will take place on Saturday, Aug. 12, 3-6 p.m., at A. J. Hudson's Public House, 3801 N. Ashland Ave. AlphaBeer features 26 beers—one for each letter of the alphabet—and beer-industry experts will give a full lesson on each beer. Admission is $50 each; see .

—Restaurants across the United States, along with founding corporate partner United Airlines and Woodford Reserve, will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Chef Charlie Trotter's eponymous restaurant during the 4th annual Charlie Trotter Days celebration Aug. 17-20 to raise funds for the Pillars of Excellence Mentor Program. To benefit the Trotter Project, which celebrated its 3rd anniversary in June, United Airlines will donate $1 for every Choice Menu Bistro on Board item sold on all domestic flights during the celebration. For the current list of participating restaurants, visit .

—On Sunday, Aug. 20, at 5:30 p.m., Oyster Bah, 1920 N. Halsted St., will host an oyster roast, leading to a champagne and Chesapeake fried-chicken dinner as well as peach slab for dessert. The evening costs $39.95 per person ( exclusive of tax and gratuity ). Call 773-248-3000.

—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 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.

Send items to or follow on Twitter @Azygous60610 .

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