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Dining news: 'Twelve Days,' Grace closes, new spots, NYE options
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-12-26

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—Inspired by the famous carol, Sable Kitchen & Bar, 505 N. State St., is offering Twelve Days of Christmas Cocktails, available Dec. 26, 2017-Jan. 6, 2018. Drinks include Three French Hens ( Dec. 28 ), a trio of original prosecco cocktails served in sherry glasses; and Eight Maids A-Milking ( Jan. 2 ), a trio of milk-based brandy punch cocktails served in mini-milk bottles. See SableChicago.com .

—In the wake of chef Curtis Duffy's and GM Michael Muser's departures, Grace—the three-Michelin-star restaurant in the West Loop—has closed, according to Eater Chicago. Much of the restaurant's staff walked out on a day after Duffy's exit; Muser had left Dec. 1. Their departures came after failed attempts from Duffy and Muser to buy the restaurant from the majority stakeholder, real-estate agent Michael Olszewski. The Sun-Times received a statement from Olszewski, saying, "This space will live to see another day with yet another great restaurant headed by a new team that will make Chicago and the restaurant community proud." Muser and Duffy have teased a sequel to Grace.

—Victory Meat & Seafood, a neighborhood steak and seafood restaurant, has opened at 116 N. York St., Elmhurst. Co-owned and operated by Culinary Director Chef Joe Farina, the restaurant serves what a press release called "a selection of prime meats and seasonal fish in a Nantucket-casual-meets-city-chic neighborhood eatery." There are also an oyster bar and cocktail lounge serving chef-created seasonal drinks and old-school classics, sommelier-selected wines and craft beers. See VictoryMeatAndSeafood.com .

—Maillard Tavern has opened at 494 N. Milwaukee Ave. The newest restaurant from co-owners Tony Priolo and Ciro Longobardo ( Piccolo Sogno; Nonnina ) offers eight custom burgers, such as the Maillard burger, with crispy onions, bacon & onion jam, cheddar, pickles and dijon mayo ( $14 ); or the The Grass Fed Burger, with a vegetable "Impossible Burger" patty, mushrooms, chipotle mayo, swiss cheese and cilantro ( $15 ). The menu also includes specialty sandwiches and soups, salad and desserts ( ranging from donut sticks to spiked milkshakes ). See MaillardTavern.com .

—Lowcountry—a boil-in-a-bag seafood destination that originated in Wrigleyville—has announced a second location opening in the South Loop, 1132 S. Wabash Ave., in early 2018. Lowcountry's specialty sides like jalapeño honey butter cornbread carry over to the second location, and a craft cocktail program developed by Beverage Director Raymond Chester will feature large-format cocktails and local beer towers.

—On New Year's Eve, Shaw's Chicago, 21 E. Hubbard St., is hosting brunch at 9 a.m.-2 p.m. with all of its diner's buffet favorites from classic breakfast items to cold & hot seafood dishes. In addition, all diners will receive a $25 gift certificate to use toward lunch in the new year. Brunch costs $59 for adults, $10 for children ages 7-12, and is free for children under 6 ( exclusive of tax, gratuity, and beverages ); RSVP at 312-527-2722.

—Benny's Chop House, 444 N. Wabash Ave., will ring in the new year with music from jazz duo Carmen Stokes and Lynn Hilton—the Benny's Chop House NYE Band—from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Dec. 31. Also, guests will have the option to order from the full Benny's dinner menu featuring Kobe Tajima beef tenderloin from the Hyogo Prefecture in Japan, shellfish towers, a raw bar and maple-glazed bacon, plus a selection of holiday food and beverage specials and a midnight champagne toast. For reservations, call 312-626-2444.

—Del Frisco's Esquire Champagne Room will open on New Year's Eve at 58 E. Oak St., 6 p.m.-1 a.m. There will be live piano as well a dining menu with items such as king crab spring roll, lamb lollipops, foie gras mousse and oysters on the half-shell, among others. Seating is limited; reservations can be made by calling 312-846-6575.

—For New Year's Eve, Baptiste & Bottle, 101 E. Erie St., will have a Bourbon Street-themed tasting menu with seatings at 5:30 p.m. ( $95 each ) and 8:30 p.m. ( $125 each ). There will be live music during the second seating only.

—On New Year's Eve, Brindille, 534 N. Clark St., will offer a la carte dining options in addition to Chef Carrie Nahabedian's "Flavors of France" menu, highlighting Loire Valley. Tasting menus will also be available, with prices ranging from $125-$250 each according to menus and wine-pairing selections. See Brindille-Chicago.com .

—Avec, 615 W. Randolph St., will offer a four-course meal on New Year's Eve. Created by Chef de Cuisine Perry Hendrix, the meal will include items such as lamb tartare, gnocchi alla Romana, octopus tagine and a mezze of Mediterranean sweets. Two seatings are available, at 6 and 9 p.m.; visit "new year's eve at avec!" on Eventbrite.com .

—A prix fixe menu at The Dearborn, 145 N. Dearborn St., features a choice of three courses, including options such as the seafood tower, loup de mer, white alba truffle housemade gnocchi and jumbo ferrero rocher for dessert. The three-course menu will be $72 per person, with an optional $35 wine pairing. Two seatings are available at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Also, it will be open for New Year's Day brunch 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Reserve online at www.thedearborntavern.com .

—ROOF on theWit, 201 N State St., is hosting a Monte Carlo-inspired New Year's Eve Bash at 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 31. Those who purchase tickets—which range from $150 to $3,000—will have access to gaming tables, an open bar and entertainment from Chicago DJ Flipside. See RoofOnTheWit.com .

—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 GejasCafe.com .

—West Town Bakery is taking over Homestead on the Roof's rooftop, 1924 W. Chicago Ave., for a pop-up New Year's Day brunch filled with classic breakfast comfort food. The brunch is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and is priced at $39.95 for adults and $19.95 for kids, exclusive of beverages. Reservations will be available through OpenTable; walk-ins will be accepted if space is available.

—The food-centric documentary 42 Grams will arrive in movie theaters in January. It's the story of Chicago chef Jake Bickelhaupt's evolution from running an illegal restaurant out of his home to becoming a culinary celebrity in less than a year, all while fending off the toll it takes on his personal life. A complete list of theatrical screenings, as well as showtimes and ticketing information can be found at 42gramsfilm.com .

—On Monday, Jan. 1, Commonwealth Tavern, 2000 W. Roscoe St., will open at 10 a.m for a special "First Brunch of 2018," available until 3 p.m. Also, Commonwealth will broadcast the Citrus Bowl featuring Notre Dame vs. LSU Tigers at 12 p.m. Notre Dame Game day specials include $5 Guinness, $5 Jameson, $4 Fireball, $5 22-ounce Miller Lite Stadium Cups and $10 Fighting Irish Nachos. See CommonwealthChicago.com .

—Commonwealth Tavern, 2000 W. Roscoe St., will host a Golden Globes Award viewing party on Sunday, Jan. 7, starting at 7 p.m. ( Commonwealth has 12 TVs, including a 70-inch plasma television. ) Patrons will enjoy Golden Globes-themed drinks for $6 each, including the Red Carpet martini ( vodka, Cointreau, pomegranate juice and freshly squeezed lime juice ) and a Sparkling Golden Globes cocktail ( Cointreau, cherry bitters, brandied cherry, orange zest and chilled prosecco ) as well as a $6 Stiegl Goldbrau beers. See CommonwealthChicago.com .

—On Sunday, Jan. 21, six of Chicago's most well-respected chefs and mixologists will come together at GreenRiver, 259 E. Erie St., to raise money and awareness for mental health. The benefit dinner, entitled "121 Plates," symbolizes the 121 Americans who complete suicide each day, and gives participating chefs a platform to break the silence about suicide prevention in the hospitality industry and beyond. The evening consists of a one-time-only, six-course dinner with optional beverage pairings prepared by Brian Ahern ( Boeufhaus ), Aaron Lirette ( GreenRiver ), Ryan McCaskey ( Acadia ), Ryan Pfeiffer ( Blackbird ), Andrew Zimmerman ( Sepia/Proxi ) and Laura Kelton ( Sportsman's Club ). Tickets are $121 each ( with an optional wine pairing for $48 ); visit 121plates.org .

—On Friday, Jan. 22, JNK Concepts restaurant group will open Roka Akor in Oak Brook at Oakbrook Center, 166 Oakbrook Center. The menu will offer a steak program featuring Japanese and domestic Wagyu selections, including the coveted Certified Kobe Beef. The sushi program—named "Best Sushi Restaurant in the U.S." by Travel + Leisure and "Top 10 Sushi Spots in the United States" by Bon Appétit—features fresh fish that will be flown in daily. See RokaAkor.com .

—The Odyssey Cruise and Spirit of Chicago will offer special menus during Chicago Restaurant Week, Jan. 26-Feb. 8. Depending on the boat, the dishes will include organic spinach and kale salad, baked ziti, oven-baked Atlantic salmon filet, honey-and-sesame chicken and a dessert station. The cost is $33 each ( excluding taxes, gratuity and beverages ).

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


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