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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-11-25
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Fogo's $750K renovation: 437 Rush gets new chef
Dining news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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—Fogo de Chao, 661 N. LaSalle St., has marked its 10th anniversary with a $750,000 renovation and expansion, adding private dining rooms, a restyled bar/lounge and a more elaborate gourmet salad bar. New menu items include grill mozzarella cheese on skewers and lamb T-bone. See .

—Phil Stefani's 437 Rush, 437 N. Rush St., has announced Christian Fantoni (formerly of Filini Bar and Restaurant in Chicago) as executive chef. New menu highlights from Fantoni include grilled ahi tuna eggplant capponata with aged balsamic ($36); and roasted Chilean sea bass, peperonata, cipollini and pepper couly ($37), among other items. See .

—The Cookie Joint, which advertises itself as the "home of the cookie fries," has launched. The treats come in five varieties: original, chocolate chip, double chocolate chip, cinnamon spice and chocolate toffee crunch. Dipping sauce flavors include tangy raspberry, lemon, salted caramel, hazelnut, chocolate, marshmallow and peanut butter. However, cookies are in traditional form as well. Orders can be placed at or by calling 847-461-3068.

—On Sunday, Dec. 2, Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club, 3700 N. Halsted St., will host an all-Britney brunch service from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The date marks the pop princess' 31st birthday. Brunch guests will bop along to the singer's music and will enjoy entertainment by Diva Madam X performing as Spears. The full brunch menu will be available, and martinis will be half-priced (11 a.m.-2 p.m.). See .

—Fabio Viviani, a contender on the fifth season of Top Chef, is opening his first Chicago restaurant, an Italian eatery in the River North area, according to . It's slated to open early next year. Viviani teamed with Lucas Stoioff and David Rekhson of DineAmic Group to come up with what they hope are an authentic menu and atmosphere.

—Weather Mark Tavern, 1503 S. Michigan Ave., has announced its daily specials. The nautically themed restaurant and bar offers an extensive menu, but specials include a $7 burger with two toppings and a domestic pint (Mondays) and 50-cent wings (with drink purchase) and $5 Skyy Vodka drinks (Tuesdays), among others. See .

—CiNe is now open in Hinsdale. The modern taqueria featuring contemporary Mexican dishes will be open for dinner six days a week, Tuesday through Sunday. Lunch options will be available next summer, when the outdoor patio opens. See for more info.

—Speaking of Hinsdale, Zak's Place, a white-tablecloth bistro, has closed after five years in that city, according to . Yamandu Perez emailed patrons, "Sadly we can no longer afford the costs of doing business, so we've decided to say farewell."

—Fulton's on the River, 315 N. LaSalle St., will offer a Thanksgiving menu that includes items such as seared Atlantic salmon, apple cider-brined turkey breasts, brioche stuffing, broccoli casserole and banana cream pie, among many other items. Executive Chef Kevin Schulz's holiday spread is available for $49.95 for adults and $15.95 for children 12 and under. (Kids under 3 eat free.) See .

—Red Violet, 121 W. Hubbard St., is now serving a dim sum brunch on Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The dim sum tasting for two is $20. Items include mixed greens with citrus carrot dressing, jiaozi filled with beef and pork, crystal prawn dumpling, taro fries, shrimp shu mai, siao long bao (mini buns filled with soup broth, blue crab and pork), vegetarian buns and a beverage. See .

—ENO Wine Room, 505 N. Michigan Ave., will host a special event with Corey Braunel, co-owner of Dusted Valley Winery, on Wed., Nov. 14, 6-8 p.m. The Dusted Valley Winery flight ($18) will include 40 Nights Red, Boomtown Syrah and the Dusted Valley Malbec. No reservations are needed; call 312-321-8738.

—The nightspot Cocktail, 3359 N. Halsted St., has unveiled drinks for fall such as the Not So Cosmopolitan; the drinks are $7-$12. As for the club's decor, it incorporates items such as lit onyx bar panels, with large-screen plasma screens coming soon. Call 773-477-1420.

—From now through Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22), Downtown Dogs, 804 N. Rush St., is donating one dollar of every regularly priced $3.45 Downtown Dog directly to the Ann & Robert H Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago Foundation. To encourage sales, Downtown Dogs will extend its hours to 3 a.m. on Fridays and 4 a.m. on Saturdays.

—Cru Cafe and Wine Bar, 25 E. Delaware Pl., has unveiled its holiday cocktail list. Items include the Cranberry Mistletoe (cranberry aromatic bitters, Prosecco, sugar cube), Cozy Amsterdam (Italian pistachio liqueur, Dutch holiday eggnog and dash of bourbon whiskey, served chilled) and Royale Chocolate (hot cocoa, King's Ginger liquor, Royal Combier orange liqueur). See .

—GT Fish & Oyster, 531 N. Wells St., will start brunch service Saturday, Nov. 17. Offerings include crab Benedict featuring Swiss chard and homemade hollandaise; biscuits and lobster gravy with lobster and potato hash; and Pastry Chef Sarah Jordan's French toast crafted with key lime, grapefruit and mascarpone. See

—The new Bucktown restaurant Grass Fed, 1721 N. Damen Ave., has just launched a new fixed-price dinner menu with the addition of a chicken and seafood option. The current selections are the cast-iron boneless half chicken and Porter mussels. For more information, call 773-342-6000 or visit .

—Shaw's Crab House (Chicago and Schaumburg locations) is offering holiday platters and pies to go. Half-gallon soups range from clam chowder to lobster bisque and jambalaya, and they're packaged with a ladle, bowls and oyster crackers ($25-$30); pies range from key lime to pecan to pumpkin. Visit .

—French bar Troquet, 1834 W. Montrose Ave., has announced a list of daily specials. Items include Croque Monsieur, Croque Madame (with a fried egg), Croque vegetarian (hot sandwich with caramelized onion, brie and spinach), charcuterie plates and desserts including the Mousse "Troquet" (chocolate and Nutella mousse). See .

—Frontier, 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave., is closed Thanksgiving Day; however, Executive Chef Brian Jupiter will offer guests the option to order whole smoked Amish turkeys to go on that day for pick-up from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Available sides include cornbread stuffing, sweet potato puree and more. It's $75 for a 15-pound turkey and $95 for a 20-pounder; call 773-772-4322. (Orders are due Nov. 19.)

—Deleece, 3747 N. Southport Ave., is serving a three-course dinner 3-8 p.m. on Thanksgiving day for $38 per person. Courses include items such as soup, wild striped bass, organic roasted Amish turkey, curried cauliflower and pumpkin cheesecake. Call 773-325-1710 or visit .

—The Hawaiian fusion restaurant Roy's, 720 N. State St., is offering a taste of fall with the launch of its three-course fall prix fixe menu for $36.95 per person. Choices include apple and quinoa salad; Togarashi salmon; and Roy's melting hot chocolate souffle, among others. See .

—East Bank Club is hosting Thanksgiving dinner. The East Bank Club's signature restaurant, Maxwell's at the Club (500 N. Kingsbury St.), is offering a traditional turkey dinner buffet with all the trimmings, 1-7 p.m., on Nov. 22. Executive Chef Mike Lodes is featuring a variety of appetizer and salad choices, and there will be a carving station with turkey, prime rib and leg of lamb. The price is $45 ($12 for children 10 and under); visit or call 312-527-5800, ext. 301.

—Gourmet food store The Goddess and Grocer (25 E. Delaware St., 1646 N. Damen Ave. and 2222 N. Elston Ave.) is catering "Thanksgiving for 12," a seven-course meal that includes everything from whipped sweet potatoes to a roasted whole turkey. The cost is $375; call 773-292-7100 or email by Nov. 19.

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