As most of you are aware, millions of people celebrated their love for each other last week during Valentine's Day ( which some might say is overcommercialized ).
In keeping with that special day, Mercadito ( 108 W. Kinzie St.; MercaditoRestaurants.com ), on Feb. 13, hosted "Amor por Favor"an event that mixed education, food, cocktails and a few free bottles of Jose Cuervo tequila.
Mercadito mixologist Paul Tanguay provided a bit of information about tequila, including its origins, and quizzed attendees ( providing a few free bottles to people who answered his questions correctly ). Jose Cuervo spokesperson Dustin Miller was the special guest.
However, the evening was also about Jose Cuervo cocktails ( including the wonderfully refreshing V9, which includes blanco, pineapple, giner, super greens and lime ).
Chef Aldo Ayala made some delicious dishes ( including some that even converted my dining companion ). Vientre de puerco featured herb-marinatd pork Belly, roasted sweet potato, cinnamon, honey, chile guajillo and microgreens. We also greatly liked carne y langosta, which combined grilled New York strip and poached lobster.
Mercadito has these experiential dinners monthly, with the upcoming dinner "Feliz Primavera" on Monday, March 20, 6-9 p.m. Chef Patricio Sandoval will prepare dinner, and the five-course menu will be paired with Fidencio mezcal. Tickets are $75; visit https://www.mercaditorestaurants.com/experiential-dinners/.
Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.
Coinciding with the end of Chicago's Restaurant week, more than 20 Andersonville restaurants have signed on for Andersonville's first official neighborhood restaurant week, continuing through Feb. 26. Some of the participants will include Hamburger Mary's, Big Jones, Andersonville Brewing, Vincent, Appellation/Pastoral, Lalibela Ethopian and Replay Andersonville. See Andersonville.org .
Celebrity chef Rick Bayless, known for his show Mexico: One Plate at a Time, closed his Chicago restaurants Feb. 16 in solidarity with staff who wish edto participate in demonstrations called "A Day Without Immigrants," CBS Chicago noted. "For three decades, we've been a place that has welcomed, respected and promoted our immigrant staff, friends and restaurant family," Bayless said on his website. Bayless closed Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, Xoco and Fonda Frontera.