Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-10-17
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



SAVOR The Fifty/50; Francesca's brunch; Baconfest Chicago
DISH: Weekly Dining Guide
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

The Fifty/50 ( 2047 W. Division St.; ), from—who else?—the Fifty/50 Restaurant Group, beat a lot of other places to the punch regarding sports bars kicking it up and serving patrons something more than plain burgers and corn chips.

For more than a decade, this casual spot has claimed that it's a sports bar that offers something more—and a recent visit convinced me of that, at least for now.

The smoked pork-belly burnt ends are quite beguiling appetizers—maple-cured and applewood-smoked, and accompanied by honey-mustard dipping sauce. However, there are other apps such as tempura popcorn shrimp ( addictive ), beer-battered pickles, buffalo calamari and even tempura-battered cauliflower ( reaching out to vegetarians, in another turn for a lot of sports bars ).

The Fifty/50 is famed for its wings, and they come in three varieties: regular breaded, boneless breaded and applewood-smoked. ( They like applewood here. ) On the other end, there are several salads available, including the Wicker Park, appropriately ( mixed greens, toasted pine nuts, goat cheese, cucumbers, vine tomatoes and roasted shallot vinaigrette ).

And, of course, there are burgers and baby-back ribs galore. I actually found the burgers particularly fascinating, with varieties such as HELL ( with habanero salsa, roasted jalapeños, Fifty/50 hot sauce and pepper jack cheese ), The O-Face ( Merkts cheddar, BBQ pulled pork, waffled mac'n'cheese on a pretzel bun ) and the very tasty Big Hered, which is a bison-based concoction.

By the way, keep this place is mind for casual patio dining this summer if you're a dog owner, as that area of this spot is canine-friendly.

Francesca's on Chestnut brunch

Francesca's on Chestnut ( 200 E. Chestnut St.; ) has a brunch that measures up with its other meals.

That's wonderful for at least two reasons: great quality at fantastic prices ( especially considering the restaurant is in the heart of Streeterville, one of the most most expensive neighborhoods in Chicago, if not the Midwest ). Arancini Benedict ( $13 ) involves crispy risotto balls with prosciutto, poached egg, hollandaise and house potatoes—and could be a meal on its own. Ditto for the delicious brioche French toast ( $10 ), which is made simply and wonderfully.

However, practically everything is a hit here, including the Davanti burger ( $16; roasted tomatoes, crispy mozzarella, arugula, bacon jam, and roasted garlic aioli, served on a brioche bun—and, yes, it's served with fries ). However, if that's not your style, other offerings at this particular Francesca's restaurant range from smoked salmon salad ( $14 ) to rigatoni alla paesana ( $13; rigatoni with roasted sausage, wild mushrooms and peas in a light tomato cream sauce ).

And with the money you save, you can hit the shops on nearby Michigan Avenue—maybe.

Baconfest: Meat-and-greet

Thousands of attendees got to "ham it up" April 6-7 at the UIC Forum, where Baconfest Chicago took place.

At Baconfest—where a portion of the proceeds go to the Greater Chicago Food Depository—Chicago and suburban chefs concoct and serve dishes to thousands of bacon lovers. Just a few of the restaurants present this year included The Heritage ( which served bacon-and-red floriani cornmeal dumplings ), Bites ( Billionaire's BLT bao ), Carnivale ( maple-bacon pops ), Inspiration Kitchen ( bacon pistachio beet empanadas ), Italian Village Restaurants ( bacon BBQ truffle ) and Edzo's Burger Shop ( pancake-and-bacon milkshakes ). In addition, there were alcoholic beverages and other products ( such as Burton's Maple Syrups ) that complemented the meats.

Keep up with the latest Baconfest news at

Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

DINING A'ville Pastoral closing, Wine Riot, 'Buffy' pop-up 2018-10-16 - —The Andersonville outpost of Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine retail and its sister business, Appellation Wine Bar & Restaurant, will close after ...

Gay News

SAVOR Twain, Halloween in Andersonville 2018-10-15 - The new Logan Square restaurant Twain ( 2445 N. Milwaukee Ave.; )—which, yes, is named after the famed author and reflects where ...

Gay News

DINING South African wines, pheasant pie, Truluck's expansion 2018-10-09 - —Booth One, 1301 N. State Pkwy., is hosting a South African wine tasting in the Library Bar on Thursday, Oct. 11, 6-8 p.m. ...

Gay News

SAVOR Showroom Food Hall; Conn's Catering 2018-10-08 - The purposes of a food court or hall is to make sure patrons have a variety of culinary items to choose from—and to ...

Gay News

DINING Shaw's anniversary, Michelin spots, Sable director 2018-10-02 - —Shaw's Crab House is celebrating its 30th "Pearl" anniversary of Oyster Fest on Oct. 4-12 at Shaw's Crab House Chicago, 21 E. Hubbard ...

Gay News

Walton Street Kitchen + Bar; Chicago Gourmet 2018-10-01 - Maybe it's because I just saw a Chicago Cubs game before writing this review/profile, but Ballyhoo Hospitality Group has hit a home run ...

Gay News

IN THE LIFE Lizzy Wolferman 2018-09-27 - Everyone's life is a journey. However, with Liz Wolferman—the front-of-house manager of the acclaimed local restaurant Mott St.—it's been a literal journey that's ...

Gay News

SAVOR Merchant; breakfast at The Palm 2018-09-26 - One of the most challenging things for a restaurant is to retain the patrons from a similar business that occupied the same spot. ...

Gay News

DINING Chicago Gourmet auction, 'Chug' event, Wis. restaurant's honor 2018-09-25 - —Bon Appetit presents Chicago Gourmet's annual online auction is now live. With registration now open at, gourmands can bid on a lineup ...

Gay News

DINING Hoptoberfest, "Breakfast at Tiffany's," Nacional 27 2018-09-18 - —Starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23, HopCat, 2577 N. Clark St., will host Hoptoberfest, and continue the fun with Hofbrau beer ...


Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.