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United Way event; Cooking Up Change; top 50 sandwiches
Dining news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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—United Way of Metropolitan Chicago (UWMC) and Bank of America hosted a "Taste of United Way" event Oct. 26 to launch the 2012 Annual Giving Campaign in support of UWMC's community-impact plan, LIVE UNITED 2020. The event was held at the Harris Theatre rooftop in Millennium Park; Ryan Chiaverini, co-host of ABC7's WINDY CITY LIVE, emceed.

—Student chefs, celebrity judges and hundreds of hungry guests will gather for Healthy Schools Campaign's Cooking up Change 2012—a cooking competition aimed at transforming the future of school food—Friday, Nov. 9, 6-10 p.m. at the Bridgeport Art Center's Skyline Loft, 1200 W. 35th St.

The one-of-a-kind fundraiser also includes a signature cocktail, a silent auction and a raffle drawing with a grand-prize getaway to California wine country. The evening culminates in an award ceremony for Chicago's top student chefs. Tickets for Cooking up Change cost $100; visit .

—Chicago magazine has revealed its choices for the top 50 sandwiches in the city, with the BLT at Old Oak Tap taking the top spot. Among a few of the other items making the list are Xoco's woodland mushroom sandwich, Frog n Snail's The Hawkeye, Manny's corned beef, Grahamwich's Green Garbanzo, Melt Sandwich Shoppe's The Istanbul and the wild boar sloppy Joe at Longman & Eagle.

—Vermilion, 10 W. Hubbard St., is partnering with Olive Oil from Spain to offer special menu items which feature the ingredient in unique, unexpected ways in one-of-a-kind dishes at "A Spanish A-Fare" Wed., Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 for a three-course meal and $75 for a three-course meal with wine pairings. See .

—Delightful Pastries has a full selection of desserts and savory items for Thanksgiving. Sweets include peanut butter chocolate cream pie, key lime pie and pumpkin pie (among others) while savory items include baked Brie, spinach lamb pie, salmon en croute and Swiss chard red onion tart. Call 773-545-7215 (Jefferson Park), 312-255-0724 (Old Town) or 312-234-9644 (French Market) by Nov. 18.

—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 the a roasted whole turkey. The cost is $375; call 773-292-7100 or email by Nov. 19.

—Guests are invited to celebrate National Pickle Day Wed., Nov. 14, at Chicago q, 1160 N. Dearborn St. The restaurant will serve fried bread-and-butter pickles for $7.50. In addition, Chicago q's pickles are available for purchase at

—bellyQ Chef/Owner Bill Kim and Executive Chef Jeff Schwepp are giving away free wings to all BQ2GO lunch diners the week prior to Election Day. There will be Left and Right wings given away. bellyQ is at 1400 W. Randolph St.; call 312-563-1010 by Nov. 3.

—Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club, 3700 N. Halsted St., has appointed Consulting Chef JoAnn Witherell to completely revamp the dinner menu for the fall-winter season. "Opening Act" items include Kit Kat calamari and bacon truffle mac 'n cheese while "Show Stoppers" include the Mae West (fried chicken, braised collard greens, banana horseradish puree and cayenne maple-glazed waffle). See .

—Schaumburg's Shaw's Crab House, 1900 E. Higgins Rd., is introducing live music at its famous, hotel-style Sunday brunch in the Oyster Bar. The November and December line-ups include Sharon Lewis and Big Dog Mercer. The brunch buffet has items such as omelet and pasta stations as well as the cold seafood bar. Call 847-517-2722.

—Dishcrawl, a national start-up founded on the premise that communities can be brought together through good food and good company, is expanding to two new Chicago neighborhoods this November. Dishcrawl takes food lovers on a gourmet Dishcrawl to four distinctive restaurants in one night. On Wed., Nov., 7 at 7 p.m., the first celebration will take place in Wicker Park; on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m., foodies can head to the center of the city to tour some of the Loop's popular destinations. Tickets to each event are $39 and available at .

—The Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group is showcasing its fall menu. A sampling of the fall menu features include the rack of lamb, with the rack served on a bed of roasted carrots, green beans and fingerling potatoes; pork chop and beans, a double-cut Berkshire pork chop with chorizo baked beans garnished with crispy sweet potatoes; and wasabi-crusted tuna atop bokchoy, baby carrots and pomegranate black garlic sauce.

—The Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition (GCRC) and Green Seal have announced the launch of the Green Seal Pilot Standard for Sustainable Chicago Restaurants and Food Services. The Pilot Standard is a major step in developing a new standard to be included in GCRC's Guaranteed Green program to help Chicago consumers identify more sustainable restaurants and food services, and provide the industry with a tool to develop and focus their environmental efforts. Read more at

—prasino, 1846 W. Division St., has announced a new late-night lounge party and menu to complement its farm-to-bar cocktails, craft beers and wines. The party starts at 9:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night. The late-night menu includes hummus, chicken and steak satays, turffle potatoes and sushi rolls, among other items. Call 312-878-1212 to reserve.

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