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Dining news: Monkey's Paw chef, 'Dolly Parton' event, Care Bear cupcakes
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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—The Monkey's Paw, a Lincoln Park gastropub established in 2012, has announced Adam Allen as its new executive chef. Allen previously cooked under former The Dawson Executive Chef Shaun King, and has also held roles at Davanti Enoteca, Epic, Baume & Brix and, most recently, with Footman Hospitality as sous chef at Bangers & Lace in Wicker Park. See .

—Project Fierce is holding an "Eats and Sweets" fundraiser—and a Dolly Parton-themed birthday celebration—on Thursday, Jan. 19, 6-8:30 p.m. There will be a four-course dinner, entertainment and a raffle. Tickets are $35; visit "Project Fierce Chicago" on Facebook, or see . ( Note: Parton is not slated to attend. )

—Sprinkles Cupcakes, 50 E. Walton St., has teamed with Care Bears in honor of the characters' 35th anniversary, and will offer special cupcakes adorned with the iconic Care Bears on top. The Care Bear cupcakes will be available now through Jan. 25, and the flavors will change daily.

—Chicago's 10 Bow Truss coffee shop locations closed Jan. 12 after employees refused to work in protest over not getting paid, Chicagoist reported. Bow Truss owner and CEO Phil Tadros told Chicagoist via email later that day that he is now "trying to secure financing and a good partner" for the business. He also said the coffee chain has "a great team, and I feel horrible that their paychecks are delayed."

—Jess Lambert, head bartender of South American rooftop hotspot Boleo, has teamed with Director of Bars for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Mike Ryan and Rhine Hall distillery to introduce a brand-new custom fernet, Fernet Lola ( which, a press release stated, "begins with a fruit base, boasting notes of blueberry, grape and apple, with a saffron and eucalyptus backbone" ). Exclusive to Boleo, 122 W. Monroe St., Fernet Lola will debut on Saturday, Jan. 28, with a launch party featuring exclusive first sips of the spirit. Tickets for the free event are at

—Roka Akor Chicago, 456 N. Clark St., is offering an American wagyu tasting menu for $120 per person. Items include wagyu gunkan with osetra caviar; short ribs with rainbow carrots; flat iron with maitake mushroom and egg yolk; sirloin with spicy ponzu and wasabi; and broccoli with ginger-shallot dressing. Through Jan. 31, the tasting menu is available for dinner, Sunday-Wednesday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Thursday-Saturday 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. See

—Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster are now co-hosts of America's Test Kitchen, which recently premiered its 17th season on PBS/WTTW, USA Today noted. The show, which launched in 2001, claims to be the most popular instructional cooking show on television. Previously at the helm was the bow-tied Chris Kimball, but he left in November 2015. There is now an ongoing legal battle between Kimball and Test Kitchen, Grub Street reported.

—Latinicity, 108 N. State St., is offering a four-course prix fixe menu in Pata Negra, the space's full-service tapas restaurant. The Richard Sandoval-owned food hall in Block 37 is centrally located in the heart of Chicago's theater district, serving as an easy destination for theatergoers. The meal is $34.95; see .

—Food/lifestyle photographer Huge Galdones will teach a phone photography class at Travelle Kitchen + Bar, 330 N. Wabash St., on Saturday, Jan. 21, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Class participants will learn techniques and tricks from Galdones while enjoying brunch from Travelle Kitchen + Bar by Chef Ricardo Jarquin. Brunch will include a choice of chicken and waffles, branzino, florentine benedict or cobb salad. The price will be $40 per person; call 312-923-7705 or visit .

—Fado, 100 W. Grand Ave., celebrate National Irish Coffee Day with the world's largest Irish coffee on Wed., Jan. 25, at 5 p.m. Fado's will also be donating $1 to St. Baldrick's for every Irish coffee purchased.

—Ramenfest will take place Sunday, Feb. 19, at urbanbelly, 1400 W. Randolph St. Twenty chefs from across Chicago will compete against one another to prepare their best ramen dish and be named champion. ( Among them are chefs from Antique Taco, Green Zebra, Sunda and Smoque BBQ. ) General admission tickets to Ramenfest include a sampling of each ramen and two drink tickets for $75. See

—Imperian Lamian, 6 W. Hubbard St., is offering featured dishes Jan. 27-28 to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Among them are the yee sang ( or prosperity tossed salad ) and the poon choi ( a multilayered dish with vegetables, meatballs, noodles, roast duck and more ). Also, guests will also be treated with a traditional gift: the hong bao or red envelope, a monetary gift that is given during holidays. See

—The history of pizza in Chicago comes alive in the Franklin Gallery on the third floor of the Niles Public Library District ( 6960 W. Oakton St., Niles ) on Feb. 1—March 31 during the "I Love Pizza" event series. The exhibition will explain what defines Chicago pizza styles and how they relate to regional styles throughout the United States. New and vintage items from the U.S. Pizza Museum collection will bring the stories to life. See

—Parlor Pizza Bar—recently named the most visited restaurant in Chicago by Lyft and Uber—has introduced a wide variety of new menu items in addition to its 14 brunch pizzas. New additions include avocado toast, ham-and-egg English muffins, birthday-cake waffles and chocolate French toast. Weekend brunch is 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

—At Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash Ave., on Feb. 10-13, Valentine's specials for two will be offered. The Valentine's Day menu features aphrodisiac-infused dishes to really set the mood on Tuesday, Feb. 14, with the three-course Parisian prix fixe menu available beginning at 5 p.m. The Valentine's Day dinner menu is $72 ( excluding tax and gratuity ) per person; some choices will include diver sea scallops, lobster ravioli, winter vegetable medley, thyme-roasted lamb and passionfruit meringue tart.

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