Try Out Heartland Cafe 2.0
Heartland Cafe has been a wholesome, vegetarian-friendly neighborhood fixture in Rogers Park for decades, but even a timeworn standby could use a little polish now and again. Updating the fresh, Midwestern ethos of the restaurant is new managing partner Tom Rosenfeld and executive chef Kim Gracen. Expect a heightened focus on sustainability, local sourcing, and a special hat tip to Earth First Farms, where Rosenfeld serves as organic farmer. Gracen's cookery serves to better showcase Midwestern cuisine, including comfort creations such as meatloaf, French onion dip, buffalo chili, cornbread, sweet potato fries, and more. The menu is also 50% gluten-free, 1/3 vegan, and 70% vegetarian. Look for much of the menu to rotate seasonally.
(Eat at the new version of this classic. Photo: William Mills)
Sip Champagne at The Glunz Tavern
'Tis the season to overdo it with Champagne! The perfect opportunity to shroud your obsession under the guise of class takes place in the form of The Glunz Tavern's 10th-annual Champagne-tasting this Friday, December 6. In conjunction with The House of Glunz, the boozy tavern features more than 40 Champagnes and sparkling wines for the sampling that takes place from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Try something you like, purchase it at a discounted price that night, everyone wins. Food tastings will also be on hand from the likes of West Loop Salumi and Collins Caviar. Entry fee is $65 per person and reservations can be made by calling 312-642-3000.
Nosh at The Nosh's Loop Pop-up
The Nosh makes its way to the Loop for a special pop-up series at Block 37 from December 3 through December 13. Everyone's favorite weekly food market, an aggregate of artisanal Chicago restaurants and food vendors that made Wicker Park home this year, ups the food ante at the Loop's sprawling Block 37. A variation on their standard day-long formula, The Nosh hones in on lunch, offering a lunch market from 10:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. every day during its tenure (heads up: the whole things starts at noon on December 3, but runs at 10:30 a.m. every day thereafter). An array of food trucks, including Doughnut Vault Van, The Salsa Truck, and Bergstein's NY Deli, will make their way through Block 37's garage-style Dearborn Street entrance, along with a number of other vendors. Expect Bang Bang Pie Shop, Pecking Order, Bento Box, and lots more. No admission fee.