Dining Chicago

Weekend Planner: Bombas at Bar Toma, Comfort at deca RESTAURANT, Low-cal at Cantina Laredo, and Melts at Little Market Brasserie

Celebrate Bar Toma's Spot on Sandwich King

Tony Mantuano and Erik Freeberg of Bar Toma are set to make an appearance on the January 12 episode of Food Network's Sandwich King starring Jeff Mauro. On the agenda? Bar Toma's signature bomba pizza and bomba burger. So naturally, the restaurant will be celebrating the televised occasion with specials on January 12. Start the day with a special brunch bomba burger, a mozzarella-stuffed veal and beef burger bedecked with La Quercia Tamaworth bacon, a fried egg, seared Roma tomatoes, arugula, and Pecorino. Also, running January 12 through January 19, Bar Toma will offer its bomba pizza, an inflated pie heaped with La Quercia prosciutto and Parmigiano-Reggiano, at half the normal price.

Venison chili at deca RESTAURANT
(Chili at deca RESTAURANT. Photo: Huge Galdones)

Comfort In a Bowl at deca RESTAURANT

The best things come in bowls. Chili, cassoulet, berry crumble, to name a few. And wouldn't you know it, they're all on deck at deca RESTAURANT this month as part of their "comfort in a bowl" series, designed to warm the soul and take the suck out of January. Chef Mark Payne features a different savory special each week through the end of January, such as beef Bourguignon and venison chili, followed by warm bowls of pear and huckleberry crumble with vanilla ice cream.

Keep Your Resolutions With Low-Cal Cocktails

Thanks to merciful Cantina Laredo, we can now all have our boozy cake and eat it too. Not really, though, because cake would be a terrible thing to eat in January. But with low-cal cocktails, we can all keep drinking without tossing resolutions right out the window. Each drink is an astonishing 140 calories or less, such as the Caliente Flaca Flip with Hornitos Plate tequila, triple sec, fresh lime juice, orange and jalapeño, topped with club soda and a jalapeño flip of Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur. The Citrus Burst Flaca Flip contains Hornitos Plata tequila, triple sec, fresh lime and orange, topped with club soda and a lemon flip of SKYY citrus vodka. For something extra fruity, the Peach Berry Flaca Flip has Hornitos Plata tequila, fresh lime juice with peach and triple sec, and club soda wiht a strawberry flip of DeKuyper Strawberry Pucker.

Low-cal cocktails at Cantina Laredo
(Low-cal cocktails at Cantina Laredo)

January Melts for Meals at Little Market Brasserie

Now that you've saved calories on cocktails, you can splurge on grilled cheese at Little Market Brasserie. The monthly Melts for Meals campaign, wherein a different Chicago chef designs a grilled cheese for the menu to send proceeds to Meals on Wheels Chicago, rages on with a new sandwich designed by Mercadito Hospitality's new corporate chef Guillero Tellez. January's version has everything you want in a sandwich, including Gruyère, bacon, parsley chimichurri, and onion marmalade on seeded rye bread. And knowing that the cost is going to a good cause makes the gluttony that much more delicious.

- Matt Kirouac

Spiaggia Executive Chef/Partner Tony Mantuano takes over the space formerly home to French-focused Bistro 110. Now with a playful Italian spin, Bar Toma offers pizzas, lasagna, sandwiches, salads, and quirky...

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A simple, approachable menu of upscale bistro fare offers items like mussels and fries; a Maine lobster salad; a char-grilled Wagyu burger; and pizzettes. And if you forget your laptop,...

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The team behind Mercadito expand their burgeoning Chicago empire in the Gold Coast with this seafood-themed addition to the mod Mexican brand.

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