Go for the gambling, stay because you're drunk and happy. Horseshoe Casino, you will be smitten to know, is one of the most popular casinos in the country, raking in more guests annually than any other casino save for Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Cha ching! Clearly Chicagoans and Midwesterners alike adore the 'Shoe for all its gambling glory, concert acts, and comforting restaurants. But now there's new reason to love the 'Shoe, thanks to new wine and beer events in the offing. Perfect Pairings is a periodic event taking place monthly through April, while Brews at the 'Shoe is a beer festival set to take place next month. Cheers to that!
(Stuffed chicken wings as part of a recent Perfect Pairings event)
When it comes to quintessential pairings, crispy shrimp matches with haute Champagne like peanut butter and jelly. Believe it. Unique, offbeat, and occasioanlly quirky pairings (steak and eggs with red wine!) such as these comprise Horseshoe's ongoing Perfect Pairings event, wherein a series of food stations are adjoined by designated wines for guests to wander around and sample at their leisure. Coming off a Perfect Pairings event this month, I can attest that the shindig is all sorts of intoxicating fun. From tuna tartare to stuffed chicken wings and strawberry tartlets, the food menus are expansive and ever-changing, while wines run the gamut from crisp rosé to rich reds and lavish bubbly. Situated at Horseshoe Casino's Lakeview Room, the shindig is the perfect appetizer to a night at the slots. Next up, Perfect Pairings takes place March 13 and April 10, each with a new and different menu. Tickets are $50 per person. Stay tuned here for tickets.
Brews at the Shoe Beer Festival
Beer and gambling are meant for each other. Which is what makes Horseshoe's inaugural Brews at the 'Shoe Beer Festival such an apropos outing. Taking place March 8 from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., the one-day event is a massive draw for beer-lovers and foodies alike with its roster of 150+ craft beers and food to soak it all up. All your favorite Midwestern staples are on hand, plus ones you may not be as familiar with. Bell's, New Belgium, Greenbush, New Holland, Pabst, Boulevard, Sam Adams, Redds, Triton, North Coast Brewing, and Chapmans are among the offerings, spanning a variety of beer styles from pilsners and stouts to ciders and IPAs. Between sips, swivel to the tunes of musical guest Maggie Speaks, the city's preeminent cover band. Tickets are available as a general admission "Barley" pass or in a number of different luxury packages. General admission costs $37 and entails entry to the event, a souvenir glass, Horseshoe dice, a bottle opener, limitless beer samples, a cash bar, and cash food. Tickets can be snagged here, here, or by calling 800-736-1420.
- Matt Kirouac