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Weekday Planner: National Empanada Day, Bounty & Barrel Dinner, Educational Wine Dinner, and Slow Food at Chipotle

Nacional Empanada Day

Empanadas are celebrated in all their doughy, pocket-shaped glory on April 8 for National Empanada Day. Rejoice accordingly by shoveling multiple variations into your mouth at Nacional 27. The contemporary Latin bastion is revered for its empanada know-how, making it destination number one for your Empanada Day feasting. The restaurant will be offering free samples of empanadas for the holiday, along with half-price empanadas from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Additionally, patrons who use the social media hashtag #EmpanadaDayN27 will receive a free apple-cinnamon dessert empanada. Other empanada offerings at Nacional 27 include chicken with roasted vegetables and lemon mustard; plantain-bonito with red bliss potatoes, queso, and aioli; and short rib with caramelized onions and pepper Jack cheese.

Culinary Talents Converge for Bounty & Barrel Dinner Series

Parisian culinary talent Daniel Rose of SPRING returns to his hometown of Chicago on April 9 for a star-studded dinner on April 9. The local leg of the roving Bounty & Barrel dinner series, the special event combines Rose with Jimmy Bannos, Jimmy Bannos Jr., and Mindy Segal, teaming up to benefit the Friends of the James Beard Foundation. Hosted by Jack Daniel's Single Barrel, the event series pairs multiple dishes with cocktails, including braised pork belly with fried oysters, seared Wagyu short ribs, and prosciutto-stuffed squid. The event takes place at the original Heaven on Seven at 6:30 p.m. and costs $175 per person. Snag yours here.

(Slow Food Chicago Day at Chipotle)

Educational Wine Dinner at Sunda

Education is a lot more fun when there's a strong buzz involved. Far Niente Wines are the source of said buzz, taking the spotlight at Sunda for a special five-course wine dinner on April 9 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. School your palate on an array of wines paired with a spree of contemporary Asian dishes. There's an amuse bouche of oysters, caviar, and ponzu; a sashimi platter; a five spice-rubbed lamb shank; a Japanese wagyu rib-eye; and a yuzu cheesecake. Get hungry and thirsty. The cost is $150 and tickets can be purchased here.

Eat for Change at Chipotle

And by change, we mean a positive influence on the planet. Eating at Chipotle is already a step in the right direction fast food-wise, but it's even better on April 11 as a portion of proceeds are going towards Slow Food Chicago. From 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the 8 E. Madison St. location, 50% of proceeds go towards the local slow food movement. The only caveat is that you must mention Slow Food Chicago when ordering. Do it.

- Matt Kirouac

Neighborhoods: River NorthRiver NorthLoop

This River North eatery introduced the Modern Latin craze to Chicago with an innovative food and drink menu. There's also live entertainment and dancing on the weekends, as the restaurant...

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This exotic, River North concept is named after Southeast Asia’s Sunda Shelf. Sunda is owned by the Rockit Ranch Productions team, which is also behind Rockit Bar and Grill, Underground...

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The original of Jimmy Bannos' Cajun Creole concept, one of the most classic New Orleans-inspired restaurants in Chicago, expanded out of his family's lunchroom, now has a Naperville location, but...

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