Dining Chicago

Weekday Planner: Sake Day, Three Little Pigs, Oktoberfest Specials, Wine Flights

Sake Day Sips

October 1 marks World Sake Day, and in honor of the boozy occasion Arami and Ani are pouring one out for customers. Originated by the Japan Sake Brewers Association in 1978 to celebrate the onset of sake-brewing season, the holiday means a free glass of sake for diners at either of the Japanese restaurants on October 1. To be precise, a glass of their own private label Ichi No Torii sake, brewed for the restaurants by Omuraya Brewery in Japan. 

The Three Little Pigs Wine Dinner
Pork and wine join forces for one glorious evening of haute gluttony on October 2 as part of SideDoor's The Three Little Pigs wine dinner. As an apt homage to the childhood classic story, the dinner is a six-course spree of pork-infused dishes, each one paired with a glass of wine from Napa Valley's Girard Winery. Sous chef Brian Kwak presides over the evening's menu, which begins at 6:30 p.m. with a reception of passed appetizers and Sauvignon Blanc. The second course is a BLT salad paired with 2013 Chardonnay, followed by shredded pork shoulder in housemade barbecue sauce served with a glass of 2012 Petite Sirah. Braised pork belly "brick" is the fourth course, served with a slow-poached egg, ginger, brown sugar glaze, and an accompanying glass of 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon. The final savory course is bacon-wrapped smokey tenderloin with celery root puree, potato sticks, and some 2011 Artistry/Bordeaux Blend. For dessert, it's chocolate pot de creme with Wolf Pecan Bourbon. 

Troquet River North
(Troquet River North)

Oktoberfest at Rockit Burger Bar
As we enter October, now is the prime time to remind you of some laudable Oktoberfest shenanigans. Or more notably, the Oktoberfest specials on deck at Rockit Burger Bar. Available September 28 through September 29, specials include $6 Weinhenstephaner, $5 Franziskaner, $5 Oktoberfest, and a special burger made with grilled beer-braised bratwurst, bacon sauerkraut, Granny Smith apples, and whole-grain mustard Dijonnaise. 

Tapped Out
Troquet River North teams up with Cream Wine Company this week for a special "Tapped Out" wine dinner on October 2. A little less intensive and indulgent than the normal wine dinner template, this one features two small plates paired with a flight of four wines, all for just $25 starting at 5:00 p.m. Here's what's on hand: mussel beignets with caldo verde, chorizo, frisee, and sweet orange vinaigrette paired with Vera Vinho Verde and Rickshaw Pinot Noir; and mini angus burger with Point Reyes Toma cheese, fig jam, caramelized shallots on housemade sourdough rolls with Rickshaw Chardonnay and Truth or Consequences Bordeaux Blend. The special will be available until 8:00 p.m. 
- Matt Kirouac
Neighborhoods: Lake View EastWest TownRiver NorthRiver NorthLakeview

A spin-off of River North's popular Rockit Bar & Grill, gourmet burgers are the name of the game at Wrigleyville's Rockit Burger Bar.

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The husband-and-wife team behind LM Restaurant bring their French stylings downtown with this laid back, casual French spot.

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Tradition is married with innovation in our Japanese kitchen. Informative and attentive service is a trademark of the Ani experience. The comfortable dining room and lounge provide the perfect environment...

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