Weekly Planner: TWO's Restaurant Royale, Momotaro Collaboration, Wood's Drag Brunch and More
TWO’s First Annual Restaurant Royale
Get ready for a culinary smackdown for the ages, because TWO is gearing up to host its first annual Restaurant Royale on December 13 at The Ivy Room (12 E. Ohio St., #100). In conjunction with Terlato Distell Artisan Spirits, the competition is a bit of restaurant vs. restaurant and bar vs. bar, featuring holiday-inspired dishes and drinks by 10 local chefs and bartenders. The lineup of chefs this year includes Kevin Cuddihee of TWO, Mike Sheerin, Zoe Schor, Charles Welch, Brian Millman, Ashlee Aubin and more. Attendees will get to sample different dishes and drinks, and select which ones should be named the winner of each category. The winner will get $1,500, second place gets $1,000 and third place gets a prize pack of TDAS Spirits. It all takes place from 5:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. Tickets for the event are $120 and can be purchased here.
Sumi Robata Bar Collaboration at Momotaro
In the wake of one of Chicago’s saddest restaurant closings, chef Gene Kato is keeping the Sumi Robata Bar spirit alive with events throughout the city. The latest? A collaborative event at the Izakaya at Momotaro on December 11. For one night only, Kato and chef Mark Hellyar will work together on a menu of traditional Japanese yakitori, to include an array of grilled chicken skewers, gyoza, tonkatsu chicken breast and more. Japanese-inspired cocktails will also be on hand for the event. The menu will be a la carte, starting at 6:00 p.m., and no tickets are required to attend.
Happy’s Pop-up at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel
Getting deep into the holiday spirit, the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel and Land & Sea Dept. are partnering with Johalla Projects for a new festive pop-up called Happy’s. Taking place in The Tank event space on the hotel’s ground floor, now through December 30, the bar will be open from 5:00 p.m. until midnight on Friday and Saturday, and from noon until 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. In line with previous pop-up collaborations, Happy’s will be run by the folks from the Land & Sea Dept. group, with an emphasis on holiday-centric merriment and comfort. This means festive cocktails by Paul McGee, plus beer and wine, while Johalla takes care of the design. DJs, karaoke, trivia, live music and other events will take place throughout the month.
Drag Brunch at Wood
In other festive holiday news, Wood is wrapping itself in Christmas cheer for its “Wrapped in Red Drag Brunch” on December 10. Starting at 11:00 a.m. on that Sunday, the brunch is an event for guests to come dressed in their best seasonal outfits and enjoy an entertaining brunch emceed by Wanda Screw. The special menu for the occasion features mascarpone cinnamon rolls, corned beef hash, pumpkin spiced waffles and cocktails like the Wanda Screwdriver. Guests are also encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots for a chance to win a Wood gift card.
There's an emphasis here on Midwestern farm-to-fork cuisine and décor, with a strong beer and cocktail program. TWO is also very neighborhood friendly and has thankfully ditched the small-plates trend...