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Brunch Bites: I | O Urban Roofscape and 2 Sparrows

Brunch is a booming business in Chicago, and it can be hard to navigate the ins and outs, especially when so many strollers are blocking the way. Each week we highlight some of the most notable brunch news and dining happenings around town. Here are your latest brunch bites.

In this week’s batch of brunch bites, I | O Urban Roofscape starts Champagne RI|OT brunch and 2 Sparrows punches up their spring beverage menu.

 

Brunch Bites: Brunch Bites:

(Strawberries in Kentucky at 2 Sparrows)

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Eat on the Cheap With Tax Day Specials

Love it or hate it, Tax Day is here. “Celebrate” by stuffing your face with food and drink specials throughout Chicago.

Tax Day Fiorentino's Cucina Italiana

Fiorentino’s Cucina Italiana

Tax Day is here. That dreaded due date for tax filing means people are either excited for a rebate or depressed about having to pay the government a bunch of money. Either way, we all win when it means restaurants and bars are doling out discounted specials to help ease the burn of tax burden. Here are some specials to keep in mind for Tax Day on April 15.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The legal definition and the economic definition of taxes differ in that economists do not consider many transfers to governments to be taxes. For example, some transfers to the public sector are comparable to prices. Examples include tuition at public universities and fees for utilities provided by local governments. Governments also obtain resources by creating money (e.g., printing bills and minting coins), through voluntary gifts (e.g., contributions to public universities and museums), by imposing penalties (e.g., traffic fines), by borrowing, and by confiscating wealth. From the view of economists, a tax is a non-penal, yet compulsory transfer of resources from the private to the public sector levied on a basis of predetermined criteria and without reference to specific benefit received.

In modern taxation systems, taxes are levied in money; but, in-kind and corvée taxation are characteristic of traditional or pre-capitalist states and their functional equivalents. The method of taxation and the government expenditure of taxes raised is often highly debated in politics and economics. Tax collection is performed by a government agency such as the Canada Revenue Agency, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States, or Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the United Kingdom. When taxes are not fully paid, civil penalties (such as fines or forfeiture) or criminal penalties (such as incarceration)[1] may be imposed on the non-paying entity or individual.

 

 

 

Weekend Planner: Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival, Grilled Cheese Day Decadence, and Cocktail Carts at Travelle

Weekend Planner: Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival

Pastoral‘s fourth annual Artisan Producer Festival is this Saturday, April 12, at the Chicago French Market. The free-to-attend festival brings together upwards of 100 food artisans from across the world, gathered en masse in the West Loop to showcase their wholesome wares. It’s the Epcot of worldly artisanal foods. The event takes place from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., affording attendees ample opportunity to peruse, sample, taste, chat up producers, and sip wine, beer, and spirits. Expect stellar cheeses from the likes of Hidden Springs Creamery in Wisconsin, Rogue Creamery in Oregon, and Dutch Girl Creamery in Nebraska; salumi from Portland’s Olympic Provisions and charcuterie from Smoking Goose Meatery in Indianapolis; small-batch wines from Napa Valley’s Forlorn Hope Winery and Ohio’s Firelands Winery; spirits from nearby CH Distillery; beer from Half Acre; goat’s milk caramels from Big Picture Farms in Vermont; and lots more. Additionally, many Chicago French Market vendors will also participate in the fest, featuring special tastings from the likes of Little Goat BreadLillie’s Q, and Beavers Coffee + Donuts.

Weekend Planner: Grilled Cheese Flight for Grilled Cheese Day

Grilled Cheese Flight for Grilled Cheese Day

Deca Grilled Cheese Flight for Grilled Cheese Day

In other Pastoral news, Bar Pastoral is celebrating Grilled Cheese Month with a grilled cheese flight, which is especially apropos this weekend for Grilled Cheese Day on April 12. Available all month long, the cheese tasting includes a traditional grilled cheese with Widmer’s one-year cheddar and a side of tomato tapenade; a Castelinhos grilled cheese adjoined by charred scallion pepper jelly; and a Maxx Extra grilled cheese with some chocolate ganache on the side. All sandwiches are made on sourdough bread and the flight soars for $12.

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BUB CITY TO HOST ANNUAL WINDY CITY SMOKEOUT

HOST SECOND ANNUAL WINDY CITY SMOKEOUT JULY 11 – 13

Bub City’s Windy City Smokeout will return to Chicago July 11-13, 2014. The second annual summer festival will bring together the best of live country music, beer and BBQ at a yet-to-be announced location.

Bub City’s Windy City Smokeout

Bub City’s Windy City Smokeout

“We’re excited to bring the second annual Windy City Smokeout back to Chicago. Last year was a great party,” said Doug Psaltis, Bub City Chef Partner. “It’s a pretty unique thing we’re doing–bringing together the best barbeque from around the country and the biggest names in country music–and we hope to provide guests with another great weekend.”

 

Windy City Smokeout brings an impressive lineup of musical talent catering to bonafide fans of country music and concert goers alike. Festival headliners are: ACM Awards New Artist of the Year nominee Brett Eldredge on Friday, July 11, ACM Awards Top Vocal Group of the Year nominee Randy Rogers Band on Saturday, July 12 and Grammy-nominated Eli Young Band on Sunday, July 13. Additional performances include Josh Abbott Band and Chase Rice, as well as emerging country talent who will take the stage throughout the day.

 

“We have an incredible music lineup in store this year,” said Ed Warm, owner of Joe’s Bar. “Chicagoans can look forward to not only some of their favorite country acts, but also the best of the best in up and coming talent.”

 

Throughout the weekend, guests can enjoy southern-inspired fare from a host of distinguished BBQ restaurants located in Chicago and beyond, to be announced in the coming weeks.

 

Tickets can be purchased at windycitysmokeout.com, beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 18, and are priced as follows:

 

Friday, July 11:       $25

Saturday, July 12: $30

Sunday, July 13:    $30

Three Day Pass:    $75

*Tickets do not include food or beverage

 

New this year, is a VIP experience, limited to just 100 ticketholders per each day of the festival. The $100 VIP ticket includes access to an elevated location next to the performance stage, access to private restrooms, a private cash bar and BBQ sampling throughout the day.

 

The hours for Windy City Smokeout are: 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, July 11, noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 12 and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday, July 13.

NEWS: First Taste, Plein Air Cafe & Eatery

Plein Air Cafe & Eatery:

The latest dining destination to open in Hyde Park, and thanks in part to Pleasant House Bakery, it’s rocking on all cylinders. Plein Air Cafe & Eatery

Plein Air Cafe & Eatery

Plein Air Cafe & Eatery

 Plein Air Cafe & Eatery

As Hyde Park continues to draw in chefs and their new concepts, my fascination with the south side ‘hood is reaching a fever pitch. First there was Matthias Merges, then there was news of The Promontory (still eagerly waiting on that one), and then there was Kevin Heisner, probably the most interesting bar-focused restaurateur in Chicago right now. The rampant businessman continues to open killer new spots all over the city, but what his new Hyde Park spot, Plein Air Cafe & Eatery, offers is something different entirely. Not only is this a departure from his usual Heisler Hospitality organizations, wherein he and his business partner Matt Eisler mastermind some of the city’s quintessential bars, but it’s a daytime cafe that basically veers in the opposite direction from the usual boozy concepts. It’s also a partnership with artistically minded Soo Choi, whose resume includes the South Loop’s esteemed Little Branch Cafe. Together, they tag-team something truly special in Hyde Park, bolstering the neighborhood’s credibility as a dining destination.

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Culinary Collaborations Beget Special Pizza

Revolution Brewery and Dimo’s Pizza team up for a very special, very offbeat Special Pizza.

Dimo's Pizza at a special pizza and beer

(Dimo’s Pizza at a special beer and pizza launch party this week)

First there was gelato doughnut sandwiches from Glazed & Infused and Black Dog Gelato. Next came fried chicken pizza from Honey Butter Fried Chicken and Piece. Now it’s time for another zany collaboration, a special type of pizza-beer pairing conspired by Revolution Brewery and Dimo’s Pizza. Created for Chicago’s Comic Con, the beer and pizza duo make for a one-two punch of offbeat sensations, which is pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a Comic Con-inspired meal.

It all starts with Revolution’s Galaxy Hero, an aptly named, comic-friendly beer described as “an IPA that shoots a raygun blast of Galaxy and Zythos hops into your mouth and leaves a crisp, dry finish.” OK! So basically if you’ve ever wanted to drink a beer that made you feel like you were hurling through outer space, evading intergalactic battle and getting shot in the mouth, this is the beer for you. It’s a tall order to contrive a dish to pair with such a mighty brew, but Dimo’s was up to the task…………..

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Cochon 555 Returns to Chicago

Cochon 555

Cochon 555 Returns to Chicago

Cochon 555 Returns to Chicago

Between Baconfest and Cochon 555, April is certainly the month to pig out. First up is Cochon 555, the roving pork-fest that makes its Chicago return this weekend. Created in 2009 by Brady Lowe as a means to educate diners about heritage breeds of hogs, Cochon 555 has ballooned to become the country’s preeminent porcine extravaganza, bouncing around to 17 different major markets each winter and spring, supporting local family farms across the U.S. With each stopover, the event hosts several chefs from each city, tasked with working with a particular heritage breed and cooking up unique and extraordinary dishes. The winner from each leg goes on to vie in Grand Cochon at the series’ culmination, with the U.S. winner earning the designation of “King or Queen of Porc.”

 

Weekday Planner: Moonshine Mondays, Sake Tuesday, and Off-Menu Specials

Weekday Planner: Moonshine Mondays

If for no other reason than it just sounds good phonetically, Moonshine Mondays is a thing you should consider as a way to kickstart your week. It’s now taking place weekly at Old Crow Smokehouse in Lakeview. The barbecue haunt is now offering moonshine cocktails for a mere $6. Options include the Front Porch Punch and the Spiced Apple. Of course if you’d rather drink your moonshine straight up to punish your esophagus, you can do that too. Old Crow offers $6 infused moonshines flavored with he likes of apple pie and peach.

Weekday Planner: Secret Burger at Lillie’s Q

Another off-menu item to salivate over can be found at Lillie’s Q. This one skews a little more indulgent, a Q Burger made with two thin griddled beef and pork patties, housemade pimiento cheese, chow-chow pickled relish, collard greens, tomatoes, and red onions. It’s not on the menu so you’ll have to inquire for it, but it’s worth the extra effort.

Weekday Planner: Secret Burger at Lillie's Q

Weekday Planner: Secret Burger at Lillie’s Q

Go Off the Menu at Le Colonial…..

A Taste of the Floating World……

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Celebrate Easter Brunch Sunday at these great Chicago area establishments

Bites Asian Tapas Offers an Inspired Pan-Asian Easter Brunch Celebration 

Bites Asian Tapas has a unique Asian Brunch which will make your Easter Celebration delicious and memorable. This creative new Asian Fusion restaurant at 3313 N. Clark St. in Chicago’s Lake View neighborhood (telephone 773-270-5972) will offer brunch 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Easter Sunday, and every every Saturday and Sunday. Guests can count on owners Chef Marita Tantivirasut and Asana Nakornchai to dazzle them with delicious beautiful small plates that bring forth the flavors of Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, China, Korea and India. Their Asian fusion cuisine is so unique and inspired, you’ll be glad that it’s so reasonably priced, giving you the opportunity to enjoy and share many dishes.

 

Start your brunch with one of Bites’ creative specialty cocktails such as the Bloody Rooster ($7), Bites’ take on the traditional Bloody Mary, or Mimosas with choice of orange, lychee or mango variations. Other cocktail favorites are the Tom YUMtini ($8), made with vodka, Tom Yum syrup and lime; the Ms. Gardenia ($7), created with gin, simple syrup, Rambutan juice, Midori and lemon; or the Hot Geisha ($8) made with Shochu, ginger syrup, lemon, lemongrass, mint, and Thai chili powder.

Easter Mac N Cheese

Easter Mac N Cheese

Cater-in or dine out, Da Lobsta’s mouth watering Lobster Rolls offer a delicious and original way to celebrate Easter.

Da Lobsta, Chicago’s only fast-casual restaurant dedicated to serving delicious traditional New England lobster rolls, is waiting to deliver your Lobster Roll feast to your door, or for pickup–in Chicago’s Gold Coast and surrounding neighborhoods. If you’re out and about on Easter Sunday, stop by their Gold Coast location, 12 E. Cedar St. in the Gold Coast and enjoy your feast in their colorful and fun dining room.

For those not familiar with Da Lobsta, think the American Dream on a bun. Da Lobsta serves authentic New England lobster roll sandwiches in addition to several varieties with a tasty twist.

Delightful Pastries: Sweet and Savory for Your Easter Table

Whether sweet or savory, Delightful Pastries has delicious treats in store for Spring and the Easter holiday season. While you may think of Delightful Pastries for its sweet offerings, don’t forget that they offer a complete selection of savories and homemade breads.

Create a memorable Easter brunch by starting off with Delightful Pastries’ delicious Lamb & Spinach Pie with organic lamb, spinach and a cheese béchamel sauce, serving 12-14 people. Their Veggie Quiche with French pastry filled with leeks, spinach, mushroom, onion and Swiss cheese is another great choice for your brunch menu.

Maxwell's Easter Brunch Chicago Restaurant

Maxwell’s Easter Brunch

Maxwell’s at the Club Presents Elegant Easter Brunch, Sunday April 20 

Maxwell’s at the Club Presents Elegant Easter Brunch, Sunday April 20

Maxwell’s at the Club, located in the East Bank Club , will present its elegant annual Easter Brunch on Sunday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The extensive buffet, which is open to the public, will feature prime rib and roast turkey carving stations, an omelet bar, a waffle bar, assorted pastries and seasonal berries, as well as a variety of appetizers, salads and entrées. The entire family will enjoy the festivities, which includes a special appearance by the Easter Bunny from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Because Maxwell’s Easter Brunch is very popular, reservations are necessary

 

For more about Chicago Steaks see:  

CHICAGO BEST STEAK.COM

 

Easter Brunch Guide

Easter is just a hop and a skip away, and that means one of the biggest brunch days of the year, a slew of Chicago restaurants are offering up holiday menus, so here is our Easter Brunch Guide.

Easter Brunch Guide @ Pecking Order

Pecking Order

Easter is just a hop and a skip away, and that means brunch. One of the biggest brunch days of the year, a slew of Chicago restaurants are offering up holiday menus, so here is our Easter Brunch Guide.

Easter Brunch Guide

Pardon the pun, but you’d have to be hopping mad to not eat brunch on Easter Sunday. It’s as much a holiday ritual as Jesus, but with more eggs and mimosas. One of the biggest brunch holidays of the year, there’s no shortage of holiday brunch options in Chicago. Here’s a handy guide for navigating the onslaught.

Check out the Great East Brunch Menu at III FORKS. Featuring their new brunch menu and a special 3-course Easter menu.

Easter Brunch Guide

Easter Brunch Guide

 

Looking for a unique approach to Easter brunching this year? Look no further than Pecking Order. The family-centric Filipino favorite is cooking up atypical Easter sensations such as spicy sriracha wings, housemade longaniza, chicken adobo rice, pandesal French toast, eggplant torta, and roasted chicken poutine. Kristine Subido handles the savory, while her mom is responsible for dessert: sticky rice with coconut caramel, leche flan, and purple yam cake. Served between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., the price is a scant $17 per person, while kids 13 and under are 50% off.

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