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Weekly Planner: Record Store Day, Tarot Cards and Cocktails, Eataly’s

Weekly Planner: Record Store Day

 

Record Store Day at Lost Lake

In honor of Record Store Day on April 22 and in the spirit of friendly community spirit, Lost Lake is opening its doors early at noon and partnering with its neighbor, Bric-a-Brac Records. While the tiki bar gets going early, the record store will celebrate with a lineup of DJs all afternoon.

Weekly Planner: Ramen at Strings

Weekly Planner: Ramen at Strings

 

Limited Time Ramen at Strings

Before the summer heats shows up and ramen cravings make way for cooler treats, be sure and swing by Strings Ramen for a nourishing taste of spring via their new limited-time gyu ramen. The handiwork of executive chef Katie Dong and available only through the end of May, this comforting creation contains beef brisket…….

Tarot Cards at Revival Food Hall

For those who like a cocktail with their tarot, Revival Food Hall has just the occasion for you. The Loop hall is hosting a special tarot card reading event on April 27 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., wherein attendees can get their cards read by Rebecca Schoenecker. While this seasoned reader offers guidance…………………

Happy Hour at Intro

Sure to be one of the tastiest happy hours in town, Intro has joined ranks with its new bargain promo running every Friday from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. An apt way to wind down the week and start the weekend in style, happy hour includes half-priced select cocktails, specially priced beer and wine, and…………………..

Weekly Planner: Intro

Weekly Planner: Intro

Ristorante Toscano at Eataly

Next up in Eataly’s ongoing pop-up restaurant series is an homage to Tuscany, and this weekend is your last opportunity to try it. The weekend-only popup, located on Eataly’s second floor, is called Ristorante Toscano, and it features regional dishes like Florence-style steak, octopus, braised rabbit…………………………..

Where to Eat Now That Lent is Over

From steaks to sundaes, here’s how to break your Lenten fast in style noe that Lent is over.

From steaks to sundaes, here’s how to break your Lenten fast in style.  At long last, Lent is over and it’s time to indulge. After 40 days abstaining from whatever it is that gives you pleasure. More often than not, this means comfort food. Since you’re going to want to celebrate in style, here are some decadent dining and drinking options in Chicago sure to help you break the Lenten fast the best way possible.
Lent is Over Gene & Georgetti

Lent is Over Gene & Georgetti

At long last, Lent is over and it’s time to indulge. After 40 days abstaining from whatever it is that gives you pleasure. More often than not, this means comfort food. Since you’re going to want to celebrate in style, here are some decadent dining and drinking options in Chicago sure to help you break the Lenten fast the best way possible.

Garbage salad at Gene & Georgetti: Don’t let the name fool you. This is hardly a salad by any stretch of the imagination. It’s more excessive than most pizzas, actually, and a great way to start a meal at this legendary steakhouse if you really don’t care about saving room for your entree. The enormous salad is portioned enough to feed a family fresh off a hunger strike, brimming with julienned salami, mozzarella, onion, garlic, roasted red peppers, celery, tomato, radish, and huge pieces of shrimp. Oh yeah, there’s also iceberg lettuce, but that’s practically an afterthought.

Garlic bread at Michael Jordan’s Steak House: Garlic bread in and of itself is pretty indulgent, let alone when it’s doused on melted cheese fondue. One of the most famous dishes at Michael Jordan’s Steak House, with enough fandom to rival the mightiest of steaks, the garlic bread appetizer is the gourmet equivalent of a Bloomin’ Onion. The dish is actually a Jenga-sized stack of buttery, doughy garlic bread, which gets poured with a rich and pungent blue cheese fondue.

Steak enhancements at Benny’s Chop House: In case the dry-aged tomahawk rib-eye or Wagyu skirt steak isn’t decadent enough for you, Benny’s supplements with numerous opulent options. This includes traditional accoutrements like red wine demi-glace and mushroom-truffle duxelle, along with seared foie gras, bone marrow butter and Maine sea scallops.

Lent is Over @ Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

Lent is Over @ Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

Narwhal sundae at Cold Storage: When it comes to ice cream sundaes, you may as well go big. Especially if this is your re-entry into the post-Lenten world of excess. Cold Storage has a mammoth of a sundae called The Narwhal, which contains everything but the kitchen sink. It’s one of those things. Come hungry (or bring all your friends), because this thing packs eight scoops of ice cream (chocolate, fresh mint, white chocolate, lemon sorbet, butterscotch, coffee, popcorn, triple vanilla bean), three sauces (hot fudge, salted caramel, white chocolate), two kinds of cake (fudge and peanut butter blondie), and toppings like a waffle cone, whipped cream, cherries, chocolate cookie streusel, and a whole banana.

Biscuit sandwich at Bang Bang Pie Shop: If you haven’t yet tasted the sour cream-based biscuits at Bang Bang Pie Shop, you truly haven’t lived. These ever-so-fluffy clouds of deliciousness are dense in just the right spots, with a touch of creaminess throughout, a thin crackle around the well-browned exterior, and marshmallow-soft innards. They’re obsession-worthy enough on their own, let alone when they’re sliced in half and heaped with maple-glazed ham, Dijon butter, caramelized onion relish, and pickle.

 

Chicago’s Top Spots for Dining & Drinking (April)

 Chicago’s Top Spots for Dining & Drinking (April)

Thumbs up to your fresh new ‘do.

Chicago’s Top Spots for Dining & Drinking (April) That added fire to your spring wardrobe was exactly what you needed for a pep in your step. And isn’t it about time you checked out something completely new and exciting for your dining and imbibing needs?

Spring means that it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and try something different. From a pop-up dinner series with an impressive culinary lineup to the latest downtown burger-focused bar, we’re showcasing some of the most buzzed about destinations in the Windy City. Here’s where you ought to be this month.

 

Chicago’s Top Spots for Dining & Drinking (April)

DINING

Chicago's Top Spots for Dining & Drinking (April) @ Formento's

Chicago’s Top Spots for Dining & Drinking (April) @ Formento’s

Animale

Why It’s A Hit: The team behind Logan Square’s insanely popular Osteria Langhe gives us a prime opportunity to pig out on pasta at this Bucktown eatery specializing in wild game and Italian eats. At their second restaurant, Animale, diners can dive into bottomless plates of spaghetti or cavatappi topped with sauces such as ragu di carne (mix of Italian sausage and beef chuck, mirepoix, herbs, tomatoes), cacio e pepe (pecorino romano, black pepper, stock, butter) or ………….

 

 

Formento’s

Why It’s A Hit: Chef Todd Stein has done a marvelous job with the menu at this lively West Loop gem. He’s completely come into his own since arriving last fall, transforming the old-school Italian menu into something completely modern. The house-made paccheri squid ink pasta is amped up with lump crab, spicy red chiles, mint and garlic breadcrumbs. The pork tenderloin is also a big hit. It’s wrapped in prosciutto and accompanied by………………………………………………..

Homestead on the Roof

Why It’s A Hit: What are you doing on Wednesday nights? Head over to this West Town eatery with a farm-to-table focus for pop-up dinners through May 10. Executive Chef Scott Shulman is partnering with local culinary stars such as Off Color Brewing Co. (April 26) and chefs Brian Enyart and Jennifer Jones of

Potter's Chicago's Top Spots for Dining & Drinking (April)

Potter’s Chicago’s Top Spots for Dining & Drinking (April)

 

Potter’s—Chicago Burger Bar

Why It’s A Hit: Think again if you believe the burger craze will ever slow down in Chicago. It’s hotter than ever, so much that Potter’s has transformed into the latest trendy burger bar. Nestled inside the historic Palmer House Hilton, the former cocktail lounge now specializes in gourmet burgers with an emphasis on local ingredients from the hotel’s rooftop garden and apiary. What’s super cool is that 12 of the signature burgers are designed to rep cool Chicago neighborhoods. Hyde Park’s is topped with smoked cheddar, a fried green tomato and BBQ sauce; Logan Square gets bourbon-baked bacon; the Gold Coast offering is $49 and adorned with foie gras, seven-year aged cheddar and truffle aioli on a “gold bun;” and Pilsen comes with pickled jalapeno, salsa verde and chipotle aioli.

What To Order: There’s also a brownie burger on offer. Set between a doughnut bun is Betha’s brownie patty—betcha didn’t know the brownie was invented at the Palmer House—with apricot marshmallow. It’s served with churro fries topped with vanilla sauce and raspberry coulis.

Where To Find It: 17 E. Monroe St., 312-917-4933

When To Visit: After work

 

Vermilion’s Frankie Dosa Brunch

Why It’s A Hit: The celebrated Latin-Indian fusion restaurant now does brunch, and it’s something completely different than anything else around town. Diners may choose from traditional crepe-style dosas or frankies, also known as Indian wraps or roti rolls. They may be filled with a variety of fillings or………………..

 

DRINKING

 

Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea Bar

Why It’s A Hit: Actually, I’m quite shocked this hasn’t happened until now. Fairgrounds is pretty innovative in that its concept is set up like a craft beer bar—with a selection of cold coffee brews served on draft. The choices are from all over the country, including including Dark Matter Coffee (Chicago)……………………

The Hive/Honey’s

Why It’s A Hit: This new retro-inspired lounge called The Hive is above Honey’s, located in the West Loop. It serves three market price cocktails at the bartender’s discretion. There’s a full-service bar of spirits, so guests may also order cocktails that are not on the menu, such as a Negroni…………………………………………………,

The Lunatic, The Lover & The Poet

Why It’s A Hit: The snappy, three-level newcomer to the West Loop has been a long time coming, and it’s an exciting addition to the neighborhood. And, as the name suggests, there’s a multiple personality feel to the theme. The Lunatic, we presume, is the bartender whipping up all sorts of classic and original concoctions. The Lover, naturally, is the sommelier, with plans to introduce all sorts of lovely libations to guests. And The Poet is the chef. While food is not yet available, the menu looks damn good. It promises more than just polite little bites to nosh on while you’re imbibing.

What To Order: Shellfish entrées, steak and a juicy signature burger should be on their way by mid-spring. In the meantime, drink up.

Where To Find It: 736 W. Randolph St., 312-775-0069

When To Visit: Thursday is always a great night for some juice.

 

The Ruin Daily

Why It’s A Hit: Don’t take your sandwich for granted! That’s pretty much the message behind The Ruin Daily, which is more than just your average gourmet sandwich shop. The concept is helmed by chef Gabino “Bino” Ottoman (Longman & Eagle, Le Bernardin, Saint Lou’s Assembly) with a day bar offering a killer cocktail program of classic and contemporary drinks, plus beer and wine.

What To Order: Your mouth should be watering at the thought of the salmon Po’ Boy of roasted Atlantic salmon, a secret sauce, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles and pickled onions. That should go down well with the Barracuda cocktail of five-year rum, pineapple-infused rum, lime and jerk spice.

Where To Find It: 328 S. Jefferson St., 312-929-2707

When To Visit: During lunch

 

Winter’s Jazz Club

Why It’s A Hit: It’s the sort of place to completely immerse yourself into the music. No cell phone use allowed—and that’s a good thing. Winter’s is a traditional jazz club that’s been modernized. You’ll love it for its intimacy and dedication to the best of straight ahead, classic, vocal and swing. The lounge overlooks the Odgen Slip

 

Weekly Planner: WhiskeyFest, BURGER MOOVMENT’S, Jazz Brunch

WhiskeyFest Event at Sable Kitchen & Bar

The only thing better than a festival dedicated to whiskey is a charitable whiskey festival. On Monday, April 17, Sable Kitchen & Bar invites folks from Bad Hunter and Broken Shaker for a pre-WhiskeyFest Chicago kickoff with Lot No. 40 whiskey. The event, running 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., features Sabrina Kudic of Bad Hunter and Scotty LoBianco of Broken Shaker, along with Sable’s own Anton Valkov and Mike Jones, all of whom will be shaking up cocktails infused with Lot No. 40, pouring shots on tap and serving boilermakers. Attendees will also get complimentary………………………………

Funny Bunny Cake Shakes at Public House

Inspired in part by the Easter Bunny, Public House has a glorious and indulgent new cake shake on deck for the month of April. After amassing considerable buzz from its previous decadent milkshakes, the River North bar and restaurant is at it again with this latest rendition. It’s made with Ciderboys Strawberry Magic beer, strawberry ice cream, fresh strawberries, Peeps and a garnish of lemon buttercream cake. In case that’s not enough

WhiskeyFest

Desserts @ Public House

Desserts @ Public House

BURGER MOOVMENT Celebrates Its Birthday Month

Elmwood Park’s beloved burger destination, BURGER MOOVMENT, is celebrating its sixth anniversary all month long with a couple tempting promos. Throughout April, customers are invited to step up to the kitchen plate and play chef as part of the #MyBurgerMoovment challenge, wherein folks are able to create and share their ultimate burger creation for the chance to win a $100 gift card and have it featured on the menu as ……………………..

Pop-up Dinner Series at Homestead on the Roof

To celebrate the onset of spring, Chicago’s ultimate garden-to-table restaurant is hosting a spring harvest dinner series through May. Every Wednesday this month, Homestead on the Roof partners with a different local chef and brewery to serve up a fresh taste of the season. Each dinner includes multiple courses from chef Scott Shulman and the featured guest chef or brewer……………………….

Jazz Brunch at FIG & OLIVE

For an added pep in your step, FIG & OLIVE has added jazz to the brunch equation with a new weekend series on Sundays. Now midday diners can revel in a little live music with their mimosas and French Riviera-inspired cuisine. Between noon and 3:00 p.m. every Sunday, the Gold Coast restaurant features the musical stylings of different jazz musicians, like Liz Mandeville on April 16. To eat, the menu features the likes of French toast with fig-cinammon jam, poached eggs with cured salmon and hollandaise, and…………………………………..

Tax Day Desserts at Bistronomic

Bargain desserts are a surefire way to take the sting out of Tax Day, or celebrate your refund. To mark the occasion, Bistronomic is offering desserts on its menu for just $4.18 in honor of the date. Considering the caliber of these confections, it’s quite the deal. These include chocolate hazelnut bars with feuilletine, ganache and orange-Grand Marnier sauce; baked Alaska; and chocolate profiteroles with vanilla ice cream, butterscotch caramel and bittersweet chocolate sauce.

Passover Specials, Lunch Boxes, Italian Wine Dinner and More

Passover Specials

Passover at Bistronomic

Ever the reliable restaurant for just about any holiday imaginable, Bistronimic has a three-course Passover menu on hand from April 10 through April 18. The dinner menu is available for $39 per person, with options for each course. These include appetizers like warm asparagus salad with burrata, yuzu tobiko caviar, mint and honey-lemon vinaigrette; foie gras with arugula and apple salad, dried fruit marmalade, pickled Vidalia onions and roasted hazelnuts; and the tartare du jour. Next, entree options include the…………………………………

Passover Specials @ Bistronomic

Passover Specials @ Bistronomic

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8 Plus 8 Til 8 at NAHA

There’s a killer new weekday promo taking place at NAHA, wherein certain cocktails, glasses of wine and small plates go for $8 until 8:00 p.m. at the bar only. The menu offerings rotate, courtesy of bar director/general manager Amy Starr and chef Carrie Nahabedian, with examples including Milou Chardonnay, white truffle-scented popcorn, Armenian lamb pizza with mint, parsley and lemon salad, and feta cheese turnovers with……………………………..

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Lunch Box Special at Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Forget everything you remember about lunch boxes from your childhood. Because Honey Butter Fried Chicken is about to seriously one-up the nostalgic pastime with its new fried chicken lunch boxes. The new midday special, available Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., is available for dine-in, pickup or delivery through Try Caviar. There are two options to choose from too. Lunch Box One contains choice of one entree (two-piece fried chicken with honey butter and corn muffins, fried chicken strips, honey butter fried chicken sandwich, the original fried chicken sandwich, or…………………….

Italian Wine Dinner at III Forks Prime Steakhouse

Italian wines take the stage at III Forks Prime Steakhouse as part of the restaurant’s next upcoming wine dinner, featuring the work of Marchesi Antinori winery. The event takes place April 12 at 6:30 p.m., with wine representative Chris Smarto in attendance to talk to guests about the history of the estate and the wines themselves. Following a reception, dinner consists of four courses of wine-friendly fare, like charred octopus salad, braised rabbit ravioli, dry-aged rib-eye with huckleberry reduction and a “chocolate extravaganza” for dessert. The cost for dinner is $125 per person and reservations can be made by calling III Forks.

IIIFORKS Jeremy Vass

IIIFORKS Jeremy Vass

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Passover at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

Another solid Passover destination this year is Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, which is celebrating the Jewish holiday on April 10 and 11 with a special three-course menu for dinner. All the classic favorites are present and accounted for, like gefilte fish with red beet horseradish, bibb lettuce and chive salad, chopped liver, matzo ball soup, herb roasted chicken, braised beef brisket with red wine bordelaise, glazed carrots, potato pancakes and flourless chocolate cake. The cost is $49.95 per person and $19.95 for children 12 and younger. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the restaurant.

 

Posh Wednesday at Arbella

The culinary arts fuse with designer arts as part of Arbella’s latest Posh Wednesday series, taking place April 12 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. The River North bar has tapped Chicago-based designer Anastasia Chatzka for the occasion, a woman renowned for her womenswear shop in Ukrainian Village. At the event, she’ll showcase clothing and accessories from her latest collection, available for purchase on-site. Arbella will compliment with Champagne cocktail specials, including the Georgia Preserves cocktail, which has ginger-infused vodka, housemade peach-tea syrup, rhubarb bitters, lemon and bubbly.

Arbella

Arbella

 

Weekly Planner: More New Brunches, Hub 51 Art Exhibit and More

Weekly Planner: More New Brunches, Hub 51 Art Exhibit and More

More Brunch, Cocktail Class, Fajitas and More: Weekly Planner

Trench Starts Brunch

Brunch: Hot on the heels of a relaunch and rebrand from Trenchermen to Trench, the Jared Wentworth-driven restaurant and bar is rounding things out with weekend brunch. Now available Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., the menu is chock full of contemporary comforts, like…………….

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Wine 101 at ENO , Brunch

Going to class is much more appealing when said class is all about wine. Great for wine beginners, ENO Wine Room’s “Wine 101” class on March 26, part of their ongoing ENOversity program, is geared for novices interested in expanding their wine horizons. The event will……………………………………………

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SteakBar

SteakBar

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“Almost Famous” Brunch at SteakBar

There’s more new brunch to be had this weekend, courtesy of Old Town’s sizzling SteakBar. The new weekend menu borrows inspiration from classic cinema for their “Almost Famous” brunch buffet, running Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The package costs $35 per person, which includes access to carved meats, boozy donuts, gelato,

New Brunches, Cocktail Class, Fajitas and More:

New Brunches, Weekly Planner,  Cocktail Class, Fajitas and More:

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SteakBar

SteakBar

New Brunches: Trench Starts Brunch

New Brunches: Hot on the heels of a relaunch and rebrand from Trenchermen to Trench, the Jared Wentworth-driven restaurant and bar is rounding things out with weekend brunch. Now available Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., the menu is chock full of contemporary comforts, like fried chicken and waffles with bourbon maple syrup, grilled skirt steak and eggs with braised short rib-sweet potato hash, and a crab Benedict with poached eggs and lobster hollandaise. Don’t miss the sweets from pastry chef Angela Diaz either, like doughnuts and cinnamon rolls. To drink, expect Four Letter word coffee, Irish coffee, Harvey Wallbangers and more.

 

Wine 101 at ENO

Going to class is much more appealing when said class is all about wine. Great for wine beginners, ENO Wine Room’s “Wine 101” class on March 26……….

Latin American Cocktail Class

If you’d prefer a cocktail class to a wine class, then you’re in luck! Adjoining sister spots MONEYGUN and Saint Lou’s Assembly are continuing their ongoing mixology lessons with a Latin-themed session on March 30………………..

“Almost Famous” Brunch at SteakBar

There’s more new brunch to be had this weekend, courtesy of Old Town’s sizzling SteakBar. The new weekend menu borrows inspiration from classic cinema for their “Almost Famous” brunch buffet,

Fajitas After Five at Cantina Laredo

Fajitas take their rightful spotlight at Cantina Laredo, where the dish is offered at a special price on Wednesday evenings. Each week from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.,

Vietnamese Dining Guide to Chicago’s First “Shared Street”

The Argyle St. area of Uptown, home to the city’s largest Vietnamese population, just took a huge leap in becoming the city’s first “shared street,” which means the three-block neighborhood hub that runs from Broadway to N. Sheridan Rd. is now more like a plaza than a street. By raising the street to the same level as the sidewalk, implementing paved stones in place of asphalt, lowering the speed limit and enhancing the entire area with fresh landscaping, the district looks to breathe new life into the area and encourage passersby to branch out beyond the busier intersections. In light of Argyle’s evolution, it’s an apt time to revisit and explore the restaurants and markets that helped distinguish its identity in the first place and what’s going to make Chicago’s first “shared street” a success.

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Tank Noodle

“After Hours” at The Barn, Mezcal Dinner, Chicago Athletic Association’s Latest Pop-up and More

“After Hours” at The Barn

“After Hours” at The Barn

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“After Hours” at The Barn

Considering its location tucked down an Evanston alley in a former actual barn, The Barn makes for a fitting setting for a speakeasy-style experience. And now the restaurant is embracing that mentality with its new “After Hours” on Saturday nights from 10:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m., wherein The Barn slings late-night snacks and cocktails along with games like cards, backgammon and dice. Apothecary-style drinks created exclusively for After Hours include The Barn Raiser, a blend of bourbon, lime and mint, served in a vintage jar. The restaurant also features its lauded wine list, which makes for snazzy late-night sipping.

The Backroom Pop-up Bar at the Chicago Athletic Association

After amassing acclaim and fanfare for their Cherry Circle Yacht Club pop-up bar last year, the Chicago Athletic Association is at it again, this time bringing on The Field Museum and Johalla Projects art gallery to collaborate with Land and Sea Dept. for a boozy new venture in the hotel’s Tank event space on the ground floor. Called The Backroom, the bar is open Friday and Saturday nights from 5:00 p.m. until midnight through March 25. The theme for the pop-up is “Specimens: Unlocking the Secrets of Life,” hinged on The Field Museum’s upcoming special exhibit. In addition to drinks, the pop-up will feature items from the museum’s collection, for the first time displayed in a location outside museum grounds. Other aspects to look forward to: late-night incentives like DJs, trivia and karaoke, plus on-site museum professionals available to chat about zoology, geology, history and more.

The Barn

 

Mezcal Dinner at Dove’s Luncheonette

Mezcal takes the stage at Dove’s Luncheonette for an upcoming dinner/drinks event on March 14. The smoky agave spirit will be featured in drinks throughout a five-course meal prepared by chefs Dennis Bernard and Eric Weiss, with Eden Laurin manning the cocktails. It’s all in partnership with El Jolgorio, which will also be doling out tastes of its unique mezcals made from different species of wild and semi-wild harvested agave in Oaxaca. The dinner runs from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. and costs $65 per person. For reservations, email kimmy@doveschicago.com.

Brunch at Tesori

There’s a new brunch menu in town, and it’s courtesy of the Loop’s venerable Tesori. Already a beloved spot for pre-theater dining downtown, now the Italian restaurant provides customers with more to love, and more reasons to visit. The handiwork of executive chef Carlos Ysaguirre, the menu fuses Italian classics with contemporary innovations. Dishes to savor include chicken milanese with fontina fonduta and arugula; lemon ricotta crespelle with apples, walnuts and zabaglione; and pane al telefoni with cheesy baked bread, garlic, stracchino and marinara. Brunch is now served Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.