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LM issues a passport to fun

Years and years ago, when I was a young budding foodie, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, then known for brilliantly quirky promotions of its wonderfully inventive restaurants, issued passports to its rather smaller eatery empire. If you got it stamped at seven of their restaurants (which in those days meant you had eaten at most of […]

10 Chicago New Year’s Day brunches

Stoke up after tonight’s excesses with a hearty brunch and a little hair of the dog that bit you. (Where does that phrase come from, anyway? Woof.) Zest Bistro at Lemon Tree Grocer in Downers Grove will be open to serve Chef Tim Canning’s brunch dishes including breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs, Niman Ranch bacon, […]

Eat ethnic Christmas dinners around Chicago

Every culture has its holiday traditions and in Chicago we can try most of them. Check out these ideas: Cuban: Chef Chico Vilchez at Nacional 27 in River North offers a pre-holiday look at Cuban Christmas traditions through Saturday, Dec. 22, with a four-course, prix-fixe menu, paired with wine. The meal starts with a tapas […]

Have some Swedish Christmas in Chicagoland

The Swedish restaurants at Ikea host their annual Julbord Celebration Friday, Dec. 7, at both the Schaumburg and Bolingbrook locations. The event offers an all-you-can-eat Smorgasbord of Swedish holiday ham, smoked and poached salmon, Swedish style meatballs with lingonberries, assorted cheeses, crisp bread, gravid lax with mustard, assorted desserts and more. Live music accompanies. Seatings […]

Chicago celebrates Beaujolais Nouveau 2012

Beaujolais Nouveau arrives just after midnight the morning of Thursday, Nov. 15. The young red wine made from thin-skinned Gamay grapes, produced in the Beaujolais region of France, is released with great hoopla every autumn . Local restaurants are celebrating: Chez Moi in Lincoln Park celebrates with Chef Dominique Tougne’s prix fixe, including salade Lyonnaise […]

Rijsttafel pops up in Andersonville

Chicago has no Indonesian restaurants. A rare opportunity to sample some Indonesian cuisine takes place Sunday, Oct. 7, at Vincent in Anderson when Chef Chris Reed of caterers The Rice Table will create a pop up rijsttafel dinner. Rijsttafel, a Dutch word that means “rice table,” is a complex meal of many small dishes accompanied […]

Fashionable farro at Chicago restaurants

Have you tried farro? It’s the hottest thing since mashed potatoes. The new alternative to rice and spuds is finding its way onto menus all over town, as detailed in a recent article in the Chicago Sun-Times. “Farro” is the Italian word for an ancestor of wheat. This ancient grain, also known as “emmer” (Triticum […]

16 picks for Chicago Mardi Gras 2012

Laissez les bon temps rouler! It’s Mardi Gras tomorrow, the last hurrah before Lent. Revel Chicageaux-style on Fat Tuesday at these bars and restaurants. Heaven on Seven features all its usual Cajun and Creole specialties, plus live music: Steve Rohbock & Band in Naperville, Professor John on Rush Street and the Chicago Jazz Collective on […]

Friday food porn: Sweet, hot cherry

Sister breakfast specialsts M.Henry in Andersonville and M.Henrietta in Edgewater feature this decadent reason to get up in the morning, created from house-made chocolate sour-cherry bread layered with fresh strawberries, raspberry whipped cream, chocolate ganache, raspberry coulis and vanilla creme anglaise, $9.25 on the Sunday brunch menu, as well as on the daily specials through […]

100 Chicago restaurants open Christmas Day 2011

You don’t have to cook Christmas dinner.