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Something special for this weekend

I get a lot of notices about various specials that different restaurants are running. I don’t use many of them — most restaurants have specials all the time, and they’re often not very, well, special. For example, half the restaurants in town will have fish and chips on the menu tomorrow. These, however, sounded especially […]

7 places to find hamantaschen and other Purim goodies

Beginning at sunset, Saturday, Feb. 23, area Jews will celebrate the festival of Purim, perhaps the most boisterous on the Jewish calendar, a Mardi Gras-like celebration marked by costume parties and gift giving. As with many Jewish holidays, Purim commemorates yet another occasion when somebody tried but didn’t quite succeed to wipe out the Jews […]

Congratulations, Chicago James Beard semi-finalists!

Semi-finalists in the James Beard Awards, the culinary world’s answer to the Oscars, announced today, include a strong line-up of Chicagoans. Congrats to all! Finalists will be named March 18 in Charleston, S.C., and the winners May 6, in New York. Here are the locals in the running: Outstanding Restaurant Naha, River North Spiaggia, Magnificent […]

29 last-minute Chicago ideas for Valentine’s Day 2013

Uh oh, you forgot to make Valentine’s Day reservations! We’ve got you covered. As of today, these restaurants were reporting they still had openings. You can make reservations right from within Dining Chicago, too. But hurry, we don’t guarantee they’ll still have openings. Aquitaine, French bistro, Lincoln Park. Bin 36 global, River North. Branch 27, […]

Two days to celebrate paczki in Chicago!

In Poland, today is Tlusty Czwartek or Fat Thursday, otherwise known as Paczki Day (say “POONCH-key”). In the U.S., though, many Poles celebrate on Fat Tuesday, otherwise known as Mardi Gras, which will be next week. Chicagoans are lucky — we get to observe both days! Thousands of Polish Chicagoans as well as other pastry […]

Chicago chefs’ top 10 recipes of 2012

Pies and lobster dishes were among our most popular recipes of last year, showing that despite straitened times, cooks are still looking for a little indulgence. On the other hand, two pasta dishes also made the list, so they’re economizing, too. Here are Dining Chicago’s 10 most clicked-on local chefs’ recipes of 2012. Which were […]

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, […]

10 great last-minute options for New Year’s Eve in Chicago

New Year’s Eve is one of those difficult dining nights. Everybody’s jamming in, and restaurants try to turn the tables as fast as possible to pack ’em all in. Many places don’t offer their regular menus, but only an abbreviated list of pricey set menus; places that don’t ordinarily require reservations may want them, and […]

Ten places to go on Black Wednesday, Chicago 2012

The eve of Thanksgiving has come to be called “Black Wednesday, ” suppose by extension from Black Friday, the post-holiday shopping day that — it’s to be hoped — puts retailers in the black. The pre-Thanksgiving night out gets people in a celebratory mood as they congregate with family and friends. Of course, maybe it’s […]

Five fabulous Thanksgiving sides recipes from Chicago chefs

Of course, you’re serving turkey for Thanksgiving. But what else? Chicago chefs have some great ideas. Carrot and cranberry borscht, Zed451, River North. ‘Especially Good’ sweet potatoes, Whole Foods Market. Butternut squash polenta, City Provisions, Ravenswood. La calabeza rellena, oven-roasted acorn squash stuffed with artichokes, green peas, chile de arbol, mushrooms and saffron rice, Las […]