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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, […]

Friday food porn: Hot ring-a-ding!

Kit Kat calamari, battered, deep-fried squid rings seasoned with Thai-inspired spice, served with cocktail sauce, $11 at Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club, Northalsted.

Japanophiles: Sign up now

Sushisamba rio in River North shows off the talents of its Japanese chefs, Shigeru Kitano and Koji Kagawa, in an exquisite series of omekase (oh-MEH-ka-say) dinners. Beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, four weekly, eight-course dinners will each focus on a different region of Japan: Hiroshima, Akita, Nagano and Nigata. The menus include such […]

Six superior soup spots for January in Chicago

January, as you may know, is National Soup Month. Even though the weather is mild this week, you know more cold is coming. Here are a few places to warm up with satisfying soups. 2 Sparrows in Lincoln Park goes global a different meal in a bowl each week at lunch. Chef Gregory Ellis highlights […]

Friday food porn: Show me your mussels

Mussels steamed in a porter broth with jalapeno, chorizo, shallots and black mustard seed, part of a $19 fixed-price menu with a house salad and hand-cut fries at Grass Fed in Bucktown.

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 […]

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 […]

Do you fugu?

Chef Toyoji Hemmi does. The only licensed specialist preparing the delicately flavored but potentially poisonous Japanese blowfish between New York and Colorado, Hemmi is currently preparing a variety of seasonal fugu dishes at Ai Japanese Restaurant and Lounge in River North. A six-course whole fugu feast for two, $338, offers hirezake, fugu fin in hot […]

Friday food porn: Musseling in

Prince Edward Island mussels in tomato broth with sourdough croutons and rouille, $10, at Trademark Tavern & Tap in Lombard.

Eat this! Lobster thermidor, a theatrical dish

What it is: Lobster thermidor, a luxurious dish, features grilled lobster meat served in the shell with a rich sauce. The sauce varies, ranging from bechamel to cream sauce to brandy sauce to hollandaise. It is sometimes topped with grated cheese and broiled. Where it comes from: Marie’s, a Parisian restaurant near the Comedie Francaise […]