Chicago Restaurants Celebrate Anniversaries

Judging by the number of of Chicago's Best Restaurants celebrating anniversaries these days, that must mean December is a popular time to conceive. Let's sidestep "the talk" and get right to business. As a number of dining spots celebrate milestones, diners are rewarded with  specials and promotions and comfier seats. Here are a few spots celebrating now, from one year all the way to 25.

Everybody knows that the sixth anniversary gift is pizza. It's apropos then that La Madia restaurant is rolling out a pizza-filled six-year anniversary celebration from September 30 through November 3. To celebrate their years slinging contemporary pizzas, the River North Italian restaurant will offer $6 Neapolitan pizzas during lunch. I guess we should be thankful they're not turning 70. Pizza selections will rotate weekly, including toppings such as housemade lamb sausage with fresno peppers, Caciocavallo cheese, and mint pesto; wild mushrooms and smoked mozzarella; smoked pork belly with Tuscan kale, garlic, caramelized onion, and Caciocavallo cheese; clam and fresno chiles with Pecorino, garlic, and fresh thyme; and triple pepperoni with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and white truffle oil. $6 pizzas can be paired with a $6 glass of wine, and again, different reds and whites rotate throughout the weeks. Anniversary specials are served from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

To celebrate one year in business, Jellyfish Restaurant is slashing prices on menu items 50%. The promo is viable on select menu items seven days a week between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., making Jellyfish a great after-work and/or happy hour destination. Dishes include miso soup, squid and cucumber salad, avocado and crab salad, honey-walnut popcorn shrimp, crispy chile-glazed chicken, and signature Jellyfish sushi rolls such as the lobster mango roll, spicy tuna tempura, torched Atlantic salmon, and the pink flower roll, which sounds magical.

Oceanique restaurant is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, which in restaurant years is like 150. To mark the venerable accomplishment, the Evanston restaurant unveiled a new design, which includes a plethora of new seating options and an overarching facelift to update the space and give it more of a contemporary feel. A little nip and tuck never hurts. New lighting puts the food in a fresh spotlight, and fewer tables makes room for more comfortable banquettes. The bar area also sports a new menu of small plates, offering guests a lighter dining option. Look for dishes such as market ceviche with yuzu and pickled asparagus, lobster sandwich with togarashi saffron aïoli, Maine Pemaquid oysters with Pernod, spinach, and Parmesan, and zucchini blossom tempira with Manchego, tomatillo, and shrimp.

Happy anniversaries to all of Chicago's Best Restaurants!

(Oceanique. Photo: Kurman Staff)