Halloween Dining and Drinking Guide 2016
When it comes to dining and drinking on Halloween, the autumnal holiday is about a lot more than candy. This year, Chicago restaurants and bars are bringing out the big guns with an impressive miscellany of food- and drink-filled events, specials and more. Here’s where you should be dining and drinking this Halloween in Chicago.
DMK Burger Bar: Lakeview’s famed burger restaurant has a penchant for irreverent holiday specials. The latest example is their Halloween-themed specials. These include a pretty aptly dubbed Bloody Burger, which is an Australian grass-fed sirloin tartare served on garlic toast with garlic aioli, salt and vinegar potato chips and a fried egg. It pairs quite nicely with the All Treats No Tricks Shake, outfitted with a whole bunch of candy that’ll surely make you feel like a kid again.
Table, Donkey and Stick: The Logan Square restaurant is back at it for their fourth annual offal dinner, an offbeat and entirely appropriate way to celebrate Halloween for diners not leery of organ meats. The four-course tasting menu, courtesy of chef de cuisine Ryan Brosseau, shines the spotlight on off-cut ingredients like lamb heart, tripe, beef check and more. There’s even caramel corn chicharron given to guests in a goody bag at meal’s end. The dinner is a bargain at $36 per person and reservations are available by calling the restaurant.
Little Goat: Looking to take your Halloween party beyond the typical boozy punch? Head to Little Goat for their spooky cocktail class on October 31 and hone your mixology chops. Stephanie Izard and co. will host the event in Little Goat’s private dining room at 6:00 p.m., where guests will get to learn some bartending basics along with a few recipes they can replicate at home. The cost is $45 per person and includes cocktails and snacks. Tickets can be purchased here.
Three Dots and a Dash: In other cocktail news, Chicago’s famed tiki bar is hosting its first annual Halloween costume bash on October 30, with doors opening at 8:00 p.m. For the occasion, Julian Cox and Kevin Beary have created a special Halloween-exclusive cocktail menu, which will go nicely with live music by DJ Fred Matters. Guests are encouraged to come in costume, of course. Tickets for the party are $30 per person and includes two cocktails and light tiki-style bites. Tickets can be accessed on Three Dots’ website.
Maple & Ash: Since opening, Maple & Ash has proven that steakhouses can have a little fun and be a little tongue-in-cheek, while simultaneously exhibiting a serious knack for craft and quality. For proof of the former, the Gold Coast restaurant is transforming itself into “Frontback Steakhouse” on Halloween night, October 31, in homage to that famed “Australian”-inspired chain. Along with special decor and costume-clad servers, chef Danny Grant will prepare a bevy of Australian-accented specials. This includes an onion blossom jazzed up with white sturgeon caviar and steak supplements like coconut shrimp, “barbie-q” shrimp and onion rings.
Ada Street: Harry Potter-lovers, take heed. Ada Street takes guests to the hallowed halls of Hogwarts for their special Halloween dinner events on October 29 and 30. The menu consists of four courses of Potter-inspired dishes, and each night has seatings at 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. There will also be butter beer and Quidditch beer pong. The cost is $75 per person and tickets are available here.
Ampersand Wine Bar: Another fun theme this year is the Stranger Things-inspired “Hallowine” event taking place at Ampersand on October 30. Borrowing a page from the wildly popular Netflix show, the evening consists of 1980’s-themed hors d’oeuvres and other throwback-y menu items like meatloaf and an Eggo waffle dessert. Themed cocktails, ’80’s beers and wine specials will also be on hand, with seatings available between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Come in costume inspired by Stranger Things for added fun, and the best costume winner will receive a wine membership to Ampersand’s wine club program. The cost is $30 in advance of $35 at the door, and tickets can be purchased here.
AceBounce: Proof that Stranger Things really is the de facto Halloween theme of the year, AceBounce is hosting its “Stranger Pings” Halloween event on October 29 from 8:00 p.m. until closing. True to form, guests can expect ’80’s-themed cocktails and appetizer specials, unlimited ping pong and ’80’s-inspired music by DJ Barb. Come in a Stranger Things costume for the chance to win best dressed and a variety of prizes. Early bird tickets are $29 per person, and regular tickets will be $40. Go here to snag yours.
Benchmark: For those who aren’t afraid of the dark, Benchmark is hosting a haunted prison bus trip on October 27, and brave patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance here: https://nightout.com/events/statesville-haunted-prison-bus-trip-benchmark/10-27-2016/tickets#.WATm-junXjB Attendees will be shuttled to the Statesville Haunted Prison for a night of screams and festive Halloween fun. Tickets are $50 and include a roundtrip ride to and from the Lockport haunted prison, plus passed appetizers priors to departure and beer on the bus.
Kanela Breakfast Club: For something far less spooky, indulge in Kanela’s wholesome Halloween pancake special. Available October 28 through October 31, the pancakes are pumpkin and accented with cream cheese icing.
Joy District: This multi-level River North restaurant and bar is going big for its first Halloween, with plans for two different parties. First up is The Omen on October 29, which starts at 7:00 p.m. on the roof (weather permitting). The eerie party costs $15 for early bird tickets, valid for entry between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Get those here. Next up is A Joyful Nightmare, taking place October 31 from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. The restaurant promises that all your favorite nightmares will come to life for the occasion, so that should be good. Tickets for this one are $10, which includes a hosted Smirnoff bar until 8:00 p.m. Tickets for that are available here.
- Matt Kirouac