The 12 Days of Edible and Drinkable Christmas

Partridges in pear trees are all well and good, but counting down to Christmas is a lot more rewarding when there is food and booze involved. Chicago restaurants and bars are rising to the occasion this season with a slew of "12 Days of Christmas" promotions taking place all over town. 


River Roast Christmas
River Roast Christmas

12 Wings of Christmas: In a way, you can say that chicken wings are pretty close to Christmas birds... though a lot more delicious. Jake Melnick's Corner Tap is already counting down to the holiday with its 12 Wings of Christmas promotion, which runs from December 1 through December 12. Each day of the countdown, chef Nick Santangelo features a different specialty chicken wing, starting with apricot-Sriracha on December 1. The subsequent lineup runs as thus: cilantro lime with jicama slaw on December 2; Kung Pao duck wings on December 3; superhot firecracker on December 4; tequila buter with avocado citrus dipping sauce on December 5; chimichurri with pickled red pepper on December 6; Sammy's Chicken Shack whole fried wings with Nashville hot sauce on December 7; traditional mole wings with queso fresco on December 8; spicy sweet orange peel chicken on December 9; Jorge's salsa marita on December 10; Thai coconut red curry on December 11; and finally, salsa verde with Pedro's black bean dip on December 12. 

12 Months of DMK Restaurants: Instead of songbirds, DMK Restaurants is counting down to Christmas with edible gifts good for the entire year. So basically, much better than songbirds. The restaurant group, which spans the entire city and Evanston, is offering gift cards ranging from $30 to $100, each one offering a different year-long promo that allows the cardholder to redeem for one item at the corresponding restaurant every month of 2016. Options include 12 months of burgers at DMK Burger Bar, 12 months of tots at Fish Bar, 12 months of cocktails at Ada St., 12 months of rib tips at County Barbeque, 12 months of bottled cocktails at Henry's, and 12 months of six-piece buckets from Arlen's Chicken. Cards can be purchased in-store at any location or by calling each restaurant. 

The 12 Roasts of Christmas: There's just something about roasted meats and poultry that feels especially apropos for the holiday season. River Roast should be your go-to destination this year, as the downtown restaurant cooks up its 12 Roasts of Christmas. Offering special roasts each day for the 12 days leading up to Christmas, from December 11 through December 23, chef John Hogan promises never before seen roasts at the restaurant like roast venison with oatmeal cake and huckleberry sauce; brioche-crusted roast sweetbreads with black truffle sauce and roast duck breast with savoy cabbage and port wine sauce. 

12 Days of Christmas Cookies: On a sweeter note, Delightful Pastries has a dozen different holiday cookies on deck for their 12 Days of Christmas Cookies series, which kicks off December 12 at all three Chicago locations. Check out the roster below for the full spread and stop by any location to get your sugar fix:
December 12: Kołaczki, Polish cream cheese cookies
December 13: Viennese Almond crescents
December 14: Coconut macaroons
December 15: Boozy coconut chocolate macaroons
December 17: Chewy chocolate gingerbread
December 18: Linzer cookies
December 19: Mexican wedding cookies
December 20: Italian rainbow cookies
December 21: Parisian macarons 
December 22: Rum balls
December 23: Vodka chocolate cups  
- Matt Kirouac