Weekday Planner: Manhattan Making Contest, Sweetest Cinnamon Desserts

Lunch at RPM Steak

There's a new power lunch in town, and it can be found at RPM Steak. The River North steakhouse just launched its new "executive lunch," which is available Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. It's a three-course prix fixe for $26, with items like coal-roasted halibut, king crab bisque, and short rib steak. 

Manhattan Making Contest

Shake up your week with a little Manhattan making contest at the Virgin Hotels' second-floor Commons Club on February 22. From 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., local mixologists will convene to see who can make the best Woodford Reserve Manhattan. Attendees get to watch the action and sample the wares. What's even cooler is guests also get to personalize their own Woodford Reserve bottle with an engraver. Tickets to attend are $15, and pre-ordered engraved bottles are $45. 


RPM Steak
Lunch at RPM Steak

"Breaking the Wheel" at Tesori

Feast your eyes on an 80-pound wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and then dig in at Tesori. The Loop mainstay is hosting a very special cheese and wine tasting event called "Breaking the Wheel" on February 23 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Guests will get to sip a variety of wines from Maso Canali and DaVinci while watching chef Danny Sweis break into the massive cheese well. Bask in the aroma and sample the flavor in a whole new way. The cost is $25 per person and tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite.

Half Acre Beer Night at County Barbeque

Beer and barbecue go together like mac & cheese. Which is why it's of the utmost importance you celebrate this delicious union at Half Acre's beer night at County Barbeque February 25. Starting at 6:00 p.m., guests can taste limited release beers from the local brewery, paired with barbecue plates from the restaurant. Beers to be poured include Nitro Chocolate Camaro, Softly, Daisy Cutter, and a bonus surprise draft. Half Acre reps will also be on hand to dole out beer swag. 


Chicago's Sweetest Cinnamon Desserts

Chicago's Sweetest Cinnamon Desserts (Baker Miller)
Chicago's Sweetest Cinnamon Desserts (Baker Miller)


If the all-too-vague "pumpkin spice" can monopolize autumn, then cinnamon deserves its own time in the spotlight this winter. And rightfully so, the wonderfully heady, sugar-friendly spice is front-and-center on a number of unique pastries and desserts this season in Chicago. 

While trend-spotting foodies lost their minds over Cronuts last year, the Baker Miller crew were quietly dreaming up something even better. Now featured prominently at their Lincoln Square cafe and bakeshop, the "Doughboy" is like a carb-tastic hybrid of doughnut-meets-muffin. It sounds heavy and excessive, but these things are surprisingly light, impossibly fluffy, and all too easy to wolf down with a cup of coffee in the morning. Among the flavors on hand is the cinnamon toast Doughboy, a muffin-sized dome of dough that tastes like a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. 

When one form of cinnamon simply won't do, head to Sprinkles and order the triple-cinnamon cupcake. The most cinnamon-y sweets in Chicago right now are very likely at this Gold Coast cupcake shop, where the spice takes top billing in more than one menu item. Sure there's the cinnamon sugar cupcake, but that's really more like an unfrosted muffin, made with a lightly spiced buttermilk cake and a dome of cinnamon-sugar. What you're really after here is that triple cinnamon. It's a cinnamon-spiced cake with cinnamon-cream cheese frosting and a generous dusting of cinnamon-sugar. If that's not enough, the popular carrot cupcakes also have cinnamon-cream cheese frosting.