Your Weekend Planner: Cocktails at Travelle, Firkin Fest, Fried Chicken, and Parachute Kickstarting

Bartender in Residence at Travelle

In case you really want to drink London-tinged cocktails but don't have the time, budget, or energy to fly there, allow Travelle to be your weekend planner:passport. On March 27 and March 28, the restaurant hosts internationally revered mixologist Alex Kratena as "bartender in residence," to bestow upon us all some of his cocktail supremacy. In his normal life, he works at Artesian Bar at The Langham in London, so its a seamless segue to hop across the pond and shake up some drinks for a couple days in Chicago. It marks the first stop on Kratena's U.S. tour, shaking up a specialty cocktail menu that will only be available at stateside Langham hotel properties. Expect city-inspired drinks such as the "Skylines - Boston," a medley of aquavit, fino, citrus, cedarwood, and bitters; and the "Back to the Future - Chicago," with Talisker, port, sherry, citrus, cacao, and raspberry.

Firkin Fest

Beer geeks know what I'm talking about. Firkins are a big deal in the brew world, apparently enough to merit their own festivities at Headquarters Beercade. These "real ales" comprise one full day of imbibing merriment, starting at 1:00 p.m. and featuring a roster of 25 special beer firkins from top-tier breweries. On your weekend planner expect brews from the likes of Tall Grass, Metropolitan, Two Brothers, Half Acre, and Great Divide. The event takes place at Headquarters' Lakeview location.

Travelle, Your Weekend Planner

Family Fried Chicken Sundays at Gemini Bistro

Fried chicken is the perfect exclamation point to punctuate any weekend. It's especially endearing when it's consumed family-style, within the cozy confines of Gemini Bistro. The Lincoln Park haven kicks off "family fried chicken Sundays" this weekend on March 30, featuring a pants-tearing melee of buttermilk fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, country biscuits, house-churned honey butter, and Crystal hot sauce. It's a three-day process to make this chicken and get it just right, so don't let this chicken down. The five-piece poultry feast goes for $28 and the 10-piecer costs $48.

Kickstart Avondale's Newest Restaurant

After you've enjoyed a weekend full of good eating, do something righteous and back the Kickstarter for Avondale's latest restaurant: Parachute. The forthcoming Korean-American restaurant is slated to open at the end of April from Beverly Kim (remember how much you loved her on Top Chef and wanted to eat her food?) and John Clark. Kickstart here.

- Matt Kirouac