Weekend Planner: Gourmet Goodies at One of a Kind Show, Tasting Table Open Market, All-Olive Menu, and Graceful Beef

Jumpstart Your Holiday Shopping at One of a Kind Show

This year's One of a Kind show and sale is truly something to behold. A mammoth shopping wonderland on the eighth floor of the Merchandise Mart, One of a Kind brings together a unique medley of artisanal vendors slinging everything from fashion and posters to messenger bags and art. For foodies, the "gourmet" section is Mecca. It's chock full of nifty, novel ingredients, bottled and packaged goods, and lots more. I'm particularly smitten with Jo Snow Syrups' holiday display, brimming with gingerSNAP syrup and syrup-inspired lip balms! Whoa. Confections don't get any sweeter or more stunning than those at Smith & Donovan. There's a stand called Pasta Pappone, with bags of pumpkin-cinnamon spaghetti. WHOA. It's just begging to be cooked with brown butter and/or butternut squash. All in all, there's more than 600 vendors on hand at the show, so you can definitely put a dent in your seasonal shopping itinerary.

Smith & Donovan
(Smith & Donovan, one of hundreds at the One of a Kind show and sale)

Tasting Table Open Market

Renowned for its tireless, sleuth-like exploration of the national food scene, uncovering unique food finds in every corner of America's tastiest cities, Tasting Table finally brings together some of their favorite finds under one roof for Open Market. The inaugural affair takes place this weekend in Chicago at Block 37. The food fest starts tonight, December 6, from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. and continues tomorrow, December 7, from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Expect chefs, pastry chefs, and purveyors aplenty. I'm particularly excited to sample the wares from Mott St., La Sirena Clandestina, and Fat Rice. General admission is $5 and VIP tickets are $30.

Eat Olives at tesori

Olives are much more than supporting characters alongside martinis and salads. The potent fruit deserves its time in the spotlight, and tesori provides it via a month-long olive-focused special menu. It's the latest iteration of chef Andrew Deuel's "one ingredient dinner party" menus, and it includes everything from veal- and fontina-stuffed picholine olives and olive- and pistachio-crusted rack of lamb to olive oil Meyer lemon polenta cake. The special menu costs $65 per person.

Beef dish at Grace
(Beef at Grace)

And Some Fancy Eye Candy

A new dish on the menu at Grace showcases Miyazaki beef, and you want it. Forget about shopping this year and spend your money here. The dish features A5 beef, dates, and pickles, providing a tasteful amalgam of savory and rich, sweet, and sour. Graceful.