Weekend Planner: Squashfest, Seasonal Slam at TWO, Corzo Tequila Dinner


'Tis the season for all things squash, and State and Lake Chicago Tavern is celebrating with Squashfest on November 20. It's a veritable squash smackdown, hosted in conjunction with the Chicago Reader. The event features several Chicago chefs vying for squash supremacy, serving up their best and boldest savory and sweet creations. Guests get to judge the event and vote for the "Best Dish," "Most Innovative Display," and "Greatest Decadent Dessert." Participating chefs include Kevin Atkinson of State and Lake Chicago Tavern, Claire Crenshaw of Loews Chicago Hotel, Rick Gresh of Virgin Hotels, Will Johnson of Urban Till, Eric Mansavage of Farmhouse, Cory Morris and Chip Barnes of Rural Society, and David Wang of Oak + Char. It all goes down at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased here


State and Lake Chicago Tavern
Squashfest at State and Lake Chicago Tavern

Seasonal Slam at TWO

Another season means it's time for another Seasonal Slam at TWO, wherein a guest chef and bartender vie against home turf chef Kevin Cuddihee and bartender Graham Crowe for glory using a select theme of seasonal ingredients. Taking place November 22, this next go-round is a three-course affair featuring chef Ed Sura from Perennial Virant, along with his head bartender Kiel Schelich. The theme ingredients for the evening are cranberries, persimmon, and kohlrabi, and guests get to play judges, casting votes for their favorite dish and drink per course. Plate Magazine editor Liz Grossman serves as emcee for the event, which starts with a cocktail reception at 5:00 p.m. and begins dinner service at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $105 per person and can be purchased here.

Corzo Tequila Dinner at Cantina Laredo

Tequila takes the spotlight this weekend at Cantina Laredo, which is hosting a Corzo Tequila dinner on Saturday, November 21. It all starts with a cocktail reception at 7:00 p.m., followed by a four-course dinner at 7:30 p.m. While learning about the history of the tequila and tasting a variety of pours, attendees will be treated to a lineup of Mexican dishes to match with tequila cocktails. The menu starts with a beef tamal with chorizo corn hash, followed by sopa y pozole con pollo. For the third choice, diners get their choice of bone-in pork chop with guajillo tamarind sauce or sea bass with habanero mango salsa. Guava flan is served for dessert. The cost for the dinner is $49.99. Reserve a spot by calling the restaurant. 

- Matt Kirouac