Weekend Planner: Yum Dum Dumpling Party, New Karyn's Cuisine, Tailgate Takeaways, and Outdoor Lunch

No matter the time of year, there is always lots to do, eat, and drink while you enjoy dumplings in Chicago. Here are some of the hottest happenings this weekend.

South Water Kitchen
(Scene from last year's outdoor lunch at South Water Kitchen)

Make and Eat Dumplings With Yum Dum

There's a new dumpling food truck afoot, and before it launches on March 1, Yum Dum is hosting a dumpling-making party on February 1 in celebration of the Chinese New Year. The best kinds of classes are ones where students get to work with dough and reap the rewards with their mouths. Jeff Wang will play teacher, instructing on various ways to fold dumplings. At the end of the class, attendees will enjoy a family-style meal full of dumplings. The event takes place from 2:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. at The Garage. The cost to attend is $45 per person and guests can register here.

Karyn's on Green and Karyn's Cooked Unveil New Menu Items

No dumplings here at Chicago's preeminent vegan/raw chef Karyn Calabrese has updated her menus at Karyn's on Green and Karyn's Cooked to bolster her eclectic menus for winter. Sure things are animal product-free, but that doesn't equate to taste-free. Vibrant, imaginative menu additions at Karyn's on Green include a portabello Napoleon with herbs, cashew blue cheese, primavera sauce, and pico de gallo; a Swedish crêpe with sea vegetable cream cheese and cilantro gastrique; and Tuscan kale salad with pickled onions, kidney beans, gala apples, and maple-mustard vinaigrette. Over at Karyn's Cooked, Calabrese's older of the two restaurants, she's serving up curry vegetable salad, pasta marinara made with zucchini and walnut meatballs, and flax and corn masa empanadas with three-pepper "chorizo" filling, raw chocolate mole, and salsa verde.

The Florentine Offers Takeaway Tailgate

There's a little thing called the Super Bowl happening this weekend, and in case you're too distracted to put any effort into cooking football grub or over-ordering pizzas, The Florentine makes it easy with their take-home tailgate package. The Italian restaurant is filling baskets up with pasta salad, meatball sandwiches, housemade chips, antipasti misti, and cookies for $45 a pop. Interested parties need only call the restaurant at 312-660-8866 30 minutes prior to their preferred pick-up to enjoy a tailgate experience in the confines of their own homes.

Outdoor Lunch at South Water Kitchen

If you're not brave enough to stare hypothermia in the face, stop reading now. South Water Kitchen is poised to host its annual Outdoor Groundhog Day Lunch on February 2, an optimistic event in hopes that Groundhog Day will work to our benefit and that the weather on February 2 is not particularly murderous. The two-course lunch is to be served on the restaurant's patio regardless of the weather. Fortunately the food is hearty and warming, with entree options including a grilled vegetable sandwich with broccoli cheddar soup or a meatloaf sandwich with whipped potatoes. For dessert, a warm chocolate fudge brownie with salted caramel, toasted pecans, and vanilla ice cream. Lunch is served at 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2:00 p.m. on Febuary 2 and the cost is complimentary to all who dare. Reservations must be made by calling 312-236-9300.

- Matt Kirouac