The biggest and most celebrated U.S. bartender competition of the year has identified the country's most talented mixologistand he's from Chicago. After proving his skills during five challenges and two days of competition on June 16-17, the United States Bartenders' Guild ( USBG ) and World Class U.S. announced that Charles Joly is the 2014 U.S. Bartender of the Year. Joly will represent the United States at the world's largest international cocktail competition this July in Great Britain.
The skewer-focused restaurant mEAT is still maintaining its original location in Boystownbut has expanded to Streeterville, specifically 215 E. Chestnut St. The new location can seat 100-plus people with outdoor availability when weather permits, a private function room and regular dining areas. See www.EatAtMeat.com .
Chicago q Chef/Partner Lee Ann Whippen will appear on World Food Championships, a new show premiering on A&E's new network, FYI, on Thursday, July 10. The show chronicles The 2013 World Food Championships held Nov. 7-10 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Chicago q, 1160 N. Dearborn St., will broadcast the show on the TVs in the bar.
Viaggio, 1330 W. Madison St., is now open for Sunday dinner at 4-8 p.m. Dishes include stacked eggplant, eight-finger cavatelli and the famed meatball salad. Call 312-829-3333 or visit www.ViaggioChicago.com .
Bon Appetit presents Chicago Gourmet has announced an exclusive, newly added dinner to the 2014 event lineup: A Tribute to Charlie Trotter. On Saturday, Sept. 27, many of the world's finest chefsincluding Graham Elliot and Rick Baylesswill gather at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago for this event, which will benefit Trotter's Culinary Education Foundation. Tickets are $500 per person for the six-course dinner; see www.ChicagoGourmet.org .
The fifth annual Roscoe Village Burger Fest will take place July 12-13 on Belmont and Damen in Chicago's Roscoe Village neighborhood. Among the vendors are DMK Burger Bar, Square Bar & Grill, Butcher & the Burger, Goose Island Brewpubs and Reggie's Rock Club/Music Joint, among others. Hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. both days. The gate donation is $8; visit www.RoscoeVillageBurgerFest.com .com.
Chicago's inaugural Ramenfest will take place at bellyQ, 1400 W. Randolph St., on Saturday, Nov. 8, 12-3 p.m., and will benefit Common Threads, which Art Smith and Jesus Salgueiro co-founded. Ten chefs will try their hand at ramen for the event, including chefs Lee Wolen ( Boka ) and Jared Van Camp ( Nellcote ). Tickets for Ramenfest are $45 online/$55 at the door; visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/732848.
Square Roots returns to Lincoln Square ( Lincoln Avenue, between Montrose and Wilson avenues ) July 11-13 with more than 50 acts on four stages, and 30 regional craft brews paired with Lincoln Square's finest restaurants and artisans. With Old Town School of Folk Music and the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce presenting, the festival will feature music, dance parties, participatory jams and plenty of family-related activities. See www.SquareRoots.org .
LM Restaurant Group has introduced its newest concept, Cafe Creme, to Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood at 1721 N. Damen Ave. The cafe will sell a wide variety of traditional French pastries and baked goods including baguettes, croissants and fruit tarts as well as a selection of French macarons, currently available in 12 flavors. The menu, created by Chef Matt DuBois, formerly the Chef de Cuisine at El Ideas, will feature a selection of sandwiches, salads, soups and brunch items. Visit www.cafecremechicago.com .
Chicago's 6th annual Windy City RibFest in Uptown will take place July 4-6 at Lawrence Avenue and Broadway. Rib vendors are Aussom Aussie Australian BBQ, Chicago BBQ Company, Wisconsin's Famous Dave's, Arkansas' Porky Chicks BBQ and Texas Thunder BBQ. In addition to slabs, drinks and music, there will also be arts & crafts and a kids' activity area ( art, games, inflatables ) each afternoon. Gate donation is $5; see www.WindyCityRibfest.com .
The 13th annual Taste of River North will take place July 18-20. Thousands are expected for the event ( $5 admission ), which encompasses A. Montgomery Ward Park, 630 N. Kingsbury St., and the surrounding streets. Among the restaurants that have already committed are Kinzie Chophouse, Sholado, BlackFinn Ameripub, The Melting Pot, Taco Joint and Pranzi. Go to www.tasteofrivernorth.com or call 312-633-2600.
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