Bon Appetit Presents Chicago Gourmet ( with the theme "Lights, Camera, Napkin!" ) will take place Friday-Sunday, Sept. 27-29. Some of the events include Battle of the Masters at Swift & Sons; Hamburger Hop; a gourmet chili cook-off; Grand Cru; and, of course, the Main Event Grand Tasting ( in Millennium Park ). The A-list cast of celebrity chefs includes Rick Bayless, Andrew Zimmern, Stephanie Izard, Joe Flamm, Tony Mantuano, Lorena Garcia, Art Smith, Jeff Mauro, Carrie Nahabedian, Kwame Onwuache, Masaharu Moritmoto, Sarah Grueneberg and more. Visit ChicagoGourmet.org .
Stan's Donuts & Coffee is giving away 300 free bacon maple bars for International Bacon Day ( Saturday, Aug. 31 ). The first 25 guests at each of the 12 stores who order the Bacon Maple Bar using the password "Tempted by Tempesta" at the register will receive the donut for free. Stan's Bacon Maple Bar ( $3.99 ) features a yeast donut topped with housemade maple glaze and a piece of candied Tempesta bacon. It joins Stan's permanent donut lineup, which will also include the new Birthday Cake Donut, on Friday, Sept. 6. For more on Stan's Donuts & Coffee, visit stansdonuts.com .
MAD Social, 1140 W. Madison St., will kick off Labor Day weekend with a Friday brunch on Aug. 30. Its full brunch menu ( with items such as pancakes and shortrib Benedict ) will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and Bottomless Mimosas and Bloody Marys will be available 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Guests can enjoy the brunch menu inside or on MAD's dog-friendly patio, which seats 32. RSVP at https://www.madsocialchicago.com/reservations.
The Miller Lite Beer Garden, on the east end of Navy Pier, will kick off Labor Day weekend with happy hour on Friday, Aug. 30, 4-6 p.m. featuring $4 16-ounce Miller Lite drafts, $5 16-ounce Peroni drafts, $5 Capeline Strawberry Lemonade, $5 Henry's Hard Sparkling Water, $6 Smirnoff Vodka Lemonades, $6 Bacardi Mai Tais, $9 double cheeseburgers with fries, $6 Supreme Nachos and $4 cheese pizzas. The Miller Lite Beer Garden will also continue its "Live on the Lake!" music series featuring local bands all weekend.
Mexican restaurant La Josie, 740 W. Randolph St., will open at 11 a.m. on Labor Day for brunch and lunch. Diners can enjoy Abuelita's Pancakes, with caramelized bananas, Nutella, chocolate chips, chocolate sauce and ( $12 ); dulce de leche toast, with cinnamon sugar, condensed milk and strawberries ( $10 ); and chilaquiles ( $10 ). Traditional Mexican favorites such as queso fundido ( $12 ), an assortment of different ceviches ( $12 ) and guacamoles ( $8 ) will be available as well as a variety of tacos, enchiladas and quesadillas.
French spot Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash St., will be open Labor Day for brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Menu highlights include an artisanal smoked salmon sandwich; house-cured duck confit hash; and prosciutto di parma. Add bottomless mimosas to any entree for $18.95. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 312-944-8400.
Greek restaurant Avli Taverna, 1335 W. Wrightwood Ave., will be open for dinner at 5-10 p.m. on Labor Day and will offer its regular menu. Dishes include the watermelon salad with mint and ouzo dressing ( $7 ); gyro sandwiches with rotisserie chicken, grass-fed lamb or Berkshire pork ( two for $15 ); and caramel baklava ice cream ( $9 ). Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 773-857-5577.
Easy Bar, 1944 W. Division St., will open 8 p.m.-2 a.m. on Labor Day ( Monday, Sept. 2 ) and offer specials like $6 glasses of wine, $5 Espolon Tequila shots, $5 Stoli Lime drinks, and Tecate with a Jimador tequila shot for $6. Guests can enjoy their drinks and the final days of summer on Easy Bar's dog-friendly sidewalk patio with seating for 15 to 20 guests.
Epic Burger has launched the Beyond Sausage Bratwurst or "Beyond Brat"a plant-based sausage from plant-based industry leader, Beyond Meat. the Beyond Brat is served in the traditional Chicago-brat-style with grilled onions, spicy brown mustard, on a brioche bun. To go above and "beyond," Epic Burger flash-fries the link to give the plant-based casing added texture and snap.
Passion House Coffee, a specialty coffee roasting company based in Chicago, has partnered with My State of Mind ( MSOM )a mental-wellness solution by Chance the Rapper's charity, SocialWorks. Passion House will now serve itsr cold coffee brew in specially designed cans that join the Passion House Coffee branding with My State of Mind's philosophy. With every purchase of the MSOM Cold Brew, 50 percent of the proceeds benefits MSOM's efforts to create access to its mental-health space. See PassionHouseCoffee.com and Socialworkschi.org/initiatives/my-state-of-mind/.
French-inspired Cafe Cancale, 1576 N. Milwaukee Ave., has a new brunch menu. Chef-partner Paul Kahan and Chef de Cuisine AJ Walker will offer takes on classic French hors d'oeuvres and staples, alongside a rotating selection of eafood and oysters from a dedicated raw bar. European coffee service and French pastries, as well as freshly-baked baguettes, will be offered courtesy of Publican Quality Bread head baker Greg Wade.
Bar Cargo, 605 N. Wells St., will kick off the college and pro football seasons with the $30 Cargo Football Buffet. The buffet features a selection of Cargo favorites, including a variety of pizzas, fried ravioli, meatballs, chips and salsa, citrus chipotle BBQ Wings, buffalo giardiniera wings, cheese curds, and French fries. Drink specials include $20 domestic beer buckets, $28 White Claw and High Noon buckets, and $25 Corona buckets. Kickoff games include Wisconsin vs. South Florida on Friday, Aug. 30, and Packers vs. Bears on Thursday, Sept. 5.
LondonHouse Chicago's LH Rooftop: 85 E. Upper Wacker Dr., floors 22-23, will host a Star Party for its second year on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 7-10 p.m. Attendees can star-, moon- and planet-gaze through two telescopes while the astronomy team provides insights into the sky's spectacles. This complimentary, one-night event is open to the public. Guests who would like to reserve a table may book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 312-253-2317.
River North spy-themed bar and restaurant SafeHouse Chicago is teaming with local artist Princess Etch to host Sip & Sketch at SafeHousea whimsical evening of drawing with Etch-a-Sketch toys on Thursday, Sept. 5, at 7 p.m. Princess Etch will share her expertise with guests interested in creating sketched art of their very own; she provides pocket Etch-a-Sketches, educational materials and sample design transparencies for each artist-in-training. Tickets to the event ( $28 each ) include one complimentary cocktail and pocket Etch-a-Sketch, which guests can keep after the event; visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sip-sketch-learn-to-etch-a-sketch-with-princess-etch-tickets-66703322433.
The Andersonville neighborhood will host "Andersonville on Air" as a part of 360 CHICAGO's #TheRealChicago neighborhood takeover series on the 94th floor observation deck at 875 N. Michigan Ave. building ( formerly John Hancock Center ) during September. The launch party will take place Thursday, Sept. 5, 6-8 p.m., with small bites, shopping from area retailers, interactive art experiences and more. There will be drink specials at BAR 94 all night long, including the featured Andersonville cocktail of the month from KOVAL Distillery, with proceeds benefiting Swedish American Museum. Admission is $12.50; visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/andersonville-on-air-tickets-68630803581.
Friday, Sept. 13, is National Cachaca ( pronounced "kuh CHAA kuh" ) Day or National Caipirinha Day. To mark the occasion, Texas de Brazil locations nationwide, including the Chicago and Schaumburg locations, will be offering $5 caipirinhas all day. Caipirinhas are the national drink of Brazil and are made with only three simple ingredients ( cachaca, lime, and sugar ).
At Brass Heart, 4662 N. Broadway, on Wed., Oct. 2, 6-10 p.m., Chef Gaetano Nardulliformerly of Schwa Restaurant ( Chicago ) and NEAR Restaurant ( Barrington )will be a guest chef at an exclusive Old World-versus-New World event. Guests will enjoy 12 coursessix from Executive Chef Matthew Kerney's team at Brass Heart and six from Nardulli. The cost is $185 each, including food, tax and gratuities; visit www.opentable.com/r/brass-heart-reservations-chicago to RSVP.
Four Corners is reintroducing The Motel Bar, 600 W. Chicago Ave., as Monty's Tap. The name change pays homage to the concept's local history located within the former headquarters of Montgomery Wardthe country's oldest mail-order firm and a National Historic Landmark. Monty's Tap, which accommodates up to 100 seated guests and unveils an updated 75-seat patio, focuses on a retro social experience with a creative dining and cocktail program; there are also culinary offerings such as the salmon power bowl, 4C Smash Burger and mahi tacos.
Broken English, the taqueria from Stefani's Restaurant Group, has opened Luchardorable Creamery at its Lincoln Park location at 2576 N. Lincoln Ave. Guests can use the walk-up window facing Sheffield Avenue or order tableside when dining inside the spot. Luchadorable Creamery offers a selection of Mexican-style premium hard ice cream that will be served in churro cones ( $5 ), cups ( $4 ), and concha ice cream sandwiches ( $6 ). The menu also features several paleta ( $5 ) flavors, including a special Paw-leta flavor for dogs. CBD oil can be added for $5. See TacoPub.com .
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