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Dining: Kanela cocktails; Crew's ownership changes
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 3888 times since Tue Jan 27, 2015
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—Kanela Breakfast Club in Old Town, Lake View and Wicker Park—which recently received its liquor license—has debuted a menu of classic and seasonal cocktails. Guests can sip on specialty drinks ranging from $7 to $8 each, including the Apricot Elderflower Bubbly, Almond Joy Latte, Vodka Caramel Apple Cider and more.

—Brian Wells and Steve Milford—who founded and opened Crew ( 4804 N. Broadway ) in the summer of 2004—have decided to bow out of the ownership and management of Crew and SoFo Tap ( 4923 N. Clark St. ), Uptown Update noted. Mark Robertson and Mike Sullivan, who joined Milford and Wells as co-owners of Crew in 2010, now own more than 95 percent of Crew and 100 percent of SoFo Tap. The foursome acquired SoFo Tap together in the summer of 2011.

—South Water Kitchen, 225 N. Wabash Ave., is hosting its annual "Outdoor Groundhog Day Lunch" on Monday, Feb. 2, at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Chef Roger Waysok has prepared a complimentary two-course lunch ( first-come, first-served ) to be served on the restaurant's patio. The options are a meatball or grilled-cheese sandwich, and bourbon pecan bread pudding—however, guests MUST sit outside. Reservations must be made by calling 312-336-9300.

—The Barrelhouse Flat, 2624 N. Lincoln Ave., has launched its new Bartender with Benefits series. Upcoming bartenders include Ben Schiller of The Berkshire Room and Paul Sauter of Mercadito Hospitality, among others. Guest bartenders participating in the series will collaborate with Barrelhouse Flat owner/bar director Stephen Cole to create three specialty cocktails priced at $11; two dollars of each drink sold will go to benefit each guest bartender's charity of choice.

—The Chicago Academy for the Arts will host "A Taste for the Arts" gala at the Harris Theater and Millennium Park Terrace Tuesday, May 12, at 6 p.m. This evening, hosted by Donna LaPietra and Bill Kurtis, will feature a performance by the emerging artists of the academy alongside the cuisine chefs such as Curtis Duffy ( Grace ), Matthew Kerney ( Longman & Eagle ) and Tony Priolo ( Piccolo Sogno/Piccolo Sogno Due ). Individual gala tickets start at $350, with reserved tables starting at $5,000; visit to reserve event tickets or visit for performance-only tickets.

—Schaumburg's Grillhouse by David Burke, 1301 American Lane, has introduced brunch. Options include steak and eggs ( $24 ), brunch pizza ( $12 ), French toast ( $12 ) and buttermilk pancakes ( $12 ). Visit .

—On Thursday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m., Howells & Hood, 435 N. Michigan Ave., partners with Sierra Nevada to present guests with an exclusive vertical tasting of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine. Among the dishes will be turban squash, venison sausage, and butterscotch-and-dark chocolate bread pudding, among other things. The cost is $60, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 312-262-5310.

—Michael Jordan's Steak House, 505 N. Michigan Ave., has a new executive chef. Craig Couper will oversee the kitchen, development of new dishes and overall operations. He held positions at the University Club of Rockford; The Haymaker in Poughkeepsie, New York; and Capital Grille in Chicago and Lombard before joining the team at Michael Jordan's Steak House in 2011 as executive sous chef.

—Crumbs Bake Shop celebrated the opening of its Highland Park bakery with a free cupcake and baked-goods giveaway Jan. 24-26, according to . The Highland Park shop is the second Crumbs retail store to launch in Illinois following the reopening of the Chicago Water Tower location on Michigan Avenue last October. In other recent news, Crumbs Bake Shop cupcakes and brownies are also available in several Chicago area Mariano's grocery stores.

—Guinness world record holder Chef Alain Roby will debut his 948-pound, life-size, white-chocolate "Eros," created for a Food Network special. To honor the occasion, Roby's All Chocolate Kitchen in Geneva will host a viewing party on Sunday, Feb. 8, at 3 p.m. for the Food Network segment, where guests can catch a behind-the-scenes look at the making of "Eros," and take pictures with the chef and his newest chocolate sculpture.

—Terry's Toffee will debut a new limited-edition flavor—pretzels and sea salt toffee enrobed in dark chocolate—at the Randolph Stret Market Jan. 31. The flavor is available at the company's Grand Avenue and Galleria locations only; also, people can call 312-733-2700.

—As of Jan. 1, public health inspectors enforced the Illinois Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act, which requires ANSI-accredited Food Handler training in Illinois for all restaurant employees. Participants may complete the online training at to receive a ServSafe Food Handler Certificate, which is universally accepted throughout Illinois. Visit to register; it's $12 if the discount code EMPLOYEE20 is used.

—TWO—1132 W. Grand Ave., a recipient of the 2015 Michelin Guide's Bib Gourmand—announced the appointment of Kevin Cuddihee to the role of executive chef. Cuddihee has been a part of the restaurant's menu development since before the 2012 opening, and has served as chef de cuisine for the past two years.

—Chicago Restaurant Week will take place Jan. 30-Feb. 12. The restaurants will offer three-course lunches for $22 and three- or four-course dinners for $33 and $44. Among the 250+ restaurants participating are 312 Chicago, Big Jones, Browntrout, May St., Cafe, Oceanique, Piccolo Sogno, GT Fish & Oyster and Vermilion. Make online reservations at .

—BIG Bar, 151 E. Wacker Dr., is entertaining New England Patriots fans and the 12th Men from Seattle ( Seattle Seahawks ) with a Super Bowl Finger Foods and Football Brews menu. Munch on The Seahawk Salmon Dip ( $13 ) or dig into The New England Mini-Lobstah' Rolls ( $15 ) for the big game Feb. 1. BIG Bar is open on Super Bowl Sunday 5 p.m.-1 a.m.

—At Anteprima, 5316 N. Clark St., on Monday, Feb. 9, 6:30-9 p.m., Marty Fosse welcomes Paolo Saracco of Saracco wines and Chef Maurizio Albarello of Trattoria Antica Torre. The five-course dinner will include offerings such as veal with tuna and caper sauce, tajarin with slow-cooked mushrooms and Maurizio's moscato zabaione. The cost is $85, including tax and tip; email or call 773-506-9990.

—Francesca's Restaurant Group has announced the "Take Me to Tuscany" getaway, a five-day trip to the Italian countryside featuring wine-estate stays and vineyard visits to the restaurant group's Italian partners for Francesca's Restaurants and Davanti Enoteca. Guests can enter now until Saturday, Feb. 28, at the close of business at any Francesca's Restaurant Group concept ( Francesca's Restaurants, Davanti Enoteca, and Glazed and Infused ). For more information on all locations and concepts, visit .

—Filini Bar & Restaurant, 221 N. Columbus Dr., offers a creative, untraditional way to spend Valentine's Day with a special "Seven Deadly Sins" menu. Guests are invited to discover their sultry side while savoring the flavors of lust, envy, wrath, gluttony, greed, pride and sloth. Among the available items will be oysters, tuna and yellowfin crudo ( lust ); grilled shark with chili oil and blood orange ( wrath ); and macaroons with chocolate covered raspberries, passion fruit sorbet, and frozen beet foam ( sloth ). The seven-course menu is $95 per person or $125 with cocktail pairings. Reservations are required; call 312-477-0234 or visit .

—Frontier, 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave., celebrates Fat Tuesday with a Louisiana shrimp boil on Tuesday, Feb. 17, at 6 p.m. For $33 per person ( excluding tax and tip ), guests will enjoy an all-you-can-eat shrimp boil complete with potatoes and corn. Purchase tickets at

—The 16th Chicago's Best WingFest will take place Feb. 22 at Bailey Auditorium, 1340 W. Washington St., 1-5 p.m. WingFest has tailgating, wings from 25 area restaurants, competitive wing-eating, six categories of competition and more. Funds raised will benefit Chicago Neighbors United. General admission tickets for this 21-and-over event are $40; see .

—Rob Levitt of The Butcher & Larder announced that he will be re-locating his Noble Square butcher shop to the forthcoming 27,000-square-foot Local Foods headquarters, currently under construction in Bucktown. In relocating to Local Foods in 2015, The Butcher & Larder, among other things, will have access to roughly 3,000 square feet in the customer-focused retail center and 4,000 square feet for classes, demonstrations and wholesale distribution. Local Foods is slated to open this summer.

—On Sunday, Feb. 1, Blue Door Farm Stand, 843 W. Armitage Ave., will celebrate its one-year anniversary with complimentary miniature carrot-cake cupcakes from Friday, Jan. 30, through National Carrot Cake Day on Tuesday, Feb. 3. Visit .

—On Feb. 11-12, Joe Fish Executive Chef Joe Farina will share the kitchen of his River North restaurant, 445 N. Dearborn St., with internationally-recognized Italian chef, Maurizio Albarello, owner of Antica Torre in Barbaresco, Piemonte. Farina and Albarello will work side by side on dishes featuring East and West Coast oysters, swordfish carpaccio, red snapper, and Albarello's Piemontese specialties and homemade pastas. The cost is $125 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity; call 312-832-7700.

—On Saturday, Feb. 28, the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation ( IRAEF ) will welcome 13 culinary teams and eight management teams composed of high school ProStart students from across the state to compete in the 14th Annual Illinois ProStart® Invitational. The event will occur at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr., 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

—OCEAN Organic Vodka and Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa have partnered to present the 2nd Annual "Ultimate Ocean Cocktail Contest." Submissions will be accepted by email or website form submission at through Feb. 28. The contest winner will receive a $500 cash prize, a three-night stay at Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, and their winning recipe on all cocktail menus on property for a year.

Send items to or follow on Twitter @Azygous60610 .

This article shared 3888 times since Tue Jan 27, 2015
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