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Dining: Swedish Bakery closing, Firehouse reopens, Valentine's Day options
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 298 times since Tue Feb 7, 2017
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— After nearly 38 years of our ownership and 88 years in the Andersonville neighborhood, Swedish Bakery, 5348 N. Clark St., will close Feb. 28. The Stanton family and staff said, "Changing times have dictated an honest evaluation of our business. Based on that review, it is time to call a close and exit the stage. We have enjoyed a good run, but as Chaucer wrote, 'all good things must come to an end.'"

—The Chicago Firehouse restaurant has reopened at 1401 S. Michigan Ave—two years after a fire closed it down, according to DNAInfo. In a statement, the restaurant's owners said they paid "thoughtful attention" to their post-fire renovations at the firehouse, a yellow brick and limestone 1905 building that was named a city landmark in 2003.

—Ella Elli, 1349 W. Cornelia Ave., the 11th concept by 4 Star Restaurant Group ( Tuco and Blondie, Crosby's Kitchen, Remington's ), will open its doors on Tuesday, March 7. The 75-seat concept will offer a lounge space to enjoy globally influenced cuisine, a curated wine list and classic cocktails.

—Oak Brook-based restaurant B., 3500 Midwest Rd., invites couples around Chicagoland to a romantic farm-to-table experience on Saturday, Feb. 11. There will be a five-course prix fixe dinner ( with items such as "living salad," blackberry panna cotta, beef tenderloin and ricotta gnocchi ) as well as live jazz. Visit .

—Tickets are available to this year's Baconfest Chicago. The roster will feature over 150 restaurants, highlighting 40-50 of the city's chefs at each of the three sessions. There are dozens of new restaurants participaing, including Boleo, Bar Takito, Yolk, Mia Passione, Kinzie Chophouse and Fourteen Sixteen. The event will take place March 31-April 1 at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd. Tickets are $100-$200 each; visit .

—On Feb. 11-12, during Shaw's Crab House's weekend brunch, diners will be treated to a special present from the Shaw's team: a $55 gift certificate for future use. Also, diners are invited to spend their Valentine's Day with Shaw's Crab House; staff will again gift guests with a $55 gift certificate for future use. Call 312-527-2722.

—At Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash Ave., on Feb. 10-13, Valentine's specials for two will be offered. The Valentine's Day menu features aphrodisiac-infused dishes to really set the mood on Tuesday, Feb. 14, with the three-course Parisian prix fixe menu available beginning at 5 p.m. The Valentine's Day dinner menu is $72 ( excluding tax and gratuity ) per person; some choices will include diver sea scallops, lobster ravioli, winter vegetable medley, thyme-roasted lamb and passionfruit meringue tart.

—This Valentine's Day weekend, Devon Seafood Grill, 39 E. Chicago Ave., is offering special entrees. On Feb. 10-14, special choices include a choice of a one-pound lobster tail, eight-ounce filet Oscar or a six-ounce filet with an eight-ounce Lobster Tail. The special includes two seasonal sides like cauliflower mash; brussels sprouts with prosciutto; parmesan-herb roasted potatoes; and wild mushroom risotto. The Valentine's Day special is $60 per person, plus tax and gratuity; call 312-440-8660.

—This Feb. 14, Drumbar, 201 E. Delaware Pl., is inviting couples to attend a special pre-dinner evening of bubbles and cocktails, where experts from MoÃt will give guests an in-depth educational champagne tasting and even teach them how to saber a champagne bottle. The event is 6-8 p.m., and is $60 per couple; visit

—Eden, 1748 W. Lake St., is offering special menu items for Valentine's Day. In addition to dinner items like braised duck lasagna and Portuguese spiced chicken, Eden's a la carte offerings include applewood grilled oysters, uni with grilled pork belly, grilled half lobster, seared foie gras and chocolate cake with pomegranate rose sorbet. In addition, every guest will receive a complimentary glass of bubbly upon arrival. See .

—For Valentine's Day, 312 Chicago, 136 N. LaSalle St., will host Menu di San Valentino," a three-course Valentine's Day-inspired prix fixe menu for $55 per person on Tuesday, Feb. 14. Chef Luca Corazzina will serve a romantic Italian dinner with each course representative of the holiday, such as red-hued pasta ( pasta made with beets ) and more.

—Acadia, 1639 S. Wabash Ave., presents couples a Valentine's Day menu showcasing Chef Ryan McCaskey's elevated cuisine on Feb. 11, 12 and 14. The unique Valentine's Day seven-course menu features canapés and luxe options including lobster gnocchi served with caviar and Champagne beurre, beluga lentils paired with tea cured quail egg, Slagel Farms chicken pot-au-feu and more, priced at $175, including service and tax. Diners are also presented the option to enjoy Acadia's traditional ten-course tasting menu or the bar menu as well. See .

—This Valentine's Day, couples can head to Fig & Olive, 104 E. Oak St., to indulge in a special three-course prix fixe menu in a setting inspired by the French Riviera and coastal regions of the Mediterranean. The menu is $85 and will be available on Tuesday, Feb. 14, only. Premium wine pairings will be available for $35. Also, on Feb. 12-19, the spot will host "Romantic Week," featuring a dining special for two including three crostini, whole branzino for two ( including two sides ) and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot; the special is $125 per couple. Call 312-445-0060.

—Pata Negra at Latinicity is offering a Valentine's Day four-course tasting menu. The Spanish-style tapas restaurant within Latinicity focuses on traditional preparations like aged Spanish cheeses, bacon-wrapped dates and specialty grilled items. The Valentine's Day menu features several menu staples in addition to off-menu items for $85 per couple with the option to add a bottle of wine for an additional $30. See .

—Center on Halsted and Jewell Events Catering will host a pop-up dinner on Thursday, Feb. 16, 5:30-8:30 p.m., at the center, 3656 N. Halsted St. The evening's pop-up dinner will feature Jewell Events Catering's top chefs, including Ben Holt and Dane Pausina, with dessert by Ralph Dixon. Tickets are $50 each; see

—Ramenfest will take place Sunday, Feb. 19, at urbanbelly, 1400 W. Randolph St. Twenty chefs from across Chicago will compete against one another to prepare their best ramen dish and be named champion. ( Among them are chefs from Antique Taco, Green Zebra, Sunda and Smoque BBQ. ) General admission tickets to Ramenfest include a sampling of each ramen and two drink tickets for $75. See

—Mago Grill & Cantina, 1010 S. Delano Ct., has announced the inaugural Taco Fest, coming up on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 6-9 p.m. Some of the participating restaurants will include El Carrito, Falafill, Antique Taco, Seoul Taco and Rojo Gusano. Also, Mago will offer all guests complimentary margarita vouchers to celebrate National Margarita Day on Wed., Feb. 22. All ticket sales will benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository, a nonprofit dedicated to ending hunger in Chicago's neighborhoods; visit .

—Hugo's Frog Bar, 1024 N. Rush St., is marking its 20th anniversary with a full week of festivities that kick off Wed., Feb. 22. A party ( free and open to the public ) will take place Feb. 22 as Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House owners Steve Lombardo and Hugo Ralli will cut the first slice of the restaurant's well-known cake. Also, Hugo's will offer a look back with a special Then & Now menu, featuring some of Hugo's classic dishes specially priced to reflect the original menu released in 1997 and current dishes with special 20th-anniversary pricing. See .

—The 18th Annual WingFest takes place on Sunday, March 5, 1-5 p.m., at UIC Pavilion, 525 S. Racine Ave. This will be the festival's inaugural year at UIC, a larger-than-usual venue that can accommodate more people and double the number of restaurants cooking up over 9,000 pounds of wings. Some of the 2017 WingFest participants include Rhyme or Reason, Howells & Hood, Chicago Culinary Kitchen, Son of A Butcher Tavern and River Forest Catering. See .

—Coco Pazzo announced its 25th anniversary and plans for a yearlong celebration. The festivities will encompass remembrances of things past ( including a nod to its co-pioneers in Chicago's culinary evolution ), a Rites of Spring masquerade party and a look forward to what the next 25 years will hold. See .

Send items to or follow on Twitter @Azygous60610.

This article shared 298 times since Tue Feb 7, 2017
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