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Dining news: Chicago Restaurant Week; food trends
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 4511 times since Tue Jan 6, 2015
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—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, Oceanique, Piccolo Sogno, GT Fish & Oyster, and Vermilion. Make online reservations at .

—The National Restaurant Association's What's Hot in 2015 culinary forecast identifies food and drink items that are no longer trending on menus, according to . The top 10 list of things that were trendy at one time, but professional chefs now believe are not anymore, are bacon-flavored chocolate, popovers, mini-burgers/sliders, molecular gastronomy, edible flowers, flavored water, insects as an alternative protein, foam garnish, chilled tomato soup and tater tots.

Among the things that are now considered hot are locally sourced meats/seafood, locally grown produce, environmentally sustainable cuisine, healthful kids' meals and natural ingredients/minimally processed food.

—The Giordano's restaurant that's replacing Ann Sather in Andersonville ( at 5207 N. Clark St. ) is slated to open in March. Ann Sather owner and 44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney announced in 2013 he had sold the building housing his chain's Andersonville location to Newcastle Limited, reported.

—Gene & Georgetti and the Durpetti Family will receive the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Grand Chefs Gala inaugural "Chicago Classic Award" that recognizes lifetime achievement in Chicago's competitive culinary scene. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will host the 18th Annual Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Grand Chefs Gala on Friday, Jan. 30, at the Fairmont Chicago, 200 N. Columbus Dr. Visit .

—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 .

—Besides shopping, another reason to go to Barneys, 15 E. Oak St., is Freds Chicago. Among the many lunch and dinner items are Estelle's chicken soup ( $9 ), jumbo lump crab cake ( $17 ), FREDS Nicoise salad ( $24 ), various artisan pizzas ( $18-$20 ) and spaghetti alla arrabiatta ( $18 ).

—Kanela Breakfast Club ( now in Old Town, Lake View and Wicker Park ) plan to honor Elvis Presley. On Thursday, Jan. 8, in honor of what would've been Presley's 80th birthday, guests can enjoy Kanela Executive Chef Don Penza's take on the singer's favorite food ( fried peanut butter and banana sandwich ) with a special bacon-infused waffle with peanut butter and Banana for $10. See .

—Roka Akor, 456 N. Clark St., will hold its second annual Sake Week Jan. 12-16. Tenzing Wine and Spirits' Sake Portfolio Manager Tona Polamino will guide guests through a sake tasting and brief history of the Japanese rice wine during the restaurant's lunch service Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 12-2 p.m., and during dinner service Wednesday and Thursday at 5-7 p.m. Tastings are $15, with a portion of the proceeds donated to Editha House, which provides affordable lodging for cancer patients. Call 312-477-7652.

—Paris Club Bistro & Bar, 59 W. Hubbard St., will hold a French cooking class Saturday, Jan. 17, 1-3 p.m. Chef Christian Eckmann will demonstrate the techniques of making coq au vin ( chicken braised in red wine ), which will be served alongside pommes puree and enjoyed with a glass of French wine. The cost is $60, plus tax and gratuity; call 312-595-0800.

—Deleece, 3747 N. Southport Ave., is offering a three-course prix fixe menu for $25 on Mondays and Tuesdays. Menus may include items such as spinach salad, coq au vin, vegetable risotto and pumpkin cheesecake, among others. Visit .

—Pizza ovens across the Niles Township area will be fired up for Pizza Wars V on Thursday, Jan. 15, 6-9 p.m., at the Niles North High School main gymnasium at 9800 Lawler Ave., Skokie. Tickets are $12 online and $15 at the door. The fifth annual Pizza Wars will benefit the District 219 Education Foundation. Visit .

—For its 30th anniversary, Shaw's Crab House will work with a number of local restaurants and chefs to present the "greatest hits," according to a press release. Among other things, there will be a four-course crab dinner Jan. 16 and an oyster/cocktail event in Oyster Bar Feb. 22. Visit .

—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 .

—Famous Dave's has launched its new Sunday brunch menu. Every Sunday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., in Oswego ( 2440 Route 34 ) and Bolingbrook ( 704 Janes Avenue ), diners are invited to enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet style brunch with more than 25 food options for breakfast, lunch and dessert. The brunch buffet is $13.99 per person and includes one non-alcoholic drink; there is also a $6 Bloody Mary bar.

Send items to or follow on Twitter @Azygous60610 .

This article shared 4511 times since Tue Jan 6, 2015
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