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Dining news: Frontier's mystery dinner; Caribou closings
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy CIty Times...

This article shared 4498 times since Tue Apr 9, 2013
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—Frontier, 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave., will host the fifth installment of the "So You Think You're a Foodie" chef's table on Wed., April 24, at 8 p.m. For $65 per person, guests are invited to indulge in a mystery five-course tasting menu (with a rabbit focus) that Pioneer Tavern Group Corporate Executive Chef Brian Jupiter will prepare. See .

—Caribou Coffee is quitting Illinois, while Peet's Coffee & Tea will be more of a presence in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune. Minneapolis-based Caribou will close 80 locations nationwide April 14 and turn 88 others into Peet's over the next 12 to 18 months. Most downtown Chicago Caribou locations will remain open and be rebranded Peet's stores by 2015.

—Sola, 3868 N. Lincoln Ave., is offering new items for brunch. Among the offerings are a wasabi Bloody Mary with wasabi pea rim, shrimp, pickled asparagus ($12); sausage and lentils with housemade pork sausage, fried egg and pesto ($9); and bibimbap with pork belly, egg, red rice, pineapple, spinach and kim chee ($12). See .

—In Sonoma, Calif., Out in the Vineyard will host its Gay Wine Weekend 2013 in California Wine Country June 14-16, according to . It will be a weekend of wine and celebration benefiting the Sonoma County AIDS Network. Events will include "Wine & Dine OUT in Sonoma" and the "Twilight T-Dance." See

—The Local Chicago, 198 E. Delaware Pl., is hosting a Templeton Rye Whiskey Dinner on Thursday, April 11, and Two Brothers Beer Dinner on Tuesday, April 16. The events are $80 and $55, respectively (excluding tax and tip). For both events, guest may RSVP to Justin Muehling at 312-280-8887 or .

—Riva Crab House, 700 E. Grand Ave. (Navy Pier), will host an "Earth Dinner" Friday, April 19. (Hors d'oeuvres will be served at 6:30 p.m., with the dinner at 7 p.m.) The sustainable four-course menu will include items such as ahi tuna poke, Amazonian paiche, Painted Hill New York steak and a chocolate tasting. The cost is $75 (plus tax and tip); call 312-644-7482.

—Brasserie by LM, 800 S. Michigan Ave., has introduced a kids' menu. The breakfast menu, available for $5, features an All American Kid's Breakfast, a European Kid's Breakfast and Pancake Skyscrapers, among other items. Lunch and dinner items include Cheezburger with pomme frites and grilled chicken breast. See .

—Vapiano, a European-inspired Italian "fresh casual" restaurant chain based in Virginia, will open a second Chicago location in July, according to . Vapiano opened its first outlet in Lincoln Park in September 2011 and is targeting a mid-July opening for its second spot, at 44 S. Wabash Ave. (at the corner of Monroe Street), in the historic Louis Sullivan-designed Carson Pirie, Scott & Co. building that now houses City Target.

—"A Goldmine of Planet Bordeaux Wines" will take place Friday, April 19, 5-8 p.m., at the 99th Floor at Skydeck in Willis Tower, 233 S. Wacker Dr. More than 20 winemakers and 50 wines will be featured; there will be workshops, quizzes and a raffle for a case of Bordeaux. Tickets are $35; see .

—In honor of 15 successful years of business in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood, Tavern on Rush, 1031 N. Rush St., invites Chicagoans to celebrate its anniversary Monday, April 15. From 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., the restaurant will offer a variety of $15 food and drink specials. See .

—Chicago q, 1160 N. Dearborn St., is hosting a whiskey tasting Wed., April 24, 6:30-9 p.m. Sample four High West Whiskeys, including the Double Rye, Rendezvous Rye, American Prairie Reserve Bourbon and Campfire; in addition, there will be eats such as pulled pork sliders. Tickets are $72 in advance and $85 at the door (including tax and gratuity); call 312-642-1160.

—Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., is offering its bourbon-glazed salmon burger ($13.95) as its "Burger of the Month." Also, there are the smoked Gouda and apple Mac ($8.95) as well as blueberry BBQ wings ($10.95). See .

—Chelsea Print & Publishing is teaming with local startup Winestyr for "an evening of modern wine inspiration with California [flair]." The event will take place Tuesday, April 9, 6-9 p.m., at 666 W. Hubbard St., on the third floor. For free admission, register at (Donations will benefit Wine to Water.)

—Evanston restaurant Koi, 624 Davis St., celebrates National Soy Month by offering complimentary edamame samples to all dining guests during April. Guests can also celebrate soy month at Koi by choosing to replace the main protein with tofu. See .

—Benny's Chop House, 444 N. Wabash Ave., is marking National Grilled Cheese Month with a lobster grilled cheese made with provolone cheese and housemade citrus mayonnaise on brioche ($10.99). Visit .

—Carnivale, 702 W. Fulton Market, has appointed Rodolfo Cuadros as its new executive chef. Cuadros comes to Carnivale with more than 15 years experience and holds a culinary arts degree from tJohnson and Wales University. See .

—Ada St., a DMK Restaurant located at 1664 N. Ada St., is expanding its cocktail menu. The drink menu is divided into: Celebratory Libations; Vodka; Gin; Rum; Tequila; Irish & Scotch; Bourbon & Rye; Aromatics; and Shots and Nightcaps. Reservations can be made by visiting or directly on Open Table.

—Dining Out for Life will take place April 25 in several North American cities, including Chicago; visit . Last year, Chicago raised more than $110,000 to continue its mission of providing housing and services to men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS. Among the dozens of participating restaurants are Club Lucky, Andies, Crew Bar & Grill, Salpicon, and Longman & Eagle.

—Big Jones, 5347 N. Clark St., will host a piggyback dinner Thursday, April 18, at 6 p.m. to benefit The Southern Foodways Alliance with James Beard Award-winning authors Matt Lee and Ted Lee in celebration of their new cookbook, The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen. The Lee Brothers will be signing their new cookbook as Executive Chef Paul Fehribach prepares dishes featuring recipes from The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen and a few Lee Bros. classics from their earlier books. It's $100 per person; see

—El's Kitchen & Bar, 1450 W. Webster Ave., has weekend brunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Guests may enjoy bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas with the purchase of brunch for $15. Also, some of El's signature items include El's Brisket Eggs Benedict and Chicken & Waffles.

—Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation as well as Food Justice and American Injustice, will speak at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Student Center East, 750 S. Halsted St., on Thursday, April 4, at 5 p.m. (A contributor to The Atlantic magazine since 1994, Schlosser has also written for The New Yorker, Rolling Stone and other publications.) Admission is free; for more info, call 312-996-6354.

—Café Ba-Ba-Reeba!, 2024 N. Halsted St., is hosting a "Bodega Wine Dinner" Tuesday, April 16, at 6 p.m. There will be nearly 30 wines and spirits to sip and savor while learning from expert conossieurs on hand. Also, there will be a flamenco dinner show Monday, April 22, at 7 p.m. The cost is $30 each (plus tax and tip) for the dinner and $15 (plus tax) for the flamenco event; all 773-935-5000.

—Celebrate Chicago's culinary offerings at many of the city's most notable chef-driven restaurants during the Fifth Annual Chicago Chef Week, March 17-22. Nearly 75 restaurants will offer a three-course, prix fixe dinner menu for $44 each; for those who serve lunch, there's a $22 menu. See for the full list of participating restaurants.

—Baconfest Chicago will take place at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd., on Saturday, April 20. The lunch session will be 12:30-3 p.m., and the dinner session will be 6:30-9 p.m., with a one-hour VIP event happening before each. A panel of judges bestows the Golden Rasher Awards on chefs and guests for achievement in the bacon arts. Tickets are $100 each; see for more details.

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