The women's board of the Lyric Opera of Chicago has announced that the triennial gala Wine Auction 2015 will take place Saturday, Feb. 7, on the stage of the Ardis Krainik Theatre, 20 N. Upper Wacker Dr. At the event, the board will unveil its commemorative wine, Song, which is bottled in Napa Valley, California. Tickets are $1,500 each; call 312-827-5682 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org . ( Also, Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago is partnering with the women's board, and is offering special overnight packages and rates for guests of the auction. )
Porkchop will open an additional express location in Chicago's Loop at 29 E. Adams St. It will serve lunch and dinner, with hopes to roll out a breakfast menu in the near future. The Porkchop Loop menu will be almost identical to the menu at Porkchop West Loop, with the exception of liquor. Owner Jovanis Bouargoub will also introduce a new concept in 2015 called Chop, a 2,300-square-foot steakhouse within the Roosevelt Collection on the Near South Side.
Top-Topa startup reservations portal led by Chicago commercial real estate developer and entrepreneur Todd Reedplans to launch Jan. 5 and include more than a dozen Chicago-area restaurants, according to Crain's Chicago Business. The service will cater to last-minute reservation bookers frustrated with having to choose from among so-called shoulder timesthose before 6 p.m. or after 9 p.m.while offering certain protections to restaurants that opt to hold prime-time tables. The service will compete with OpenTable.com and Tock ( slated to debut in March ).
Intro, an L20 "reconcept," will be the first Chicago restaurant to regularly rotate chefs and concepts, according to Eater Chicago. Visiting chefs will work two-to-three month stints at Intro, where they will "have full creative license" to implement the food concept as well as ambiance, service style, and more. Each chef will be a full partner during his or her tenure, but have the support and backing from Melman, L20 chef/partner Matthew Kirkley and Lettuce Entertain You as a whole.
Rebar at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, 401 N. Wabash Ave., has unveiled dishes and cocktails. Menu highlights include a lobster cocktail with spiced soy aioli, wakame and sesame crisp; yellowfin tuna tartare with lemongrass, ginger and pickled watermelon rind; and spiced chocolate pumpkin cheesecake. See trumphotelcollection.com/chicago .
GRK Greek Kitchen, a fast-casual restaurant concept in Chicago that serves authentic Greek food, will open a third locationthis one in the Chicago Loop. The newest GRK Greek Kitchen is at 111 W. Monroe St. The two other locations are at 219 W. Washington St., in the Loop ( opened January 2011 ), and 251 E. Huron St., inside Northwestern Memorial Hospital ( opened May 2013 ). Visit www.facebook.com/GRK.Kitchen .
"Brew U: A Beer Education Series" will take place Jan. 7-Feb. 11, 6:30-7:30 p.m., at Dusek's, 1227 W. 18th St. A $75 ticket, which includes beer tastings, is good for the entire six-evening series of classes ( covering six weeks ) such as "Lagunitas: Hop-ology" and "Moody Tongue: Culinary Pairing School." Call 312-526-3851 or visit DuseksChicago.com .
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 www.ShawsCrabHouse.com .
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 www.WingFest.net .
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.
Pastry chef Meg Galus is leaving the Park Hyatt Chicago's NoMI Jan. 7after three years at the hotel, Crain's reported. Previously she was the pastry chef at Tru, working under Gale Gand, and executive pastry chef at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower. Her future endeavors are not known.
Odyssey has announced that 2015 will be its first year participating in First Bites Bash, the official kick-off event for the eighth annual Chicago Restaurant Week. This event will take place on Thursday, Jan. 29, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Union Station, 500 W. Jackson Blvd. Tickets are $44 ( with an additional $9 for drink pairings ); see www.eventbrite.com/e/first-bites-bash-2015-official-kick-off-event-for-chicago-restaurant-week-tickets-13767070679 .
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