More than 700 people gathered Nov. 13 for Meals on Wheels Chicago's 27th Annual Celebrity Chef Ball at Morgan Manufacturing. The annual event brought together more than 80 chefs and restaurants from Chicago and culinary hotspots around the country as well as 20 mixologists, brewers and distilleries. This year, the event grossed $265,000 in direct financial support, and will provide for more than 40,000 meals for Chicago's homebound seniors and individuals with disabilities.
Bar Toma, 110 E. Pearson St., is debuting a "speed lunch" option. Diners can choose from a personal-sized wood-fired pizza or a sandwich, paired with a side salad, soup of the day or house-made chips for $15. The Speed Lunch is available Monday-Friday at 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
La Sirena Clandestina, 954 W. Fulton Market, has launched a new lunch menu. Chefs John Manion and Mark Steuer extend their former lunch menu of Latin-American influenced soups, salads and sandwiches to include several new offerings. The menu has an all-new section, "Platos Principales," with dishes including grilled hanger steak frites as well as the Brazilian staple feijoada. See LaSirenaChicago.com .
Chef Sarah Stegner of Prairie Grass Cafe is continuing her support of local farmers this winter, as she and chef-turned-farmer Tracey Vowell of Three Sisters Garden will be serving a special brunch and selling unique food items twice a month, starting Dec. 5, at the Immanuel Lutheran Church Winter Farmers' Market, 616 Lake St., Evanston. Items include the Three Sisters Garden Oatmeal Cake with Maple Creek Farm Bacon and Burton Maple Syrup ( $6.50 ), and Sarah's Mom's Pecan Pie ( $5.50/slice $32/full ). See Prairiegrasscafe.com or ILCevanston.org .
The Park Grill, 11 N. Michigan Ave. ( in Millennium Park ), will hold a gingerbread house decorating party on Sunday, Dec. 6, 1-3 p.m. Attendees can enjoy decorating a gingerbread house complete with candy, icing, treats and a hot-chocolate bar. Individual houses ( $50 ) and family homes ( $85 ) are available. See http://www.parkgrillchicago.com/park-events/gingerbread-house-decorating-party.
Stretch Bar & Grill, 3485 N. Clark St., will hold its first-ever Adult Onesie Party on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2-8 p.m. Guests are invited to participate in a best-dressed contest at 7 p.m.; the best onesie will win $100 cash and a TBOX ( Twelve Bars of Xmas ) pass, and the second-place winner will receive a TBOX pass. Specials will include $5 Smirnoff Peppermint shots, $5 32-ounce Mason Jar Bloody Marys, $5 Mimosas, half-price bombs and 50percent off for industry employees. Admission is free.
At mk, 868 N. Franklin St., Pastry Chef Lisa Bonjour will teach a French Buche de Noel-making class on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 4 p.m. The class is $20 per person or free to anyone who stays for dinner afterwards at mk; email LBecker@DMKRestaurants.com by Friday, Dec. 11.
Chicagoans who celebrate the New Year with Commonwealth Tavern, 2000 W. Roscoe St., will enjoy a $60-per-person package beginning at 8 p.m. which includes microbrew drafts, domestic bottles, call drinks, wine, food buffet, champagne toast at midnight and live DJ. Visit CommonwealthChicago.com .
On New Year's Eve at Frontier, 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave., there will be a whole-animal meal package starting at 8 p.m. The package ( $85 per person ) includes whole smoked animal service ( pig, goat, lamb and boar ), oysters, salads, sides, desserts, wine, punch, premium liquor, cocktails, craft and domestic beers, a champagne toast at midnight and party favors. See TheFrontierChicago.com .
Farmheadsthe growing hospitality collective responsible for local, farm-fare concepts Farmhouse Chicago and Farmhouse Evanstonhas launched Farm Bar, a tavern in Lake View. Now open, the 2,000-square-foot venue will be located at 1300 W. Wellington Ave., which most recently housed Wellington's Tavern. The beverage program has a 24-tap beer system focusing on Midwestern craft offerings, as well as locally produced options from the group's very own line of ciders.
BBQ spot Pork Shoppe, 5721 N. Clark St., has launched a weekly trivia night on Wednesdays. The live trivia night hosted by Pub Trivia USA consists of 20 questions in various categories, plus two bonus questions. Round winners receive free shots, and the top three teams winning prizes including $30 gift card for first place, $20 gift card for second place, and $10 gift card for third place. See PorkShoppeChicago.com .
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